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137 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2007
Way back in 1982, I bought one of the first Casio 5000 models. It was incredibly accurate, easy to use, had a countdown timer (which I used a lot) and seemed set to last for ever. In 1988 I crashed my motorcycle, and smashed the crystal on my watch. I threw it in a drawer, bought a new cheap casio (with less functions) and carried on. 3 years later I found the smashed one in the back of the drawer. It was still working and only wrong by 15 seconds! I've had various other watches since then, (really missed the countdown timer), but the Casio G-shocks were all way too thick to suit me. I really fancied the new Solar Powered and Atomic Clock synced Casios, but they were still too thick (and didn't have a countdown timer).
Then I found the GW5600J. Based on the old 5000 series, Atomic, Solar Powered, 5 alarms and a countdown timer, full backlight. And the same style and thickness as my old 5000! Not thin, but not ridiculous either.
I've had it a week now, I love it, I expect it to last the rest of my life (this sucker is tough), and neat, clear, easy to use and accurate!
If you like digital watches (as opposed to analog), this is the one.
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223 of 234 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2009
Verified Purchase
This is a solid, well-built watch. Had I purchased it alone I would have loved it. The problem is that I had ordered two versions at the same time to decide which one I liked better. I got this one and the non-solar, non-atomic, 1987-tech DW-5600E at the same time to compare.

Features the J has that the E doesn't have:

Solar power
Atomic time updates
Multiple alarms & snooze alarm
World time
Auto backlight on when raising your wrist in the dark

Features the E has that the J doesn't have:

Day & date displayed simultaneously on main screen
Countdown timer adjustable to seconds (instead of minutes as on the J model)
Alarm can be set for a specific time, day or month, or any recurring combination of the two
Smaller footprint for both wrist area and height
Time is visible in all screens except alarm set

The bottom line here is that the DW5600-E does the basic task of a timepiece better: it tells you the time, day, and date more easily and with less hassle than the newer model. There is no selecting the home city, putting your watch at a certain position in the window at night, worrying about charging up the battery, and all the techno-tasks related to a supposedly maintenance-free watch.

The fidelity of setting seconds on the countdown timer is crucial for fitness use (a minute is forever when doing something physically challenging...), or photography (I still develop film and 15 seconds can mean overdevelopment...), or cooking, scientific experiments, etc.

The 5600-E is lighter, smaller, and more comfortable to wear. The size difference may not seem like a lot on the spec sheet but the difference is tangible in practice. I like a slim, low profile watch and the 5600-E wins in this area.

It's also about half the price. The batteries on these things last ten years; if you spend the extra dough on the solar model it will take you the rest of your life to make up the cost difference. Also, the accuracy of these watches is great - you may get out of synch by about a minute per year, something you can adjust when you switch back & forth from DST. Neither solar nor atomic is a compelling reason to spend twice the money.

New in this case doesn't mean better. Unless you're a frequent traveler with world time being a prime consideration, or have a need for four daily alarms, the older 5600-E does the job of telling time easier and more affordably.

EDIT:

I've evloved my opinion. I think pretty much any 5600 (or 5000) model is great. I got my atomic models to synch just fine, I just have to do it at night and facing west. Really can't go wrong with any of these.
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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 24, 2007
Verified Purchase
Multi-Band (US and Japan), Solar, G-Shock, World Time, and great retro looks makes this a great watch.

I've been looking for an Atomic Solar watch for some time and it appears that everything in the market is just too fancy for me....many atomic solar watches are gigantic, others have compasses, barometers, thermometers etc and although those functionalities are great....

sometimes, most of the time, during weekends - when going hiking etc -- many features needed in a great outdoors watch are unnecessary at the pool, mall, movies, bookstore etc.

The 5600 has all the right features:

1) solar (8month power reserve on one charge)
2) atomic (two zones US and Japan)
3) power saving mode
4) back light (the good backlight that makes the whole display glow)
5) world time (29 cities)
6) easy setup of two time zones
7) stopwatch
8) countdown timer
9) g-shock -- very tough
10) waterproof to 200meters (good for scuba diving or the pool)
11) replaceable band
12) multiple alarms
13) Auto sync with atomic or manual sync
14) Manual time set (calenar to 2099--I'll be dead by then so that works I think)

On the con side, this watch is a bit big but for some reason its not overpowering on the wrist even for midsize guys -- it looks like it belongs there....big but not huge and definitely not small.

