As an infantryman, a wristwatch was a part of our daily uniform. Due to the nature of the job, the watch had to be tough, reliable, and precise. If you were fancy, you might have worn a Suunto, but many of us common folk went with a Casio or G-Shock. These watches not only fit the bill and had all the characteristics we would need for our missions, most of their models were fairly inexpensive and conveniently available at the PX. I owned several G-Shocks in my life, but the one and only G-Shock I own now is the G-Shock DW5600E-1V. The DW5600 not only lives up to the trustworthy G-Shock reputation but it also bears resemblance to the original G-Shock that first debuted in 1983, making it a tribute to a very memorable timepiece (read about the world’s first G-Shock here).
The DW5600 is a quartz movement (battery-powered watch). While mechanical watches have their charm and undying appeal, quartz movement watches have their own worth. The biggest advantage a quartz movement will have over an automatic movement is its accuracy. A battery-powered watch will keep far better time than any automatic watch on the market. I’ve owned G-Shocks that have never needed to have their time readjusted. Secondly, a quartz watch will run for years before the battery needs to be replaced whereas automatic watches need to be worn or wound regularly. While this can be viewed as a pro, it can also be viewed as a con, ultimately it comes down to the perspective of the wearer. One could argue that quartz movements are more practical whereas mechanical movements have more “intrinsic value.”
When pulling up specifications, the DW5600 isn’t exactly unique when compared to other G-Shocks, but it is my favorite for a few reasons. As I previously mentioned, this watch is a throwback to the original G-Shock so it appeals to watch enthusiasts like myself (even Casio refers to this model as the “quintessential G-Shock”). The watch may have the same bells and whistles as other G-Shocks (timer, stopwatch, 24-hour format, backlight, 200m water resistance, and alarm) but it wears more comfortably because of its slightly smaller size. Also, you can purchase this watch for about $30-$40 which makes it one of the least expensive G-Shocks available on the market. The DW5600E-1V owns a permanent spot in my collection as my beater watch and I recommend it for anyone who needs a wristwatch for duty or their adventures.
All photos courtesy of the author, Matt Jin