Is the Casio G-Shock DW-5600 Worth It in 2021?

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When talking about watches for everyday timekeeping, the term “tool watch” inevitably joins the discussion. Unlike a regular fashion or luxury watch prized mostly for its aesthetics, tool watches—like the tools in your EDC—have a specific purpose when worn. Tough, task-specific watches like pilot and dive watches fall into this category, making them popular choices for a daily driver; after all, these watches are designed to keep time and do their job even in the worst conditions. But ultra-rugged, overbuilt timepieces aren’t the only watches that deserve a spot on your wrist. The humble Casio G-Shock DW-5600 has been an EDC staple ever since it merged exceptional resistance and an affordable pricepoint with its introduction over 30 years ago. But 30 years is a long way from 2021—these days, is the DW-5600 still worth your time?


Learn more about this EDC

Hands and arms and wrists get banged up in the course of one’s day, that’s an unfortunate fact. Even more so when your day involves time in hazardous situations like heavy machinery or in the line of duty. So wearing an expensive, delicate watch doesn’t make much sense from both a practical and financial perspective. What’s the point of spending so much on something that might get scratched at any given moment? That’s what makes the G-Shock an easy first pick for a daily watch, no matter how your day goes. The shock-resistant structure that was designed all the way in 1983 found its footing with Casio’s first flagship model, the DW-5600, launched 4 years later in 1987 and kept its signature square face and resilient features to this day. Though technology has since progressed in the past 30 years, the DW-5600’s core features of 200 meters of water resistance, shockproof design, and versatile timekeeping functions still find their way to G-Shocks today. It’s a prime example of a product getting it right the first time.

Our Recommendation


Learn more about this EDC

There’s a reason the DW-5600 and all its descendants have found their way onto the wrists of everyone from kids to civilians to servicemen and women on active duty alike. Try your best to find a hardy watch with 200 meters of water resistance, wall-banging levels of impact protection, illumination, and a complement of alarms and multiple timekeeping modes all for under $70, and you’ll still likely end up on a G-Shock. Whether its your first watch or your fiftieth, the DW-5600 will always be a solid (and sensible) pick for EDC.

Even if you eventually move on to more exotic or specialized watches, there’s always a place for the incredible value the DW-5600 provides.

Buy ($43.99)

Other Robust Digital Watch Options to Consider

We highly recommend the Casio G-Shock DW-5600 to any EDCer, but in the 30 years since its inception, lots of watches offering plenty of value have joined the fray, even from within Casio’s vast catalog. If you’re looking for alternatives in price, functionality, or even simple aesthetic, check out our other picks below.

  • Timex Ironman Classic 30: Designed to be your partner for the grueling race it takes its name from, the Timex Ironman is a lightweight, sportier, and more affordable alternative for a watch ready to take on the harshest conditions. A large display with a negative LCD readout offers easy at-a-glance timekeeping, while instant access to Timex’s signature Indiglo backlight and the watch’s other timekeeping modes keeps it as nimble as you are. Sealed construction with water resistance up to 100 meters and a 10-year battery life ensures the Ironman lives up to its name. (Buy)
  • Casio Wave Ceptor: The Wave Ceptor WV-59DJ-1AJF is a modern example of Casio’s mastery over the everyday digital watch, featuring a versatile retro style and feature-rich display. All the information you need is at a glance, from a large time readout to day/date/year displays. Casio’s standard four-button system takes care of adjustments and modes including timers and a world time function, and a Multi Band 5 radio keeps the Wave Ceptor accurate thanks to 5 radio stations around the world automatically correcting its time. (Buy)
  • Nixon Regulus: If you want a watch that’s tough, precise, and functional, why not look for one designed by someone whose job is to be just that? That’s what Nixon did with the Regulus, their entry into the “tough digital” watch world. They worked with Special Operations officers to spec out this rugged watch that’s ready for hard use in the field. With a reverse-LED display, tough polycarbonate/Poron concstruction, and thoughtful design throughout, the Regulus makes its debut as a strong contender for your next everyday timepiece. (Buy)

Chances are you might have a Casio G-Shock DW-5600 of your own. Do you think it’s still worth it today? Let us know how it holds up in the comments below.

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