In its basic mode it tells:

1) time (hours minutes seconds)
2) day or month/date
3) pm (or 12/24 hour time zone and whether you're in daylight savings time)
4) how much battery you have
5) whether it has signal from the atomic time sync

Overall, I feel comfortable wearing this watch and don't feel like I'm wearing a supercomputer on my wrist. It certainly won't impress anyone but it does what its supposed to to: tell time accurately without replacing batteries and without worry that it'll get banged up against something.

This is a great watch. I owned one like it in the 80s and am very glad they updated it with modern technology while keeping the core aspects of it the same. I got from mytimepiece on Amazon (quick delivery and exactly as promised -- great store).

Only hard thing was going through the extremely wide selection of great Casio watches to find this one. I'm sure I'll get a Pathfinder at some point to go hiking etc and feel like I can survive in the wild with just it and a knife (and to keep up with the joneses) but for the mall, supermarket, pool, backyard, and for treks through Cambodia, Africa, Asia -- this will be my go-to watch probably for the next 10 years.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2008
I really like this watch. It has all of the standard 'toughness' you expect from a Casio G-Shock: 200m Water Resistant, Shock Resist, tough plastic casing, quartz movement accuracy, stopwatch, alarm, backlight, etc. It is also a "Tough Solar" (solar powered watch- needs no battery changes), and a "WaveCepter" (syncs with atomic clocks for total accuracy). Please see the main watch page or other reviews for all of the watch features- they've already been listed here, so I'll just elaborate on my favorite features with this watch.

Looks wise- It is another in the line of the classic G-Shock looking 5600 series (the two previous ones, the 5600C and 5600E are approved by NASA to fly on the Space Shuttle! This watch is probably too new for that rating yet.) In my opinion the 5600 series is the most subtle of all the G-Shocks. That is important for me since I wear this watch more than any other watch I own, and I want a tough watch that I won't damage being my normal active me, but I also want it to slide under my shirtsleeve if I'm at work so I won't look like 'office Rambo' with my superwatch!

In my opinion, what really makes this watch great is that you can strap it on your wrist, and just forget about anything having to do with the watch except for having it tell you the info you bought it for. That means: Don't worry if you get caught in the rain or you want to go swimming- it's waterproof enough to scuba dive with. Don't worry if you have a very active or athletic lifestyle- it's shock proof. Don't worry about batteries- it's solar recharged. Don't worry about it being incorrect- it syncs itself to an atomic clock! It adjusts the month/day of year, Daylight Savings Time, you name it.

The Casio engineers get big kudos from me- they added the tough solar and waveceptor features to this watch without detracting functionality from it. The solar cell is completely unobtrusive- it doesn't cut down the display size of the watch one bit, and is not really noticeable when looking at the watch unless you know it is a solar watch and you look for the solar panel, which is completely integrated into the display of the watch. The solar design includes a rechargable battery- so it's not like the watch will shutdown if it doesn't get any light- it can go for weeks if not months in powersave mode, which is initiated automatically. But as long as the watch gets exposure to light (sunlight is the best, but normal house lighting works too) the watch will keep trucking. As for the waveceptor feature- When I place my watch by a west or south facing window, it syncs every night. Even if the watch was unable to sync, it has a quartz movement, so it wouldn't be off by more then a few seconds a month anyways. I had the opportunity to place two waveceptors next to each other, and then sync them both. After the sync, both watches were lock-step synchronized to the NIST standard time, down to the exact second!

In conclusion, I honestly think that for the price, this is possibly the best value for your money if you are looking for a reliable, accurate, go-anywhere kinda watch. I also think that it is great looking for the type of watch that it is.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2007
This watch maintains modern digital functionality with a very retro look. All the features Casio built into this module are very useful and it is definately very tough. The atomic synchronization feature works like a charm so you know you always have the Exact time. Also, the 'Tough Solar' attributes make this watch a very smart buy because you never have to replace the rechargeable battery (supposedly). I'd recommend this watch for those of you that want something very durable and functional as their daily 'beater' watch or as an everyday timepiece with a retro look.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2008
The G-Shock Atomic Tough Solar GW5600J-1 is probably one of the best purchases I've ever made; or at least, one that has made me happy the most.

