Armitron vs Casio Watches (The 2023 Brand Comparison)

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Written By Alan

Would you believe a G-Shock I was gifted in 2014 by my grandpa started my lifelong journey of a watch geek?

🕑  Last Updated: March 28, 2023

Nowadays, there are pretty much endless options when it comes to watch types. Some prefer timepieces oscillating in the dressy spectrum, some lean toward the technological advancement of smartwatches, and some still stick with the old-school, tough-to-beat sporty watches.

The latter type is loved by many because it’s highly versatile and can be worn with nearly any outfit, whether you’re going for a run or to a friend’s reunion meeting. And the best thing about sporty watches is that they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and price points.

If you’ve ever owned such a watch, you are probably familiar with Casio – one of the most popular manufacturers of watches for all occasions.

Casio is known for its tough, durable timepiece that can take a beating but it’s not alone in the current, highly competitive market. One brand that has been constantly knocking on the door is Armitron.

Both Armitron and Casio have been around for quite a while, but the latter definitely takes the cake when it comes to popularity. With that said, are there aspects in which Armitron can go all the way in challenging the Japanese titan?

We will try to settle that in today’s Armitron vs Casio comparison.

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Armitron vs Casio: Background & History

  • Armitron

Armitron is an American watch company founded by Auschwitz escapee, Eugen Gluck. After settling in the US, Gluck and his wife Jean set out to embody the American dream. Although the first business operation (bakery) was a failure, the next, manufacturing and selling timepieces, is still going strong.

Gluck started a small watch business in New York City in 1975 and slowly built it into a watch empire.

Armitron was a pioneer in the digital revolution of the 1980s in the United States, creating one-of-a-kind watches in every style imaginable. The debut of the fashion watch was marked by commercials, periodicals, and celebrity endorsements. Mr. Gluck never lost sight of his original vow to put people first as Armitron grew, and that mentality is what drives Armitron today, with Mr. Gluck’s daughter, Bobbie, continuing his legacy as CEO.

As of now, the company has been around for over 50 years and is one of the most recognizable watch brands in the US. Armitron is known for its affordable, sporty watches that are popular with both men and women.

  • Casio

While Armitron’s background certainly captures heart, Casio, on the other hand, has a long and impressive corporate history.

Casio Computer Co., Ltd. was established in 1946 by Tadao Kashio, an engineer specializing in fabrication technology. The first product Casio produced was the yubiwa pipe, a finger ring that held a cigarette in place so smokers could smoke without using their hands. This innovative product helped Casio gain recognition as a company that solves problems with originality and ingenuity.

In 1957, Kashio’s brother Seikosha established Casio’s watchmaking arm, which would go on to produce some of the most iconic watches of all time. In 1974, Casio released the world’s first electronic watch, the CASIOTron, which used an LED display. This was followed by the world’s first digital watch with a memory function in 1976, which allowed users to store up to 30 seconds of data.

The popular Japanese watchmaker has been on the cutting edge of watch technology ever since, releasing such iconic products as the G-Shock line of watches, which are known for their durability, and the Baby-G line of watches, which are designed for women.

In the current market, Casio is one of the most popular watch brands, with a wide range of products at different price points.

Armitron vs Casio: Style

When it comes to design, Armitron and Casio seem to be on the same page. And that means focusing mostly on sporty and casual watches while still offering a few dressier options.

  • Armitron

Armitron’s watches are designed with both function and style in mind. The brand offers a wide range of styles for both men and women, from simple and elegant to bold and sporty.

Armitron’s watches are also highly versatile, with many models being able to transition from the office to the gym. The brand’s sporty watches are especially popular with athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.

Armitron 40/8397
Armitron 40/8397. Found on: Amazon

When we browse through Armitron collections, it’s clear that the brand’s main focus is on digital watches. Analog timepieces are in the vast minority, and the number of digital-analog models is even smaller.

  • Casio

Casio, on the other hand, offers a much wider range of styles, from dressy to sporty and everything in between.

The brand is especially known for its iconic G-Shock line of watches, which are designed with durability and functionality in mind. These watches are designed for durability and feature a variety of functions, such as stopwatches, timers, and alarms.

