I’d like to start with a story illustrating my dedication to my craft. One recent Saturday at a nearby shopping plaza, I stood behind my car, the tailgate open while my three-year-old son played with something or other that had found itself stranded in the back. My six-year-old son was at his Tae Kwon Do class, almost definitely getting distracted by his own reflection in the full-width, floor-to-ceiling mirror. Then, a gleaming white car pulled into the vacant parking spot to my left: a Honda Civic Type R. I had just received the Casio Edifice Honda Type R Edition for review, and with far less hesitation than is warranted in such a situation, I approached the owner of the car, told him about the watch and my upcoming review, and asked if I could use his car for the photo shoot. A week later, I was back in the plaza’s parking lot, watch and camera in hand. That’s his car and his wrist you see in most of the photos, the already sold out Casio Edifice Honda Type R Edition in its natural environment.
Like the watch industry, Japan’s auto makers restricted sales of the hottest models to the domestic market for years. Honda’s hottest, track-ready Type-R models were largely forbidden fruit to U.S. fans who grew up racing them virtually on Gran Turismo. Although the last generation Civic Type-R (code-named FK8 and seen throughout this article) finally became available stateside for the 2017 model year, demand for the current FL5 model still outpaces supply. Getting the privilege of purchasing one for MSRP requires an amount of hoop-jumping that Rolex customers would find familiar. Modern Type-R models are defined by large rear wings and other aerodynamic enhancements, a red Honda badge, and the line’s signature Championship White paint. Most Type R models also employed yellow gauge needles, intended to provide maximum legibility while driving on a track.
The 47.6mm case of the Edifice Type R uses Casio’s Windflow design, which takes its inspiration from “wind flowing through a fender-pontooned formula race car,” a look it nails. (Casio has two other models in the Windflow case.) It’s angular and extremely light thanks to its carbon fiber-reinforced resin construction. That 47mm diameter is also very misleading. Yes, point-to-point from 3 to 9, it measures 47.6mm, but the 2-to-8 measurement is 44.5mm and the bezel is just 43mm. Put that together with the short 48.2mm lug-to-lug and 11.9mm thickness and this watch wears far better than Casio’s spec sheet would lead you to believe. The carbon portions have the material’s typical look, while the bezel is a high-shine, ion-plated black with a red ring around its edge, which makes it stand out against the rest of the case.
My favorite element by far is the pushers at 10 and 8, which have a curved form that layer with the rest of the left side of the case and offer something I’ve never quite seen before. The entire package is just as sporty as the Type R models, and provide durability beyond cheaper collab models, with a sapphire crystal and 100m water resistance. I was always hesitant to test the resistance: the bright Championship White leather strap — with all the Type R models released so far printed on one end — features an Alcantara leather backing with red contrast stitching. Along with a Type R-branded floating keeper, it reaffirms the connection with and inspiration taken from the cars, but it also made me wary to plunge it into the sink or the bath (or some other more adventurous body of water). The strap itself is comfortable, but the clasp can dig in a bit, though I found reversing it helped. Further, the unique lugs and thin connection point for the strap mean that you won’t be swapping out any time soon, but you may be able to grab the rubber strap from one of the other Windflow-case models.
The dial keeps the Type R motif going strong. Honeycomb patterning on the photovoltaic cells echo the grille of the current Civic Type R (FL5), red accents abound, the white chapter ring offers the line’s iconic color, and a dominant Honda badge sits at 12 o’clock. Cobranding aside, the layout here is straightforward for a multifunction ana-digi. The hands and markers are easy to make out and coated with Casio’s Neobrite lume, though the watch also has a built-in light which works well. The LCD screen at 3 o’clock serves to display all or part of almost every function, which includes world time, stopwatch, timer, and 5 alarms. The 6 o’clock display serves as a running/chrono seconds display. IF you have any experience with negative LCDs like this, which have a black background and white numbers, you know that they can be hard to read at certain angles and with sunglasses on, both of which are true here.
There are two features I really like about this dial. One is something I first encountered when reviewing the ProTrek Pendleton: With the push of two buttons, you can shift the hands to a position that immediately allows the displays to be readable, which is a bit of a horological parlor trick. The second is the 9 o’clock register. It serves as a battery life indicator, but also to show when 30 or fewer minutes remain on a timer or until an alarm goes off. In the case of the Edifice Type R, it allows for dashboard gauge styling, including the yellow needle seen on Type R dashes.
I can’t decipher the slew of text on the caseback, but I can tell you that the Casio module 5710 inside is accurate to about 15 seconds per month and has a battery life of 7 months with regular use and 18 months left in the dark. On the dial side, the H-M-L indicator will keep you apprised of the battery’s current life, and for my part, I never found any issue with the module, the battery, or any functionality. One added perk of this module is its Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to use the Casio Watches app for setting the time, storing timing data, and even to find your phone. I found the app easy to use, though I didn’t dive into all of its functions with the watch.
If you came to this review seeking some insightful takeaway, here it is: Always ask strangers who are just trying to pick up their lunches if you can photograph their cool cars. I’m glad I did because it allowed me to more fully appreciate how well done this Casio x Honda collaboration is. The aesthetic of the car is perfectly captured in the watch, plus one of the most striking cases I’ve seen in a long time and all the functionality you’d expect from Casio. The Casio Edifice Honda Type R Edition is (or was, rather) priced at $400 USD. According to the brand, there are no current plans to produce more of this model, and secondary market prices are more than 2x retail, so if you’re interested in this model, it may be best to wait until the hype cools down. For more information, please visit the Casio website.