Welcome to the watch with too many freaking names. I have heard this watch called the Casio Duro, the Casio MDV, the Casio Marlin, or simply the Casio Diver. This may have to do with a rather confusing assortment of model numbers, all centered on the base MDV-106, which is what I have purchased. The case back is stamped MDV-106, though Casio’s website lists the various forms as MDV106-somerevision.
After the Orient Symphony III, itself not an overly expensive watch, I decided to go back to my usual watch haunt: the sub-$100 watch. The Casio MDV-106, easily findable between $60 and $75, falls into this price range quite handily. Sturdily built for such a low price range, this simple watch appears to have quite a sizable online following.
To be honest, dive watches really are not my thing. I am not a diver, and I find swimming mostly a great way to keep from drowning and that’s about it. On the other hand, I do love being out on a kayak or canoe, fishing in the summer, and enjoying time on rivers and lakes and (very) occasionally the ocean. Fairbanks is a bit of a way from the ocean, so that’s exceedingly infrequent.
On the other hand, this watch has one thing I do like in watches: simplicity. In terms of complications, it has a numeric date, and to give it that iconic dive watch look, it has a unidirectional elapsed time bezel dial.
The Casio MDV-106 is water resistant to nearly 700 feet. Now, there is really no way I can test that, but I did decide to take the back off to see how well built this watch was. It took considerable force to get the back off, which revealed a beefy rubber gasket and a plastic cover over the movement.
Obviously, that cover wasn’t added in the hope of saving the movement if water breached the case. It is simply there to hold what turns out to be a hilariously small movement in place. The movement appears to be a Miyota 2035, a very inexpensive movement – you can find it for less than $5 on esslinger.com.
I was a little surprised by the third-party movement, though I supposed I shouldn’t have been. Quite a few brands use Miyota movements, including Timex and Invicta, among others. I was also surprised by the size, though again, size can be misleading in watch movements. It clearly has the power to move the large hands of this watch.
My goal with this watch is to wear it and test it out as well as I can. I will have to get creative on the water resistance portion of that. So far, I am enjoying the look of the MDV-106 and finding it only weighs slightly more than the Orient I was previously wearing.