Sunday, November 11, 2012

G-Shock #46: The G-Shock Heritage: 7th Generation - Latest G-Shock with Original DNA and Metal Core Bracelet.

Whenever possible, Casio likes to publish highlights of the G-Shock Timeline in catalogs, mooks and websites.
Let's read good G-Shock literature while enjoying a rare and unique beer.
Since the first G-Shock, the DW-5000C (“Original Model I”), Casio maintained releasing models with the same form, but with newer technology onboard. Although the DW-5200C in 1984 was a worthy follow up, Casio considers the DW-5600C of 1987 the “Original Model II”. A "Boy size" G-Shock, the DW-500C, is introduced in 1988 and is nicknamed Baby-G. Although EL backlight was introduced in 1994, it took until 1996 for the “Original Model III” came out, the DW-5600E, the very popular basic square model, which is still in production. In 2002 Casio introduced the Tough Solar in the Original G-Shock DNA in the form of the G-5600 and in 2005 also Atomic Time was introduced in the GW-5600 (“Original Models IV and V”). As technology improved rapidly, in 2008 a 5 multiband receiver was build in “Original Model VI”, the GW-M5600, and in March 2012 the latest model, the GW-M5610 has now a 6 multiband receiver (“Original Model VII”). As the latest improvement wasn’t that big as the steps before, Casio re-released quite a lot models, that were released as GW-M5600 models in the GW-M5610 line-up, like this GW-M5610BC.
In 2008 Casio released the two most advanced basic models with a special bracelet and added the letters BC to the model number, the GW-M5600BC and the GW-6900BC. Both models are black and have a negative display. In March 2012 Casio replaced the GW-M5600BC with the GW-M5610BC. The GW-M5610BC looks exactly like the GW-M5600BC, except for the Multiband 6 writing and a little darker “tear plate” grid around the display, judging the stock pics (I actually do not own them both, so I can’t compare).
Since the release of these models in 2008 they have been on my wanted list, but I simply never bought one. One of the main reasons is that they are a bit more expensive than the regular models, without the bracelet.
The bracelet looks pretty sophisticated, but sizing is relative easy. All you need is such a bracelet tool or  maybe even only a pin. You need to push the pushpin that far, so you can move it out of the link. 
No doubt, the bracelet gives the watch a pretty tough look. Although the bracelet has a kind of metallic look, it is a so called “Metal Core” bracelet. The big outer links are made of black resin, while the core of the bracelet consist of metal links, providing maximum strength in the bracelet, while being very light. The pushpins fall into metal reinforced holes of the resin links (see third photo in the above series). To provide maximum comfort, the GW-M5600 model is the slimmest of all 5600 series watches, so it can slip easily under sleeves of shirts under jackets at the office. 
According Casio does the watch with a full bracelet weighs just a little more than 100 grams, much less than a full metal bracelet. In real it is even lighter, and after adjusting the bracelet (I removed only 2 links) it weighs just a little more than an average G-Shock. Although it looks hard to remove the links of the bracelet, it is actually pretty easy. Just try to remove equal amounts of both sids of the clasp so it stays on the right place under your wrist. Very nice is that the bracelet can be adjusted in 4 positions at the buckle. This made it possible for me to only remove two links, instead of the usual three. The 4 positions span about one link in length. In chose to put on an extra link and put the clasp on the first hole, instead of the last one.
Although the 5600’s are marketed as basic models, the GW-M5600BC is packed with features. The GW-M5600BC differentiates from earlier 5600 models with the Tough Solar power source and 6 Multiband Atomic Time receiving feature. The watch has pretty high sensitive solar cells, which allows the watch to charge the CTL1616 battery efficiently. If the battery is fully charged, the battery can power the watch for approximately 10 months without light if Power Save is turned on. You can see the power status of the battery in the indicator bar, located under the seconds. In Power Save mode the display is disabled after leaving the watch in the dark for about an hour and after 6 to 7 days left in the dark, it stops Auto Receiving, illumination and beeping. You can easily wake up the watch by bring it into light or by pressing a button.
Multiband 6 means that the watch is capable of receiving the Atomic TIme signals from 6 public transmitters in the world. In order to get a good signal reception, it is necessary to chose the right home town. This does not necessarily has to be the city where you are, but it must be a city in your time zone. The watch is able to pick up signals from the transmitters in Fukushima and Fukuoka/Saga (both about 1000km radius) in Japan, Fort Collins in Colorado USA,(about 3000 km radius), Sangqui China (about 1500 km radius, which includes Beijing and Hong Kong), Anthorn UK and Mainflingen Germany (both transmitters have an about 1500 km radius). When you are in range of one of these transmitters, the watch will automatically seek for the signal several times at night if Automatic Receive is turned on (default), until it has a picked up the signal, or when it has performed 6 attempts.
Besides normal time keeping, you find 4 other modes on this watch, the World Time mode, the Alarm Mode, the Stopwatch mode and the Countdown Timer mode. The World Time mode has data of 48 cities in 29 time zones. You have to perform DST manually. The Alarm mode has 5 Alarms, 4 regular and one Snooze Alarm. Of course the Hourly Time Signal is present too. You can view if an Alarm or the Hourly Time Signal is turned on or off in the indicator bar, located under the time. Both the Stopwatch and Countdown Timer are pretty simple to operate and have a 24 hour capacity.
The GW-5610BC is a model which is produced in relative small numbers every month, but so, that t is relative easy to get one, although they seem not widely available. You will find this model primarily in the UK and Japan. Mine comes from Tiktox, UK, who has them for £149.- (€187, $240). This is a much better price than what you probably will pay in Japan, as this model comes with a suggested retail price of ¥24000 (€240, $308), though you can find this model also in Japan for just above €200 ($260) if you look good. Although the GW-6900BC has the same suggested retail price in Japan, you should expect to pay around €230 - €250 ($300 - $325) for this model. It’s only available in Japan at the moment (a small amount was sold in the UK in the past). The look of the watch is different from that of a regular model with resin straps. It seems the look of the bracelet add quite on the look of this watch. I think it won’t look too bad for formal occasions. There is maybe only one thing I would loved to have seen extra on this watch and that is the EL Afterglow. Afterglow is the time between pressing the light button and the light turning off again. Where you can choose on most modern models between 1.5 and 3 seconds, on this model the light already turns off at 1.5 seconds. I would have been more happy if the Afterglow would had been 2 or even better 2.5 seconds. Overall, I think the GW-M5600BC is a great watch with good looks, specially with the good detailed light weight bracelet.

