While G-Shock is known for its innovation and the frequent introduction of all-new series, a large part of the lineup is dedicated to its retro models that were first released decades ago. One of the many things that makes G-Shock fun to follow is that it respects its history by keeping these past watches alive and paying tribute to them through limited editions and collaborations.
G-Shock recently revived several previously dormant series that originated in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the AW-500, DW-5700, and DW-5900. The following series are actively being produced as of 2021. They have the same designs as their original namesakes, but some things have changed (such as resin inner cases, updated EL backlights, and updated modules). It’s a testament to the talent and vision of Casio’s designers and engineers that these watches still look contemporary and stylish, and not dated like much of the fashion from the 1980s.
8. DW-6900 (1995)
The iconic DW-6900 evolved from the three-eye style of the DW-5900 and the rugged case of the SEAL-issued DW-6600. It became very popular with hip hop artists and fans and continues to be a popular choice for military use and streetwear fashion. As of 2019, the DW-6900 was the all-time best-selling G-Shock base model in Japan and number three worldwide. The more advanced and solar-powered GW-6900 is very popular with G-Central visitors in the U.S.
7. G-001, based on DW-001 (1994)
The DW-001 had one of the more unusual designs for a G-Shock, and its hockey mask-like appearance earned it the nickname “Jason,” after the “Friday the 13th” villain. The separate pieces for the bezel and case allowed for unique color combinations, and the DW-001 lives on with the G-001. Although there are no G-001 models that are currently in production, the series has been known to reemerge every few years, and it seems possible that it could return at any time.
6. DW-5900 (1992)
Affectionately known as the “Walter,” due to John Goodman’s character wearing it in “The Big Lebowski,” the instrument panel-like DW-5900 was revived in 2018 and has recently provided some interesting colorways.
5. AW-500 (1989)
The AW-500 was the first G-Shock watch with an analog display and paved the way for the many hybrid analog-digital models that would follow. It was revived in 2020 with a slightly updated dial design. The new AW-500 was only released in Japan and Asia, but other regions got the full stainless steel AWM-500 tribute series.
4. DW-5600 (1987)
If you’re a G-Shock fan, then the ubiquitous DW-5600 needs no introduction. The DW-5600 descends from the original G-Shock and shares the same iconic “square” case and octagonal bezel. It was considered the “completed” design of the early square models. The DW-5600 got the nickname “Speed model,” due to its prominent appearance on Keanu Reeve’s wrist in the 1994 blockbuster “Speed.” The DW-5600 remains a bestseller due to its timeless style, durability, and affordability. There is also a more advanced version with Tough Solar and Multi-Band 6 as the GW-M5610, along with other 5600 variations.
3. DW-D5500, based on DW-5500 (1985)
The DW-5500 was originally labeled “G-Shock II” and was the precursor to the Mudman and Mudmaster lines, as it was the first mud-resistant model. Though its style looks a bit ’80s sci-fi (Arnold Schwarzenegger wore it in “The Running Man” in 1987), that makes it endearing to us. The DW-5500 lives on with the updated DW-D5550, but it is only currently active in Japan. The 5500 line experienced a revival in the 2000s with several series (GW, G, GLX, GLS). It seems to have fallen out of favor lately, but we would like to see more of it.
2. DW-5700, based on DW-5400 (1985)
The DW-5700, based on the DW-5400 from 1985, was revived in 2017. The DW-5400 was the first G-Shock to feature a round face. The DW-5700 is sometimes referred to as the “Sting model,” as the musician was often seen wearing it in the 1980s. There were also some DW-5700 anniversary screw-back models released in recent years, and the more advanced G-LIDE GWX-5700 surfing series is also active in some countries.
1. DW-5000 (1983)
The DW-5000 was the first-ever G-Shock series (as the DW-5000C). It lives on with limited edition anniversary models (DW-50XX) during anniversary celebration years (the next being the 40th anniversary in 2023). Unlike the other present-day models here with resin inner cases, the DW-5000 series retains the original structure of a full stainless steel inner case with a screw-back (as you can see with the gold ion plated inner case of the DW-5035E-7 above). A more advanced and not limited model is available in the GW-5000U-1, also a screw-back and with Tough Solar and Multi-Band 6, but it is only available in Japan and Europe. In 2018, the DW-5000 (by way of the GW-5000) evolved into the full stainless steel GMW-B5000 series for the G-Shock 35th Anniversary.