First all I wanted, was to replace my old DW5400; which - by the way - still works quite well although its bezel felt in pieces several years ago and its buttons have become a little hard to push. This last fact is a result of the bets I used to hold in high school (back in the 80's) about the effective shock resistance of my DW5400. ¿Do you remember that old commercial in which a G-Shock is hit with a hockey stick? Well, mine had to overcome something similar but much more times that the one in the commercial.

All I was looking then, was for the simplest model of the actual G-Shock series; so I was about to purchase the DW5600E-1V. Then I realized there was a solar and atomic version just for twenty something dollars more. I thought it was great to be available a solar version, since I've always heard that G-Shocks hold their total tightness just until you have to open them to replace the batteries.

But here comes the truly important part of the story, which I hope a lot of people will find certainly interesting... I decided to get the Atomic Solar GW5600J-1 because I also felt very attracted to the atomic feature; however, I was sure it was not going to work for me because I live in Bogota, Colombia S.A.

"What the heck..." I said to myself; "the price is affordable, it's going to be a watch for the life time and I'll be able to see it working whenever I go to the US". I'm not a very often traveler, but that was enough for me because I'm not an actual ultra accurate time fanatic; just an average technology enthusiastic.

The same day I got my GW5600J-1, I read the whole instruction manual; I set all the functions and just in case, with a little hope, before I went to bed I left the watch on my desk in the synchronization position that Casio recommends.

It synchronized perfectly with Fort Collins atomic clock, just as it has been doing almost every morning from more than a month ago; all I have to do is being careful about not leaving the watch next to my computer or any other electrical appliance because it won't let the synchronization run.

So this is it. If you are one of the persons that would like to purchase this watch but you're not sure if it will work in other countries different to the US or Japan, and in the other hand, you haven't found any customer review about this aspect (as it happened to me), this information may be useful to you. At least in Bogota, Colombia, South America, the synchronization system of the GW5600J-1 works, as it should work - I think - in Canada (except Newfoundland) and most countries of Central America.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2007
I own this watch for about a month now, and I have started loving it. At around $70, this is a best buy if you are looking for a rugged, shock-proof (that is what g-shock is), and nice looking watch. Oh, and this is solar powered, and syncs with the atomic time signals (in US, Europe and Japan) - so you are never late for an appointment! :) Among other things, it features a 200m water resistance, and world time.

The footprint is also not very bulky, unlike other "rugged" watches, so it looks decent enough on a average man's wrist. I surely recommend it for those who are looking for a not-so-costly, but rugged watch.

-Amarendra
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2008
Update: Casio fixed this watch 4 years ago for $10.99. Now it works great. Every six months or so it will die. And then I just put it in the window for a day and it works flawlessly.

WHEN LOOKING AT THIS WATCH, I READ CRITICAL REVIEWS OF THIS WATCH DUE TO THE BATTERY DYING. Watch was great when it worked, but sure enough now the watch will not hold a charge. I left it under light all day, etc., etc.. And no matter what I do the watch will not hold a charge. Do yourself a favor and buy the original without the solar and atomic for less money. I think that it is the dw5600. The standard 5600 that i have works great in every respect. The solar on this watch DOES NOT WORK FOR LONG because the battery does not hold a charge. And in my opinion the atomic is a gimick, because digital watches are extremely accurate- all of my digital watches remain within a minute of each other at all times. They are rarely off more than 30 seconds of for years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2011
Verified Purchase
Let's get the bad out of the way first:

- The watch cannot display the calendar date (i.e. "2-22") and the day of the week (i.e. "Tuesday") on the screen at the same time. You have to press the top left button to toggle the display back and forth between the two. Not a dealbreaker, as most people will already know the day of the week, but still inconvenient.

