If you live an active lifestyle and enjoy wearing a watch, you’ve probably come across a bit of a Catch-22 when looking for new timepieces: Watches designed specifically for sport can look bulky and be uncomfortable to wear, while more-fashion-forward watches rarely withstand the rigorous levels of activity they purport to.
Buying a new watch that I actually felt comfortable wearing anywhere outside of the ocean always has been a pain because they often break down and the cost of replacing them is prohibitive. But not having any clue what time it is while I’m out is an easy way to accidentally mess up a daily schedule.
Why I chose it
I’m tired of spending too much money on watches that either crap out too soon or are made specifically for sport, yet are roughly the size of a toaster oven on my wrist.
The DW5600 costs a modest $99 and carries a rather low profile. Plus, given G-Shock’s reputation for building timepieces that can stand up to just about anything, I felt pretty positive it could handle my lifestyle.
Why I liked it
I needed a watch that could take a licking and keep on ticking, and the DW5600 was exactly that.
I wore the watch in and out of the water countless times while testing it over a period of two weeks, took it rock climbing and mountain biking and wore it throughout a weekend camping trip up on the Northern California coastline. The watch handled it all with ease.
The face never looked scuffed or scratched despite being dropped and dinged multiple times, it never fogged after getting out of the water and it never felt uncomfortable while breaking a sweat wearing it. The best part was just how simplistic it is: The watch has four buttons that are easy to use, it tells time, it’s waterproof and it has a minimal look. That’s all you really need. Having the stopwatch feature and a useful backlight for nighttime was just icing on the cake.
While the button layout is fairly intuitive, setting the watch can be a bit confusing if you’re not sure what you’re doing, so make sure to actually read the manual.
Apart from that, the upper-left button on the watch face (used to adjust time) can be hard to get to if you have big fingers, so just use a ballpoint pen if it gives you trouble.
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