Once upon a time, getting ahold of a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) watch involved hitching a ride on a tramp steamer. Thanks to the magic of Al Gore’s interwebz, a gaijin can buy a JDM watch with a click of a mouse. And so I did. After perusing Casio’s Japanese Lineage website, I hit Ebay and picked up a blue dial Casio Lineage LCW-M510D for $220. Done! Was the mid-market Casio ana-digi timekeeper worth the [admittedly minimal] effort?
The 40mm Casio Lineage LCW-M510D falls somewhere between sports and dressy. Spressy? Drorts? Call it business casual.
The slate blue sunburst dial doesn’t call attention to itself, but captures the eye with 3D hour indices projecting inwards from the slightly elevated chapter ring. The Lineage’s sword-shaped lumed hour and minute hands contrast legibly against the dial; the virtually hair thin second hand can get lost in the old razzle dazzle (a.k.a, bright sunlight).
Unlike most all-metal watches at this price point, the Casio Lineage LCW-M510D feels surprisingly robust. The three pushers push with authority, with no play or slop to ruin the impression. The Lineage isn’t as adamantine as the entry-level Casio Oceanus – which costs twice as much – but it’s closer to reassuringly solid than worryingly flimsy.
Another unexpected touch of quality: its flat-faced sapphire crystal. Also welcome: the Lineage LCW-M510D is water resistant to 100m. While the Casio isn’t a proper diver and it wouldn’t be my first choice for Acapulco cliff diving (first choice: avoid entirely), it’s twice as swim safe as an Apple Watch, and a lot less annoying.
Casio etched the Lineage’s caseback with the watch specs and a nod to the Lineage’s Casio lineage.
Uncharacteristically – especially for the Japanese band behind text-mad G-SHOCKs – Casio printed the Lineage’s button functions ever-so-discreetly on the caseback, leaving the watch front delightfully clean.
If You Like Your Bracelet . . . Whew!
The Casio’s solid link bracelet isn’t half bad, quality-wise. While some Lineage models offer standard lugs with spring bars, this one doesn’t. The LCW-M510D’s end links are integrated with the case; aftermarket bracelets or straps are out of the question.
The bracelet links are connected with a friction-fit pin and collar system. I removed three links to bring it down to my size. The clasp has two micro-adjustment positions. If your wrist doesn’t correspond with a multiple of the links you’re SOL.
Set and Forget
The Casio Lineage LCW-M510D is a “set-and-forget” solar watch. Set your local time, switch the Daylight Saving Time function to “auto” and that’s it – unless you leave the watch in the dark for two years or, twenty years hence, change the battery.
The Lineage LCW-M510D depends on Casio’s Multi Band 6 technology. Every night, the watch synchronizes itself with a radio time signal sent from a transmission station in Japan, North America, UK, Europe or China (depending on your location). If you’re out of range, the quartz watch delivers +/- 15 seconds per month accuracy.
The Lineage’s digital day-of-the-week display offers a choice of five languages: Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish and German. Natürlich, I set it to English. Aspiring polyglots (and those of us with a penchant for childish humor) should opt for the Japanese kanji characters. The kanji character for Tuesday is a butt with dimples.
In Time Mode, you can set the display to display the Day/Date, digital seconds or digital time (hour:minutes). Otherwise, you’re looking at a digital stopwatch, countdown timer, world time or one of five alarms.
I’m OCD about a watch’s second hand hitting its marks. Quartz watches at all price points miss by a tiny bit. Some miss by a lot. When I saw the Lineage LCW-M510D dial design online, I knew the hour index extension lines would make any second hand misalignment super-obvious. They’d either be awesome or be a curse.
Booya! The Casio Lineage LCW-M510D may have the most precisely aligned second hand in my entire collection. It hits all twelve hour index lines PERFECTLY. The Lineage watch has turned my OCD second hand alignment neurosis into an ASMR fascination. I sit and watch the second hand tick away, nailing each mark like a sniper picking off soccer divas.
Lume looms large
The Casio Lineage LCW-M510D lumed hands and hour indices are exemplary. After blasting the dial with a flashlight at 11pm, the lume was still legible at 5am. Alternatively, an amber LED light illuminates the dial at the press of a button. Once again, Casio forgot to backlight the digital panel; functionality disappears in the dark
At $220, the Casio Lineage LCW-M510D is an excellent value proposition: a hardy, lazy man’s ana-digi watch. It powers itself, sets the time automatically and the dial doesn’t constantly remind you of features you’ll never use. If it fits, you must acquit yourself with one.
Model: Casio Lineage LCW-M510D-2AJF
Price paid: $220
Case: Stainless steel.
Crystal: Sapphire (flat).
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet.
Lume: Hands and hour indices are lumed. Amber LED light for the analog dial.
Dimensions / weight: 46.8 x 40.2 x 10.4 / 128 grams (122 grams measured after bracelet resizing.)
Movement: Casio Quartz Module #5161
Accuracy: Multi Band 6 atomic reception. Otherwise: +/- 15 seconds per month.
Battery life: Solar rechargeable. 4 months (normal use without exposure to light after full charge). 22 months (when stored in total darkness with the power save function).
Water resistance: 100 meters.
Functions: Analog Hour / Minute, Digital Hours (12 / 24) / Minutes / Seconds, Day (in 5 languages!) / Date, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, 5 Alarms, World Time (29 time zones / 27 cities).
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * * * *
A classic semi-dressy ana-digi watch design. Case finish is decently polished but nothing special. Sunburst effect is overdone, distracting from the hands.
Legibility * * * *
Analog dial is easy to read. Second hand can get lost in the sunburst and the digital panel has no backlight.
Comfort * * * *
I like my bracelets slightly loose, as my wrist expands during the day. I found a sweet spot, despite the lack of micro-adjustment holes on the clasp.
Overall * * * *
An excellent JDM watch for the price.
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