5 comments:

Shaun said...

As the happy owner of a GW-M5600BC, it's interesting to see the 5610 and its differences, such as the LCD colour and also the difference in the colouring for the lettering in the bottom right (receiving and start-stop). I had considered putting a resin strap on mine, but the bracelet has a curious (perhaps unintentional) benefit, which is that the weight of the clasp offsets the weight of the watch, and it virtually disappears, weight wise, on the wrist, especially when compared to a Raysman or GXW-56 (the purchase of which I have you to thank for - the review of Big Red - as I and others call it - was the tipping point for my getting one).
My one dislike of the 5600 is the countdown being restricted to just under an hour, is the 5610 any different?

Spiele nicht mit dem Eisbären said...

@Shaun: the 5610´s countdown goes up to 24h, what is a great benefit I think.

I own one too (bought in it the UK) and I think it´s the perfect 56 model. Afterglow would be nice (have it on a 9010) but I haven´t missed it by today, when I read this great review :-) Good job.

Thanks from Germany
Christian

friesdefries said...

Great review!

I'm planning to buy this watch (Casio GW-M5610BC-1ER)! Really looking forward to it.

I was wondering; does the radio/atomic time automatic sync work properly in The Netherlands? Or do you have to switch it manually ?

Please let me know! Thanks!

Sjors said...

Hello FriesdeFries,

I think we live in an excellent place. I'm from Zeeland, which is almost eactly in the middle between the Mainflingen and the Anthorn transmitter. They both have an at least 1000 km range. My Atomic G-Shocks even pick up time in the south of France and in Barcelona, Spain with no problems.

Kind regards,

Sjors

Dan said...

Hi,

Thank you for the best review I could find online. I just bought a 5610 from ebay for $190 from a reputable british store. Can wait for it!

Best,

Dan