Recently I reviewed the Casio "Royale" AE1200WH Worldtimer, and commented about how it was a budget G-Shock. I enjoyed wearing it enough, that I wanted to see what a higher-end Casio would feel like.
I also figured that it would be a great platform for the new StrapHabit TQ18 straps, so I decided to try modifying it a bit. I went with an SKXMod matte black stainless steel case, with gold buttons and lettering, and a sapphire crystal. I also chose a matte black sterile faceplate to complete the stealth look.
If you'd like to learn more about the Casio Royale in its standard form, be sure to read this article. Now I will just focus on the result after modification.
The new case really transforms the watch. It feels like I'm wearing a much nicer watch, that cost more than the sum of its parts.
The matte coating looks more attractive than I had pictured in photos and does not look like it's just a black plastic case. The extra clarity of the sapphire is just the icing on the cake.
The edges of the case are also fairly sharp, and the crystal fits quite well. The quality is great for the price.
Wearing the Casio World Time Royale:
Because it's quite a bit heavier, the metal Royale loses a bit of the carefree comfort of the stock watch. On the flip side, you notice it on your wrist, and it feels like you are wearing a "real" watch.
While removing the lettering on the faceplate removes some of the practicality of the original, a lot of it is superfluous. You'll have to remember (or figure out by trial) what each button does, but I can live without a huge reminder that it has a 10-year battery, or 100m water resistance (which might be different with the new case anyway). If you've spent any significant time wearing G-Shocks or other Casios, the button layout is the same, so you'll likely be OK.
Besides that, the watch retains all of the original functionality with the added scratch resistance of a sapphire crystal. It doesn't appear to have any AR coating. Legibility hasn't been an issue, however, due to the legible LCD display underneath.
Additionally, the orange backlight looks cool against the gold highlights!
Note that the kit reuses the original caseback.
Casio Royale Mod on a TQ18 Strap:
A modded watch needs just the right strap. While a number of different options look good on this watch, I went for the stealth look. A Black/Black TQ18 strap with a gold buckle to match the pushers fit the bill.
To see other colors on it, scroll to the end of this article.
While I haven't seen an Autodromo Group C in person, this feels like a budget version of that watch. Digital style, in a nice case with attractive coating, and a sapphire crystal. It is also a lower-cost, and arguably more distinctive alternative to a metal G-Shock.
I feel like I've taken a watch that was a bit nerdy to begin with, and turned it into something that makes you feel cool when you have it on.
While it might seem strange to spend over $100 to modify a $29 watch, the result feels like more than a $150 watch. It also has the added benefit of being unique. Additionally, the modification process was quite easy and could be completed by anyone with minimal skills and dexterity in a matter of minutes. The kit includes the required tools, or if you're buying the parts elsewhere, you could complete it with only a mini screwdriver kit. I find myself wanting to do another one!
Nickname: Casio World Time "Royale"
Reference Number: AE1200WH-1CV
Total Cost: ~$150
Diameter: 41.9mm (next to buttons), 39.7 (wide at the center of the case)
Lug Width: 18mm
Weight: 98g (with TQ18 strap)
Movement: Digital Quartz Module 3299
Power Reserve: 10-year battery
Water Resistance: Unknown
Crown: Gold Buttons
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Strap: StrapHabit TQ18 FKM Rubber and Sailcloth Hybrid
See and purchase different looks and purchase StrapHabit TQ18 Q Timex Replacement Watch Straps: