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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, my restoration work is finally done. (Just need to put the bands on).

I will try to keep this as brief as possible.

[HUGE thank you to Buzzbait for selling me his last two spare DW-5600C bezels! Without his help, these restorations would not have been complete.]

I want to share these two DW-5600C watch heads that I found on ebay only a week apart from different sellers. To start, for anyone not familiar with the DW-5600C, the watches are all made in Japan, and the caseback letter is thought to indicate which factory the watch came out of. JAPAN H is the most common of all casebacks. JAPAN A is rare, and collectible. Then there are these two...

A year or so ago, I found a JAPAN V cased DW-5600C and searched online to find info about it. I came up with very little, except a few threads on this forum talking about how it was rare and unusual. One of the things that is unusual about it is that the letter has been rumored to stand for the city in which the factory is located: e.g., "H" for Hiroshima. But there is no Japanese city that starts with a "V". I talked about that JAPAN V case in this thread:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/want-see-something-unusual-dw-5600c-japan-v-caseback-content-670631.html

The only information I could find online about the JAPAN V was from a website article written by Casiophile in 2008. The website and photos are no longer available, but the article was copied from a cached archive into this WUS thread:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/dw-5600c-caseback-variations-706702.html

Here is some information pasted from that article about the rare variants of the 5600C:


9. Module 691 Japan S circleback Type 1
The S case G-Shocks look like they were built for show; that’s how finely made they are. These cases are beautifully machined with surfaces polished to a mirror finish putting them in another class when compared to other 5600’s.


The caseback finish on both the 691 and 901 is the circleback style. Although the inscription on the caseback is the standard Type 1, the placement of the ‘Shock Resist’ script is slightly different because it is perfectly centered whereas the others have the script off-center and closer to the word CASIO. Perhaps this was to accommodate the serial number that all early models had. The 691 and 901 S case varieties are both difficult to find but well worth the hunt. These are the best 5600’s.


10. Module 901 Japan V circleback Type 1
This is the only DW-5600 I have ever seen that has a letter V after the word Japan in the inscription. The serial number begins with a seven which might indicate it was made in the same factory as the Japan A cases which always have a serial number beginning with a seven or eight.




I since sold all my vintage watches, including the JAPAN V 5600. (I sold the JAPAN V watch to forum member Ronbo). I don't know if he still has it. I continued to search for information about the variations of 5600 cases. Web searches produced little information. I could only find a total of THREE JAPAN V casebacks in photos online. Their serial numbers are as follows:

Ronbo's watch (formerly Kung-Fusion's watch): 706735
Casiophile's watch: 702172
Chronohound's watch: 701294

And the one I am showing you today is the fourth: 705470

I routinely check new Ebay listings for DW-5600C and other vintage watches, just to see what is out there. Whenever I see them, I always stop to look at the caseback, always on the lookout for something interesting. I couldn't believe when I saw one of these for sale a couple weeks ago with a Buy it Now price on ebay. I think I was the third person to see the listing, and I bought it immediately. It was in poor shape, with one of the most jacked up crystals I have seen in a while. In addition, it only had one screw. I have since removed the screw and bought four brand new screws for the case. Thankfully there were no broken screws inside:




The caseback also had a lot of scratches




I sanded the crystal with various papers starting with 220 grit and working up to 2000 grit. I then polished for a long time with cerium oxide powder to get the crystal to be totally clear and smooth. I polished the caseback as well, but I didn't remove all the scratches because I didn't want to go too deep and risk losing the legibility of the batch number.







The Japan V case is interesting for several reasons. Generally speaking, it is the same angular shape as a JAPAN A case, regarded as the better of the two normal cases (Japan A and Japan H). But The Japan V is unique in that there is a wedge-like slope from the crystal down to the space between the two buttons on the side of the watch. No other vintage G-shock case of any model or any variation has this. In fact, this slope is on both sides so it forms a "V"! I can't help but wonder why Casio made these. Was this some prototype new case design when Casio switched from the 691 module to 901 module, and they were thinking about making this their new case style? If so, it would explain why there are so few of these out there.










