Sunday, October 14, 2012

G-Shock #43: Basic Black.

Well, what a title. In all the shouting color variations you can find G-Shocks, there is now an alternative. Complete the opposite. It’s the complement series of the Basic White models, the Basic Black series. The Basic Black consist of three models, The GA-120BB-1A, the GDF-100BB-1 and this DW-5600BB-1. Of the three models, this DW-5600BB-1model is the most basic you can get. On the Bezel you can only find the words G-SHOCK and PROTECTION. On the face plate you only find the functions of the buttons and the brand name CASIO hovering somewhat lonely at the bottom.
While colored G-Shocks probably go well with shirts, sneakers, other clothing and/or accessories in similar color schemes, this watch can go with anything. I know it’s an unisex watch, but I think it can be compared best with a little black dress. I do not know much of women clothing, but one or two little black dresses seem to be essential in a woman’s garderobe, as it can be worn with everything on any occasion. As the little black dress is still a big hit since the 1920’s, maybe Casio should consider making this watch THE basic DW-5600 model. No fancy lettering. Maybe even the functions and brand name could even be more hidden, simply by black elevated lettering or a very dark grey color. It should be similar to the Basic White models, where lettering is light grey on white.
Actually, this is not the original box. When I ordered this Basic Black G-Shock, Dale at Ace Jewelers asked me what kind of box I wanted. He had also this box with a carbon print. Well, it's something different and actually I think it fits pretty well with the smaller G-Shock. 
In Japan the Basic White and Basic Black models were actually combined as one series, called the Solid Colors models. Maybe it would have been good if this name was used worldwide, but on the other hand, I think the names Basic Black and Basic White are pretty clear. With Solid Colors, it could have also been the description of the total baby blue, neon green and magenta pink GA-110B Hyper colors, as they were also only in one solid color.
A frequently reported problem with G-Shocks is the recessed top left button. Actually this is not a failure, but a good design idea. The recessed button prevents accidental change of time setting after the button is accidentally hit. 
The Basic Black theme is looking great, but unfortunately for me, it’s not easy for photographing. First of all a normal camera thinks that the black parts should be as light as average objects, so you have drop the exposure time sometimes with 2 full stops. Then the is dust. Dust particles are everywhere and on most G-Shocks you can remove almost all dust easily, while the remaining particles usually don’t disturb much. My photo’s are from real watches. I try to do most 50 Gs shots out of the hand to create a more live feel, but on this one I got a lot of frustrating results. In real, dust particles on this watch (considered under normal circumstance) are not or hardly noticeable, but with the macro shots of this one, every dust particle looks like a light bulb. So please, if you look at the pictures, bear in mind that most pics are macro photo’s. I’ve tried to remove dust as far as I could for every photo, but it was almost undoable. Sorry.
The DW-5600BB functions similar as all basic DW-5600 models. Since it is a pretty recent model, released March 2012, it has the new 3229 module. It has the same looks as the old 1545 module. The only difference is the internal calendar. While the old 1545 module had an internal calendar programmed from 1 January 1995 until 31 December 2039, new modules have an internal calendar programmed from 1 January until 31 December 2099. Well, that’s for now a long way to go… I still remember my father telling me in New Year 1975 (I was 8 years old and we were standing in the kitchen) that in 25 years it would be the year 2000. It looked so far away, but we have passed that milestone already 12 years ago. In that light, 27 years might not look that long anymore (or does this simply say: “You’re getting old, Sjors”).
The 5600 has only a few but good modes. First of all, when leaving the Time Keeping mode, there is the Alarm mode. It can not only function as a Daily Alarm, it can also be programmed to a Date Alarm. When one of the date digits is left blank, you’ll get a 1-Month Alarm or a 1-Day Alarm. Of course the DW-5600 also has an Hourly Chime (or Hourly Time Signal as it is called nowadays). Of course you can toggle the Alarm and Hourly Chime on and off individually.
The Countdown Timer has a capacity of 24 hours, but programmable to the second. As a cherry on the cake it also has an Auto Repeat possibility. The ideal set-up for a Countdown Timer if you ask me.
The DW-5600BB around my 7.2" wrist.
The 24 hour Stopwatch. It simply does what it has to do. No laps for runners, but it can record time up to 1/100th of a second. It also has a Split Time, so you can view elapsed time of an event or time two finishers.
This is Lilian. I saw her walking here in the hall and thought she was perfect to fit my DW-5600BB. I think it suits better around a small wrist than around my big wrists. 
The DW-5600BB is about one of the smallest G-Shocks available, and maybe therefore very suitable for women too, probably to combine with their little black dresses. I bumped into a girl on the hallway dressed in grey and black, so I asked her if she could show off this nice black G. It would probably look better on her than me (with my 7.2” wrists).
The DW-5600BB is a very basic but cool looking watch. I obtained mine from Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam, which are also the G-Shock Forum sponsors. I bought it together with my Breezy Colors GA-110SN-3. Great guys to deal with, just like the other G-Shock sources that you can find in the menu on the right (unfortunately only in web view, not in mobile). It seems that this model is only released in Japan and Europe as it is sold here for only €89,99. Somehow the price for this model is almost double if you find on in Hong Kong or Australia, which is a bit ridiculous for an almost basic DW-5600 model. Unfortunately this model is as good as sold out in Europe too. If you are looking for one, try G-Stock in Spain. They seem till to have them and currently and for a good price too!


sufro said...

Love this watch but had a problem with the mode button. Sent it to casio still waiting for it. Just wanted ask. Is this the only model that is made from china? I feel that after what has happen to mine, I'm gonna avoid china made Gs. The problem i had was the mode button, it should switch to WT, ALM, STW & TMR am i right? Mine resets the time when i press the mode button. I've never had this type of problems with my other Gs. They should stop making it in china and continue to do it in thailand.

Unknown said...

Hi Sjors, nice review, there some correction. The 1545 DW-5600 internal calendar is from 1-1-1995 to 31-12-2039, whilst new 3229 is from 1-1-2000 to 31-12-2099.

Wear it in good health!

Waiting your review for 30th Anniversary Rising Red Series.



1337x said...

Good model! Bad that the buttons and buckle is not black color too.

Sjors said...

Hello Sufro,

I have several G-Shocks that are made in China, which are flawless. The new DW-6930A-4ER comes from China for instance. Frankly, I like China produced G-Shocks more, because of the fogging problem. If a Thailand produced G-Shock is coming from a warm place to a sudden cold (freezing) area (not uncommon here in winter) there sometimes appears a little fog on the crystal.

I first thought you had a jammed Mode button, but it looks like a module failure. Sometimes this can easily be solved with a reset, but it could also be a faulty module.



Sjors said...

Hi Yschow,

Thanks, I had over-read this. Indeed, in 27 years it will not be 2031, but 2039 of course. pecially for you, I added the start time of the calenders too ;-)



Sjors said...

Hi !337,

In this case I think the buttons are a nice little contrast for the photo's I took, but you are right. It could have even been blacker. ;-)



David Fernández said...

Thanks for your comments about this watch. I've just bought one. At first I thought it was a horrible watch, but now... I think it's the most elegant 5600.

Good pics, thanks for your effort.

shimatta said...

Thanks for your great post! I realy like this model. I'm female and I want to buy one for myself but I'm worry about the end of the strap that will stick out so bad... is there something I can do to fix this without damaging the strap? Please help, thanks again.