Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1A Dive Watch Review

Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1A
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • Quality
    Editor: 80%
  • Design
    Editor: 80%
  • Price
    Editor: 100%

Review Summary:

You should treat the Casio MDV106-1A as a mere waterproof watch for men despite its diver’s piece appearance. In case you don’t like the matte black dial, the watch also has a white-face cousin, the MDV106-1AV.

Are you a “desk diver” who love the style of diving pieces, but in no need of a heavy-duty tool watch? Hey, if you are seeking for a diver-style wristwatch just for everyday wear, take a look at the Casio MDV106-1A. This is a very nice-looking budget desk-diver’s watch, it’s one of the bestsellers in many online stores now. Following is my Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1A Dive Watch Review, hope this will be of some help to you!

Pros

  • Reliable quartz movement
  • Solid finishing
  • Simple but nice-looking design
  • Affordable price (less than $50)

Cons

  • Questionable water resistance rating
  • Extremely weak lume
  • Cheap rubber (or plastic?) band

Here’s a short video review of the Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1A:

Design – Simple but nice looking

The watch’s design cannot be more simplex, you won’t find any creative details on the case. However, in designing, sometimes less is more. Everything on the watch is well matched to each other, making for an eye-catching finish.

Despite its elegant looking, MDV106 is not designed for small-wrist men. Don’t be fooled by the pictures, this timepiece is indeed sized at 44mm.

Casio is famous for their affordable but well – constructed watches, the MDV106 is not an exception. The case has a steel construction with no rough edges, making the watch look much more expensive than its actual price.

The mineral glass is mirror-polished, it doesn’t have an anti-reflective coating on the underside like Invicta watches. Without this coating, the crystal can be a little hard to read in outdoor use, but it’s not a huge deal, because the stark white hour marks & hands contrast very well with the black dial to provide a superior legibility, moreover, the watch face is also not too deep to read from various angles.

The shiny borders of the hands add some more flares to the already-polished dial, making the whole watch reflect light in a very attractive way.

The red-tipped second hand and the marlin logo are the only two focuses of interest on the MDV106’s roomy dial. The date aperture is quite small, I think the face would look more proportionate with a long rectangular window instead of a tiny square.

In the price range of less than $50, the Casio MDV106’s bezel can be considered rather good , it’s extremely easy to turn with little effort. This is really a big plus since many other dive watches that cost 2 times of the MDV106’s price still feature a very stiff bezel,. However, this effort of Casio makes little practical sense as the MDV106 is not built for true scuba diving. However, a smooth bezel partly shows Casios’s admirable quality-commitment.

The keystone-shaped luminous pip on the bezel is among the decisive factors that make the watch look sportier and sturdier, because a triangular one would make the watch look more elegant.

The 22mm ribbed strap is one more shortcoming you should expect from the low-price MDV106. It feels more like artificial plastic rather than natural rubber.

The good news is that the watch look much better on a stainless steel bracelet or a textile NATO/Zulu strap, even a black leather band can also be well matched to the case. This is the value of simplicity! If the MDV106 has a more complicated design, how can you easily transform its externals just by changing the watchband like that?

Reliable Japanese quartz movement with a long-lasting battery

Casio will never let you down with their movements. Ticking inside the MDV106 is a dependable basic quartz caliber which only runs off by about 20 seconds/ month. It’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t put your watch in powerful magnetic fields (near electric appliances) as the influence of magnetism will cause the accuracy to suffer. According to Casio, this dive watch features the SR626 battery that can provide power up to 3 years, not bad at all!

On-paper 200m water resistance rating & a pathetic lume

As mentioned above, the Casio MDV106 is not built for true scuba diving, it’s just a mere waterproof watch for men with diver’s style, similar to the Invicta quartz pro divers. You can only be sure that your timepiece was tested against dive watches’ standards if it gets an ISO 6425 certification from the producer, certainly this is impossible for such a cheap timekeeper like the MDV106!

Don’t mistake me, I didn’t mean that dive watches which are not ISO-certified don’t deserve your trust, the problem here is that you have to test them on your own as they get no warranty from the producing company, they’ve never claimed their products to be “true” diving pieces, they marked these watches as “Water resistance” on their dial, not “Diver’s”.

As for the Casio MDV106, you can’t expect it to go on a scuba dive with you, snorkeling is okay. You can only rest assured that this watch has a stronger water resistance than ordinary dress watches, as it features a guarded screw-down crown & a screw-lock case back.

Since the watch is not designed for using in deep water, its weak lume is forgivable. The luminous dots lose charge extremely quickly after a few minutes. The aglimmer light from the watch cannot make a good readability in the dark. Casio pardonably has to cut corners in their production to focus on customers’ primal demand. It’s the reliable movement & solid case finish, not the lume.

Verdict

You should treat the Casio MDV106-1A as a mere waterproof watch for men despite its diver’s piece appearance. In case you don’t like the matte black dial, the watch also has a white-face cousin, the MDV106-1AV.

At its price point, the watch is a good deal for desk-divers who don’t actually need a true dive watch. You can use it for everyday-wear as a beater watch, or bring it along to your sporting activities, except for scuba diving.

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Related reviews:

  1. Invicta Pro Diver 8932 (Japanese quartz movement)
  2. 10 recommended diver-style watches under $300
  3. Orient Mako – Radiant Blue Version

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