Hard to beat a classic square G-Shock for daily use or as a beater watch. I have many mechanical watches, but seem to migrate back to a simple G-Shock for daily or around-the-house use. Really fun and the solid steel case brings a bit of weight so it feels like a real watch, not plasticky. Highly recommended to any G-Shock fan. If you want to save some money, get the GW-5610 for under $100 (same module, so same features), but if you can stretch to this, I think it's worth it.
Reviewer: Kobe Okabe
★★★★★ An Excellent, beautiful watch, but not without some flaws and peculiarities
Post date : 20/02/2019
I really loved this watch, but ultimately decided to return and just continue using my basic $50 DW-5600-E that I picked up at a big box store (which by the way is no slouch, with at rating of 4.6 and over 1,550 reviews). Here are some of the differences and my impressions, and why I decided to return:- Looks: Absolutely gorgeous watch with tremendous build quality. The epitome of "rugged good looks". If you are a fan of this classic G-Shock model then this alone may be reason enough for you to buy. I love the cleaner look on the face; no colors and less busy. The watch itself definitely has a little more weight (74 grams) than the DW-5600-E (52 grams), obviously due to the stainless steel casing. Many reviewers have mentioned the "diamond-like coating" or whatever. I admit it looks beautiful but the fact is that this part is facing your wrist when wearing, so it's not like you see it. But you do see the front, and the clean, non-colored lines just look awesome. That said, the DW-5600 has a cleaner look than some of the other versions in this series, and so is adequate.- Comfort. Both watches are comfortable, but the GW-5000-1JF does have a more comfortable band. The rubber is just a little softer, more "supple". This said, the DW-5600-E is certainly not uncomfortable, and in fact due to the lighter weight it is arguably more wearable 24/7 (though this is subjective).- Atomic time syncing. The GW-5000 has it, the DW-5600 doesn't. I really had to think a lot about this one, and how important this was to me. On the one hand, it is great to know that you never have to reset your watch, and that it always has the correct time. When I received the GW-5000, multiple times I tried to manually sync but was having difficulty, likely due to clouds in my area at the time. However that same night the time updated automatically at around 2:00 AM, in spite of the clouds. Indeed, about 25%+ of the manual is dedicated to explaining all the conditions where the syncing may not work. But based on my experience, as well as other reviewers, I do not expect there would be many problems with this. As for my DW-5600, two weeks ago to the day I manually set the time to atomic time. Two weeks later it reads 1 second fast. This translates to approximately 2 seconds per month and 24 seconds per year. I decided I can live with that, as it literally takes just seconds to reset the time.- Solar power. Again the GW-5000 has it, the DW-5600 does not. Again it seems to be a cool feature. But then I began to consider a few other things. Multiple reviewers on the DW-5600 say they got 5+ years out of the battery, and then went to Wal-Mart or wherever to get another and replaced themselves. On the other hand, the GW-5000 (a) may last 10-15 years but (b) would still eventually need a replacement battery and (c) which would no doubt be more expensive, (d) and would likely need to be ordered, and (e) would then need to be taken to a jeweler to replace, when at the same time (f) in 10-15 years who knows what watches will be available, including the latest version of this G-Shock, in which case I may want to replace the whole watch anyway!. So again I decided that this was a cool feature but overall not an important one.- Alarms. The GW-5000 has 5 alarms including a snooze. Personally I do not have a need for this many alarms, but I can certainly see applications for this. That said, I would love to have the "snooze" feature, which the DW-5600 does not have. The fact is that on both watches the alarm is simply not very loud, nor is there any vibration feature. Because of this I would never trust this watch to wake me up, perhaps not even with a snooze feature. For this reason I decided that the differences in alarm features were not important enough for me to keep the GW-5000.- Countdown timer. This is where things start to get a little interesting, if not outright peculiar: When setting the timer on the GW-5000, the controls allow bi-directional capabilities. In other words, if the timer is currently set to 10 minutes and you want to reset it for 5 minutes, you can go directly to "5" (and if you accidentally pass it can use another button to go back up). In this same scenario on the DW-5600 however, to change the timer from 10 minutes to 5 minutes you can only go one direction (up), which means you have to pass through 11 up to 59, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and finally back to 5 (and if you accidentally pass 5 you have to do this again). For this reason alone I almost kept the GW-5000, because the implementation of setting the timer is just so much better. And I use the timer all the time, such as when I'm on the grill, when I'm allocating play time remaining for my 4 year old, to when I need to put my ear plugs in before descending on a plane. HOWEVER... there are two areas where the DW-5600 timer features actually exceeds the GW-5000: (a) The DW-5600 allows you to set seconds (for example, set to 10 minutes and 45 seconds). Curiously the GW-5000 only allows minutes; (b) As with other G-Shock models, when changing modes in the DW-5600 the time is still visible in all modes. It is absolutely baffling that in this high end, expensive GW-5000 model that it is not! This to me is a tremendous flaw as there is no reference to the time when in timer moode. And I do not want to hear that Casio is just "being faithful to the original design from decades ago" or whatever, because atomic time and solar power were also not in the original design, yet Casio saw fit to update this glorious model with the latest technology. But for some reason on these features they did not. Shrug.- Light. The GW-5000 has a nice feature where if you tilt the wrist, the light will come on (and they've even made it where this only happens in low-light conditions, which saves battery power; a very nice feature/design). The DW-5600 does not have this featue. However, again there is a deficiency here when compared with the DW-5600: Where the light on the DW-5600 will stay on for 3 seconds, the light on the GW-5000 will only stay on for 2 seconds. I suppose that there is a subjective element here and that some may consider the shorter time to be preferable. However, I personally had problems with this. There were several times when the light just wasn't on long enough for me to see the time. I've never had this problem with the DW-5600. Also there is no way (on either watch) to change this setting to a longer or shorter time, which is a shame. Again, your mileage may very on this, but it was at times a struggle for me. Also, know that on virtually all Casio G-Shock models there is no way to keep the light on in any mode when making changes, nor to keep the light on. So for example, if you're all tucked into bed and remember that you need to set the alarm, be prepared to get up and turn the light on so you can see to set the alarm. Which to me is quite peculiar and dysfunctional.So, the bottom-line is this: The GW-5000-1JF is an absolutely beautiful watch. If this watch for you represents some sort of nostalgic trip to the past, or if you just want the best looking watch in this model, then this is your watch. It is a combination of beautiful and rugged. But the fact is this: For $150-180 you can buy a similar model with exactly the same features, and also made in Japan (see GW-M5610-1BJF or GW-M5610BC-1JF). These do not include a steel case however (though they are lighter). So basically, you are paying an extra $150 for the steel case, and the cleaner look.As much as I loved the watch, I just couldn't justify the steeper price, especially when there were a couple of significant areas where I considered it deficient to my DW-5600. Barring these deficiencies, I would have kept the watch. I just like the look and feel of it so much.For the future, I hope Casio will consider correcting these differences, and also perhaps adding in a vibration feature (but one that is more powerful than the GD-350, which was too weak).One last note to an already too long review: My wrists are approximately 7.25". When I first put this watch on it looked small. I had been wearing something with a slightly bigger face. However, after wearing a couple of days the look really grew on me, and it no longer seemed too small. I do wish the face was about 20% larger, but unless you just have huge wrists I wouldn't be concerned about the size. It's a great looking watch, tough and rugged looked but more subdued than some of the other G-Shock models.Good luck and peace be with you.Chris
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