This is my first review. I know the GX56 has been around a while but I just had to gush about my Orange King.
I had been looking at the GX56 series for a while but was unsure if the size was going to be an issue. I’ve read many reviews and saw many pics of this watch on the wrist and it looked huge. I finally decided to try it out and came across a good deal for the GX56-4 Orange King or as Chrisek calls it, King MIRO (Men In Rescue Orange) . This was the one that I have been wanting since I’ve seen the various GX56 models. So, to use an oft used expression around here, “I pulled the trigger”.
I won’t include the specs on it since you can get it from the website.
Upon opening the box and tin and finally gazing upon the watch, I thought maybe it was too big and questioned my decision. I was a bit worried due to the size. But I put it on and wore it for the next 4 days and have concluded that this probably exceeds the measurements by a small margin of the biggest watch that I can comfortably wear in terms of size. The GX56 is big, bold and at the upper limit in size for a watch on my wrist. The only thing that saves it is it is relatively light for its size. But given the added shock protection, I can live with its size. This will also be the watch I wear when I want to make a “statement”.
I love the color on this model. It leans a bit towards red as can be seen in the picture next to my paracord bracelet which is orange. This color does contribute to the large “wrist presence” since the color jumps out at you. I think black would definitely tame the large size perception of the GX56 just as it is a “slimming” clothes color on people.
Orange paracord bracelet.
Casebask w/ factory sticker still on. :p
The next thing that caught my eye was the negative display. This is my first negative displayed watch. I heard many negative comments on negative displays but I had to experience it for myself to formulate my own opinion. Conclusion - I prefer positive displays. The negative display is not bad but the positive display is much easier to read and read quickly. After using this negative display for a few days now, I have also concluded that this is most likely my last negative display. I can read the display on the GX56 decently but it depends on the lighting conditions and angle I have the display at. I’d rather not have to worry about either of these when pulling up the watch to check time. You'll see in the photos that the digits on the negative display do not photograph well. In real life, it is not that bad.
The EL on it is very dim but in a low light or completely dark environment, it is plenty and gets the job done. It’s not near as bright and the Dual LED Super Illuminator of my GD100MS1. It has Auto EL also but I disable this feature in all my Auto EL/Illuminator capable watches anyways. It’s a waste of battery/charge.
The King is not in power-save mode. Just a bad angle to read the display.
GX56-4 EL backlight.
GD100MS1 Dual LED Super Illuminator!!!
Since the GX56 is so big and rides high (55.5mm x 53.6mm x 17.5m), it tends to catch on things and I have banged it a few times on doorways, desk edges, etc. already. Good thing this is tough. It is heavier than all my other G-Shocks @ 88g. It is noticeable but not an issue especially if you have worn stainless steel dive watches.
Big n tall. The lug-to-lug dimension helps push the strap outward and off my 7 3/8" wrists.
The features on this watch are fairly basic. It features a 24hr CDT settable in 1 min. increments, a 24hr 1/100sec. STW , 5 ALM and WT. The Tough Solar, Auto EL, extra shock protection and big Mud-Resist buttons bringing it up a few notches in terms of features. Home time is not displayed in any other mode except ALM. This is a negative for me since this is a feature I love about my Riseman GW9200 (home time in Baro, STW, CDT, ALM, WT). The only modes it doesn’t have it in is the Alti and Alti Rec modes.
EDIT: OK, from the Home Time mode, you can press the adjust button and get WT in the upper display while home time remains below. So I gues this qualifies as home time in a second mode (ALM being the other).
Pressing the Adjust button in Home Time mode gives you WT... and keeps home time. Had to boost brightness to photo neg. display.
Operation of the watch is slightly more difficult than a normal G-Shock with big buttons since the Mud-Resist buttons need a slightly harder press to engage. This is a small price to pay for the Mud-Resist feature and is not bad at all really because the buttons are so big. I have no doubt I’ll be able to use these buttons with at least medium weight winter gloves on. This is a 4-button G-Shock. I prefer 5-button models like my Riseman, 9052 and 6900. I like having 4 buttons for operation and a dedicated light button on the face. The buttons have hoods to protect against accidental presses and the Mud-Resist feature also helps with this. The buttons are comfortable to use and nicely knurled for grip.
Big ol' buttons!
The strap is comfortable enough. I initially rated the King pretty high on comfort. I likened it to my GD100MS1 as it has a pretty large caseback and with its black “bumper”/cover, it sits nice and flat on my wrist. But now after wearing it a while, I find the buttons dig into the back of my hand/ wrists a bit when I flex. Not annoyingly bad but noticeable. My GD100MS1 raises the bezel case edge up some which helps in comfort and I find it the most comfortable of my G-Shocks so far. I think the reason the GX56 is not as comfortable is that I have to wear it a bit tighter due to the weight of the watch (88g). Otherwise it tends to flop around if I use my usual size setting. The strap is nice and wide with a heavy duty looking 2 prong metal buckle with a really nice satin finish. On the backside of the strap, there are raised portions along both outside edges between the holes. These aid in air circulation in conjunction with the 2 rows of sizing holes.
I think I will never test the limits of the GX56’s extra shock protection. At least I hope I never have to because it would probably hurt really badly and more than likely be fatal. I trust the Alpha Gel and other methods for additional shock protection on this model works as it was designed by the engineers. I find the regular G-Shocks very tough. I wore my DW6900 doing demo work in a home improvement project using a reciprocating saw. This subjected the watch to severe shock and vibration for a couple hours causing soreness and numbness in my hands and arms but it soldiered on like a champ. Is the extra protection overkill on the GX56? Perhaps, but I’m glad it’s there. Like the old saying goes “it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”.
ASICS Alpha Gel and that cursed negative display. Time to charge it too.
It’s definitely a keeper. I love the look. The big, bold design and the bright color suits “The King”. This will look right at home in my watersports and many other outdoor active endeavors. The 200M WR rating will surely stand up to wake boarding, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming and any other activity on or in the water. I spend a lot of time at the lake and all my G-Shocks have proven themselves WR in everything I've subjected them to. The King won't be any different. And where there is water, there will be mud and sand (beach). The mud-resist feature will be a welcome addition for this. Plus, excelling as an outdoor watch, having solar charging just makes sense.
The GX56 is a very good watch on the whole. It has the standard set of features I require and extras like the solar, additional shock protection and big mud-resist buttons. Solar is not a requirement for me as I prefer regular batteries but it is fine for this model which will see a lot of outdoor action. I would like to see a King using the big CR2032 cell though. That could easily be a 10+ year battery. I'd definitely get that model if it was ever offered. So overall, I really do love this watch even with its shortcomings. I would recommend this watch if you want THE toughest G-Shock around.
Family of "Squares".