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The G Shock DW5600 Series ⚡ Pursuing Absolute Toughness

G-Shock DW5600 series article header
By Maverick, 10th of August 2022

Today we’re going to have some fun and take a look at a cult classic in the watch world. And that classic, is the Casio G Shock DW5600 series.

Since the early 80s, G-Shock has been an unstoppable force in the watch world… and it’s easy to see why:

Tough, reliable, practically indestructible.

Used by military, law enforcement, firefighters, athletes and astronauts…

And in 2017, the company celebrated 100 million watches shipped.

100 million!

As a result of all that combined, Casio G-Shock earns Legendary status.

So with all that said, we’re going to take a look at the 5600 series, specifically the G Shock DW5600 watches, and what makes them so legendary.

Roll the G-Shock intro video…

[Already know about the history of Casio and G-Shock and just want to skip ahead to the DW5600 watches… Click here to skip down the page]

But First: G-Shock the Watches  — Casio the Company

Without Casio, there would be no G-Shock and there would be no G Shock DW5600 watches. So that’s why we’re going tell the epic tale that starts all the way back in 1946 Tokyo, Japan.

In the aftermath of World War II, an engineer named Tadao Kashio whose speciality was fabricating new technology, started up a company called Kashio Seisakujo.

Kashio’s first success was a finger ring that held a cigarette, letting the wearer of said ring to smoke the whole cigarette hands -free to the very end.

This was in a time in Japan where cigarettes were a valuable commodity.


After the success of his cigarette ring, Tadao and his younger brothers Toshio, Kazuo, and Yukio, took the profits and turned to developing calculators.

The four Casio brothers Tadao, Toshio, Kazuo, and Yukio
The four Casio brothers Tadao, Toshio, Kazuo, and Yukio (source: casio.com)

In June of 1957, the 4 brothers rebranded and formed Casio Computer Co., Ltd. During that same year they released the world’s first all-electric compact calculator.

From there the company grew by leaps and bounds, with each of the 4 brothers bringing their own unique skillset to the table:

— Finance: Tadao
— Development: Toshio
— Sales: Kazuo
— Production: Yukio

Casio was certainly becoming known for making quality electronic products. 

Some of these products included calculators,  electronic keyboards and of course, digital wristwatches, which were the world’s first successful electronic watches…

The Casiotron QW02
The Casiotron QW02, the very first watch released by Casio (source: casio.com)

This was groundbreaking stuff.

Casio basically pioneered digital quartz watches.

But then, in the early 1980’s, Casio hit it out of the park again. This time though, the breakthrough came from a young Casio engineer named Kikuo Ibe.

An Epiphany from a young Casio Engineer

G-Shock (and the G Shock DW5600 series), one of the most iconic watches ever made, was initially conceptualised from a moment of despair.

As the legend goes, a young Casio engineer, Kikuo Ibe, had been given a wristwatch from his father.

Kikuo Ibe, inventor of G Shock
Kikuo Ibe, the cretor of G-Shock watches

Kikuo cherished this watch from his father, but one day at work he dropped it in the hallway and it shattered into a million pieces.

Although upset, Kikuo had an epiphany…

You see, back then watches were high precision instruments and it was common knowledge that if you dropped it, it was going to break.

Well, Kikuo’s epiphany, was the world needed an unbreakable watch.

But what Kikuo didn’t know back then, was his epiphany, began a revolution in the timepiece industry.

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This modern dive watch collection has a vintage look you won’t be able to swim past…

The Unbreakable Watch: Casio G-Shock

After that fateful day, Kikuo Ibe went to work and devised the criteria for the unbreakable watch which he called ‘absolute toughness‘.

The criteria became known as the ‘Triple 10’, which consisted of 3 important factors:

    1. 10-bar water resistance
    2. 10-year battery life;
    3. And most importantly: 10-meter dropping shock resistance.

So with the approval from the big wigs at Casio, in 1981, Kikuo formed a small crew called ‘Team Tough‘ and they started bringing the unconventional G-Shock concept to life.

But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows as the next 2 years was tough… literally.

An early G Shock prototype
An early G-Shock DW 5000 prototype

The first prototypes they built they assumed the watch module needed to be covered with a shock-absorbent rubber to prevent breakage.

And each prototype was flung from a third-floor window down to the ground 10m below.

Prototype after prototype failed.

Iteration after iteration failed.

For over 2 years, Team Tough would analyse each of their experiments, improve the prototype go again.

But they just couldn’t crack the code.

At this point they had flung 200 prototypes out that 3rd story window and not one watch module survived.

Kikuo was about to give up, but just as he was about to pack it up and admit defeat, he had a eureka moment.

About to abandon his search for the unbreakable watch, at lunch Kikuo went to the park.

While at the park he saw some kids, bouncing a rubber ball, a rubber ball that did not break when it bounced on the ground…

“What if the watch module, all the important components of the watch was somehow suspended inside the middle of that ball?”

G Shock structure
The G-Shock structure compared to the conventional structure

Bingo! It was the breakthrough Kikuo Ibe needed… and that breakthrough, started a revolution.

In April 1983, two years after that fateful day Kikuo dropped his fathers watch, the very first G-Shock was launched… the G Shock DW 5000 (below).

The first G Shock: the DW 5000

The watch was so big and tough it hardly even sold when it came out, but just as if it was fate, the watch made itself to the U.S. and became an instant hit.

The young skaters and surfers of the 80s and 90s fell in love with the watch for its toughness and bold style.

It became part of street fashion and the G-Shock inserted itself into to pop culture.

Since then, the G-Shock has become a legendary watch that made history, still popular to this very day.

You could almost be airdropped into any city in the world and you’ll see someone wearing a G-Shock.

