Sunday, November 16, 2008

#45 Firestorm

Often the most eye catching G-Shocks are Japan only releases, but occasionally there are models released for Europe only.
In September 2004 Casio released the GW-1210CE-4AVER. It received the name "Firestorm". For me, as a "Command and Conquer" fan, I associated this name immediately with the Realtime Strategy Game "Firestorm" that is an add on from 1999 for C&C Tiberian Sun (is it already almost 10 years ago?). This "Firestorm" had nothing to do with green or blue Tiberium. Its name is obviously not taken from the game, but from the color. The main color is fire brigade red!The most eye catching part of the watch is the bracelet. It is a bracelet you would expect on a Metal Twisted G (MTG). Each link has a metal part and a resin part. It gives a very nice pattern. The bracelet closes with a threefold buckle with a firm lock.
At the moment it was released, I thought I should get one. It also had a novum for that time. It was the first European 2 band G-Shock model. Before this, all Waveceptor models received only the atomic clock signal from Mainflingen (near Frankfurt). This model also picked up the signal from the UK transmitter in Rugby (which recently moved to Anthorn).
I was a bit unhappy surprised by it's price. It was hard to find this model under €200.-. It was primarily sold in Germany and was pretty fast sold out too.The mix of metal and resin on this model is pretty unusual. On metal models you find often resin parts, but they are grey or metallic in color. On this model the ratio resin metal is about 50:50.
The case of the GW-1210 looks a bit like the Cockpit models. The dial of the watch consists of 4 solar cells, which provide the watch energy. Even low light levels are enough to power the watch and to charge the battery. If you don't wear the watch for some time, you can activate the Power Save (PS) function of this watch (which I can recommend). The minute hand moves every 20 seconds, which makes the analogue part sec a digital (discontinuous) display with 2º increments (180 steps over 360º). It is accurate enough to call it an ana-digi watch.
If the Power save function is active, the LCD shuts down as the watch is left in the dark for about 60 minutes. In 6 or 7 days the movement stops at the 12 o'clock position to save more energy. It is very cool to see the watch come alive when Power Save function had inactivated the movement.
The LCD displays are packed with functions. It is pretty cool, but it is pretty hard to read what every function means. I have very good eyes (specially for my age), but I have to do my very best to read some of the functions. Also reflections in the dial, that actually look cool though, don't help much in readability. I have blown the small displays a little up in the photo's above and below..
Beside time, the watch has 5 other modes. I t has World Ttime with times of 30 cities in the world. In Alarm (ALM) mode you can activate/deactivate 5 alarms and the hourly signal. In Timer Mode you can set a coundown timer. Unfortunately the maximum time is 60 minutes, but you can also activate an Auto Repeat function (with a maximum of 9 repeats). The Stopwatch mode has a maximum measured time of 99 minutes and 59.99 seconds. The last mode is the Handset Mode. If the watch has synced to the correct time, but the hands do not show the correct time, you can set the hands manually to the correct time. Actually this watch showed the wrong time when I got it. After syncing I set the hands to the correct time. Since that time it always had shown the correct time.
If you activate Auto-DST, the watch changes between normal time and DST automaticly. In world time the times are all shown in normal time. If DST is applied in the time zone you want to look at, you have to set it to DST manually. It is best to check if the place you are looking for has DST . I frequently use this worldclock. To read more about Daylight Saving Time check these pages. I found out parts of Australia also have DST, which is in theour winter.
One of the nicest parts of the watch is actually hidden when worn. The stainless steel back is beautiful edged and has a mat finish, which makes it look more like titanium.
The hands have illuminating parts, but frankly, it is not very bright. On the other hand, this watch has Auto Super Illumination.
So what does Super Illumination mean? Instead of an Electro Luminescence display, the dial is lit by two bright blue LED's at the 9 and 3 o'clock position. You can activate Auto-Light by press and holding down the light button for three seconds. In this mode, the light turns on automaticly then the watch is tilted 40º parallel to the ground. If you have the Auto-Light function activated at night, you probably found out you can almost use this watch as a flash light. If I have the function activated and am wearing it in bed, it won't take long to turn this function off. It's like there is a light house near your bed...In spite the amount of light, the lover LCD display is poorly lighted. The displays are recessed from the the dial and the shadow of the rim falls over that display.And to come back on C&C Firestorm, wouldn't this be a perfect watch for NOD leader Kane and his followers?


Porcupine said...

Hi there Sjors!
I'm Jeffrey from Malaysia and is new to the world of watch collecting.
Like you, I've been an avid fan of Casio since young and have just picked up the hobby of collecting watches.

I enjoy checking out this blog as well as G-peopleland.
You're doing an awesome job dude!

Unknown said...

Thanks Jeffrey,

50 Gs cost me a lot of free time, so I am very glad my articles are read and enjoyed. I hope you will enjoy reading my articles in the future too. Collecting G-Shocks is a a fun hobby and since the G-Shocks are relative cheap, a relative affordable hobby. Have fun chasing Gs,

Kind regards,