It’s all about the module. Or, mostly about the module. We’re talking G-Shock, of course.

I’ve had countless G-Shocks over the ~years~ decades. Sold/gave most of them, had one die on me, and others ran out of battery when I wasn’t wearing them anymore.

A hand is holding a yellow Casio G-Shock wristwatch. The watch has a digital and analog display, with buttons labeled Adjust, Light, Mode, and Start. The watch face features terms like “Protection” and “Tough Solar.”

Sometimes a watch will look super cool but, when you get it, you’ll be very disappointed. Some feature will be missing, or not work as you wanted, or some other will be so hard to get to, that you’ll never use it. These days I’ll never buy one before reading the manual, I hate surprises here. I need to know if time will always be displayed, even when a timer, or stopwatch, is running. Or how for long will that stopwatch run, before getting back to zero. Will I get to pick my city when setting up my home time? Or will I have to do with another on the same timezone?

Pink and blue G-Shock.

Others will have stuff I’ll never take advantage of, but that is ok, as the ones I do use daily are so well done, it doesn’t even matter.

I will always prefer Tough Solar, and not have to worry about the battery dying on me somewhere I can’t have it changed (it has happened to me). This is the equivalent of a classic automatic watch, as in mechanical, in my mind. Meaning I can just strap it on, leave on a trip (or to pick up tinyMovieStar), and not worry about it failing for lack of power.

I don’t really care about Multiband 6, the function that sets the time automatically, daily. My city is on the limit of the broadcast range, and it rarely syncs anyway. I don’t mind setting the time manually, but prefer doing it on a watch that doesn’t require instructions every single time (I’m looking at you, GW-A1000-1A).

Bluetooth is something I don’t use, ever, on a G-Shock, and I’d rather save the battery (even if charging is done with sunlight).

Analog hands are nice (and easier to tell time with my poor close range eyesight), but the hands on a lot of watches are just too hard to read in low light (yes, GA-2100-1A1, you’re a pain in the ass. A good looking pain in the ass, but I still had to let you go).

A hand holding a Casio G-Shock wristwatch. The watch features a black rugged exterior, multiple colored indicators, and displays features like Tough Solar and Bluetooth connectivity. The watch face is detailed with various function markers and buttons.

I sold all the 2100 series watches I had, except the yellow one (model GA-B2100C-9A). Why? They were the non-solar charging models, had hard to read hands. Digital screens on these are so tiny, mostly unreadable even with glasses. And, still, I bought a new one last month, the GA-B2100MF-1A). The minute hand is impossible to read in low light, but the LED light helps. I need to be able to tell time when I wake up in the middle of the night. No lume-less/led-less watches for me. Apple Watch remains unbeatable, but I’ve been wearing it a lot less. A LOT less.

I also still keep (but I’m selling it), a Frogman, the GF-1000-1. It’s just TOO big, I never wear it.

Problem with G-Shocks is that there’s always another one you could add to the collection. They are relatively affordable, and there are hundreds of different models… (hello, G-5600BG-1, hello GA-2100MNG-7A!)

I had, a long time ago, a G-5600-1, the Japanese edition. It was really cool, the module was great, and the numbers were even a bit larger than on other square models. I loved it. I do have one classic DW-5600E-1, of course, but the battery ran out, years ago, and I never had it replaced. Also square, the DW-5600TB-4B, purchased on our honeymoon, in Malaysia, is still in the collection. I have bought a few abroad, and the fact that I did not get one in Japan still haunts me to this day.

Close-up of a hand holding a Casio G-Shock digital wristwatch, displaying the date “Mo 3.6” and the time “17:45:17”. The watch features a black case with red accents.

I haven’t really been looking to replace the Japanese one, but I’m now dealing with watch lovers on a daily basis (turns out photographers and videographers tend to be G-Shock fans), and I found myself looking at the squares again. Not ready to spend the money on a GW-5000U just yet, I went for a GW-M5610U. Because module.

A close-up image of the back of a Casio G-Shock wristwatch. The stainless steel case back displays information such as its shock resistance, water resistance up to 20 bar, Tough Solar technology, multi-band 6 radio control.

This module, the 3495 (pdf on the link), is brilliant. It is as close to perfect as I’ve seen.

World Time (multiple ones too), with local time displayed. Timer, with time displayed. Stopwatch, with time displayed. Yes, I like having the current time displayed at all times.

Ha! One AWESOME thing is that I don’t have to live with the silly US-centric month-day on the date display, and can now have the normal day-month. Took them long enough to figure this one out.

It looks like I’ll be wearing this one, even though I can’t read the display without my glasses, unless I’m outside, and there’s plenty of light.

It was a happy G-Shock month.