The G-Shock GWM5610-1 and GW6900-1 are two of the best-selling G-Shock watches, and for good reason. They are both affordable models with useful features like Tough Solar power and Multi-Band 6 automatic radio time adjustment. They are simply highly accurate and practical timepieces that you do not have to worry about damaging or maintaining.
Though first-time G-Shock buyers are usually directed by other fans (and us) to go with a GWM5610-1, the GW6900-1 should also be considered as an alternative. Though the GWM5610-1 and GW6900-1 are often thought of as having the same features and being interchangeable, there are some key differences between the two models.
Shared Features of GWM5610-1 and GW6900-1
Both the GWM5610-1 and GW6900-1 are based on classic and iconic G-Shock cases that have come to symbolize the brand. Shared features include: shock resistance, 200-meter water resistance, Tough Solar, Multi-Band 6, full auto EL backlight with afterglow (full auto setting activates the light in dark environments only by rotating the wrist), world time (DST setting, UTC time display, UTC direct call function), 1/100-second stopwatch (24 hours, with split), countdown timer (24 hours, settable in 1-minute increments, measured in 1-second units), 5 alarms with 1 snooze alarm, hourly time signal, battery level indicator, power saving function, full auto calendar, 12/24-hour time mode, operation sound on/off, and quartz accuracy of ±15 seconds per month (if Multi-Band 6 is not used).
Advantages of G-Shock GWM5610-1
The GWM5610-1 has the original case shape of the first G-Shock from 1983. Despite its age, it has a timeless design that is highly functional and does not look dated. The same can also be said about the GW6900 case, but since the GWM5610 descends from the original G-Shock, it gets a slight edge in this regard.
Although the GW6900 display is more capable in some ways, some people may prefer the look and the straightforward layout of the GWM5610 display. The main digits on the GWM5610 are larger than the GW6900, making it easier to read.
The GWM5610-1 is more compact and slimmer (46.7 x 43.2 x 12.7 millimeters versus 53.2 x 50 x 17.7). It is better suited to those with smaller wrists and those wearing tight-fitting long sleeves. It is also a little lighter (51.7 grams versus 63). You can put it on your wrist and forget it’s there.
Advantages of G-Shock GW6900-1
The GW6900 has a front light button that is easier to access and press than the side light button on the GWM5610. Many people also find that the side buttons on the GW6900 are easier to press than the buttons of the GWM5610.
The display of the GW6900 is capable of dual time display, which shows the world time (with the 3-letter city code) simultaneously with the home time. Also, the EL backlight is adjustable (1.5 or 3 seconds), while the EL backlight of the GWM5610-1 cannot be adjusted and is on the shorter side. The display also shows three letters for the day of the week, versus two letters on the GWM5610.
The GW6900 case tends to be favored for military use. It descends from the G-Shock DW-6600 that was issued to Navy SEALs in the past. The 6900 case shape is also popular with streetwear fashion, and the basic DW-6900 has sold more than the DW-5600 when it comes to all-time sales.
The GW6900-1 has 31 time zones for world time, while the GWM5610-1 has 29, and both have 48 cities. The additional time zones on the GW6900 are UTC+5.75 for Kathmandu (KTM) in Nepal and UTC-2 for Fernando de Noronha (FEN) in Brazil, and the cities of Miami and Toronto are omitted (as they are the same time zone as New York).
Although they are both considered “mid-size” G-Shock models, the GW6900 wears larger than the GWM5610, which can be an advantage to those with larger wrists. The GWM5610 can look small on very big wrists.
In the U.S., the GW6900-1 has a lower list price than the GWM5610 ($130 versus $140), but in Japan, the GW-6900-1JF and GW-M5610-1JF have the same price (22,000 JPY each plus tax). In the U.S., they are often available discounted online for around the same price (under $100), but the GWM5610 price recently increased at some retailers, giving the GW6900 a big edge on price now.
We’re not sure what caused the recent price increase of the GWM5610-1 at certain online retailers. For years, Amazon typically had it discounted to around the $90-$100 area, and the recent price of around $130 is a significant increase. We believe that it could be a manufacturing, supply, or distribution issue related to the Covid-19 pandemic that will hopefully be alleviated at some point. Likewise, we don’t know why the price of the GW6900-1 hasn’t also been affected, or if it will be soon.
With the GW6900-1 currently available at Amazon for considerably less, it cannot be denied that the GW6900-1 is a better value at the moment. Even if they were the same price, the GW6900-1 has a few advantages that may or may not be significant. Those advantages are not big enough for us to declare the GW6900-1 as the winner, unless you really need the dual time display, a longer backlight afterglow, or the additional time zones. Those who prefer the original G-Shock style or a smaller watch with larger digits may be better off with the GWM5610-1.
Whatever your choice is, you can’t go wrong with a G-Shock GWM5610-1 or GW6900-1. They are both fine watches that are suitable for any outdoor activity. They will likely go more than ten years before needing a battery replacement, and they are far more durable than watches from other brands. To answer which one is better depends on each user’s needs and preferences. If you’re having trouble deciding, you can always do the sensible thing and buy both of them.
What about DW5600 versus DW6900?
The differences between the DW5600E-1V versus the DW6900-1V are the same as their “GW” counterparts in regards to the size and display, but the “DW” models are basic G-Shock watches and do not have as many features. They are battery-powered and do not have Tough Solar or Multi-Band 6. The CR2016 battery is rated for two years, but it is likely to last much longer if the extra functions and EL backlight are used sparingly.
The DW5600 and DW6900 do not have world time, so there are no differences between the two models in that area. Other limitations are only one alarm, no option to turn the button operation sound off, and no adjustable afterglow duration on either model. (It should be noted that the alarm is a “multi-function alarm” and not just a “daily alarm,” which offers a daily, date, 1-month, or monthly alarm.) The dimensions and weight are slightly different from their GW counterparts at 48.9 x 42.8 x 13.4 mm and 53 grams for the DW5600 and 53.2 x 50 x 16.3 mm and 67 grams for the DW6900, though not enough to be very noticeable.
In their favor, the DW5600 and DW6900 have “flash alerts” with a flashing display and buzzer for the alarm and hourly time signals. Also, the countdown timer is settable in 1-second, 1-minute, and 1-hour increments, rather than just 1-minute and 1-hour increments for the GW models. The timer also has an auto-repeat function.
As basic models, the DW5600E-1V and DW6900-1V are some of the most affordable G-Shock watches available. They are also popular as base models for limited edition collaborations.
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