Another thing that is interesting is that the inside of the bezel is shaped like this (an angled wedge). (All of the old bezels have this V shape). So the bezel fits a little bit better on the V case than a normal 5600 case.





Just as I was completing my crystal polishing on this watch, I spotted another new listing on ebay. The watch looked like hell. Seller's photo:







I clicked on it just to see the caseback. I couldn't believe it. JAPAN S. I have only read about these in one place: the article by Casiophile. I have never seen one for sale, ever, and I have never seen a photo of one online. It was an auction style listing, with no Buy in Now price. I didn't want to get into a bidding war with some collector, so I messaged the seller. I asked if he would sell it now for $75, since I was restoring watches and I wanted it for parts. He agreed and I instantly bought it.


When I got the watch in the mail, I checked for screws: all there. I did not try and remove them. I was very interested to know if the case was going to be as finely made as Casiophile said in his article. I threw away the old bits of bezel and I found that the case was in fact very nice! It was as nice as the WW-5100 cases I have had, which is to say it is definitely a step above the average 5600. Precise and polished, and in very good shape!



I sanded and polished the crystal (it had some little pits in it) and installed a new bezel and gasket











This watch is interesting not only because it is a JAPAN S, but because it is a 691 module but is also a circleback style caseback (most 691's are mirror style casebacks)

Anyway, I am really happy with these. Not only did I find a needle in a haystack, I found TWO needles in a haystack. All within a couple of weeks.



Notice how the engraving of the letter is smaller than normal on the S case... All other 5600's have the larger size, as far as I know.





Which one do you like the best?


IS THERE ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE WITH A 'V' OR 'S' CASE? PLEASE COME FORWARD AND POST IN THIS THREAD. CHECK THE BACK OF YOUR 5600C'S!
 

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Now when you remind me about these case variations I have a weak memory about reading a long time ago that the slope on the V case was there to prevent water from getting trapped for too long thereby reducing the chance of rust build up if you use the watch a lot in the ocean.

It is always nice and interesting to read these hunting for G stories. It is like a good thriller movie hehe:-d

You said that you threw away the old resin bits? I would recommend to keep those old broken resin bits in a sealed zip lock bag. There is certain collectors especially in Japan who think that all original parts is an important part of the watch history, so called Wabi-Sabi aesthetics (Wabi-sabi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). So by keeping those original parts if you ever were to sell the watch, might be slightly more valuable for those type collectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now when you remind me about these case variations I have a weak memory about reading a long time ago that the slope on the V case was there to prevent water from getting trapped for too long thereby reducing the chance of rust build up if you use the watch a lot in the ocean.
That makes sense. I thought of that as a possibility. I wonder why Casio did not stick with the design... unless maybe they found it did not work as well as hoped and discontinued it.

You said that you threw away the old resin bits? I would recommend to keep those old broken resin bits in a sealed zip lock bag. There is certain collectors especially in Japan who think that all original parts is an important part of the watch history, so called Wabi-Sabi aesthetics (Wabi-sabi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). So by keeping those original parts if you ever were to sell the watch, might be slightly more valuable for those type collectors.

When I made the decision to restore the watch I decided there was no point to keeping them because I was getting rid of the battle scars of the watch by polishing. I understand the aesthetic on a certain level but I dont subscribe to it personally
 

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Thats a great post Kung. I am definitely interested in these sort of caseback variations too.

Hopefully there are a few more out there for those of us still rummaging through the haystack.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thats a great post Kung. I am definitely interested in these sort of caseback variations too.

Hopefully there are a few more out there for those of us still rummaging through the haystack.

Thanks. I am sure they are out there. It would be helpful to know how many of each type were made, but we can only guess

Outstanding restorations, again!

I like the polished V looks, but the super rare S is unique.

Nice goin'!

Thanks
 

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Gorgeous work, as always, and some very enlightening information to boot. Well done!!!