Today, when people think G-Shock, they are usually thinking of the iconic DW5600 series.

The G Shock DW5600 watches really challenged the limits, just check out the short video below to see the epic tests Casio put these watches through…

Pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

This is one of the reasons why the G-Shock has been in a category of its own.

So with that said, let’s get into the G Shock DW5600 series…

The G Shock DW5600 Series

First, let’s take a quick look at the impressive specs of the series…

  • Case size: 43mm
  • Case height: 13.4mm
  • Lug-to-lug: 48mm
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Band Material: Resin
  • Bezel Material: Resin
  • Construction: Shock Resistant
  • Water resistance: 200m / 20 bar
  • Stopwatch: 1/100 second stopwatch
  • Countdown timer: 24hr & auto-repeat
  • Light: Electro-luminescent Afterglow
  • Battery Life: 2 years – CR2016
  • Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
  • Weight: 53g

Oh and by the way I forgot to mention, the G Shock DW5600 is so tough, it even broke the Guinness World Record title for the heaviest vehicle to drive over a watch…

The G-SHOCK DW-5600E-1 was run over by a truck weighing in at 24.97 tonnes and it still survived!

If you ask me, the truck is lucky it survived.

Alright, we better get into the individual DW5600 watches hey?…

G Shock DW5600 Series

1. The DW5600E-1V

The DW5600E-1V is tough and capable of handling anything you throw at it.

Forget about scratching or damaging it, as it’s insanely robust and practical.

A slap shot by a pro hockey player was all it took to send this G-Shock into history…

G Shock DW5600 Series

2. The DW5600BB-1

The DW5600BB-1 is an all-black matte design which gives it a wicked look and gives its owner some street cred.

This best seller is anti-magnetic, shock resistant, and super tough just like all the others.

With its distinctive entirely black design, this watch is a serious statement…

G Shock DW5600 Series

3. The DW5600NN-1

The DW5600NN-1 is a watch that can electrify your style.

The new design in iridescent, digital glitch blazing, multi-angle pattern printing, and translucent resin is a crazy mix.

Are you Ready Player One?

G Shock DW5600 Series

4. The DW5600BWP-2

The DW5600BWP-2 is an epic blue and white combo.

The design celebrates familiar Chinese porcelain patterns while the case back has an engraving of the Chinese dragon

This G-Shock beast can not be tamed…

G Shock DW5600 Series

5. The DW5600SR-1

If you want to immerse yourself with an extravagant iridescent color, then the DW5600SR-1 may be the perfect choice for you.

This G-Shock is the one of the first ever with a full surface gradated crystal finish that evokes reflected sunlight.

Time to soak up some rays with this beauty…

G Shock DW5600 Series

6. The DW5600SRS-7

The DW5600SRS-7 also comes with a brilliant iridescent color and a full surface gradated crystal finish.

Its rainbow vapor deposition reproduces the midsummer sky at dusk.

This transparent G-Shock gleams with a singular radiance and proves to be one-of-a-kind…

G Shock DW5600 Series

7. The DW5600CA-8

The DW5600CA-8 is the perfect watch for any adventure, whether it’s the wild and wonderful outdoors or the urban jungle.

The dial features an original camouflage design from G-Shock that will fit in wherever you go

This one is great for blending in and staying out of trouble…

G Shock DW5600 Series

8. The DW5600CA-2

Another epic G-Shock for the great outdoors, the DW5600CA-2 watch will withstand anything you throw at it.

Its camouflage blue and gray design will be your companion in the good times and bad.

What say you, ready for your next adventure?

G Shock DW5600 Series

9. The DW5600WS-1

Whether out and about or relaxing on the beach, the DW5600WS-1 will complete your summer style.

This G-Shock is patterned in ocean waves, blending different hues together to create a unique design.

You’ll be the stud on the beach with this superb specimen of a G-Shock…

G Shock DW5600 Series

10. The DW5600SKE-7

The DW5600SKE-7 is among the Skeleton Series and made up of transparent resin parts.

Perfect for enthusiasts as it symbolizes G-Shock’s relentless pursuit of toughness.

Could this watch be your next bold statement?

G Shock DW5600 Series

11. The DW5600HR-1

Here’s the DW5600HR-1, a black & red mix that’s tough and capable of anything.

The main G-Shock brand colors are used on the case and band in a simple and striking design.

This G-Shock screams tough, everyone will know not to mess with you…


Summing it Up

Honestly, how could anyone go past G-Shock?

Especially the G Shock DW5600 series.

The toughness… the reliability… and the story of one man’s persistence to make the unbreakable watch.

I think a G-Shock should be in everyone’s collection, bold statement I know and I don’t say that very often.

Now, is the G Shock DW5600 series for everyone?

No and here’s a 2 reasons why:

  1. Casio on their website measure the case size at 48.9mm × 42.8mm × 13.4mm (L× W× H), which is a little confusing and you might think it’s a big watch.

    The actual case size is 42.8mm and the lug-to-lug measurement is 48.9mm. So this watch works well for smaller wrists as the band wraps around.

  2. The four buttons to get around the watch and use all its functionality are quite small, so it can be slightly difficult to operate if you don’t have skinny fingers.

However, those reasons don’t change my opinion, these watches are certainly great everyday watches.

They’re tough, reliable and practically indestructible.

And if it’s good enough for military, law enforcement, firefighters, athletes and even astronauts, then it should be good enough for anyone…

The one that’s in my collection? That’d be the DW5600BB-1.

The all black matte is a wicked look in my opinion. It’s my beater watch that I use when I’m out and about and at the gym (using the stopwatch function for breaks between sets).

So, there you go, G-Shock certainly earn the status of Legendary.

Do you have a G-Shock in your collection?

Living on borrowed time,

– Mav

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