Okay, my restoration work is finally done. (Just need to put the bands on).
I will try to keep this as brief as possible.
[HUGE thank you to Buzzbait for selling me his last two spare DW-5600C bezels! Without his help, these restorations would not have been complete.]
I want to share these two DW-5600C watch heads that I found on ebay only a week apart from different sellers. To start, for anyone not familiar with the DW-5600C, the watches are all made in Japan, and the caseback letter is thought to indicate which factory the watch came out of. JAPAN H is the most common of all casebacks. JAPAN A is rare, and collectible. Then there are these two...
A year or so ago, I found a JAPAN V cased DW-5600C and searched online to find info about it. I came up with very little, except a few threads on this forum talking about how it was rare and unusual. One of the things that is unusual about it is that the letter has been rumored to stand for the city in which the factory is located: e.g., "H" for Hiroshima. But there is no Japanese city that starts with a "V". I talked about that JAPAN V case in this thread:
The only information I could find online about the JAPAN V was from a website article written by Casiophile in 2008. The website and photos are no longer available, but the article was copied from a cached archive into this WUS thread:
Here is some information pasted from that article about the rare variants of the 5600C:
9. Module 691 Japan S circleback Type 1
The S case G-Shocks look like they were built for show; that’s how finely made they are. These cases are beautifully machined with surfaces polished to a mirror finish putting them in another class when compared to other 5600’s.
The caseback finish on both the 691 and 901 is the circleback style. Although the inscription on the caseback is the standard Type 1, the placement of the ‘Shock Resist’ script is slightly different because it is perfectly centered whereas the others have the script off-center and closer to the word CASIO. Perhaps this was to accommodate the serial number that all early models had. The 691 and 901 S case varieties are both difficult to find but well worth the hunt. These are the best 5600’s.
10. Module 901 Japan V circleback Type 1
This is the only DW-5600 I have ever seen that has a letter V after the word Japan in the inscription. The serial number begins with a seven which might indicate it was made in the same factory as the Japan A cases which always have a serial number beginning with a seven or eight.
I since sold all my vintage watches, including the JAPAN V 5600. (I sold the JAPAN V watch to forum member Ronbo). I don't know if he still has it. I continued to search for information about the variations of 5600 cases. Web searches produced little information. I could only find a total of THREE JAPAN V casebacks in photos online. Their serial numbers are as follows:
Ronbo's watch (formerly Kung-Fusion's watch): 706735
Casiophile's watch: 702172
Chronohound's watch: 701294
And the one I am showing you today is the fourth: 705470
I routinely check new Ebay listings for DW-5600C and other vintage watches, just to see what is out there. Whenever I see them, I always stop to look at the caseback, always on the lookout for something interesting. I couldn't believe when I saw one of these for sale a couple weeks ago with a Buy it Now price on ebay. I think I was the third person to see the listing, and I bought it immediately. It was in poor shape, with one of the most jacked up crystals I have seen in a while. In addition, it only had one screw. I have since removed the screw and bought four brand new screws for the case. Thankfully there were no broken screws inside:
The caseback also had a lot of scratches
I sanded the crystal with various papers starting with 220 grit and working up to 2000 grit. I then polished for a long time with cerium oxide powder to get the crystal to be totally clear and smooth. I polished the caseback as well, but I didn't remove all the scratches because I didn't want to go too deep and risk losing the legibility of the batch number.
The Japan V case is interesting for several reasons. Generally speaking, it is the same angular shape as a JAPAN A case, regarded as the better of the two normal cases (Japan A and Japan H). But The Japan V is unique in that there is a wedge-like slope from the crystal down to the space between the two buttons on the side of the watch. No other vintage G-shock case of any model or any variation has this. In fact, this slope is on both sides so it forms a "V"! I can't help but wonder why Casio made these. Was this some prototype new case design when Casio switched from the 691 module to 901 module, and they were thinking about making this their new case style? If so, it would explain why there are so few of these out there.
Another thing that is interesting is that the inside of the bezel is shaped like this (an angled wedge). (All of the old bezels have this V shape). So the bezel fits a little bit better on the V case than a normal 5600 case.
Just as I was completing my crystal polishing on this watch, I spotted another new listing on ebay. The watch looked like hell. Seller's photo:
I clicked on it just to see the caseback. I couldn't believe it. JAPAN S. I have only read about these in one place: the article by Casiophile. I have never seen one for sale, ever, and I have never seen a photo of one online. It was an auction style listing, with no Buy in Now price. I didn't want to get into a bidding war with some collector, so I messaged the seller. I asked if he would sell it now for $75, since I was restoring watches and I wanted it for parts. He agreed and I instantly bought it.
When I got the watch in the mail, I checked for screws: all there. I did not try and remove them. I was very interested to know if the case was going to be as finely made as Casiophile said in his article. I threw away the old bits of bezel and I found that the case was in fact very nice! It was as nice as the WW-5100 cases I have had, which is to say it is definitely a step above the average 5600. Precise and polished, and in very good shape!
I sanded and polished the crystal (it had some little pits in it) and installed a new bezel and gasket
This watch is interesting not only because it is a JAPAN S, but because it is a 691 module but is also a circleback style caseback (most 691's are mirror style casebacks)
Anyway, I am really happy with these. Not only did I find a needle in a haystack, I found TWO needles in a haystack. All within a couple of weeks.
Notice how the engraving of the letter is smaller than normal on the S case... All other 5600's have the larger size, as far as I know.
Which one do you like the best?
IS THERE ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE WITH A 'V' OR 'S' CASE? PLEASE COME FORWARD AND POST IN THIS THREAD. CHECK THE BACK OF YOUR 5600C'S!