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Casio Duro Marlin

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The Casio Duro Marlin Specifications

  • Japanese quartz movement
  • SR626 battery with 3-year battery life
  • Unidirectional diver’s bezel
  • 200 meter (660 feet) water resistance
  • Screw-down crown and screw-lock caseback
  • Mineral crystal
  • Stainless steel case
  • 44mm diameter
  • 48mm lug to lug
  • 12mm height
  • 92g case weight

The Casio Duro Marlin dive watch is well known among both diver’s and budget-friendly watch collectors. Int his review of the MDV106-1A I’ll show exactly why it is so well known. commonly available for $40 from online retailers such as Amazon, the Casio Duro stands out in the that features 200m water-resistance unlike many other diver styles watches at this price level Besides the better than average specifications, the Casio Duro Marlin also just looks good, and with a cursory glance you might mistake it for much higher-end watch. The Casio Duro Marlin is our top pick for a quartz-powered, affordable dive watch available for less than $100.

The Casio History

Casio Computer Company, founded in 1946, is a Tokyo based multinational electronics manufacturing company. They were among the first electronics companies to manufacture quartz watches, both analog and digital models. In 1957 they released the world’s first entirely electric compact calculator. Developing watches with a variety of interesting sensors is Casio’s specialty, including watches that display different time zones, atmospheric pressure, temperatures, water depth, and GPS. Their expertise has made watches such as G-Shock extremely popular among outdoor enthusiasts. You can find all different kinds of styles from Casio, from basic analog, analog mixed digital with digital displays, and fully digital watches with 100 different functions. the Casio Duro Marlin is fully in the basic, simple analog side of their range, and is targeted at SCUBA diver’s, snorkelers, swimmers, and boaters that are only interested in a straight-forward easy to read timepiece that has a timing bezel.

The Casio Duro Marlin variants

The Casio Duro Marlin is the most popular watch in Casio’s MDV line of diver’s, and it’s the most traditional, minimalistic version. Unfortunately, it also seems to be the one still in production. Watches in the MVD3XX line, if you can still find them, come with chronometer functions and slightly more colorful styling.

The Casio Duro Marlin Case and case-back

The stainless steel case of the Casio Duro Marlin is highly angular, with a number of nearly 90-degree corners around the lugs and crown. The lugs are relatively short and curve downward drastically over their short distance. With its large 44mm case diameter, having such short and curved lugs helps the MDV106 still fit nicely on even smaller wrists.

The sizes of the case have been polished to a nice mirror finish, and the tops of the lugs and bottom of the case have a more brushed, less reflective finish. I’ve looked closely all over the case, and you will be able to find any machining marks left behind by the manufacturing process.

The fit and finish are very high, Casio has extremely high-quality control, and getting any sort of flawed watch is very rare. Looking at the screw-lock case back you can see one of the big differences between a cheap Casio and something like an Omega Seamaster. Omega prides itself on small details, such as having the case back screw into a perfectly aligned position with the rest of the case and even patented a mechanism for achieving this.

Sitting top center of the case back is an engraved Marlin, which Casio uses to signify that this watch has 200 meters of water-resistance. Casio makes many “Diver Style” watches that only come with a rating of 100m WR, and you won’t see the Marlin emblem anywhere on them.

Besides the Marlin, we get other engraved text. Along the top of the case back is “Water Resistant 20 bar” in a nice arc. On the leftward side arch ” Stainless Steel” and on the right is the serial number enclosed in a curved box, with the model name ” MDV-106″ beside it.

The Casio Duro Marlin crown

The small screw-down crown on the MDC106 has a notched edge providing a decent grip, and a very highly polished, mirror-like finish on the end of it. It is enclosed between 2 crown guards on the case, offering some protection.

The crown extends below the guards. This does make it easier to get your fingers on it but minimizes the protection offered by the guards. The Casio Duro Marlin’s crown is probably most people’s least favorite part of the watch. It looks undersized compared to the size of the case and just feels cheap and fiddly when unscrewing and adjusting it. On the positive side, with its extremely accurate quartz movement, you will be adjusting the time much less than on an automatic mechanical.

The Casio Duro Marlin crystal

The crystal on the Casio Duro Marlin is fairly basic flat mineral crystal. The top of it stands just slightly above the height of the surrounding bezel, at the edge looks to be very slightly bezeled. Mineral crystals are more prone to scratches than sapphire, but quite a bit tougher than acrylic crystals. Overall, the crystal is nothing fancy, but completely adequate for its use here.

