Some have asked for this so here it is.
I'll add better pics later but for now, you can reffer to plenty of
exsising pics that were already posted.
It's not quite a review, it's more of a 2nd opinion if you'd like.
Hope you like it folks.
It's always fun for a collector to see how the design evolves over time.
It's especally interested to see what a company can do with tried and true old designs.
Especally when those include daring to "touch" the old masterpieces. How would those be
affected by modern technology? And especally when we talk horology in general it's
difficult to talk about advancments when all the real problems were resolved log time ago.
Take a look at Casio for example: G-5000 was undeniable classic. These days this old gem
is probably better known as 5600 but that number really was just a variant of a classic.
Heck, if we want to take it step further one can argue that 5000 was really just a
modernization of old F-105. Once can perhaps even argue that whole G-Shock idea
was born as attempt to make tougher version of this classic. And suprisingly enough
105 is still beein made. Hard to argue with price, you can still get one for 10 bucks
or possibly even less. That model was sucessfull and still is for one simple reason:
It did one job REALLY REALLY well: it showed correct time and date. Aditions of day
and all the basic modes that you really need like stopwatch and alarm solved all
of real problems of a watch. It was accurate, battery lasted 10 years easy.
But technology kept moving. Consumers liked the idea of wearing a nearly idestructable
watch and 5000 was born. Rest as they say it stuff of legends...
Fast forward some 25 years. G-Shock still reimains as popular as ever but it was time
to improve on those classic. Unofotunately not all technology advancments felt like
advancments at all. Casio gave us solar and atomic but those were advancments of
rather dubious values. Some like it, some wondered if it was trully needed.
But that's how it goes with all advancments in technology. Some will look great
on paper but will end forgotten like the old betamax tapes.
And same is true for 5600. Casio tully tried advancing 5600. From what I can
gather there is at least 6 or 7 different variants of this watch with some
beeing more popular than the other. Latest one beeing GW-5000 with screwback
multiband 6 and DLC. It was expensive and to no ones supprise it wasn't even
introduced outside of Japan.
And that was it... we all thought that advancments were pretty much done
and old 5600 simply could not be improved any more. Still, as much as
we loved it's utter simplicity to some it will always be remembered
as a watch that was just tide bit too small.
Thankfully, Casio has a habit of taking risks and every once in a while
it likes to experiemnt with design and perhaps attempt to really make
a technological step forward.
Enter GXW-56. Casio took the basic 5600 look (or dare I call it F-105 look)
and has improved it in every sense imaginable. Heck they even called it "King".
A King you say? Is it perhaps conincidental that they didn't call it
addition to "masters" series?
When I originally purchased this watch it got it mostly for the looks
beeing a bit vary of the size but little did I know what will I
It arrived in rather cheap box, one of those that you open up,
take out the manual and than spend some time getting out another box
from the box... nothing impressive here and if anything it's kinda
anoying. And there is was... a MASSIVE beast. Massive to a point
where I was wondering if my 7" wrist can actually pull it off.
But I gave it a chance and I'm glad I did as I soon discovered
that this model is far more advanced than it meets the eye.
This is defeently NOT just a different shaped G... this
is trully a step forward... and unusually large one for Casio at it.
I think I finally understand why was this the only model introduced
at bezel. Casio thinks, and rightfully so, that this one is actuall
advancment in horology.
So let me list things that I think were improved.
If this list appears to be long that's becasuse I trully beleve that
it is long... EVERYTHING was improved here...
- On golden version background is white. This improves legibility.
And it's true: this one is incredibly easy to read at a glance and
can even be read at the angle...
- In time mode it's easy to get 2nd time zone
- backlight duration is now adjustable between 1.5 and 3 seconds
- mute is added to basic setup
- received indicator is simple small RCVD
- power consumption seems to be reduced as well as we now get
what appears to be less of a solar charging area.
- Casio finally took G-Shock toughness to next level. Simply directing
impact energy away from the module is no longer good enough. This case
actually absorbs energy as well. There is this famous gell that
absorbes impact from top of the watch strategically applied at 3
6 9 and 12 position but there is also some plastic
parts on the inside on the left and right side of the case
that seem to act as shock absorbers for side impacts.
So no only will this one direct enery away from the module but it will
also ensure that very little of that energy will actually be needed
to be redirected. Most of it should be absorbed.
This by itself means that this is quite possibly toughest
G-Shock ever made.
- Mud protection is here. And it's not just in a form of plastic
round buttons, there is also a screwd pastic at the bottom of the watch
that futher reduces amount of water, mud and dust that will ever reach case back.
O yes, and that's not all... buttons are larger to make it easier to operate
and futher more they are also protected with plasic agains accidental pressure.
As if this is not ehough we now also get mineral glass... gone is the plastic
that covered face of good ol' 105. And mineral, for those who don't know
actually has one advantage over saphire: it's shatter resistance.
In that sense mineral makes much more sense on G shock than saphire.
Casio rates this one 50 20bars but I personally would not be supprised
one bit if it turned out to be perfectly fine at 500 or eve 1000m under water.
How about the band?
Gone are the traditional spring bars. Now we get screws that increases
shock and pull resistance of the band. Heck even band itself was
designed to direct impact or pull energy AWAY from already tough
screw based bars. Impressive...
And rasin itself? A bit stif. Feels like a completely different plastic
than one used on GWM-5600 for example. I actually suspect that this rasin
is far more resistant to rasin riot than any previous generation.
So am I done? Not quite... take a look at the buckle... again, we get
All of these creates a true wonder of G-Shock and a quite big step
forward for the original design.
A sticky point with this one always was and will remain the size.
But I can tell you that if you give it a chance and wear it
for a while you'll quickly get used to it and it wont bother you a bit.
A flaws? I can think of two:
- braclet is still longer than need be on 7" wrist... I get a bit of an
overhang but still less of it than it was on now infomus G-8000.
- becasue of the size this one likes to be worn tight. But remeber
back of the watch is metal covered with rasin. This makes it a bit
less comfortable to wear than I would like.
Weight wise it's light enough to almost forgot it's there (if it
were not for rather big size).
All in all a fantastic product. If there was a G in recent memory
that has credentials to be "toughets G out there" I'd say it's this one.
I also wonder if this will mean an introduction of "king" series of G-Shock.
I hope it does as it would be trully fantastic.
If you can get past the size and a fact that time is not visble in all modes
GXW-56 will not dissapoint. It really is that simple. Some will argue that's
expensive but based on technology alone I don't feel that it is. Atomic
frog was arguably overpriced, this one is not. Not in my mind at least.
Defenetly a keeper and a must have in every G shock collection.