Update: Please also see G-Shock 5000U/5600U/5610U Updated Module/Light “U” Series, which was released in July 2021 and features updated versions of some of these models with improved functions and an upgraded LED light.
There are a number of G-shock watches that Casio produces for sale only to the Japanese domestic market (JDM). Some of these are upgraded or specialized versions of common G-Shock models. This list of Japan-only G-Shocks focuses on the 5000-series models. Current models that are part of the 5000-series include the common DW-5600 and the GW-M5610 models. Other 5000-series models that are less well-known but recognizable to G-Shock enthusiasts include the DW-D5500, GW-5500, and the highly regarded origin model GW-5000. The 5000-series is the most historically significant G-Shock line, as it descends directly from the original G-Shock from 1983, the DW-5000C.
In the past, the only way to buy the JDM G-Shock models was through personal contacts in Japan, but now, thanks to the proliferation of e-commerce, they are easily obtainable. You will have to pay a premium for these imports, but their uniqueness makes up for it. They are also excellent items for visitors to Japan who want to bring back a special memento. Here are the Japanese import G-shock 5000-series watches that we suggest looking into.
For the G-Shock faithful: GW-5000-1JF Origin G-Shock
Many people who fall in love with G-Shock and start building a collection of watches will eventually start thinking about getting the GW-5000, sometimes to the point of obsession. Others who are new to G-Shock may want a premium watch with a classic design that is a step above the average model. The GW-5000 is a simple watch with a case that is based on the first G-Shock ever. Like the early G-Shock models, it has a screw-lock case back and is one of the only current G-Shocks, along with the digital Frogman and GMW-B5000, that has this feature. It adds modern features like Tough Solar power and Multi-Band 6 radio time-syncing. While its look is intentionally basic, it is considered a “prestige” G-Shock because of its higher price and made-in-Japan status. In addition to its screw-back with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating, it has a full stainless steel inner case under the bezel, while standard 5600 models have a resin case. It also has a nicer overall finish than a typical 5600 model, with a softer and more comfortable urethane band. While it won’t buy you instant status with the general public, owning the GW-5000 is a great way to express your appreciation of G-Shock and its history, in addition to having a great watch. For watch enthusiasts who must own at least one G-Shock, it is the natural choice.
For the stylish minimalist: GW-M5610BB-1JF Basic Black
The GW-M5610BB-1JF is a basic black Tough Solar/Multi-Band 6 model with a glossy black finish and a stealthy reverse LCD display. The display borders have a clean look without the usual labels and allow the solar panels to stand out as part of the minimalist design. This combination of a glossy exterior with a minimalist display gives the GW-M5610BB-1JF a unique style and a sleeker, more sophisticated look than the usual 5600.
Update: Amazon actually sells this model directly, check to see that it says “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.”
For the man in uniform: GW-M5610BC-1JF Composite Band G-Shock
The GW-M5610BC-1JF is a solar and Multi-Band-6-powered GW-M5610 with a composite metal-resin band with a traditional folding clasp. Its low profile would go well with uniforms while its composite band and reverse display gives it a tough, no-nonsense look. The metal part of the band is treated with a black ion plating. This Japanese model is suggested for those who are concerned that a traditional resin band may not be durable enough over the long haul, or for those who want to be able to put on and remove the watch quicker than a resin band allows. Another good use for this watch is to swap out the composite band with the GW-5000. If you like the reverse display but would rather have a traditional resin band, there is also the GW-M5610-1BJF (amazon).
For the racer: GW-S5600-1JF Carbon Fiber G-Shock
The main reason to buy the GW-S5600-1JF is for its distinctive carbon fiber insert band, but it comes at a premium price. Unlike some of the aviation models and Japanese market Master of G watches featuring bands with carbon fiber inserts that can only be seen on the inner side of the band, the carbon fiber is distinctly visible from the exterior side of the band on this model. This watch is also known for its very light weight of 47 grams, making it the lightest G-Shock available.
For the old-school techie: GW-5510-1BJF Circa-1985 G-Shock
The GW-5510-1BJF is basically a DW-D5500 (amazon) but with Tough Solar, Multi-Band 6, stealth lettering, and a reverse display. It is also available in black with a standard display (GW-5510-1JF) and a white version (see Amazon link). The 5510 case, with its covered buttons, is a descendant of the 1985 DW-5500C, which was also known as “G-Shock II” and was the first model to be nicknamed the “Mudman” for its mud and dust resistance. The 5500 is not a commonly seen G-Shock on the street and those who like its retro-futuristic look would be wise to upgrade to this maintenance-free Japanese version.
For the tough guy: GXW-56-1BJF Extra-Large G-Shock
It’s not technically a 5000 series G-Shock, but the GXW-56 series is considered to be part of the “square” family and is clearly based on the 5600 body. It can be described simply as an over-sized and extreme version of the 5600. Available internationally as the GX-56, the Japanese version is the GXW-56, which adds Multi-Band 6. This extra large watch measures 55.5 x 53.6 x 17.5 millimeters and is nicknamed “The King” by G-Shock fans. It’s extra-large size gives it even more protection than a typical G-Shock, and it is very likely one of the toughest G-Shock models ever made. Its protected button design also offers mud and dust resistance. Those who are hesitant to wear a large watch should stay away. For those who want one of the largest all-digital G-Shock watches the GXW-56 is a dream come true. The GXW-56-1BJF pictured here has light yellow lettering and a standard LCD display. It is also available as the GXW-56-1AJF with a red-accented face, red buttons, and reverse display.
For the surfer or fisherman: GWX-5600C-7JF Solar Tide G-Shock
The GWX-5600 G-Lide is like the GLX-5600 with its tide and moon graph, with the added features of Tough Solar and Multi-Band 6. This makes it a top choice for surfers who want an unobtrusive, low profile tide watch that is solar powered and has automatic time calibration. The watch comes in white (GWX-5600C-7JF), red (GWX-5600C-4JF) and black (GWX-5600-1JF). These models were previously available internationally and are still active models in Japan.
Where To Buy G-Shock Watches In Tokyo Japan
OFFICIAL G-SHOCK STORES:
G-SHOCK STORE MARUNOUCHI
Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 2-7-2 Kitte Marunouchi third floor 03-3217-2026 (Google Maps)
G-SHOCK STORE ODAIBA
Tokyo, Minato-ku Daiba 1-7-1 Aqua City Odaiba 3F 03-3599-2251 (Google Maps)
G-SHOCK CONCEPT SHOP:
Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 4-25-15 B1F 03-5785-3600 (Google Maps)
G-SHOCK CONCEPT BOOTH:
BEST Shinjuku head office
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Shinjuku 3-17-12 03-5360-6800 (Google Maps)
For more G-Shock store locations throughout Japan see G-Shock.JP/shop.
G-Shock watches are also available at many other stores including BIC CAMERA.