I took umbrage with Herr Farago dissing the Tissot PRX as boring. I consider boring a virtue: unassuming, practical, enduring. Problem: I couldn’t think of a recognizable, boring watch. Amazon and the rest serve-up pages of cheap uninspired generic knockoff watches that are dull as dishwater, but reputable brands have character, however mild. And then I remembered a watch I’d been meaning to review that should be very boring: the Casio MQ24-7B . . .
The timing was right. The formerly ubiquitous cheap watch is disappearing; it’s a horological passenger pigeon that was everywhere ’til one day it wasn’t. Half a year ago, a Walmart rack would have several of them smiling back at you. In pre-post-Pandemic March 2021, I had to scour to find the remaining example in the back of the bottom row. Yoink! Mine now!
Previously on Which Cheap Watch Deserves A Thousand Words?, the Casio IMQ24-7B was subject to serious consideration. Ultimately and uncharacteristically, I ponied up an additional $2 for the date window feature upgrade MW59. By the same token, the three parallel score lines on the MQ24’s resin band annoyed me. I now understand they’re there for flexibility, but won’t someone please think of the
Classic Casio is retro and timeless at once. In other words, this is a watch for miserly pensioners who find the Timex Weekender way too dear. But the dour economic functionality has its charms. The MQ24-7B is as pure a design as there is, making the original Swatch seem contrived.
There are various dial options, and technically the non-numeric dial would be plainer still. I got this because the big box store had it. And I may be too stupid for watches without numbers on the face. Besides, this looks cheaper and less stylish. If you’re into reverse snob appeal, the Casio MQ24-7B is your horological huckleberry.
The watch’s hands are all narrow black sticks, but it’s not like they have to fight the dial for attention. The hour and minute hand are noticeably different lengths and widths. The second hand is razor thin and barely counterweighted. We’re currently besieged by seconds hands in funny colors and shapes, aching to distinguish themselves and draw notice. I appreciate the Casio’s little needle that shuts up and stays out of the way unless you are looking for it.
The MQ24-7B’s fonts adhere to the 1980’s idea of modern: sans serif, constant width, radii and straight lines. While they gel with the standard CASIO typography, the Arabic numerals are so disproportionately large they fail to form a perfectly circular pattern. Their visual heft makes them seem arranged in a square or other polygon. Beauty be damned; the numerals are instantly recognizable, requiring even fewer neurons to synapse than usual.
The case is practically Slim Jim slim. As it does on the F-91W, the caseback clips in place, serving as its own fastener. There’s an instruction sheet included. Maybe I’ll look at that later. Who can’t figure out how to set a three hander? Yes, but – the Casio MQ24-7B has an itty bitty crown; there’s about 2mm of width to grasp. On the plus side, that crown won’t be gouging into the back of your hand when doing push ups or halting traffic.
The watch weighs in at eighteen grams (with band). That’s a smidge over 5/8 of an ounce, as much as seven pennies. I doubt there are two literal cents worth of metal mass in the whole thing. I found it impossible to pay any mind to this watch when not immediately checking the time. Out of sight, out of mind. Even when in sight, it doesn’t take much mind.
The acrylic crystal is what it is. It has a tiny beveled edge that offers a taste of distortion at steep angles. It somehow suffered a little scuff during the first few days. I opted not to polish with toothpaste, so see if you can find the damage at the 3 o’clock position.
I was impressed by the resin band’s thinness compared to the aforementioned sub-$20 Casio and the equally priced F-91W. I’d say the MQ24-7B’s band only has one side, but the inside perimeter is lined with little bumps of cleats to keep the featherweight timepiece in place on the wrist. No break-in required! The signed keeper does its modest job in preventing loose ends.
There also exists an elusive silver tone variant, the MQ24D-7E (above). It’s a fine idea but I can’t recommend paying more for a nasty bracelet and plating that will inevitably flake off the plastic case.
Was the watch boring? Let’s say it was not interesting, but I didn’t lose interest in it. There was no glee in strapping it on in the morning, but never a regret either. It was always right, it never looked wrong. I wore it with a suit and tie and it didn’t seem wrong. If the Casio MQ24-7B is boring or wrong, I don’t want to be interesting or right.
Model: Casio MQ24-7B2
Price: Casio MSRP $21.95, $15.88 as purchased at Wallyworld, ~$12.90 on Amazon
Case diameter: 35mm
Case thickness: 8mm
Case lug width: 16mm
Lug to lug: 38.9mm
Weight: 18 grams
Water resistance: 30m
Accuracy: +/-20 seconds/month
Case metal: Resin
Movement: Casio 705
Manufacturer’s limited warranty: 1 year
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * * * *
A masterpiece of purposeful minimalism, everything inessential was spared. As squeaky clean as can be without sacrificing simple functionality or costing a cent more than necessary.
Legibility * * * *
Highway sign level of clarity. So intuitive it telegraphs the time to your mind at lightning speed despite modest dial size. Night duty not included.
Comfort * * * * *
Like wearing nothing at all, on your wrist at least. Winter review can’t judge dank hot breathability issues.
Overall * * * *
Proudly no frills. If less is more, the Casio MQ24-7B is the most. May be too nuanced for the jaded collector but I say no-brainer and iconic future classic.