Since the DW-5600 is the most popular of the early G-Shocks it seemed that it may be a good idea to put together a simple guide to the early versions that were available with a bit of information and a pic of each. Sort of an illustrated guide to the vintage 5600s
Introduced in June 1987, the DW-5600 became the first G-Shock to be distributed in more than two model versions. Previous G-Shocks such as the DW-5000, WW-5100, DW-5200 and DW-5400 were each released in a silver and gold variety (the WW-5300 and DW-5500 each exist only in the silver) but the screwback DW-5600 had nine different model versions between 1987 and 1992. [A quick word about these dates any Casio enthusiast quickly learns that exact distribution dates can be difficult to ascertain; dates for this article are taken from the most often quoted dates in Japanese G-Shock magazines.]
At the time of the DW-5600s introduction in 1987, the G-Shock line was only four years old and had not yet become the home-run hit for Casio that it would later, in the early-mid 90s. With the 5600, Casio used the same formula they had with other models: same steel case, same resin bezel and band, different dial. The DW-5600 saw a new module (the 691, later in 1990 the 901), was the first G-Shock to use Philips head screws in the bezel and was the first G-Shock model to be made in colors other than standard black. Since then the basic 5600 has undergone some changes and been issued in an abundance of colors, styles, collaborations and special editions but here, in chronological order, are the first nine screwback DW-5600s:
DW-5600C-1V June, 1987 Here is the G-Shock many collectors think of when they talk about vintage Gs. The C-1V is the model most often encountered and is distinguished by the silver color scheme, black bezel/band and WATER 200M RESIST in blue at the top of the dial. Buttons, bezel screws and buckle are silver. This basic version saw a long production run.
DW-5600C-1 June, 1987 This is almost exactly the same model as above but with WATER 20BAR RESIST at the top of the dial. Most collectors agree that this is the not-for-export model in black whereas the C-1V (above) was the export version. The 5600 is the first G-Shock that has these 200M/20BAR differences and it might be that Casio had decided to test the waters by making separate export and domestic models in order to track the sales for each. In the West this is a tough watch to source.
DW-5600C-9BV June, 1987 The export version in yellow. This is exactly the same watch as the DW-5600C-1V except that it has a yellow bezel with black lettering and yellow band with black band keeper and black or silver buckle. The buttons and bezel screws are silver in color. Casios first yellow G-Shock.
DW-5600C-9V June, 1987 The first incarnation of the gold 5600. Like earlier gold models in the G-Shock line this watch has gold buttons, gold bezel screws, gold buckle and gold accents on the dial. The black bezel also has gold colored lettering instead of the normal white. In this model the gold border on the dial is an unbroken line.
DW-5600C-9CV October, 1990 The second gold 5600. This model is similar to the C-9V except that the gold border is thick and is broken at the top by CASIO and at the bottom by the SHOCK RESIST badge. Dial accents are gold, it has gold buttons, bezel screws and buckle and the LCD is gold. This model occasionally has a green backlight.
DW-5600B-2V November, 1991 Blue Speed. 1991 saw the beginning of colorful G-Shocks and this model, along with the Green Speed below, is among the first. The bezel and band are dark blue and the dial has blue accents. The watch has silver buttons and bezel screws. Replacement bezel/ bands are not available and this is a scarce watch.
DW-5600B-3V November, 1991 Green Speed. This model is stylistically identical to the Blue Speed except that the dial accent is green and the band and bezel are green. Buttons, bezel screws and buckle are silver in color. No replacements are available for the bezel/band and this is a scarce model.
DW-5600C-9B December, 1992 The yellow domestic version. This watch is the same as the DW-5600C-1, with WATER 20BAR RESIST on the dial, except that it has the yellow bezel and band. This model, like the DW-5600C-1, is not easily found in the West.
DW-5600D-1 December, 1992 Blue Camo. Casios first camouflage G-Shock is also the rarest of the early DW-5600s. The bezel for this model is the same blue as on the DW-5600B-2V but the band is a blue and cream camo mix. Buttons and bezel screws are gold and the band has a gold buckle. Dial accents are gold, the watch bears the WATER 20BAR RESIST logo and the module 901 has a gold tone. Replacement bands and bezels are not available for this model.
In general, these first nine consist of two black/silver, two yellow, two black/gold and three colors blue, green and blue camo. There were four models introduced in 1987, one in 1990, two in 1991 and two in 1992. The models introduced in 1987 and 1990 can be found with either the module 691 or module 901. The models from 1991 and 1992 have only the module 901.
Two models are common (DW-5600C-1V, DW-5600C-9BV), two are relatively common (DW-5600C-9CV, DW-5600C-9V), four are scarce (DW-5600C-1, DW-5600C-9B, DW-5600B-3V, DW-5600B-2V) and one is rare (DW-5600D-1). This is a challenging set for the collector to assemble and can take some time to complete.
For more information about vintage DW-5600s and their caseback varieties check out my article on GMT+9: GMT+9 » Blog Archive » DW-5600 Caseback Variations