So, like many of you, I read and reread avusblue's psychology on his GW-5000. That said, his review is a hard act to follow. His ideas and the follow-up replies finally made me decide to get one for myself. I followed the auction sites, the sales forums and just couldn't seem to justify to myself the price that they were commanding. I reread all of the reviews, etc and then found one being sold by another forum member and agreed upon a price that we were both satisfied with.
A couple of reasons that I decided to get the GW-5000 was that I loved the module - I've had a GW-M5610 that I think is great. However, it never seemed to really grab me due to its light weight and (for me) too busy and colorful face. The subdued colors on the GW-5000 just seemed to work for me - perhaps they seemed more mature or "adult?"
In any event - to the unboxing and hands-on part! I didn't include photos due to the fact that these are all essentially identical - no differing sorts of straps, mods, etc.
The watch arrived and was boxed up nicer than the usual G Shock. Inside the cardboard box that usually just contains a plastic wrapped Casio was a leatherette hinged box complete with pillow that protected (hah! it's a G Shock after all!) the new arrival. After taking it out of the box and off of the pillow I was immediately struck by the lovely, soft strap and bezel. I'd certainly read others' reviews of it, but thought that it would be fairly similar to the other resins (a la the GW-M5610). Not so! It is that noticeable of a difference! The only material that I can think to compare it to is the beautiful rubber that Suunto uses for their Vector series watches - which up until today had been my all time favorite and comfortable wearing watch.
The next thing I noticed was the purplish-blue color of the solar panels. Some had noted that the color varied from one side to the other on particular examples - this one is even and consistently hued. Now let me speak to the actual feel - it is notably sturdier feeling than it's resin case cousins. It brings to mind my first G Shock - a DW5600 when I was a poor college student. They both have a heavier feel in hand due to the steel casing. Which brings me to the case back - a thing of beauty. The DLC finish is nothing short of inky black beautiful perfection! I wish I could say that it will stay pristine forever, but I know that it will not. For now, I love to look to just into it (okay - getting a bit weird now ).
Once I strapped it on I was immediately struck by how comfortable it was. I've been finding that I've been transitioning away from larger, heavier watches to smaller, lighter ones like the GW-5000 and the like. The smaller size coupled with the softness of the strap material makes for a very nice experience on the wrist I must say.
So, ultimately - am I happy with this watch? I'd have to say, unequivocally, yes. It hearkens back to the original G Shocks that I remember from years ago and, perhaps, my ill-spent youth. It is somewhat of a guilty pleasure that only we are aware of. Everyone else will think it to be simply an inexpensive digital watch - which I suppose to some it is. For me, it has always been one of those watch "itches" that needed scratching and it's most satisfying if I dare say so.