Casio DW5600E-1V
Casio DW5600E-1V. Found on: Amazon

The number of analog and digital-analog watches is considerably bigger in Casio’s case.

When discussing the style of these brands, it’s impossible not to mention Casio’s retro watches. The brand has reissued a number of its iconic timepieces from the 1970s and 1980s, for example, the CASIOTron. These watches are highly sought-after by collectors and casual fans alike.

Additionally, in 2021 Casio released its first-ever smartwatch which runs on Google’s Wear OS. Thanks to the combination of smart features and near-unbreakable G-Shock construction, the product has become an instant hit.

Verdict icon
DRAW: It’s extremely tough to judge the design aspect since everyone has distinct preferences – and there’s no way to account for it. Plus, both brands offer similar vibes in terms of the exterior.

Armitron vs Casio: Materials & Durability

A lion’s share of models from both brands oscillates in the sporty spectrum, hence the use of durable and easy-to-clean materials is a given.

For instance, nylon resin – a tough, heat-resistant plastic – is used in the construction of many G-Shock watches from Casio. This makes them incredibly tough and able to withstand all sorts of abuse.

Armitron also makes use of stainless steel in the construction of its watches, as well as durable plastics.

With that said, there are few brands that can compete with Casio, particularly the G-Shock line, on the durability front. After all, these are some of the toughest watches on the planet.

Now let’s look at specific elements contributing to the overall durability of these watches.

  • Glass Type

It’s common knowledge that glass is the watch’s first line of defense against potentially fatal damage. On the whole, Casio watches seem to have an upper hand in this aspect.

Outside the bargain-basement models (< $20), all Casio timepieces come with at least a mineral crystal glass. The scratch-resistant material is a common pick amongst mid-budget watchmakers because it’s extremely reliable and not as expensive to get as sapphire. With that said, selected Casio models (particularly in the Edifice collection) come with sapphire crystal which is the toughest glass used in timepieces today, and an ever-present element of all the industry’s big sharks from Rolex to Patek Philippe.

Casio G-Shock GA-100B-7ACR
Casio XL G-Shock. Found on: Amazon

Armitron, on the other hand, usually opts for acrylic glass which is the least reliable of all three types. A smaller portion of watches comes with mineral crystal while, as of now, there are 0 timepieces boasting sapphire. Considering that the average Armitron watch will cost you less than a Casio counterpart, this is hardly a surprise.

  • Straps

Both brands offer a wide selection of straps – although these made from rubber and resin are clearly the dominating type. Both materials are comfortable and easy to wear, but they are also extremely rugged and a breeze to clean. Hence, they’re appreciated by active people who often expose their watches – and themselves – to the elements.

Of course, other types of straps/bracelets are also available in Armitron and Casio’s offer. These include:

  • metal bracelets/straps – these are usually made from stainless steel or some other type of robust metal. They’re dressier than rubber/resin straps, but they’re also usually less comfortable and require more care
  • leather straps – these are dressier than rubber/resin straps, probably the most elegant type, but they’re also much more prone to wear and tear
Armitron 40/8309
Armitron 40/8309. Found on: Amazon
  • Cases

While a huge portion of Casio watches (especially in the G-Shock line) utilize resin cases, Armitron usually opts for stainless steel. Although the materials offer different looks and weights, they’re both extremely sturdy.

Additionally, some Casio models use titanium cases – although these are very rare.

While talking about cases, it’s worth noting that both brands offer a wide choice of sizes – from 22mm watches for ladies to oversized 55mm models for men with big wrists.

Basically all Casio watches come with screwed-in casebacks and crowns which goes a long way in protecting them from water-related damage. This isn’t always a given with Armitron, though.

  • Water Resistance

Crucially, all Armitron and Casio watches offer some degree of water resistance. However, looking at the overall picture, Casio timepieces seem to be much more capable in this field.

The lowest rating, found mostly in watches leaning towards dressy type, is 3ATM/30m, meaning these are splashproof.

The majority of Armitron watches come with a 50m water resistance rating while 100m is the most you can expect from the American brand.