I'm glad that I was able to provide assistance on the project. By the looks of the watches, those bezels went to far better use than sitting in a cardboard box in my closet. :)

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
 

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Great work, very interesting to see them together like that. I have never seen them before on ebay or other places to sell, it's quite a find.

Even Japan A with polished caseback is quite rare, the one I like the most.
 

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Very interesting and informative post, thank you. I have to say, you're the alchemist when it comes to vintage restorations. Amazing.
 

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Excellent work, Kung! Looking fine. My preference is for the "S" version. I also agree, the imprinting on the case back looks terrific. And the circular grain looks better than what I've seen on other old casebacks.
 

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Hi Kung,

Mine is an A. Too bad that GMT+9 was hacked several years ago. I miss it very much. It was also a big source of inspiration for 50 Gs. Not just plain reviews, but how does a watch make you feel. There was a huge article of Casiophile about all screwback variations with photo's.


Cheers,

Sjors

Sent using Tapatalk!
 

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Excellent restoration kung, your skills and detailed knowledge, especially with vintage squares are so impressive :)

You've been a big factor for members like me in gaining an appreciation for vintage pieces and indeed the roots of G-Shock. though your collecting days are over (they are, right?) I hope you can keep sharing yourrare finds and restorations you're so good at :)

Sent from the 'droid.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Kung,

Mine is an A. Too bad that GMT+9 was hacked several years ago. I miss it very much. It was also a big source of inspiration for 50 Gs. Not just plain reviews, but how does a watch make you feel. There was a huge article of Casiophile about all screwback variations with photo's.


Cheers,

Sjors

Sent using Tapatalk!

Yes, the article (if this is the one you are thinking of) is gone now. First the photos, and then the cached text. Fortunately, the text was copied and pasted onto this forum last year, and I am copying it and pasting it again. Sadly, no photos.

Casiophile's article (no photos):