The Casio Duro Marlin Bezel

The Casio Duro Marlin features a pretty standard unidirectional diver’s timing bezel. The black insert is marked in white with numeral every 10 minutes, with the 5-minute positions indicated by thin, not quite rectangular bars. The first 15minutes of the bezel is marked every minute with smaller bars, similar to a Rolex Submariner.

The notched edge provides a good grip even with wet and/or gloved hands. It’s stiff enough not to turn accidentally, but to too stiff for easy use. When turned the 120-click bezel provides a satisfying and somewhat click action. It is a little sloppy compared to some higher-end diver’s but not so bad that it jiggles back and forth when not being turned.

The zero marker features a large luminous pip, the only luminous marking found on the bezel. This is usually enough to get a good idea of the elapsed time in the dark, but I do prefer a bit more luminosity on the bezels, every 10 minutes would be ideal. There is a lot of confusion among internet commenters and watch reviewers about the original purpose of the diver’s bezel ad the reason it only turns one way.

The purpose is to monitor the time of dive in order to prevent decompression illness. As a diver breathes compressed air, her blood and tissues absorb excess nitrogen. Too long at depth can cause the body to contain too much nitrogen, and as you removed through the lungs. The bubbles accumulate in various places throughout the body, and symptoms vary depending on where they get stuck. The reason the bezel only turns one direction is so that if it gets bumped and turned it will only turn in the way that is more conservative, showing longer time spent at depth than in reality.

Turning the other way is extremely dangerous, causing the diver to believe they have to spend less time diving than they actually have. Analog dive watches have been largely superseded by digital dive computers, which use complex algorithms to calculate the nitrogen load and update a display showing the safe remaining time allowed at each depth. Many divers still enjoy using traditional dive watches, either for historical reasons or as a back-up to the dive computer.

The Casio Duro Marlin dial

The dial on Casio Duro Marlin features brand name high center, the Marlin logo and WR 200M low center, a date window on the right and “JAPAN MOV’T” in very small text at the 6 o’clock. It is difficult to see in pictures, but the black dial actually reflects a starburst pattern when viewable at an angle, which provides a lovely accent to the otherwise plain dial.

The applied lumed markers are edged in chrome and stand just above the black of the dial. The attention to detail here is very good for a watch in this price range, with the markers aligned perfectly with the dashes on the chapter ring.

The Casio Duro Marlin hands

The minute and hour hands are a sword and arrow, both filled with lume and lined in chrome. The seconds-hand is a long arrow, with a small amount of lume in the arrowhead. It is colored red on the outward half, and otherwise pure black. All three hands feature rather large counter-balances with the minute and hour hands done in chrome and counter-balance on the second hand done in black. The seconds-hand jumps forward each second with a slight rebound, which is pretty common on quartz watches. What is not common in a watch in this price range is that it actually ticks lined up with the seconds’ markers arranged around the chapter ring. It seems like a small thing but shows a higher level of quality and detail than other watches available under $100.

The Casio Duro Marlin date window

The date window features black numerals printed on a white background. The cutout is contained within a white box. The date window on the Casio Duro Marlin is not particularly impressive, with the font being misaligned and the cutout featuring a rough edge on its right side. It is also small and may be difficult to read for older owners.

The Casio Duro Marlin movement

The Casio Duro Marlin has the Japanese quartz movement. It is rated to be accurate +-30s/month, and only gaining about 5 seconds a month. the SR626 battery should last approximately 3 years and is easily replaceable by your local jeweler, dive shop, or yourself with the proper tools.

The Casio Duro Marlin strap options

The Casio Duro Marlin comes with a pretty standard resin band. It is decently comfortable. However, it does not look that great and is not fun to wear in the summer heat with sweaty arms. People who are looking to spice up the look of the watch could get away with more colorful straps, and even something like a bright orange NATO would also look great on the watch. For those that want to dress up the watch a little bit more, Ritche makes an aftermarket stainless bracelet for the Casio Duro Marlin. it goes for only about $10 and has great reviews.

7Expert Score
Casio Duro Marlin
Casio Duro Marlin
Casio Duro Marlin is a great water-proof watch for men, despite its appearance, the matte black dial is not everyone's favorite.
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PROS
  • Reliable quartz movement
  • Solid finishing
  • Simple but nice-looking design
  • Affordable price
CONS
  • Questionable water-resistance rating
  • Extremely week lume
  • Cheap rubber