G-SHOCK Anniversary Models: Review

G-SHOCK Aniiversary Models: DW-5735D-1BJR and DW5735E-7

Welcome back to Room For Squares. I’m your host, Jack Baruth. Last week we discussed the $1600 limited-edition titanium square. It has a laundry list of desirable qualities, but the beauty of G-SHOCK is that there’s usually more than one way to get the features you want. How about one of the G-SHOCK Anniversary Models? Or something very similar . . .

Let’s say you want a Japan-made “screwback” G-SHOCK that’s as light as the titanium TCM – but you want to pay less. A lot less. Like, ninety percent less. Don’t worry. I got you covered.

G-SHOCK Aniiversary Models: the DW-5735D-1BJR

Feast your eyes on the DW-5735D-1BJR. It’s the best deal in the G-SHOCK universe.

The DW-5735 is one of the G-SHOCK Anniversary Models released for their 35th almost two years ago. It has the good stuff: Japanese manufacture, screwback case, upgraded resins in the case and band and the coveted “gold-dot-matrix.” It’s missing some upscale features – Bluetooth, second timezone, radio sync, automatic backlight, and high-resolution date display – but those are acquired tastes.

The DW-5735’s features set is identical to the DW-5035 “anniversary” square’s. Sold out on release, that watch commands $300 or more on eBay. The DW-5735 is still available from Casio dealers for between $125 and $175. Why? It’s simple. The DW-5735 uses the relatively rare – and not sought-after – “round” external case style. It wears just like a square. It works just like a square. It just looks a little different.

If you can live with the unique case styling, this is a heck of a bargain. I bought mine from Topper Jewelers about six months ago (no commission on link). I’ve been utterly charmed with it ever since. It’s light and durable, and the gold display gives it true retro charm. The “round” shape is also far less susceptible to scratching than a traditional square. This could be a lifetime watch, one could use it in any context short of a black-tie affair.

Looking for the same virtues in something that’s more of a fashion watch? Then the “Glacier Gold” DW5735E-7 is for you. It’s the same watch as the Anniversary 5735, only with a gold-toned inner case rendered visible through a transparent exterior and band. You lose the gold-dot-matrix display, but otherwise these are identical timepieces.

Who the hell would wear a gold-and-transparent watch? Your humble author, who got a killer deal on it, for one. There’s also a vast “streetstyle” scene which would find this a perfect complement to white-and-gold high-end sneakers and tracksuits. There’s also the “look at me” factor. Try showing up to a room full of Batman GMTs with a transparent digital watch. See if anyone notices.

The model above is one of the true, limited edition G-SHOCK Anniversary models. It had a “square” sibling that is fetching more money in the resale market. You have to be a bit of a G-SHOCK anorak to understand why someone would want this thing. Luckily, there are a few of us out there. My suspicion – yet to be confirmed – is that the transparent material scratches more easily than normal Japanese G-Shocks’ basic black resin. I haven’t damaged it over a few international trips and a bit of cycling, so I can’t say for sure.

I paid about $150 for each of the G-SHOCK Anniversary Models from Topper Jewelers. The black one is still out there nice and cheap. The Glacier Gold model is climbing, with recent eBay sales as low as $170 in November – and as high as $308 in the past week.

If you like the transparent pimp game, now’s the time to pull the trigger. There’s a real value proposition with both watches: lifetime usability, Japanese provenance, a choice of retro appeal or street-level cred. I’d take either one over the slightly-sub-$100 plain squares from China or Thailand. The D-model might be the cheapest way to get a brand-new Japanese watch with any level of functionality.

G-Shock DW-5735D and DW-5735E
Street Price: $150 (D) $300 (E)

SPECIFICATIONS:

Model Year: 2018
Item Shape: Round
Display Type: Digital
Case diameter: 45 millimeters
Case Thickness: 14.5 millimeters
Special features: Timer, Stop watch
Movement: Quartz
Water resistant depth: 10 Meters

RATINGS (our of five stars):

Design * * *
The round digital G-SHOCK is an acquired taste. Form follows function here, and at a respectful distance.

Legibility * * * (D) * * * * (E)
You give up some angle visibility with the gold display. Otherwise it’s standard mid-tier G-SHOCK. Backlights are strong.

Comfort * * * * *
They don’t weigh anything and they work with almost any size wrist.

Overall * * * * (D) * * * (E)
The D-model is a first-rate value. The Glacier Gold “E” is for people who need a bit of attention on a budget. Both of them are absolutely flawless for their intended use. The only question: Would you wish you’d paid a little more for the true square?

[Click here for all Room for Squares posts by Jack Baruth]

4 thoughts on “G-SHOCK Anniversary Models: Review”

  1. Taking my cue from this post, and acting on a long-submerged digital watch admiration, I asked for and received the DW-5735D from my (slightly perplexed but ever-understanding) wife as a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s bad-ass — much higher-quality looking and feeling on the wrist than I think comes across in photos.

    It may call into question the G-SHOCK value proposition, a bit. For the same money, I could’ve had a broader feature set, but round face + screw-back is a unique combination that I get to enjoy 100% of the time I’m wearing it (which is, lately, 100% of the time), as compared to the every-so-often tinker’s delight of, say, Bluetooth smart-phone sync.

    And, yes, to the extent that anyone cares about timepieces in my office these days, there is no way to extend a quiet middle finger in their direction like pairing a knit tie with an armored digital watch. So: thank you for the recommendation.

    I’ll note that I managed to put a subtle ding in the crystal on, like, day three of my Circle-G conversion. Which if The Internet is correct means I’m buying a new crystal at some point, there being no way to buff out mineral glass. Would you please consider addressing G-SHOCK repair and customization in a future entry?

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