Part of why I love Casio as a watch company is because virtually every possible design and collaboration is on the table. Additionally, since the vast majority of Casio’s watches are positioned firmly on the affordable side of the spectrum, indulging in a fun model that speaks to you on a personal level doesn’t require a major financial outlay, and this means that you can be a bit more adventurous and playful when it comes to aesthetics, in much the same way that you might purchase some funky sunglasses or a pair of brightly colored sneakers. As one of its latest new releases for 2023, Casio has teamed up with the footwear and apparel boutique Oneness to create a unique rendition of the original “square” G-Shock that is inspired by the world of Kentucky bourbon. Given that I’m an American watch enthusiast with a healthy appreciation for alcoholic beverages, the concept of a bourbon-inspired G-Shock watch is naturally quite appealing to me, and as an unapologetic fan of all forms of whiskey, I was quite curious to see whether or not the new Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 could properly capture the spirit of one of my all-time favorite liquors.
In terms of its underlying construction and functionality, the Kentucky bourbon-inspired Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 holds no major surprises, and it is very much the same 5600 series “square” G-Shock watch that we all know and love. What this means is that you get a fully-digital display set inside of a rectangular resin case that measures 43.8mm in diameter by 13.5mm thick, with an overall lug-to-lug profile of 48.9mm and a total weight of just 53 grams.
With that in mind, due to the fact that the bezel is made from transparent orange resin, the DW5600ONS234 appears slightly smaller than other G-Shock DW5600 series models since the eye tends to only perceive the black internal case as the size of the watch, rather than the actual outer profile of its clear orange bezel. I’ve always been a fan of transparent watches, and while I’m firmly priced out of the market for those with colored sapphire cases, a clear orange G-Shock is right up my alley in terms of budget, and it is also something that I can wear in a carefree manner without a single thought of concern when it inevitably comes into contact with the edge of a table.
The rest of the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 is very much in-line with other entry-level 5600 series watches, and it features a mineral glass crystal protecting its display, a stainless steel caseback secured by four small screws, and four buttons located on the side of the case for operating the internal movement. Similarly, just like all G-Shock watches, the DW5600ONS234 also offers 200 meters of water resistance to provide ample protection against all forms of moisture contact.
To complement its warm colorway, the dial plate surrounding the display offers a golden mirror finish with the Oneness name on the upper half with the phrase “What Are You Waiting On” printed below it. Meanwhile, the four buttons all receive a matching gold PVD finish, and the caseback is engraved with the Oneness logo. As a final splash of gold, the embossed text on the transparent orange resin bezel is filled with gold paint to help offer slightly more contrast, while still maintaining the warm bourbon-inspired color profile of the watch.
Compared to many other types of whiskey, Kentucky bourbon is often a bit darker and is characterized by somewhat of a reddish amber color, rather than having the golden browns and honey-colored hues that can frequently be found among other types of whiskey. Generally speaking, the color of a whiskey is significantly determined by how long it spends inside its barrel, and in order to be considered straight bourbon, the whiskey must be aged for a minimum of two years in new charred oak containers.
When viewed in a bottle or large glass, bourbon typically appears to be a dark to medium brown color, which initially would seem far too dark to serve as the aesthetic inspiration for the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234. However, if you raise a glass of bourbon to the light and view the full-color spectrum of the liquid, you will see far more orange hues and splashes of gold than would otherwise be apparent when just viewing bourbon inside its bottle.
To emulate the full-color spectrum of Kentucky bourbon, the transparent orange resin strap on the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 features a gradient effect printed on its outer surface that changes from a dark reddish brown color at the bottom to bright yellow where it meets its gold PVD-finished stainless steel pin buckle. While the strap itself is made from the same clear orange resin as the bezel, the gradient effect printed on it is not transparent, and this further contributes to the case of the watch feeling slightly more compact than a standard 5600 series G-Shock model.
Realistically speaking, the color profile of the G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 is definitely a bit more orange and less brown compared to most types of bourbon, although this is ultimately a positive feature in my opinion, as I feel that it increases the aesthetic versatility of the watch. Additionally, since transparent resins and plastics often have the tendency to darken over time due to UV exposure, I would imagine that the longer you wear the DW5600ONS234, the more it will continue to look more like the liquor that serves as its aesthetic inspiration.
Just like most entry-level 5600 series watches, the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 is powered by Module No. 3229, which is a completely digital movement that runs on a single CR2016 battery cell with an accuracy rating of +/-15 seconds per month. Just as you would expect from a multi-function sports watch, Module No. 3229 offers all of the standard features of a stopwatch, alarm, countdown timer, automatic calendar, and an electro-luminescent backlight.
While the G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 presents its information on a dark red inverted LCD screen in order to maintain the warm color profile of the watch, the backlight glows green like the standard G-Shock DW5600 watches that run on this same internal movement. Although some of Casio’s advanced modules offer far more extensive features, they also are accompanied by significantly more involved operating instructions, and Module No. 3229 offers all of the necessary features, while still remaining something that most people can use without having to resort to the instruction manual.
For Kentucky bourbon fans, one of the most fun and novel aspects of the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 will actually be the packaging of the watch, as it comes delivered just like a premium bottle of alcohol. The outer cardboard box is tall and vertically oriented in a style that is similar to the boxes that often accompany high-end spirits, and inside the box is a black velvet bag with gold drawstrings and the words “Oneness Reserve 16 Years Old” printed in matching gold letters.
With that in mind, rather than containing a bottle of whiskey, the velvet bag houses the watch itself, along with a Oneness-branded display stand. An additional nice detail about the packaging is that it places the emphasis on the unboxing experience itself, rather than trying to provide buyers with some type of premium container or display box. None of the packaging materials feel as though they are significantly adding to the cost of the watch, yet the actual experience of opening the G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 is quite enjoyable and more than slightly reminiscent of cracking into the packaging of a nice bottle of bourbon (such as Blanton’s).
Whether we enjoy dive watches because we frequently find ourselves in the water, or wear a specific model because we fondly remember a friend or family member who wore the same watch, the timepieces we ultimately enjoy the most are those that have some sort of connection to our personal lives. That said, the connection doesn’t necessarily need to be any deeper than the bottom of a glass, and in the case of the G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234, that connection simply comes from my long-time appreciation for a delicious and inherently American alcoholic beverage.
While I might not be the ideal buyer for a bourbon-inspired watch that costs thousands of dollars, the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234 is accompanied by an official retail price of $130 USD, which makes it less expensive than the open-market prices for many of the bottles of premium bourbon that inspire its design. Between its firmly accessible price point and the extreme durability that accompanies all Casio G-Shock models, the Oneness DW5600ONS234 is perfectly suited to being a fun and colorful sports watch for both fans of Oneness and anyone else who has a passion for Kentucky bourbon. For more information on the Casio G-Shock x Oneness DW5600ONS234, please visit the brand’s website.