My latest acquisition has been quite an interesting one, It's a classic looking square G-Shock which is larger than a 5600 but smaller than a GX56, hence the title "The Inbetweeners". I'm using the plural as I bought two of them, from the same seller actually. The first was a Korean one and I liked it straight away, the same day it arrived the seller listed a similar one but made in Japan and so I snapped that one up as well.
They both came with what are supposed to be NOS Casio bezels (but are more likely Brazillian made replicas) with green writing. I like the fact that the bezels will last quite a while as opposed to having the original bezels, but I didn't like the green writing so that had to go. I haven't seen any original pictures of a DW5300 with green writing so I'm not sure if it's an original colour combo but I don't like it, it doesn't work with the red, blue gold and grey already on the face.
Anyway here's the pictures, how they arrived with the green writing...
I painted over the green with a light grey and much prefer it, they are now original "looking" DW5300-1A.
I have inspected both quite closely and as I suspected there is no quality difference between the Korean and Japanese made models with the only real visible exception being slightly different looking stamping on the back plate.
Here's a size comparison with a DW5600C and a GX56, although a lot smaller than a GX56 (but what G isn't) there is still enough of a size difference between the 5600 and 5300 to make the 5300 a much better choice for a larger wrist.
They came with the original bands which were in a sorry state but I had two relatively new DW6900 bands which are identical to the original DW5300's. There has been a lot of complaints on this forum about the DW6900 bands but for whatever reason the bands work really well on the 5300 and hugs the wrist quite nicely without the very obvious gap that the 6900 suffers from.
The 5300 has a similar bulb back-light to the DW5600C which is more than enough to see the time but I won't be using it as an impromptu torch like the DW6600 or the newer LED type G's. It has the 901 module, the same module as in the 5600 and so has the same basic functions. The buttons are a lot more prominent than later 5600 models and make using them a lot easier and not so fiddly. The round "dimples" and angled grooves on the bezel front give it a slightly more aggressive look than the 5600 and without those design flourishes the bezel could have ended up looking a bit bare and bulky. The bezel sits a lot higher from the crystal than the 5600 and so gives it that much more protection. All in all a pretty cool design and not so different from the classic 5600 that it doesn't show it's lineage.
And here they are together, Asian brothers.
Well that's my thoughts on the DW5300, a very cool slightly different take on the 5600 design. Quite frankly the only thing about the DW5300 I don't get is why it wasn't more of a hit, it is larger than a DW5600 and has a really comfortable size similar to a G5500 but with the classic 5600 look. It should've been more popular, why it wasn't is anyone's guess.