The G-Shock DW5600 is the rugged, sleek watch you need for summer

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.

G-Shock DW5600 watch
The yellow DW5600 will bring a little festive color to your summer apparel. Photo: Courtesy of G-Shock

With that in mind, I decided to try the new Clean Military Series update of G-Shock’s classic DW5600 model.

Why I chose it

G-Shock DW5600 watch
The DW5600 was made to withstand a beating while looking sleek. Photo: Courtesy of G-Shock
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

G-Shock DW5600 watch
All colors of the new Clean Military Series. Photo: Courtesy of G-Shock
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.

Tester tip

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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