No doubt Casio had a winner when they created the "Gravitational Shock" watch in 1983. The long name was soon changed to "G-Shock", and the rest is history. Designed by the Japanese engineer Kikuo Ibe, his goal was to "have a 10-year battery life, be water resistant to 10 bar, and survive a 10m fall onto a hard surface." That's how the DW-5000C was born in the early 1980s, and officially launched in April 1983. Today G-Shocks are a huge fashion icon, and popular all over the world. In this post I want to focus on the history of the so called "squares", which as the name implies, come with the square classic design that started it all.
1) DW-5000 Series | 1983
2) DW-5200 Series | 1984
This series was launched in 1984 and is essentially the same as the original G-Shock, that was launched the year before. It has the same 240 module and a liquid crystal display. The nickname of this watch is "The Hero", allegedly because this model saved the G-Shock series and lead it to success. It was discontinued in 1987, when the popular DW-5600 series was launched.
3) DW-5500 Series | 1985
The DW-5500 series is technically a G-Shock square, however the square is more rectangular than the classic G-Shock square with rounded corners, so I hesitated to include it on this list. Not only because of that fact, but because it's one of the fugliest G-Shocks ever made, it's an eye sore of a design. Just like the 5600 series, this one has several sub-series (DW-5500, G-5500 and GW-5500), but not many models are being sold today (you can still purchase GW-5510BW-7JF in Japan). I would never buy one of these, unless I'd plan to dress up like a 1980s movie star for carnival.
4) DW-5600 Series | 1987
The DW-5600 series is one of the longest running and most successful G-Shock square series Casio has ever launched. It comprises of two types, the DW-5600C, the classic from the 1980s and 1990s, and the DW5600E, which is still sold today in various variations and comes in several sub-series.
4.1) DW-5600CF Sub-series
This sub-series is also called "The G-Python range", it's a military inspired DW-5600 series with camouflage colors (hence CF in the name). These watches are meant for soldiers, as well as urban street toughs.
4.2) DW-5600M Sub-series
This sub-series is called Military series, but it doesn't come with camouflage colors like the G-Python range above. These are fashion watches, not really to my liking, but they target a very young audience.
5) G-5600 Series | 2002
The G-5600 series is kind of like the modernized version of the classic G-Shock, but with new features like Tough Solar and waveceptor technology. The quality of the band and crystal is also better, so is the module, which has features like world time and many more. I personally owned a G-5600-1DR and have reviewed it here.
6) GW-5000 Series | 2005
This is a very similar series to the G-5600, but it's actually the direct replacement of the classic DW-5000 with modern internals and features such as the Tough Solar and waveceptor.
7) GW-S5600 Series | 2010
This is a special edition GW-5600 watch, that comes with a carbon fiber band and case, as well as a titanium case back. This is a very durable watch as compared to the regular one, but it costs 2-3 times more. It's also harder to find outside of Japan. A 30-Years anniversary edition named GW-M5630D-1JR was launched in 2013, that looks a bit like the classic DW-5000C-1B.
8) GW-M5610 Series | 2010
1. GW-M5610-1 / -1JF
5. GW-M5610B-1 / -1JF
The GW-M5610 series is the modern version of the DW-5600 and comes with the Tough Solar, waveceptor, and some other functions, and has one of the larger numbers of models for all kinds of flavors. This is the most common classic G-Shock square, and a favorite of many customers.
9) GX-56/GXW-56 Series | 2010
1. GX-56-1B / GXW-56-1BJF
5. GXW-56KG-3 / -3JF
7. GX-56DGK-1JR (sp. edit.)
The GX-56/GXW-56 Series is the so called "King of G-Shock", it's the largest G-Shock ever made, it's huge. Launched in 2010, this series is now close to extinct. Right now only the GX-56BB-1 is being sold, other models have been discontinued. There are a lot of fans of this series, and Casio made a big mistake to discontinue it.
10) GLX-5600 Series | 2008
This series of G-Shocks are called G-Lide line-up. They have a tide and moon graph functionality and 200M Water resistance. They were made for surfers. A special edition GLX-5600FAT3-2 was made, being a big success in Japan.
11) GB-5600 Series | 2012
The GB-5600 Series, or the Bluetooth series, is basically a more advanced version of the GW-5600. It offers smartphone synchronisation offering call and message alerts. It's a kind of a smartwatch with basic functionality, suitable for business people, managers, but also freelancers might enjoy it.
I hope the list was comprehensive enough for all of you who are searching for their perfect G-Shock square. I will be updating it in the future, when Casio comes out with some amazing new square editions.