Sunday, September 28, 2008

#38: Hip Hop G-Shock L.A. Style!

"It's the B side!"
In the early winter 2001, my Casio service center and jeweler stopped selling G-Shocks. A lot of late 90's models went into sale. Off course I visited the shop frequently, to see if there was something interesting for me.
One of the watches was a deep blue watch with a special watchband. There was some kind of rope dangling under it and it made me curious.
The jeweler showed me the watch. It had a cool BPM function (that I already knew from my DW-003TL).
He demonstrated the closure mechanism, that looked pretty complicated. He told me it was a special strap, so you could wear it over your snow board outfit.It sounded plausible, but in spite of the close out action, the tag showed a hefty price. If I recall right, it was f240.- (€110.-), about normal price of a basic G-Shock, without discount. The original retail price was about €140.-, which was a lot of money at it's release date, July 1998. Also the color blue was not my thing. That month I bought 2 G-Shock's and a Baby-G for my son Bram for the same price as this Snowboard watch...About a year later we hired a house for a weekend in the Ardennes. While we were looking for a terrace in the beautiful small town of Rochefort, there was a jeweler that had a wide range of G-Shock's. It was Sunday, so the shop was closed, but somewhere on the top of the display I noticed a green variation of this watch. This time with a price tag with the full retail price (ooof!).
Again this special strap was getting my attention. Also the deep green color looked very nice.
Finally, on December 5th 2003, I obtained this orange version. I have no idea what I paid for it, but I guess it would have been for something around €30.-. The watch had significant signs of wear, but somehow it also looked very sturdy.
Give me a beat!
I strapped it on and immediately noticed how comfortable this strap was. With the cord you can regulate the tightness. The free hanging cords are looking great, but they are frankly not always very handy. I work at a wet lab, so that means a lot of liquid chemicals and also I wash my hands often. Furthermore, I like to cook. With these kind of activities these cords can easily become wet or come into a frying pan. Therefore I sometimes take this watch off, to prevent it becoming dirty, fat or burnt. On the other hand, this watch is made for clubbing. I'm sure this is a real good looker!Luckily I found a new replacement strap at Tiktox. It might have been the first time I did business with these them, which would probably have been a great experience, since I have been coming back to them since many times for spare parts and G-Shocks.Since orange is our national color, I often wear this watch at Queensday or when there is a special sport event, like the Dutch football team playing an important match.
Is this watch a snowboard watch? Nope, it isn't. Actually, in spite of the pretty large straps, I do not think you can get this watch strapped over your snowboard outfit. Actually the text Tough Label is the giveaway. This name is used for the overseas models with a music theme. Hence the (for snowboarders pretty useless) BPM counter.
In Japan this model, DW-9550, is released under the name G'Mix and is part of the Groove Tune series. Note that if you look at G-ShockPerfect Search you don't find the green variant. Probably this model is only released overseas as a Tough Label model.
The DW-9550 came in two styles. The first style with a two tone double Velcro strap and silver accents in the cloth represents the N.Y. style, the versions with the cord closure strap is called the L.A. Style. This is not related to the rave act by Wessel van Diepen (Vengaboys) who recorded "James Brown is Dead" in 1991. No, Casio was more thinking of West Coast Hip Hop. Sorry Casio, I am writing this article with the inspiring music of one of Philly's finest musicians, DJ Josh Wink (Hear Hear).
"I love these shots..."
Probably the coolest functionon on bord of this DW-9550HB is the BPM counter. A BPM counter can be used to determine the tempo of music. It works pretty simple. In BPM mode you press the light button on the beat of the music. If you press the button 5 times, you get the (avarage) BPM displayed. I have used it many times to sync my MIDI set-up with a sampled loop. Within 4 bars (1.8 secs at 130 BPM), a 1 BPM variance is often tolerable.
Photo: Eva
Actually it is not a very good BPM counter. The increments are 5 BPM, which is to big for using it in a studio. I have several DW-9501HH's (released February 1999) with a BPM counter that has 1 BPM increments.
Photo: Bernard Vercouteren
A stopwatch, an alarm and hourly chime are the other functions found on this watch. Maybe you would expect more form a 18000 yen watch (€116.-), but on the other hand, if you own one, you have quite an unique G-Shock.
Photo: Eva
"This was a great yoghurt ice. Only once a year with fresh picked black berries!"

1 comment:

anjin19860 said...

Nice! Has almost a 'gulfman vibe'.