Customer Review

224 of 235 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I changed my mind., October 24, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Casio Men's GW5600J-1 G-Shock Atomic Tough Solar Watch (Watch)
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.


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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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 26, 2010 10:07:07 PM PST
M. Perry says:
Awesome review...I couldn't agree with you more. The newer models with all the "fluff" technology isn't really necessary for most of us. Why pay double for extras that you won't use. Also all these new technologies make the G shocks chunkier. You hit it right on the nose, and I have been saying it all along.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 10:12:30 PM PST
A. Lasam says:
I like your review. Straight forward and to the point. I was contemplating on purchasing the solar/atomic version of the 5600, but after reading your review, I decided on the basic dw-5600e. I also read that Casio uses rechargeable batteries instead of capacitors on all of their solar powered watches. These rechargeable batteries will eventually lose their capacity to hold charge, about ten years. Coincidentally, the lithium battery for the basic DW-5600E is rated to last about ten years also. going solar is a moot point. Don't you think? Thanks for your informative review.

Posted on May 25, 2010 6:23:33 PM PDT
Bibliophile says:
Thank you for the thoughtful and informative review - given that I was about to purchase a "J", you really gave me something to think about. However, given my declining eyesight, I wanted to visually compare both watches (the "J" vs. the "E") before I made my selection. Yesterday, I visited a local retailer and viewed the "E". It was everything you said, but the date text was somewhat illegible in normal lighting. Today, while passing a Big Box Retailer, headquartered in Issaquah, WA, I saw the "J" and made a comparison. What I found was that the "J" watch was considerably easier to read for me (no reading glasses required), so I made my purchase. Interesting note - the Big Box Retailer has a *lifetime* return policy which negated the battery issue mentioned above, and the price was a few bucks less than on this site. If my reading vision were better, I'd own the "E" now, but since it isn't, I now own the "J". Thanks again!

Posted on Jun 21, 2010 4:24:19 AM PDT
J. Graham says:
Something which your comparison didn't include is the ability to decrease as well as increase digit values when setting times / timers. It's an irritation on the E to scroll through the whole range of values before you reach the one you want. For me this is an irritation too far.

Some (me included) prefer the bulkier nature of the J. It feels more substantial on the wrist, which to me is a positive! As another reviewer said, it has larger, clearer digits. Another problem for me on the E is the recessed adjust button, which can be hard to press and which is required for resetting the stopwatch.

Also, an inaccuracy in your post. the DW-5600E was introduced in 1996, not 1987. I believe you're thinking of the C, the 'true' Japan-made classic which has a stainless steel underbody (not plastic), screwback and microlight instead of luminescent backlight.

Posted on Mar 26, 2011 10:57:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2011 10:59:00 PM PDT
I would've totally agreed on this, but found a better source on the comparison between 5600C/E/J:

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2011 11:56:06 AM PDT
fotographer says:
I have Casio 1545DW-5600E and the back is made out of st. steel, not plastic. It is made in Thailand.

Posted on Sep 7, 2011 4:20:50 PM PDT
Very good review. I am a much bigger fan of the atomic function than the solar. I also like to see the date and the day of the week at the same time. What about the GWM5600-1 model? May be an improvement over this J model.

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 10:26:12 PM PDT
radigan says:
After reading your review on the gw5600j I also decided to go with the basic dw-5600e.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 1:32:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 29, 2012 3:33:54 PM PDT
cactus says:
i agree. most of the extra options are there to justify the higher price. the solar cells do go bad sometimes and i like the availability of regular batteries.
and people:
he said 1987 "tech" by way of comparing functions and he was pretty close in that regard. the dw5600c had dual time. i get his point. it's 1987 tech.
also, the dw5600c had a stainless case. not just a stainless case-back.
i have 2 dw5600e's and many dw5600c's.
as far as charging it... i bought my girlfriend an atomic baby g and she never pays attention to the battery charge and it always reads high. she's had it for over 2 years.
also, her watch is always dead-on and she never leaves it in a window. she loves it, so i bought a couple solars for me.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 8:49:20 PM PDT
Thanks for the insightful review. I too appreciate the minimalist functionality. However, I would make an argument for the cost-benefits of the solar powered. Yes, charging overnight might be a little bit of a pain but consider this: a non-solar g-shock battery is only guaranteed for 2 years. I have read some saying it lasts much longer, but others have said it's 2-year batter. A solar cell in the solar g-shock is guaranteed for 10 years.

The cost of a battery is not that great, however; you do lose water resistance once you change the battery. Thus, a solar powered g-shock will stay water resistant for about 10 years, while a battery powered will last 2 years and hopefully more, but not necessarily more.

This is a big deal to me as I regularly submerge my watch underwater when I train for sprint triathlons, hike in rivers (zion canyon national park), etc. I am definitely getting my money's worth with the 10 year capacity. Either way, these watches are fantastic.
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