Very often a bone of contention are the straps and bracelets used on G-Shock models and some are easier than others to change. My old favorite the Casio DW5600-E is one such model and fortunately the PU strap/bracelet is one of the easier ones to manage.
The original strap is a buckle type and I’ve never really suited these divers style affairs as my wrist is relatively small and I much prefer the rubber deployment style – easier and quicker to get on and off and is flat on the wrist side, so always more comfortable. OK you do have to cut them to fit, but of little consequence as they’re not expensive, easily obtainable and not tied to any particular watch model or type.
So what did I do to get my silicon deployment strap fitted?
First off, the DW5600E is a favorite for a few reasons. One it is a neat size for a G-Shock as it’s 43.6mm across the center though the lug to lug is over 50mm and actually larger than it needs to be with the standard Casio strap fitted, owing to the under-strap molding that holds the strap out from the case. This in fact is another reason for the strap change, but more of that later.
So first thing is to get at the strap/case fitting and the spring bars (fortunately this model still uses the tried and tested spring bars between the lugs for the strap fixing). For access it’s much easier therefore to remove the outer G-Shock resin over-case and this is easy by simply unscrewing the 4 screws on the side of the case (not the false indents on the top of the case). These are recessed but easy to access. Once removed simply hook your finger nail under one side of this case cover to clear the push buttons and the case cover is removed completely as shown. Now we can get at the spring bars much more easily and remove the original strap.
Note that the spring bars/strap fittings are only 16mm but the case at the lugs is actually 25mm wide.
Now a standard 16mm strap whilst it would fit easily, would look silly being far too narrow on the watch, so I’m going to fit a 24mm wide silicon deployment strap, but cut down to 16mm at the ends. And this is very easy to do with a Stanley knife or similar as you’re basically just cutting off the corners of the strap end. Measuring my 16mm I cut perhaps 4mm back into the strap (any more you’ll get gaps showing where the strap meets the case) both side of the strap and fitted it to the case to see how it looked.
This was fine and I slipped on the spring bars with a bit of WD40 as they are quite chunky and the strap hole at the end is relatively narrow and fitted the strap with spring bars to the case.
I then replaced the G-Shock case cover which also covered the strap ends, so it looked really neat. And here is where the dimension of the finished watch differ from the original. The top to bottom or lug to lug measurement is now under 50mm and the strap can flex down to fit smaller wrist than before and look great. It also has the benefit of allowing the watch to sit upright on a table as for this first image and not have to sit on it’s side.
As you see the 24mm wide deployment strap fits nicely to the case and looks as if it was made for it – which it was of course!
So that’s my favorite G-Shock re-strapped to suit me and it wasn’t difficult to manage at all – no conversion parts required and the total cost around £7 for the new deployment strap and around 20 minutes of my time with basic tools and a coffee after I checked the fit of the strap before refitting the G-Shock cover.
This watch will now fit smaller folks with a small wrist as the strap flexes around the actual spring bars and not held stiffly out from the case at right angles. This is a bug bear I have with other models with molded bracelets and strap as you cannot lay the watch down on it’s lug ends, upright, but rather you have to lay them on their sides. I can take this watch off my wrist, put it on the bedside cabinet upright and facing me and I can easily read the time.
As to other straps – you can very also easily fit a NATO strap and again make sure you get a 24mm wide one, then at the position of the spring bars, cut out small areas either side to fit the 16mm lug neatly. Just a pair of scissors and a spring bar tool required and that’s it – job done. The neat thing about the G-Shock case cover is that it extends slightly larger than the actual watch case, so hides any intolerance you may have done when fitting/cutting. In fact I fitted a fast wrap strap to a friends G-Shock a few months ago (he’s one of those rugged types that climbs things and treks everywhere) and his friends have been really, really envious when they see his particular G-Shock combo.
It sometimes amazes me the odd conversions people do to change straps and yes often they can be tricky to manage and yet I’ve found that the simplest ways are invariably the best. All too often a complicated solution can be looked at again and re-appraised in the light of simplicity. Could I do this simpler way, a better way and more often than not – a cheaper way?
Might be one of the other reasons I like this particular Casio DW5600E.
It’s really quite basic function set is absolutely fine for me, Time, Day, Date, Month, Year and 12hr or 24hr selectable time display, an Alarm (daily, by date or monthly with auto repeat) function with selectable dial light flash. It also sounds for a decent 20 seconds. A Stopwatch and Countdown function. I also like the fact that when using other functions, the Time is always indicated on the upper right portion of the dial – very useful. It’s got a 200m Water resistance and it’s as tough as old boots!
And now it’s got the strap I like on it – what could be better?