I've owned a DW-5600E for about a year now, and I've put it to good use. I've worn it in the pool, building furniture, moving day, yard work, scorching heat, bitter cold, etc. It was cheap enough that I don't really think twice about putting it on when things are about to get rough.
I traveled a few times last year, and my DW did serve double duty as a travel watch since it's easier to change the hours on it than on my analog watches. The minor nuisance of changing the time while flying, though, gave me the itch for a proper world time function. I'm also OCD about accuracy and this one is a little bit fast. Not enough to be a problem, but enough to make me want to sync it every few weeks. The display also seems less crisp when viewed at an angle. I started to want something that looked and felt not quite as cheap.
So I got impulsive on Amazon the other day and ordered the GW. This seemed like the solution to all my hang-ups with the DW.
I'll be honest... I'm not in love with it like I'd hoped. Maybe I'm more critical because I paid so much more for it.
The backlight is not as bright as the DW. It also doesn't last as long, so I find myself pressing it multiple times. I tried enabling the auto-EL function, but it was so awkward to get it to trigger, that I just turned it back off. The beep is also not as loud as on the DW. The mute function is nice, though. I suppose these are all a result of it being solar powered and cutting down on power usage.
The radio time sync was one of the main selling points for me, and it seems to work. It's managed to sync itself automatically both nights I've had it. I live in the southeast US, so pretty far from Ft. Collins. I tried syncing it manually multiple times through out the day and night just to see the process and couldn't get it to work. I know the auto sync really should be enough, but I'd feel more confident about it if I could see it happen.
As for the world time function, changing the time zone is super easy, which is nice. However, I was disappointed that the time shown for many cities, mainly in Europe, was incorrect because they didn't account for DST. I had to manually set DST for the cities that have it, and I suspect I'll also have to turn it off when they change back. This means I still have to check the world time against the internet which doesn't make it nearly as useful as I'd hoped.
Finally, I guess it's just a personal hang-up I have with it. I think it's very well made, and it looks great. I think the milled backplate is a nice touch, and I actually like that it is slightly smaller than the DW. However, and maybe it's because it's more expensive, but I just don't feel as confident wearing it in rough situations as I do with the DW. It never occurred to me that I'd be more precious with the new one. I feel like I'd still reach for the DW instead. It doesn't help that all the pictures I've seen of astronauts, pilots, firefighters, etc. being awesome while wearing their G-Shocks, all feature the DW. I feel like the DW is the real thing, while the GW is a more fancy pretender.
Like I said... purely a personal impression, and I'm sure many of you disagree, but it's my truth and I figured I'd put it out there as a warning for those of you who are considering doing something similar. I guess I could keep both, and use them for different purposes, but they're so similar that it just seems redundant to do that. I want "the one" G-Shock. I thought the GW would replace the DW, but I just don't know if I can do that anymore. Maybe I was more attached to the DW than I realized.
As a comparison, I also have an SKX, and I'd never consider getting a higher end Seiko diver for pretty much the same reasons. I could never "upgrade" it. I already knew that about myself and the SKX. For some reason, I didn't think to apply that to my G-Shock as well, though, before buying this one. I guess I just like basic things.
I might give it a week or so before I make a decision on returning the GW. We'll see.