The vintage DW-5600’s hold a special place in the hearts of G-Shock enthusiasts. For many, the screwback 5600 is the quintessential G-Shock; the vintage G they would most like to own and a classic. This isn’t too surprising given the 5600 was produced for a longer period of time and consists of more models in its line (nine) than any of the other earlier screwback G-Shocks.
5600 models have been produced with black, yellow, blue, green and blue camouflage band/bezel combinations. Additionally, there are ‘gold’ versions, and also models that appear nearly identical save for a few letters on the dial.
Nevertheless, even if most collectors already know about the wide variety of early DW-5600 models, few are aware of the wide variety of casebacks and what they designate. As one auction seller said after being asked about a scratch on his watch, “who looks at the back of the watch anyway?”. Well, the difference between an everyday, dead common DW-5600 and a rare variety that comes up for sale three times per year can only be determined by flipping the watch over.
Admittedly, caseback variations can seem like esoteric details, but what collector wouldn’t rather own the beautiful S case 5600 over the rough H case? Already, savvy collectors in Asia pay a premium for the A case G-Shocks and many consider 5600’s with the 691 module to be more collectible than the 901. Besides, every hobby is a bit more rewarding with a little study, and the hunt for elusive examples is often the best part of collecting.
So let’s turn the 5600 over and take a look.
There are four variables to consider when looking at DW-5600 casebacks:
1. The module - There are two: the 691, which was the module Casio began using for the DW-5600 when it was introduced in 1987 [1], and the 901, which Casio began using by at least October 1990 [2]. The module 901 is more frequently encountered than the module 691 if only because it was used in more models, but the 691 is not unusual.
2. The caseback finish - There are two here: a smooth mirror-like finish (the ‘mirrorback’) and a fine circular machine turned pattern (the ‘circleback’). For the most part the 691 module watches have a mirrorback and the 901 module watches have a circleback, but there are, of course, exceptions.
3. The ‘Japan letter’ - This letter appears immediately after the word ‘Japan’. I know of four: H, A, S and V. The ‘Japan Letter’ is more than just a different letter on the caseback; each letter corresponds to a different style or finish on the case itself.
4. The inscription - There are three inscription formats [3] they are:
Type 1 - CASIO [901] DW-5600 JAPAN H ST.STEEL 200M WATER RESISTANT (Shock Resistant)
Type 2 - CASIO [901] DW-5600 JAPAN H STAINLESS STEEL WATER RESISTANT (Shock Resistant)
Type 3 - [901] DW-5600 STAINLESS STEEL WATER RESISTANT (CASIO Shock Resistant H)
The most common by far is the Type 1 which can be found across the range of screwback 5600’s and is the same inscription style first used with the DW-5000 in 1983. Type 1 is the standard caseback inscription format for vintage G-Shocks. Type’s 2 and 3 seem to be limited to particular 5600 models and are less likely to be encountered. At this time only Module 901 H watches are known with Type 2 and 3 casebacks.
All of these variables multiplied together mean that there are several dozen caseback variations possible, though some may not be probable. As of this writing, I know of ten that exist for sure and they are:
1. Module 901 Japan H circleback Type 1
Most vintage 5600’s are of this variety, and by a wide margin, it’s the most common caseback variation. The inscription format is the standard Type 1 and the finish is the circleback. Look closely, you’ll see the circular pattern. At least 50% of the vintage DW-5600’s being sold on eBay have this caseback style. It’s quite common.
2. Module 691 Japan H mirrorback Type 1
After the 901 H circleback (listed first, above) this is the caseback most likely to be seen on a vintage 5600. The 691 H would be found on a watch produced earlier than a 901. Again, this one is common.
3. Module 901 Japan A circleback Type 1
Japan A cases are styled quite differently from the Japan H cases in two significant ways. First, the finish is finer. It’s not as rough as a Japan H case with its ‘cast metal’ appearance and second, the shape of the case has less of a ’stepped’ look towards the lugs and is more angular. The 901 A case is easier to find than the 691 A.
4. Module 691 Japan A mirrorback Type 1
Unlike the H casebacks the A cases always have a serial number. The addition of the serial number gives the watch a nod of individuality that non-serialled G’s don’t have and may be one of the reasons they’re more sought after. The 691 A can be difficult to locate.
5. Module 901 Japan H circleback Type 2
At some point Casio decided to remove the ‘200M’ from the inscription and spell out the word ‘Stainless’ and thus, the Type 2 caseback was born. There’s no telling why Casio did this or what it may or may not signify. The Type 2 is most often found on the DW-5600C-9CV. It’s easy to skip over this one as you’re scanning the auctions since it looks so similar to the Type 1, but they’re out there and slightly more available than the Type 3. These are uncommon.
6. Module 901 Japan H circleback Type 3
What’s interesting about this style is that the word ‘Japan’ is absent from the caseback. This peculiarity that has led some to wonder if perhaps these were produced elsewhere, and there may indeed be something to this.
The two I own with this caseback style both have battery keepers marked ‘KOREA’. This style seems to be seen most often on the ‘Gold’ versions; DW-5600C-9V and DW-5600C-9CV, and often has a module fitted with a green backlight. These are uncommon.
7. Module 901 Japan H mirrorback Type 1
This variation is easy to miss because at first glance, it looks just like a common 901 H caseback. The difference is that the finish is not the circleback style normally encountered but the mirror finish usually found on the 691 models.
You’ll have to look carefully because a worn circleback or poor auction pics may lead you to believe you’ve scored a rarity when in fact the exact opposite is true. These are uncommon.
8. Module 901 Japan S circleback Type 1
9. Module 691 Japan S circleback Type 1
The S case G-Shocks look like they were built for show; that’s how finely made they are. These cases are beautifully machined with surfaces polished to a mirror finish putting them in another class when compared to other 5600’s.
The caseback finish on both the 691 and 901 is the circleback style. Although the inscription on the caseback is the standard Type 1, the placement of the ‘Shock Resist’ script is slightly different because it is perfectly centered whereas the others have the script off-center and closer to the word CASIO. Perhaps this was to accommodate the serial number that all early models had. The 691 and 901 S case varieties are both difficult to find but well worth the hunt. These are the best 5600’s.
10. Module 901 Japan V circleback Type 1
This is the only DW-5600 I have ever seen that has a letter V after the word Japan in the inscription. The serial number begins with a seven which might indicate it was made in the same factory as the Japan A cases which always have a serial number beginning with a seven or eight.
The V case does not resemble an A case. Its style is more similar to an H case with unusual sloping sides between the buttons. If anyone else has one of these, I’d love to see a pic.
One of the great things about collecting vintage Casio wristwatches is that anything is possible. There are no rules. You never know when you’ll see something completely out of the ordinary or previously unknown. Keeping this in mind, don’t be surprised to see other examples besides those mentioned above. I’ve posted ten different variations here, but I’m expecting, no make that hoping, someone will come forward with some others we can add to this list. I’m sure there’s a 691 Y case out there somewhere and I’d also like to see a 691 H case with a serial number. With luck, perhaps we’ll also discover that the fourth inscription style really does exist.
Happy collecting!
[1] Many Japanese G-Shock magazines list the start date for the DW-5600C-1V as June 1987 but the Casio PINDEX lists distribution dates of September 1987 to July 1993.
[2] The earliest reference I can find for the module 901 is on page 30 of the ‘CASIO COLLECTION’ sales catalog dated October 1990 where a DW-5600C-9CV is advertised.
[3] A fourth inscription style ‘CASIO [901] DW-5600 JAPAN H STAINLESS STEEL 200M WATER RESISTANT (Shock Resistant)’ has been suggested but since I have never seen one anywhere it has not been included here.

