The Casio A201, like the A203, uses the QW103 module which was added to a range of different cases and different crystals to make no less than 8 unique watches.
While the AA-85 is the QW103 watch that has commanded the most attention. due to its appearance in the Roy Schneider film Blue Thunder, the A201 is also a film star!
In 1982 when Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte teamed up for what is credited as the first “buddy cop” comedy — 48 Hours — the A201 made a brief appearance when Jack Cates (Nolte) silenced the alarm in a way that wasn’t detailed in the QW103 manual.
Given that it shares the same module, the A201 is identical to the A203, differences being the plated case (A203 has a stainless steel case), push-on caseback, and different crystal graphics. The others in the series — AA-81, AA-83, AA-84, AA-85, AA-86, AA-91, AA-92 and A202 —have similar variations. There is one variation of the module that has dots printed on the LCD itself, usually found in the AA-91.
The QW103 is a great module for a number of reasons, the big two being the ability to switch between an analog LCD display and traditional LCD digits, and the animated starburst-style graphics that appear when in demo mode, when the alarm goes off, or when the countdown timer reaches zero.
The only downside is a notoriously flaky LCD. It’s a dual-layer LCD so is possibly not as easily bonded as a single layer, which means finding the QW103 with LCD bleed is very common. The bleed is not able to be realistically repaired on a normal LCD, let alone a dual-layer, so there are plenty of working, but flawed QW103s around. Those who have a fully intact LCD still sell for significant sums.
The watches themselves aren’t uncommon (there’s usually one or two available on eBay) but good ones are getting rarer by the day.