Casio, on the other hand, offers between 50-100m for many Entry-Level models while all watches in the G-Shock collection come with a 200m rating.

  • Shock Resistance

Although many Armitron watches are advertised as shock-resistant, the degree to which a trauma won’t affect the watch’s functioning can vary greatly from model to model.

While the same could be said about Casio, there’s little to zero doubt that most of their watches can survive a lot more than the average Armitron model.

This is because Casio has been perfecting the construction of their watches for many years, and they’re now considered to be one of the industry leaders when it comes to shock-resistant watches (particularly the Casio G-Shock line).

Verdict icon
Casio: In terms of durability, there are not many brands that can compete with Casio. Armitron can’t lay a glove on Casio in this aspect, either.

Armitron vs Casio: Movements

On the movement front, Armitron and Casio offer different options.

Since Casio is the more globally-recognizable and “bigger” name, you’d expect their offer to include all types of movements – and that means both quartz and automatic watches. However, Casio has never released an automatic timepiece and, as things stand, this doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

Casio dive watch
Casio’s dive watch. Found on: Amazon

Perhaps Casio’s focus on manufacturing exclusively quartz watches and developing this technology means they can offer a wider range of functions and features than brands that produce both quartz and automatic watches.

What would be considered a surprise for many, Armitron, on the other hand, does produce automatic watches. Although their first automatic piece from 2014 (Armitron 40/5012MVT) wasn’t particularly successful and is now discontinued, the brand’s current catalog does include tens of timepieces powered by automatic calibers.

What connects the two brands is that all movements are Japanese-made. When it comes to the movement quality, more often than not, Casio’s movements tend to last longer and are the safer option. Most Casio watches are accurate up to 15 seconds per month while with Armitron the result is usually two times worse.

Armitron automatic watch
Armitron’s automatic watch. Found on: Amazon

When it comes to Armitron’s automatic movements, they are lower-end calibers produced by Japanese manufacturer, Miyota. What’s understandable considering the price, these aren’t really the masters of accuracy and are likely to lose/gain upwards of a minute/day.

Verdict icon
Casio: The Japanese quartz movements powering Casio watches are usually more reliable and complex than the cheaper options available with Armitron. With that said, Armitron’s automatic watch collection deserves praise.

Armitron vs Casio: Affordability

When it comes to price, Armitron and Casio offer a wide range of options.

Armitron’s watches start at around $15, while the brand’s top-of-the-line models will set you back $175 at most.

Cheapest Casio watches start at around $20 but the brand’s top-tier timepieces can cost well above $1,000.

Also looking at the average prices of both brands, Armitron is understandably a lot more affordable.

For more ideas on budget shopping, check out our list of Cheapest G-Shock watches.

Verdict icon
Armitron: Armitron watches tend to start at lower price points. The average price of an Armitron watch is also considerably smaller than Casio’s.

Armitron vs Casio: Warranty

Considering the extremely affordable pricing of Armitron watches, it’s a welcome and unexpected bonus that the brand is providing a limited lifetime warranty on all its watches. The lifetime warranty is naturally limited to defects in material or workmanship and doesn’t include malfunction caused by regular wear and tear.

Casio, on the other hand, limits the guarantee period to 24 months from the day of purchase.

Verdict icon
Armitron: The American brand’s lifetime warranty option is impressive.

Which Is Better: Armitron or Casio? Conclusion

Armitron vs Casio: summary

Summing up the Armitron vs Casio comparison, it’s fair to say that both watchmakers have a lot in common when it comes to style. Both also offer solid value for money.

With that said, it’s time for decisions.

If you’re looking for a fairly sturdy timepiece but your budget is tight, then Armitron is a good option to have around.

However, if you are looking for a more sophisticated watch with a bigger number of functions and way higher durability standards, then Casio is definitely a better choice.

Also in terms of accuracy, Casio’s watches are more reliable.

Final Say: there’s no room for argument – Casio is the more renowned and simply better watchmaker in pretty much every aspect. However, the bargain-basement pricing of Armitron watches makes the American brand a low-risk investment and a great alternative to Casio.

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