Note: I would like to acknowledge the help of friend and fellow collector Casionerd. I never would have known to look for the mirrorback 901 if he had not pointed it out. I’d also like to give credit to the ever-useful and informative tokyodojo website.


Casio DW-5600 Casebacks - copyright casiophile 2008
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Excellent restoration kung, your skills and detailed knowledge, especially with vintage squares are so impressive :)

You've been a big factor for members like me in gaining an appreciation for vintage pieces and indeed the roots of G-Shock. though your collecting days are over (they are, right?) I hope you can keep sharing yourrare finds and restorations you're so good at :)

Sent from the 'droid.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I am not collecting anymore, but if something really unusual turns up cheap (like these) I will probably go for it. But no "goals" in mind for collecting. The problem with collecting, and especially collecting vintage G-shocks, is that it leads to bigger and bigger grails. There is always something else more rare, more out of reach, better condition, etc.
 

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Great article and nice catch.
I like JAPAN V case because V and A cases are different from other I know.

Have you tried to compare JAPAN S case to JAPAN Y from first 'G's like DW5000C, DW5200C, WW5100C, WW5300C?
I noticed that JAPAN Y case is also bit better finished than JAPAN B or JAPAN H.
I wonder how it's comparing to JAPAN Y?

According to JAPAN V I saw DW-5200 JAPAN V at ebay in January 2014.
Not sure for 100% but 95% because photo wasn't good quality,
but winning price was about $120 so I regret that didn't fight for it..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great article and nice catch.
I like JAPAN V case because V and A cases are different from other I know.

Have you tried to compare JAPAN S case to JAPAN Y from first 'G's like DW5000C, DW5200C, WW5100C, WW5300C?
I noticed that JAPAN Y case is also bit better finished than JAPAN B or JAPAN H.
I wonder how it's comparing to JAPAN Y?

According to JAPAN V I saw DW-5200 JAPAN V at ebay in January 2014.
Not sure for 100% but 95% because photo wasn't good quality,
but winning price was about $120 so I regret that didn't fight for it..
The Japan S case is similar in quality to the best dw-5000c Japan Y examples.

I know what 5200 you are talking about because I bought it. I also thought it was a V but it turned out to be a Y (the photo just looked like a V).

I have since sold all my vintage squares and I am not going back to that world unless Casio reissues spare bezels.
 

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Hi Kung, I am a fan of your restoration works. You should have a TV show on watch restoration. And I can't help my self in asking how did you polished the back case, specially the one with Japan S. The circular pattern was so beautiful. It's good as new, if not better. Can you share your polishing techniques to us?
 
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