Since 2016, the partnership between Casio and Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula One team (formerly known as the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team) has yielded some interesting timepieces over the years.
Toward the end of 2020, the two entities have yet again introduced two new models for the EDIFICE collection. Focusing on the concept of “Speed and Intelligence”, the two high-performance metal chronographs are built with both form and functionality in mind.
Casio EDIFICE ECB-20AT
For today’s article, we will be looking at the more modestly-priced ECB-20AT – a bold and functional timepiece that is useful for globetrotters who needs a device that does it all.
The case, dial and hands
The 46mm features the theme of blue and white heavily, which signifies the team colours of Scuderia AlphaTauri and the brand colour of EDIFICE. The blue theme is rather apparent in several elements of the case, most notably the numerals on the bezel, as well as the thin blue band on the pushers as well. On a similar note, one notable element that stands out, for the keened eye, is the numeral “20” on the bezel. This is used to signify the collection’s 20th anniversary, and we reckon that it might also be tied to the team’s most recent victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
Another notable feature of the case is its lugs. We particularly like how Casio had designed its lugs to angle downwards, which makes it fit more snuggly on the wrists of the user. This is especially due to the large size of the watch, in which it can be potentially cumbersome on the wrist had Casio not employed such a lug design. In addition, it also acts as a visual treat – where the angled lugs provide the timepiece with a more aggressive stance, and hence giving it more masculinity.
Moving on, we have the dial of the watch. This particular watch, together with the EQB-1100AT, features a gradient dial which is also inscribed with the Scuderia AlphaTauri logo.
The dial, notably, is a complicated affair. This perhaps alludes to the functional nature of the timepiece. Aside from the usual analog display, Casio had incorporated several functions with the digital display – notably in the form of a worldtimer, stopwatch, countdown timer, and an alarm. The functions can be selected and triggered using the variety of pushers, and incidentally some features (such as the worldtimer) can be activated via a smartphone application through Bluetooth.
Finally, the hands and indices of the watch is filled with luminescent material to allow users to tell time in the dark. It is also fitted with an external light source, where it can be activated via one of the pushers. This means that the watch is highly functional under most lighting conditions.
Powering the watch is a quartz movement, as per most Casio watches. What is particularly interesting about this movement is the Bluetooth function, which allows the user to use the worldtime function with ease through a dedicated smartphone application.
Another point that is interesting is the caseback, where Casio had placed a large logo of the Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula One team on it. It is also inscribed with the 20th Anniversary emblem, to signify the significant milestone of the EDIFICE collection.
The competitive landscape
The Casio EDIFICE ECB-20AT is priced at S$429. It is the more modestly priced option between the two new novelties, although the main difference lies in the lack of a metal bracelet.
For a quartz watch that has ties to the racing world, we do think that the Casio EDIFICE Honda Racing Limited Edition is worth a look. It has a cleaner dial, although it certainly lacks the additional functions that are present on the Scuderia AlphaTauri edition. This watch is priced at S$339, and we reckon it will be a strong hit with Honda fans and owners.
As for collectors who like the combination of analog and digital display, the new Seiko Prospex “Urban Safari” might be another interesting prospect. The timepiece is designed with robustness in mind, and it aims to be rugged and dependable under the most treacherous conditions. The watch is priced at US$550 (approximately S$730), and it is a great alternative for someone who is not looking specifically at watches with a motorsports theme.
The Casio EDIFICE ECB-20AT is a great watch, especially for fans of the Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula One team. We like how Casio had incorporated the logo of the partner at various areas of the watch, most notably on the leather strap. The design is also rather nice, and we found it rather easy and comfortable on the wrist during the short time that we had with the watch.
Our only gripe, which I reckon might be a potential problem faced by most mechanical watch owners, is the usability of the watch. Although there are many functions, we needed quite a fair bit of time to get used to operating the digital watch. It might have been better if it was made a little more user-friendly, although perhaps the difficulty might have been attributed to our lack of savviness with digital devices.
Overall, we find that this is a good-looking and functional watch, and we reckon it might be highly suitable for frequent travellers who might want to wear a more modestly priced watch that features the worldtime function.
Editor’s Note: We had previously posted a sample piece from Casio, which featured an “S” engraving on the caseback. We have now included an additional picture below to present how the actual caseback looks like – which is notably much cleaner and showcases the brands’ logo in full glory.
I like the Casio brand