Meet the F-91W’s lesser-known twin, the Casio F-84W!
So, it’s pretty common, right? The Casio F-91W. After all, we’re talking about a watch that has been in continuous production since 1991 and, according to Casio’s estimation, boasts an annual production count of 3 million units. However, we’re not here to talk about the ’91’ today. What you see here is its lesser-known twin, the Casio F-84W.
If you’re thinking that it’s pretty much a carbon copy of the ’91’ with only minor aesthetic changes, you’re right. So, same capabilities, slightly different looks. OMG, it’s Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman all over again but as watches.
Now I’m gonna’ have a go at this quickie…
… with a slightly different approach. I know what y’all are thinking. STAHP.
Back on track, what do you get when you subtract 84 from 91? Easy, seven. Now, I know what you guys are thinking. Oh, he’s going to give us 7 reasons why the ’84’ is better than the ’91’, or 7 reasons why you should buy the ’84’ instead, etc.
No. I’m merely gonna highlight what I think are the 7 key differences between the ’91’ and ’84’. You guys make the call at the end of the day on which one tickles your fancy – or since they’re both dirt cheap just get the two to go. Without further ado, here’s number one!
1. The Casio F-84W is smaller than the ’91’
I never thought I’d come across a watch that would appear a tad undersized for my 6-inch wrist but the Casio F-84W is one of them. If you think the ’91’ is tiny, the ’84’ feels and looks noticeably smaller on the wrist. Officially, the ’91’ measures at 38.2mm by 35.2mm (horizontally across) and is 8.5mm thick versus the 38.7mm by 33.4mm of the ’84’. It’s also 8.5mm thick and weighs the same as the ’91’ at 21g.
On my own weighing scale, both watches weigh a recorded 20g, though. The measurements are pretty much spot on by Casio, as well. With my own calipers, deviations were within 0.1-0.2mm length and width-wise.
The numbers only tell half the story, though. Where the ’84’ really shrinks on the wrist compared to the ’91’ is the design and taper of the resin strap. While both have lugs widths of 18mm, the strap on the ’84’ tapers more dramatically and narrows to 13.6mm at the end. On the ’91’, the calipers return a reading of 15.8mm.
It may seem like it’s just one small detail but it really alters the way both watches feel on the wrist. The ’91’ feels more substantial against the ’84’ due to the slightly thicker strap. Truth be told, I think the ’91’ walks the fine line between being light and present better than the ’84’. The latter feels like 3 sheets of Post-it Notes stuck to your wrist.
2. The Casio F-84W is the older sibling, actually…
Yeah, it’s true. The ’84’ made its debut in 1986 while the ’91’ was introduced in well… 1991. Although with that said, there are conflicting reports with PacParts stating that the Casio F-91W was born in 1989 instead. Whatever that year may be, the ’84’ is the OG between these two.
If you’re the kind of person who goes for heritage and all that jazz, the ’84’ is the one to go for. Get that and go tell your friends how much of a watch historian you are…
3. The ’84’ is only available in black…
Much like the Ford Model T, you can have the Casio F-84W in any colour so long as it is black. The ’91’? Not that strict on the colour scheme. You can have it in black-blue, black-green, black-gold and for reasons unknown to this Malaysian, orange, blue, green, pink, beige and yellow in the UK only.
And here I thought the Japanese would be the ones with all the interesting colour options…
4. The ’91’ looks like it has more chest hair.
As mentioned, both have lug widths of 18mm but the ’84’ has a more traditional lug design. With the ’91’, the lugs are pretty much non-existent and should you decide the swap out the straps, it may run the risk of looking a little oddly flush against the case.
A purely aesthetic take on this one but I prefer the lugs to be pronounced.
Also, the pushers on the ’91’ are placed atop bulges – I wouldn’t call them crown guards – that make them look a tad more rugged. On the ’84’, things are more refined. Actually, this aesthetic cue sums up the difference between these two very nicely – one is more rugged while the other is actually a really refined, almost-feminine take on a digital beater.
Casio F-91W (left), F-84W (right).
5. Smaller wrists are better off with the ’84’
To further ram home the point that the Casio F-84W is the more delicate model, the resin strap is cut differently. The third to last hole was the max for my six-inch wrist. With the ’91’ however, the fifth to last hole was where I called it.
As much as I’ve touched on comfort earlier on, I should stress that the strap on the Casio F-91W is the more comfortable option for a long day out. While the strap of the ’84’ is more pliable, it doesn’t exactly wrap around the wrist as nicely as the ’91’s.
I wore both for the same amount of hours and trust me, while this may sound trivial, I found myself adjusting the ’84’ on my wrist more often than the ’91’.
6. Same, same but not the same (?)
Both watches have the Casio module 593 and all, I mean ALL, of the functions are the same. So you get a 1/100 stopwatch (max count at 59:59.99) with split time function, single daily alarm, hourly alert and a green LED for illumination.
The part that’s not so same-same? The price. Remember when I mentioned that they were both dirt cheap? Well, despite being 99% identical outside and in, the ’91’ retails in Japan for ¥2,900 (RM111) while the ’84’ goes for ¥3,500 (RM134). No need to fret though, as you have to be pretty unlucky to find one selling at list price in Japan.
7. The Casio F-84W is JDM and therefore cooler.
Need I say more? There’s always that added ‘Wow!’ factor when you put on something that you know could only be found in Japan. Being a bit of a car guy myself, the appeal is the same when you spot a car meant for Japan and Japan alone being driven around in Malaysia – we’re talking about cars like the Toyota Mark X or Crown and not those reconditioned lux-minivans.
Unfortunately, not everyone can actually afford to roll around in a JDM car. Fortunately, a JDM watch is well within the reach for most of us.
Another bonus of having a JDM watch strapped to your wrist is that you’re more likely to attract the right kind of attention. Those who know, know. Those who don’t, won’t. It’s as simple as that. Pop a Rolex on your wrist and you’re likely to attract ALL kinds of attention.
Also, you’re likely to be stopped at American airports more while wearing the F-91W so that’s that. 😉