I have a very different review this time, a DIGITAL watch 🙂
The reason that I decided to get my hands on a G-Shock was that I think that everyone should have at least one watch that can be used in those situations where you are likely to get some more bumps to your watch than usual, and the old Timex I had used in such recently stopped working.
Most stainless steel watches would of course take some beating without ruining the watches, but one usually does not want any scratches on stainless steel surfaces, and that is where watches like the G-shock have their obvious advantages.
THe DW-5600BB looked quite interesting when I saw it online, due to the all black design and inverted LCD to match the color and style of the watch.
The case of the 5600BB is close to 44 mm wide and is basically a rubber protective cover that covers a hard plastic watch case.
The protective cover is held in place by four screws, and is easy enough to remove if needed.
The protective case removed from the hard plastic watch case
The watch case without the protective rubber cover
The lugs on the case a small or only 16 mm, but the included strap has large shoulders, this makes the use of alternative straps more difficult.
The strap is attached by springbars, although obviously small spring bars
The weight of the watch and strap is only 53 grams.
The screen window of the 5600BB is about 30 mm wide but the actual LCD is only 20 mm wide. Some people think that the LCD looks a bit small for this watch, but its nothing that bothers me at all.
You can see some writing around the screen “adjust-mode- start/stop-light” and also Casio beneath the screen.
The actual LCD is inverted, so instead of having dark numbers on a light background it has light numbers on a dark background.
The contrast between the two is not as much as I thought when looking at photos when using the watch indoors in low light situations, but is really clear in sunlight and bright conditions.
The limited contrast should not be an issue for someone with normal sight, and if its too dark you simply press the “light” button (lower button on the right side) and you can read the time.
The 5600BB has four screens, the main screen shows time, date, month and day (both 24 hour and AM/PM functions)
The next screen is the alarm function.
Then there is the the timer (count down screen), with an audible beeping when completed, you can count down from 24 hours.
And the last screen is the stop watch screen 1/100 and up to 24 hours
A nice feature is that in the timer and stopwatch modes, you can actually view the clock in the top right corner.
One thing that I found difficult to get use to after using analogue chronograph watches for a long time, is that on the 5600BB you press the upper button on the right side to start the stopwatch like I am use to, but to reset the stopwatch you press the upper left side button instead of the lower right side button.
Another feature worth mentioning is that you can select to have a flashing backlight when an alarm sounds on the watch, or when the countdown timer reaches zero.
The Case back on the 5600BB is a screwed in stainless steel case back, and it has four screws that attach it to the case of the watch.
The writing on the case back includes Casio, 3229 (the module in the watch), DW-5600BB, made in china, water resist 20 bar, and shock resist.
The strap on the watch is a resin/plastic strap and it tapers down from 25 mm to 19 mm.
The strap is probably the only disappointment for me in regards to the watch, it feels kind of hard but thin and unimpressive at the same time. Where the strap attaches to the watch the shoulders of the strap are 25 mm wide, and the strap is also very thick at that point with concave marks and ridges, the strap tapers down to 19 mm, and becomes quite smooth and thin.
The unusual lug width of the watch makes finding any alternative straps a problem, and will sometimes require you to cut into and permanently alter any strap you want to use with the watch,or force you to buy adaptors to fit other straps.
The small lug width and smaller spring bars could possibly provide additional strength to the spring bars.
I would really like a more standard size of lugs even if it meant a little weaker spring bars, because frankly its not spring bar failure is a very common problem, even on much heavier watches. And when a watch is protected, you should worry even less about that.
The buckle is kind of a matte steel finish, so its not a match to the polished buttons on the watch. I don’t really mind that the buttons are a polished steel color, but I do believe that a PVD/DLC (black) colored buckle would have fit this watch a little bit better.
The distance between the strap adjustment holes is about 5 mm, so the steps between each position is fairly large, making it a bit more difficult to find an optimal size than some other straps with 3-4 mm distance between holes.
Casio strap “upper strap” holes compared to another rubber strap “lower strap”
For me it has been performing well in the tasks I need this watch for, but it won’t be replacing my analogue watches in the office, but due to the stealth look of the watch, It would probably not cause any problems to use it at the office.
The 5600BB is very light and I almost forget that I am wearing a watch when I have it on, the timekeeping as expected with a digital quartz watch is very good. I would believe that this watch should be able to take quite a beating and is water resistant to 200 meters.
I found dust to build up a bit around the screen of the watch, and due to the surrounding plastic cover its a lot more difficult to wipe it off than with a traditional watch.
Its disappointing that Casio does not offer the g-shock watches with a more normal size lug width so that more strap options were available. You can buy straps from Casio and certain other online sites, in addition to buying adaptors to use NATO straps with G-Shock watches, but frankly the adapters are ugly, and there are obvious limitations in buying straps that can only work for one type of watch.
Below are a few picture of the 5600BB arranged with a few different straps so you can see how the watch could possibly look if it were possible to use normal straps.
Thanks for reading.