The Casio AE1200 World Time is one of Casio’s staple offerings. With the basic version priced as low as USD$10 with ten years battery life, it can be in anybody’s collection.
Though the rubber is already sufficient, some may want to spice their AE1200 a bit. One can probably opt to add a NATO adapter, but it’s not as elegant. I then found out that Vario has made straps fitted explicitly for the watch, and I know I have to try it.
The price of the strap is USD$28. Though the strap can costs more than the watch, the price is fair relative to straps of similar quality.
The buckle has a matte / sandblasted grey finish aesthetic to it. Some people refer to it as an industrial finish due to the lack of mirror / smooth polishing. However, I find that this shade should look well across the AE1200 range. For example, it made my AE1200 looks quite rugged.
Vario opted for a single keeper for this strap which intrigues me. I can understand that adding a fixed keeper would bulk up the already thick strap. A smaller floating keeper is risky of not fitting as the strap doesn’t taper that much. A solution would only be two nearly identical keepers, but it would be aesthetically not appealing—a wise decision for a single keeper to force two. There’s just a downside to having a single keeper, which I’ll discuss further down.
Quick-release spring bar
The quick-release spring bar is a good choice for this watch, especially for casual customers. Installation was a breeze without needing any special tools. My only feedback to the manufacturer is to put some extra care in cutting the holes of the knob as it’s uneven, but otherwise, it’s functional.
The strap was machine stitched quite well with no obvious sign of any sloppy glue marks. I would have preferred a thicker thread to put a bit more security.
Vario uses top grain leathers for some of their straps, and this one is no exception. The leather is a pull-up type which means it’s just treated differently. Compared to distressed leather, for example, it’s more vibrant.
Edges are painted and sanded evenly and have a matte finish to them.
The strap thickness is 3.75mm on a flat profile, making it a thick strap. The OEM bracelet is only 3mm on a similar profile for comparison. I don’t find it hard to wear even with the thickness as the strap is quite supple out of the box. However, some may find a significant presence on the buckle when the strap is strapped in due to the thickness.
The downside of the single keeper is also shown here. The effect of the single keeper is evident as depending on where you position itm there might be a gap on the strap. It’s visually not as appealing as when it’s flushed.
The strap’s length is on a larger size of 125mm / 80mm as there’s only one size available. It’s not a problem for medium to large wrist, but you will get a considerable strap excess for a small wrist. However, the strap is wearable as there are enough holes for the wrist of all sizes.
Dressing up the AE1200 might not be for everyone, given the purpose of these watches. However, for those who want to give their AE1200 an easy makeover, look no further than a strap made for it. Vario has made it easy and accessible for everybody to do just that.