The Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD is the perfect remake of a 40-year-old legendBorna Bošnjak
If you’re into cars, you’ll be familiar with the old adage that every petrolhead needs to own an Alfa Romeo at some point in their life. The same can be said for watch enthusiasts and G-SHOCKs – though for vastly different reasons. Where Alfas are known to be the automobile equivalent of passionate flings – hugely exciting and beautiful but often unreliable and ultimately regrettable – the Casio G-SHOCK has represented dependability and value from the very first square G. As a watch enthusiast who has had a G-SHOCK-shaped hole in their collection for a few months (as I gifted my trusty DW5600 to my mum), I’ve been searching for the perfect G-SHOCK to fill it. The new G-SQUAD pieces, released as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the G-SHOCK, bring the look of the fan-favourite original square G, with updates that help it stay relevant.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this is no ordinary square G thanks to the new screen. Though all of the G-SQUAD models keep the signature orange accents of the DW series, the large LCD with prominent numerals is new. You have a choice of three dial layouts – the one you see above being the simplest one. I usually opted for a heart-rate indicator in the top right, replacing the three-letter day indication, as my time with a G-SQUAD was mostly spent on the badminton court or in the gym. The third option is for those who want to keep track of their step counts over the last few days, displayed on a histogram that takes up most of the screen real estate, relegating the time indication to the bottom half.
Though it looked strange having a G-SHOCK without the classic seven-segment display, I quickly fell in love with this HD memory-in-pixel LCD screen and the excellent legibility that came with it. I also really appreciated the option of having multiple display layouts, as this isn’t a traditional smart watch with a customisable home screen, though I wouldn’t mind seeing even more. The screen is protected by a flat mineral crystal that will be less prone to shattering than a sapphire, though it won’t be as highly scratch-resistant. If these are built anything like my old G-SHOCK, which survived being run over and dropped from a second floor window with virtually no scuffs, that’s just fine by me. Couldn’t do that to your Apple Watch, huh?
Apart from the screen, which won’t really alter the on-wrist experience, a notable change are the case dimensions. The square G-SHOCK was never a small watch, nor was it intended to be with dimensions something to the tone of 43mm x 49mm and 14mm in thickness. Its compact lug-to-lug width and curved strap, however, meant that it perfectly fit even my smaller-than-average 6.15in/15.6cm wrist. The G-SQUAD bloats a little, mainly in thickness due to the bulging heart rate monitor at the back, to as much as 16.6mm, or more if you measure the protruding parts of the resin bezel. With a span of 44.5mm and a lug-to-lug of 51.7mm, this is about as extreme as I would be comfortable with, helped by the fact that it would serve as a rough-and-tumble piece in my collection.
You have the option of a metal bezel for additional toughness, or a resin one if you want to keep it as close to the original square G as possible. Possibly the coolest new member of the G-SQUAD is this blueprint-like number, that comes bundled with a whole other case and strap that let you change up the look completely. I’m glad to see this nod to the mod-friendliness of these new models right out of the box, and I’m sure the G-SHOCK community will supply these with aftermarket parts in no time. Modding any of these will expose the carbon fibre inner case (made in bio-carbon for the first time, whatever that means), to which any G-SHOCK owes its unprecedented toughness.
All five G-SQUAD models come paired with case colour-matching resin straps that are comfortable enough, though a little stiff – the feeling will be familiar to any G-SHOCK owner. Though they’re not known to be strap monsters in particular, and hampered by an odd 23mm lug width, you may have a tough time fitting non-G-SHOCK straps to any of the models. Once again, however, thanks to the huge aftermarket support for so many G-SHOCK models, it’s sure to come for the G-SQUAD, too.
The module powering the G-SQUAD is certainly the biggest new development – I’m guessing this is what a G-SHOCK would be like had it been released in 2023 for the first time. It’s worth mentioning that its features are not as advanced as you’d find on a smart watch, even when it comes to Casio’s own range, but the G-SQUAD are no slouches, either. The watches are equipped with a heart-rate monitor that can track your heart rate during activity, in intervals or continuously, saving the data into logs that are stored in the app. An accelerometer is also present, counting your steps and once again storing them, though the full capabilities of the watch are only properly shown off once connected to a phone. It’s an intuitive enough experience, giving you an option of four modes – interval training, running, walking or gym workouts – while also tracking your sleep, blood oxygen level data and cardio load.
While I certainly didn’t make the most of all the features Bluetooth connectivity would give me, the non-connected ones were plenty, especially the heart-rate monitor at a glance. I wasn’t too bothered by the large size, and I never dipped below three quarters of battery left over, despite wearing it the entire weekend with the heart-rate monitor on constantly. The most difficult thing with the new G-SHOCK G-SQUAD is basically choosing which colourway to go with. I spent the most time with the grey-blue, resin-bezelled DWH5600-2D, and I have to admit, I was a little bit in love.
Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD pricing and availability:
The Casio G-SHOCK G-SQUAD is available now in five variants with plastic (DWH5600-1D, DWH5600-2D) or metal bezels (DWH5600MB-1D, DWH5600MB-2D, DWH5600EX-1D).
Price: A$449 (plastic bezel), A$499 (metal bezel), A$649 (DWH5600EX-1D with interchangeable case and strap)
|Case Dimensions||44.5mm (D) x 16.6mm (T) X 51.7mm (L2L)|
|Case Material||Resin case with resin or metal bezel|
|Water Resistance||200 metres|
|Dial||Negative MIP LCD with backlight|
|Movement||Battery operated quartz/solar module, USB charging via dock|
|Power Reserve||Using activity functions (heart rate) – 35 hours max.
Using in watch mode with heart rate measurement off – 1 month
Using with power-saving function on – 11 months
|Functions||Heart rate monitor, activity tracker, training analysis, activity log, life log, sleep measurement, blood oxygen level, breathing exercise, world time, stopwatch, countdown timer, alarm, step reminder, sunrise/sunset, moonphase, battery level indicator, power saving, perpetual calendar, airplane mode, vibration, backlight
Bluetooth connectivity via app – auto time adjustment, 300-city world time, notifications, training analysis data, activity history, life log data, sleep analysis data, phone finder
|Price||A$449 (plastic bezel)
A$499 (metal bezel)
A$649 (DWH5600EX-1D with interchangeable case and strap)