Jonathan is a keen watch enthusiast with a collection that always seems to be one watch short. See more reviews at the Top Watch Picks blog.
One Watch to Rule Them All
My first watch was a Casio. I don’t remember how old I was when I got it, or even what model it was, but my first watch was definitely a Casio. I’ve worn Casios on and off for most of my life, but none have connected with me more than the one I am wearing right now, the G-Shock GWM5610. It might not look like anything special, but this little thing is packed with history, (and technology), and that checks a lot of boxes for me. Here’s why.
The Classic G-Shock Square Design
In terms of how this watch looks, you can't get much more classic than this. The very first G-Shock, the DW5000C, was launched in 1983. It launched an entire sub-culture of watches that now boasts sales of over 100 million units. The GWM5610 has a lot in common with the original DW5000C. It has a similar shape, size and weight, but with some modern updates that still attract buyers to this day.
The 5610 is part of a collection of watches that Casio fans affectionately refer to as squares, because of the shape of the case. The squares are in fact octagonal, but once the moniker gathered pace, it stuck for generations. Today, it is an instantly recognizable shape that has become a hallmark of the G-Shock brand. They are available at a number of different price points and a variety of styles.
With dimensions of 46.7mm (H) x 43.2mm (W) x 12.7mm (D), the GWM5610 wears really well on almost all wrist sizes. Mine are on the small side, around 6.5-inches, but the size and shape of this watch sit really well on my wrist and, when it needs to, it will easily tuck under a shirt sleeve. The 5610 is not a big, chunky G-Shock. It has presence, but if you have never seen one before, it is not as big as you might think. It is comparable in size to an Apple Watch. Best of all, the GWM5610 weighs only 51.7g, (1.8 oz), so you barely notice that you are wearing it.
A Brief History of G-Shock Watches
Notable Features of the GWM5610
The two headline features of the GWM5610 are Tough Solar and Multi Band 6. Tough Solar is Casio's solar charging system that converts sunlight, or indoor light, into energy that can be used to power a rechargeable battery. This means far fewer battery changes than you would expect in a typical digital watch. Although it does not come with a guarantee for how long it will last, most users see ten years or more before the rechargeable battery needs replacing.
Multi Band 6 is Casio's atomic time sync technology. The 6 refers to the six transmission towers that are located in Japan, North America, UK, Europe and China. If you are in range of one of these towers, the GWM5610 will receive that time signal and adjust the time and date to ensure that it is always displaying the correct time. The watch looks for these signals each night and will even adjust for daylight savings time so you don't have to.
Like all G-Shocks, the GWM5610 is shock resistant. The case is designed to withstand numerous drops from any direction, and it's tougher than you might think. Take a look on YouTube for "G-Shock Torture Tests" and you will see what I mean. The 5610 is also water resistant to 200 meters so you will have no trouble using it while swimming or doing chores outside. Other notable features include:
- Full Auto LED Backlight
- World Time (31 time zones)
- Stopwatch function - 1/100 sec. - 24 hours
- Countdown Timer - 1/1 min. - 24 hours
- 5 daily alarms
- Automatic calendar with Date, Day and Month to 2099
- 12/24-hour timekeeping
In-Depth Review of the G-Shock GWM5610
Is the GWM5610 Good Value for Money?
The GWM5610 has a retail price of $140, but you can find it for much less on Amazon. To some, that may seem like a lot for a watch that looks like it was found in an 80s time capsule, but given everything that this watch can do, and the abuse that it can take, the price begins to look a lot more appealling. There are no maintenance costs and no need to set the time for as long as you own the watch. It is perhaps the ultimate grab and go watch because it is always ready when you need it, and for that alone, I think it is well worth the $85-90 that this watch usually sells for.
If you like the style and can live without the Tough Solar and Multi Band 6, you can save some money with the similarly styled G-Shock DW5600. It is about half the price of the 5610. Alternatively, if you prefer a dressier look, you can upgrade to the GMW-B5000. It comes with Tough Solar and Multi Band 6. It also has essentially the same design, but it comes in a shiny, stainless steel case and usually sells for around $400. That's why I think the GWM5610 is the sweet spot here. It has the features you want at a price that most people can afford.
Ever since I stopped wearing an Apple Watch, I’ve worn a variety of different watches as part of a rotation. I’ve had dive watches, tool watches, dress watches and sports watches. I learned a lot about watches, and as my style evolved I learned more about what I liked in a watch. Some of those watches were sold and used to purchase others, but of all the watches in my rotation, the one that I kept coming back to was the GWM5610.
It’s reliable, comfortable, and easy to read. I can wear it to the office, while working out, or when I’m running errands because this watch has a versatility that few others can match. Collectors like to have a variety of watches in their collection, but for everyone else, this might just be the only watch you ever need.
© 2020 Jonathan Wylie