a generally attractive and solid watch, i sold my GW-5000 over half a year ago to a fellow WUS member living in Europe.
if the 5000 was without the hype and my one and only watch, i might have kept it and worn it happily on a composite bracelet.
it's got many things going for it, including a stock soft strap, multiple daily alarms, multi-band sync and world time mode - but these were stuff i don't use.
the cachet of being "Made in Japan" is something many collectors like - me included.
however the 5000 did not suit my use, and thus did not make it into my regular wear rotation.
after i sold the 5000, i brought my other square on a 6-month-long work trip as my "only watch."
6 months later, i concluded that my DW-5025 feels better suited for me, and i'm glad i did not make the wrong choice selling the watch.
i'm also happy that another member will (likely) cherish it more than i can...
comparing the two, here are a few reasons why i sold it. hopefully my 2c is at least a little insightful...
coated on my firearms, it's supposed to offer resistance against rust.
but on the 5000, it seems a little too fragile for my liking and i recall a phrase here on WUS along the lines of "it scratches if you stare at it too much".
i had not worn it more than a handful of times and i had unknowingly incurred a series of small scratches on the case back. i was wearing a rolex daytona almost full time when i purchased and wore the GW-5000 (very infrequently), and i was very careful with them both.
FWIW, my daytona has ZERO scratches on its unprotected brushed case back!
2. lack of DLC (!).
i was not impressed that they did not think to make the pushers and bezel screws DLC... i had actually bought a set of DW-5000 stussy DLC pushers and black screws to replace the steel ones at some point... but never got down to it.
3. solar charging.
i've got 2 x DW-5025 (an SP and a B version) and both date to 2008.
the unworn SP is still on its original battery. the other one has had its battery replaced earlier due to alarm and EL use.
when not wearing it, i did not have to put it under a lamp for any length of time (an inefficient use of electricity and a fire hazard in my empty apartment as i am regularly out of the country for work).
IMO, keeping the GW-5000 near a window will likely induce UV wear and tear on resin. while okay for daily short-term top-ups, i've read it takes a pretty long time to charge up an L/M battery this way...
i simply keep my 5025 in the cupboard until i want to wear it again. it doesn't matter if the battery runs down because a replacement cell is $2.50 and good for at least 5 years (going on 10).
4. WR seals change.
while it's possible that the 5000's rechargeable battery will last beyond 10/20/30 years, i am certain that a 5000 from today would likely require a change of seal (or two) before the battery dies.
(and if i were opening the case up, i might as well put in a fresh rechargeable battery... especially if the old one is no longer in good condition.)
the simple module is less complicated to remove on the 5600 when changing pusher seals. in any case, it's not as "maintenance free" as i would have thought.
5. no current time in TR and ST mode.
before buying the 5000, i was not convinced that this would detract.
however trivial, it turned out to be a inconvenience for me as i use the ST regularly in my daily life, and the TR whenever i'm on planes (2-4x a month).
6. parts availability/accessibility/rebuild-ability
released in 2009, the 5000 is still an uncommon watch and the availability of parts in future was a little worrying for me (primarily seals, pushers and glass).
my customized 5025 shares parts with a lot of watches, including its older non-screwback/3229/3421 cousins, and i still hoarded parts.
the parts are also inexpensive when compared to the 5000. (i know, because i've got enough spares from pacparts to rebuild my 5025 three times!)
i believe the 1545/3229 has fewer parts that can go wrong. and when it does, it's also cheaper and easier to rebuild (no solar panels/transmitter to fuss about).
there are also more options for customizing a DW-50xx screwback than the GW-5000 (i have recently built my 5025 exactly/uniquely the way i want it).
7. weight/quality (this is just FYI).
the 5000 feels heavy but it does not feel better built than a 1545/3421 screwback.
i have not weighed it, but the 5000 feels a little lighter when both are in my hands.
i think the hype around the GW-5000 makes it less of a beater for most. a $250-$300 watch is not expensive by most WIS' standards, but i really didn't feel like i should be beating up my 5000... consequently, i was hesitant to wear it.
whether or not this was the hype i bought into unknowingly, i cannot be sure. i was however happy to bang about on my more expensive 5025...
all of the above is in no way a criticism of the 5000 - more of a critique of my life and philosophy. the GW-5000 was my first "high end" square...
it should have been in my regular rotation, but it was not for me. if you buy the watch, please wear it like it was designed for. ie. everything!
if you find yourself thinking similarly to what i've typed above, the 5000 might not be for you - but buy it and try it anyway. you'd never know...
"Made in Thailand" DW-5025B with module from DW-5025SP on DW-5030C bezel and GW-M5610BC bracelet.