I’m trying to consolidate my collection while keeping it diverse with one watch per brand. Casio, however, is one of only three brands from which I own more than one watch. Even after writing about watches for more than four years now, I wouldn’t profess to be a style guru, but I am very vain (and admit it!). Wrist-cool doesn’t always equate to big bucks, and no brand proves it better than Casio does. And how about when celebrities surprise us by wearing a fun Casio watch with a tux? It’s priceless, but it happens more often than you’d think.

I have three watches from Casio, and I’d even like to have a few more because they cheer me up. Casio has concocted a magic blend of accessibility, toughness, and lit designs that is as inspiring as it is addictive. And while I don’t follow the styles and outfits of celebrities much, I’m struck by the fact that so many of the wealthiest personalities still manage to see through big-brand hype and embrace the cheap fun of Casio basics and big G-Shocks.

When Celebrities Surprise Us With Cheerful Casio Fun

Image: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS

Bill Gates sets the tone with a Casio Duro MDV106-1A

Bill Gates set the tone years ago and is still the poster boy for sustainable wealth. That’s right, one of the most influential, richest individuals on the planet is known for wearing a Casio Duro MDV106-1A. That is a $70 Seiko-ish-looking diver’s watch with a resin strap and a solid quartz movement. At 44mm, it’s a big watch to wear with a shirt and expensive merino knit, as seen on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but it means a lot more. Even if most images of Gates wearing this are a couple of years old, Casio is symbolic of his personality.

With most of his life now dedicated to charities and NGO work, wearing a €100K Patek is not in his nature. This coming year, in particular, with a recession on the horizon makes his disregard for status symbols richly refreshing. The watch is a simple Japanese everyday diver with a red seconds hand and the telling “WR 200M” script under a charming marlin graphic. That’s a lot of tough-wearing watch for the price.

Image: Zonacasio.com

Lewandowski’s baller move at the Ballon d’Or

Star footballers are no strangers to stories on celeb watches, but this is not about a Richard Mille, a Patek, or a gem-set Hublot. At the 2022 Ballon d’Or awards, Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski appeared in a sleek three-piece tux and stole the show with a $70 Casio A158WETG-9A. Black and gold is a classic combo, but while the others let Pateks slip out from under Fendi cuffs, a budget-cool piece stole the show. I’m a happy owner of the resin version, the F-91W, and there is a particular sense of freedom to be felt wearing such a casual piece of horology. Vintage digital with a distinct ’80s vibe is indeed back with a vengeance, and I wouldn’t mind a piece of Casio “gold” myself.

When Celebrities Surprise Us With Cheerful Casio Fun

Image: Getty Images/Cesc Maymo

Gerard Piqué and the ironic Casio

The sleek comfort of a 35mm steel Casio makes it a great everyday and travel watch, but Gerard Piqué’s reasons for wearing one were more ironic. With the song “Out Of Your League,” Shakira gave the world a classic dissing breakup track. Online celeb sites have feasted on the recently released track, but why? The lyrics go, “You traded a Ferrari for a Twingo / You traded a Rolex for a Casio.” Ouch. Unlike a few sensitive souls on the football pitch, Piqué took it all in his stride and trumped his ex at a recent press conference. Yes, he turned up in a Twingo wearing a Casio, with the immortal words that it was a watch that would last a lifetime. Mic drop.

When Celebrities Surprise Us With Cheerful Casio Fun

Image: Joopiter.com

Pharrell’s iced-out auction stars

Producer to the stars and instant-hit magician Pharrell Williams is a wristwatch aficionado like few others. With a front-row seat to everything from Lakers games to Louis Vuitton runway shows, his style is on point but never strays far from his street-style roots. Last year, he auctioned off what was classed as jewelry pieces at his inaugural Son of a Pharaoh auction at Joopiter.com, his own digital auction house. Together with priceless clothing and collab grails, there were two G-Shocks. Both were BAPE collabs based on the iconic DW-6900, and they were lit. What were, originally, affordable tool watches sported 18K gold bezels made by diamond-set bezels made by Jacob & Co. The white gold version had an estimate of under $30,000 and went for $73,500, breaking every record in the G-Shock book.

When Celebrities Surprise Us With Cheerful Casio Fun

Image: Reuters

50 Cent’s dressing down with a G-Shock

This is not a new story, but it is golden in its irony. Rappers are no strangers to the allure of the Casio G-Shock. Eminem has worn one in more than one video. But 50 Cent wore one for what I suspect is a different reason altogether, suited up and in court. Curtis Jackson was in a happy mood, fake-boxing with the paparazzi on his way into Connecticut Bankruptcy Court some years ago. But his ploy of wearing an off-the-rack suit with a resin G didn’t help him, and it was only one of many lawsuits that didn’t go his way. It was worth a try, Fiddy, and you looked cool as always.

So what do you reckon, Fratelli? Does this prove once again that Casios are way cooler than their price tags? I think yes, and am wearing my orange F-91W today as I’m writing. Follow my lead.

Find me and follow me: @thorsvaboe