This week I received my GW-5000 from Chino watches. It took 14 days to arrive and £51.43 in customs taxes. 2 weeks is the longest I have had to wait for a watch sent from abroad. I was prepared to pay the customs so that didn't come as a surprise.
I also have a 6900, a 7800 and a 7710 which I really like, but I always seemed more drawn to wearing my 5600 when I looked at my watch box every morning.
So after wearing my GW-M5600 for around a month, I realized that the classic square G is the model that I wear most comfortably, not just because it looks good and reminds me of my old G's but also because it just seems to go well with every occasion. My GW-M5600 tucks under my shirts at work perfectly and I really like its classic lines, so I decided to pull the trigger and bought the GW-5000.
I have seen many posts in this forum about these two models and there is little I can add in this thread that hasn't said before, but since these two are in the bull’s-eye of many forumers, undecided which one is worth getting, I thought I would compare these two now that I have had them long enough to draw a few conclusions. Please note that they are my conclusions and they are subjective, but then, what isn't when it comes to taste in watches?
When I opened the package early this week to find my new GW-5000, I instantly noted that this is no average G-Shock. It feels considerably heavier than the GW-M5600 but it also feels 'right' on the wrist. The GW-5000, although heavier than the GW-M5600 its also a very well balanced watch and its easy to forget you are wearing it once you get used to it. I understand that its weight may be a problem to some, but I actually find its weight very satisfactory, enough to let you know that its there. I am used to wearing mechanicals and their weight and therefore I find it very easy on the wrist. The urethane material used on the bezel and the strap has a very high quality touch and feel extremely comfortable and durable.
The GW-5000 takes directly from the legacy of the DW-5000 in that it uses a stainless still casing, straight forward menu and average size, which was considered big when it was first released around 30 years ago. It is a very well designed watch where every detail has been carefully thought. The contrast between the purple color of the solar panel and the black/grey/white lines and writing on the outside of the dial make it a very elegant and subtle combination. The watch has a tasteful look to it which would make it an eye catcher to all those in the (G-Shock) know. The mirror like DLC coating on the stainless steel and the screwback is something to behold, even for someone like me who likes a good stainless steel finish on mechanicals, aside from its ‘digital roots’ this is a rare thing to find on a digital.
I am aware that the title of ‘King’ has been given to the recently released GX-56, for its huge size and its impressive looks. In my humble opinion, the GW-5000 is the ultimate G-Shock simply for the fact that it follows on the line of the first G-Shock and also because of the way this watch has been designed and produced. It is full of little details that added up make it a very sophisticated yet true to its tradition G-Shock.
Coming back to my GW-M5600, I get the feeling that the material used on the bezel (not the strap) of my GW-M5600 is the same material used on the GW-5000, but I could be wrong. On my GW-5000 and my GW-M5600 the bezels have a matte black color, while the strap on my GW-M5600 is slightly shiny. The module seems a bit darker on the GW-5000 and I wonder if the reason for this is because different materials have been used on the modules or the glass is slightly thicker on the GW-5000, making it in turn a bit darker. I hadn’t noticed this until a friend pointed this out, and I must admit that once you are aware, this is noticeable, especially with the EL illumination is on. I am not bothered whether the time is showing in all modes or not and I also understand why some people may be put off by this. This is probably the main difference between the modules on both models, as the GW-5000 has a 24hr stopwatch and the GW-M5600 doesn’t, whereas the GW-M5600 shows time on timer and alarm and the GW-5000 doesn’t. Big deal.
But what have the Casio designers focused their attention on is the way the GW-5000 has been made, using the best materials possible on a shock-resistant watch. The intention is clearly made to create a watch that will be ticking over 30 years later, now that the DW-5000 has proven it is possible for a digital watch to last as long as that and more.
The GW-M5600 is made of plastic and has a more quirky look to it, but there is no chance it will last as long as the GW-5000, and this is the main difference between both. Plastics degrade, stainless steel does not.
As a quick summary, for those wondering what are the main points to consider between both, I would say that:
-Is much cheaper
-Is much lighter
-The dial seems cluttered with writing.
-The rubber materials used (at least on the strap) are not high quality as the ones used in the GW-5000
-Has a 4 screw back attached to a plastic case, which can be tricky in the long turn when the module has to be accessed i.e. to change the seals, and everyone knows this will eventually happen.
-The plastic case could also be a problem when changing straps, as the spring bars can damage the lugs rendering the watch unusable.
-To those worried about it, it shows time on the timer and alarms modes.
-No audible difference on the loudness of the alarm between both.
-It’s the reasonable choice.
-Is expensive (for a reason)
-It feels superior, to the GW-M5600 and most other G-Shocks
-It sits higher on the wrist, although in my experience it will still tuck under a shirt no problem whatsoever.
-The urethane material used all around feels very durable and its extremely comfortable.
-The stainless steel casing will outlast any other plastic G-Shocks and keep the module much safer, making it much more resistant.
-It is a much better looking watch, which draws attention to itself for its simplicity.
-The dial doesn’t seem as cluttered and everything kind of ‘makes sense’ around it.
-Even the lines of the solar panel have been designed to align with the rest of the dial, unlike in the GW-M5600
-It has a charge indicator (CHG), unlike the GW-M5600.
-It’s the passionate choice.
At first sight, these two seem very similar, but they are totally different animals. Both have synced at exactly 2:02 am every night since I had them. My GW-5000 even synced while on my wrist the day I received it, which I thought was impressive. (It looks like I work and live in an area with very good reception.) Their size is, I would say, almost exactly the same, but design subtleties like less separated buttons on the GW-5000 make it a more pleasing watch to use and to the eye. Both are classic, comfortable, tough, but one of them will clearly outlast the other. The GW-5000 crashes down that fear that every G-Shock lover has about their G-Shock by curing its Achilles’ heel.
Conclusion: with the GW-5000, Casio seem to be making a statement taking into account the classic DW-5000c, in the lines of… ‘we have done it in the past and we can do it again, but this time we can assure that it will last 30 years or longer and this comes at a price’
I wish I had taken more care of that DW-5000C that I used to have all those years, decades ago. Not having it today with me, but seeing others still around has only made me realize of the achievement that the GW-5000 really is.
An instant yet timeless classic. I totally recommend it.
Unboxing my GW-M5600:
Unboxing my GW-5000: