I am new both to the forum, and the watch world. About two months ago I purchased a DW5600E from Amazon. Before that, I was wearing the AE1200WH (World Time). The "quintessential G-Shock" as I have heard it called many times is immensely better than the fourteen dollar world time watch. I have always had this obsession with having "the best" of a certain product. Most prominently for me it is knives. I have spent 500 dollars on a knife before, and I have spent 40 dollars on a knife before. I only mention this to point out that I have a serious appreciation for craftsmanship, engineering, and quality.
Like many of you reading this, I tend to graduate rather quickly from entry-level products into more the refined ones. A confession I must make clear is that I had a preconceived notion that G-Shocks were for the tacticool guy that open carried a 1911, who could be found on any given Friday evening enjoying a cheap bottle of whiskey engaged in a heated argument with his wife over who touched the remote last. I admit that I was wrong, and after purchasing the 5600 I was hooked.
I ordered my GW5000 on Friday, 10/13 and it came in the mail today. These are my initials thoughts:
1) Build Quality
This is clearly better than the 5600, but what would you expect if you paid about eight times the price for the 5000? The question then becomes " is this eight times the watch as the Chinese cookie-cutter G?" but more on that later. The build quality is obviously very high. I will speak in terms of what I know best; knives, and in the sense of build quality I would liken this to a Spyderco. (For those of you familiar with Spyderco, you'll understand my reference. If not, research them." This watch gives the wearer a sense that they are wearing a tool that has been designed with purpose. I can appreciate that.
The strap on this watch was not a selling point for me. I have read the strap is "supple", "luxurious", "special", etc. While my opinions may stem from a lack of knowledge about the average G-Shock strap, simply put the strap did not blow me away. Is it soft? Yes. Is it more comfortable than the 5600? Absolutely. But this watch, to me, is not focused on comfort. In my humble opinion when you buy a 5000 you are buying it because it is the best, not for the strap.
I have never owned an atomic watch before. I did not even know what multiband 6 meant a month ago. But I have become obsessed with knowing my 5600 is in sync with my Iphone. Now, I do not think I'll need to worry about that. Major plus. The tough solar is another selling point of this watch, even though it can be found on many offerings from Casio. The five alarms (including a snooze alarm) are handy, and the timer and stopwatch both seemingly work as you'd expect. I think it the auto-EL function is neat. I turned it on, tried it a few times, and then turned if back off. Regardless it is nice to know it is there. Overall I think this watch offers the features the average person needs in a digital wrist watch without the unnecessary ones (thermometer).
I have lustfully searched the internet seeking pictures of this watch. The watch face is not as "loud" as the 5600, but maintains some of the retro-feel that Casio sought to provide from drawing cues from the original G. As I stated, I do not own many watches, which may make me an outcast on this forum, but I am okay with that considering I am fairly new to the watch world. I plan to wear this watch in a professional setting, when I get there (currently in college). I work in a kitchen and will most likely not wear it to work in fear of scratching it. This point, however brings up an interesting dilemma. Why do we buy G-Shocks in the first place? They are designed to withstand substantially more than the average wrist watch, but when you find yourself paying a decent amount of money on a "special" G, I for one am inclined not to test its' ability. That in itself defeats the purpose of having an indestructible watch.
5) Final Thoughts
The watch is what I expected it to be. The fit and finish is excellent, I was able to get it to sync (Indianapolis,IN), and it wear more comfortably than the 45 dollar 5600. The main reason I purchased this watch was the peace of mind knowing that there is a good chance that it will always be up to what I ask of it. Obviously people on this forum are willing to pay a premium for quality watches, and I am no exception. But I am a believer that there is a difference between a G-Shock and a Rolex. I found myself interested in G's because of their reputation to take a beating, and I am sure that the 5000 is no exception. The fact that this is one of the only current-production screw backs is neat, and only adds to its' sturdiness. The DLC is a nice addition, although I am not sure how you could scratch the back of the watch while wearing it. The steel case is what sold me on this watch. The steel case, and accuracy are in my opinion this watches most important selling points. Why do we buy G-Shocks? Because we want our purchases to last. This watch will last a long time, possibly longer than my life time. But I do not intend for this to become a family heir-loom, if you want a watch for that purpose buy a nice automatic. The core principal of a G-Shock is that they're built to be hardcore watches that last. I appreciate that.
Question: My one concern is the tough solar, not that it will not work, but I am interested in the longevity of it. I realize the rechargeable battery won'y last forever, but how long can I expect for this watch to last without needing maintenance? I have searched and was unable to find a concrete answer. Thank you for the feedback, and I hope you enjoy my less than technical review of this great watch.