- The band is resin. This means that the watch band can feel sticky and uncomfortable when it gets sweaty. It also means that the band represents the first failure point on an otherwise rugged watch -AND-

- In fact, I am now the owner of a watch that is in like-new condition 18 months after purchase, except for a resin band that split apart without warning about a week ago. I couldn't even tell you how it happened. One minute the watch band was fine, the next minute it had a large crack in it.

Here's the tricky thing, though. Unlike most watches, the top and bottom of the casing that houses the spring pins that attach to the top and bottom pieces of the resin band are NOT SYMMETRICAL. The top piece of the housing has a funny shape that juts out a little and is meant to receive the original band and the original band only. This means that if you try to fit an aftermarket band onto the watch head, there's a strong chance it will look funny and won't fit right. You can disguise the problem with certain types of replacement bands but not others, but in any case, your selection of replacement watch bands is going to be a little more limited than usual.

The "Voguestrap" style 16-20mm velcro bands, such as

http://www.amazon.com/Voguestrap-TX877761-Adjustable-Length-Fast-Wrap-Expedition-Watchband/dp/B00024WL92/

or

http://www.amazon.com/Voguestrap-TX885141-Adjustable-Length-Fast-Wrap-Watchband/dp/B00024WLAQ/

on Amazon will fit the watch perfectly and are light years more comfortable and resilient than the original resin part. It looks very nice, too. I'm wearing this combination right now, and might include a few pictures later to demonstrate the issue with the watch casing and how the bands I've linked do a decent job of disguising it.

Now the good:

+ Consider everything I haven't mentioned as implicit praise for the watch. This is easily the most durable timepiece you will ever own. It's a G-Shock series watch that can take repeated strikes to the watch face and keep right on going. You can shower or scuba dive in it without any issues. If you work in construction or lead an active lifestyle, this is the watch you need. It's designed to give you years upon years of hassle-free use. If I could own one watch on a deserted desert island--aside from a watch with a radio transmitter that could signal for rescue--this would be the one.

+ The digits on the face are among the tallest and most legible in the 5600 series G-Shock line. Perfect for older people, or those who need to read the time in a high vibration or low visibility situation without having to squint.

+ Solar power is more than just a gimmick. By taking battery changes out of the equation, you significantly add to the life of the watch and reduce the chance that you or your jeweler compromise its waterproof capabilities after a battery change.

+ Don't be lured into thinking that you need to spend almost twice as much money for a Casio model with identical features but five or six band atomic syncing instead of just the two. If you live in the U.S. and don't travel much, then the two band model is all you ever need. Also, it's worth pointing out that this watch DOES have built-in support for every time zone in the world, it just won't sync with the atomic clocks in Europe or Asia, is the difference. So worst case scenario: you'll return from your european vacation with a watch that is, at most, a few seconds off, and that will promptly sync with the transmitter in Colorado anyway. No big deal.

I don't know what else to tell you. This is really a tremendous watch for the money. It is your least expensive option on the market that boasts both solar and atomic features, and that is built to withstand abuse during workouts, hiking, scuba diving, bear attacks, robot rebellions, and anything else you may encounter in your day-to-day activities. You most certainly won't be disappointed with this purchase!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2008
Verified Purchase
Looks good, feels great on my wrist. UNLIKE the gshock mudman which i had to return because it was so uncomfortable. Why would anyone want to wear an uncomfortable watch? This is pretty comfortable, kind of heavy if your not used to g shocks.

About the solar and atomic tech. I haven't spent that much time looking at the manual because its telling me it updates the time every day at like 2-3 am. Thusly its just as accurate as your cell phone or computer that get the time updated every once in a while automatically.

The solar thing is cool but it will go into powersave mode every once in a while and look like its dead. You just have to push a button and it comes back to life. That function is kind of cool because it helps it from going really dead.

The functions like the timer and stop watch help me time my commute to class, something I just started doing on bike so this lets me know how fast I'm going relative to other routes. The time lets me know when fun time is over and I have to go back to work. All in all its pretty cool, but what I most like about it can be found on the cheaper non-solar, non atomic version. But if your like me and love technology you probably can't resist spending a little more and getting the cool beans version.
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