Casio A168WEM-1: Casio has recently expanded its super popular vintage line with a few new models. This week, I was fortunate to be able to check out the reissue of the A168WEM-1. This is one of the original square models, done in shiny chrome-plated plastic with a stainless steel bracelet. It has a blacked out reverse screen, and mirror finish plastic crystal – basic, but cool. 

Three of the new models, the A168WEM- 1VT (black watch face), A168WEM-2VT (teal watch face) and A168WEM-7VT (silver watch face) have silver-toned stainless-steel bands with mirror finished dials. The A168WEGB-1BVT features a black-toned stainless-steel band with gold accents, while the AQ230GA-9BVT features a gold-toned stainless-steel band and gold analog-digital face.

First Impressions

Lightweight! Small! But oh so cool, actually. The watch comes in a cool octagonal vintage-inspired metal box, and is packed in foam. It gleams in silver on first impression, and is immediately nice to hold – despite its lightweight and inexpensive pricepoint. The metal strap was easy to size with a tiny cam to slide the adjustment end of the clasp along the metal bracelet – took about 30 second to get it sized up. Setting couldn’t be easier – just hit the mode button until it goes into setting mode. Of course, it’s a bit weird to have the timesetting built in with the rest of the modes of the watch, but it is simple and easy.

On the Wrist

On my medium sized wrist, the watch seems a bit small and lightweight. However after a week of wear, I’ve begun to really like the lightweight and ease of use. It’s almost like it isn’t there, but when it’s matched with a hipster outfit, goes really well. Legibility is solid, even with the blacked out display. I certainly wasn’t planning on liking this one as much as I did – but for $50, it’s a fun, easy statement.

Feature Review

  • Electro-luminescent backlight. I love these backlights, and this one, with the blacked out reverse display, is great.
  • 1/100-second stopwatch – Works, basic.
  • Daily alarm – Yep, works again. Not the loudest beep, but it does work.
  • Hourly time signal – I remember when I used to have this turned on in 3rd or 4th grade on my Casio calculator watch.
  • Regular timekeeping: Hour, minute, second, pm, date, day – Keeps good time with quartz accuracy. After a week, it appears to be accurate with my cell phone to the second.

Should You Buy It?

Looking for a cheap, easy to wear, hip beater watch to wear to parties and randomly on the weekends? Then yep, this Casio A168WEM-1 is great buy! Looking for a long-lasting workhorse to impress clients with in the boardroom? Actually, you could probably get away with it. But also, you could do better.

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Casio A168WEM-1
  • Price: USD $50
  • Who we think it might be for: Hipster digital collector looking for a genuinely cool digital watch at a budget price
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Since it’s a reissue, there’s not much I’d suggest changing, in keeping with the original look and function. However, if I could overhaul this, I’d add tough solar charging and change the case from plastic/chrome plating to stainless steel.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: The vintage cool looks and lightweight design make this a great daily wear, and a fun look at casual events and parties.


  • Case / bezel material: Resin / Chrome plated
  • Adjustable Clasp
  • Stainless Steel Band
  • Mineral Glass
  • Water Resistant
  • Electro-luminescent backlight
  • 1/100-second stopwatch
  • Measuring capacity: 59’59.99″
  • Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
  • Daily alarm
  • Hourly time signal
  • Auto-calendar (28 days for February)
  • 12/24-hour format
  • Regular timekeeping:
  • Digital: Hour, minute, second, am/pm, month, date, day
  • Accuracy: ±30 seconds per month
  • Approx. battery life: 7 years on CR2016

ByJeffrey Donenfeld

Wrist Watch Review Writer Jeffrey Donenfeld lives in Colorado and reviews products at his website. An accomplished adventure traveler, antarctic expedition director, and rescue scuba diver, Jeffrey has tested and reviewed watches in a multitude of challenging environments. Jeffrey loves exploring design, construction, materials, and utility aspects of horology, and gets a kick out of both classics as well as fresh new ideas. He typically tests extensively watches he writes about, and provides readers with a real-world, practical take on diverse timepieces. In addition to writing about time, Jeffrey also works as a venture capital investment manager at a growing startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado. In his free time he travels (70+ countries and counting), snowboards, rock climbs, runs, sails, scuba dives, and occasionally relaxes.

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