Adan mailed me on my holiday in France that I was invited for the Shock The World event. That was very cool, so I said immediately "YES!". Problem is that I already had spend my vacation money on my holiday and I was actually spending more than I though I would. One option. Cut all G-Shock purchases. I already had taken options on the City Code TYO and the yellow G-6900A. Also I had ordered the G-MAN package.
A few weeks ago I got a mail of Katsu-san that my Purple G-Man package had arrived. Around the same time Riley was showing the world his marvelous complete series of Men In Mat Black. AWESOME!. As always I was immediately attracted to the Gulfman first. Also it occurred to me the GW-9010MS looked very good, while I normally am not too fond of the GW-9010 Mudman models.My bank account didn't look too good. I already had put an amount aside for the trip to Spain. Blood was running where it shouldn't run. I asked Katsu-san the price for the MIMB Gulfman. He gaave me two options, sent the G-Man and sent the Gulfman later or wait (only two or three days) for the Gulfman and pay quite a lower price, because of combined shipment (and I already paid for the shipment). Well, the last price was very good for me, so I decided to go through.Two days later the package was ready to be sent out. Unfortunately EMS doesn't ship wristwatches to the Netherlands. I think it has something to do with my rants on the Dutch customs, about holding EMS packages with wristwatches for a long time, ignoring the E of Express...
About two weeks later I found a note in my letter box. The parcel service had tried to deliver a package with a price tag of €45.37. Good news and bad news... Good news: the package had arrived in the Netherlands, bad news: (O.O;) How much tax!?!
I went out to the ATM to get money to pay the parcel service when they deliver the package and noticed I ended up in red ciphers. Ooops. At home I put back some money that I had put aside for Spain. Luckily I already have paid for the flight and the apartment.
Of course I could stay grumpy all day about the huge tax fees rate and fees, but I was too curious to these two new watches. The next working day I had to go to physiotherapy. As it ws pretty hectic at school, I decided to eat and drink something at home, since I live near the physiotherapy (and also not far from school).
When I arrived at home, my girlfriend appeared to be downtown for her glasses. Apparently the parcel service had not delivered the package yet. I was preparing a nice sandwich when the truck of the parcel service parked in front of my house. Wow, I'm lucky to be at home!
I grabbed the envelope of money and opened up the door, while the parcel-man was walking into my garden. "I hope you have exact change" he said. I had a wide grin, because I had it exactly. Of course I was already forgotten what I was actually paying for. After I signed the package, I walked into the living. I managed to put the whole sandwich in my mouth and searched for a knife. Luckily I always carry an orange rescue knife (Spyderco) in my backpack.
The package was opened and closed again by the Dutch customs. With some careful cuts I managed to open the package without damaging. When I opened I stared at my new two packages. I save the purple for later, but then I opened the other package. Well, I know how a GW-9100 looks like, but I was paralyzed for a moment. This watch looked very good. Funny thing is, the last time I got a similar "WOW!" moment, was for the white 2007 I.C.E.R.C. GW-9100K Gulfman. In looks quite the opposite model.
So what amazed me. The watch was not just black. The name of the series already indicate it is matte black. The black color (or more precise, the absence of color and light) is very deep. It almost looks like it absorbs light like a black hole.
The metallic ring under the bezel is black, but that's used before. When turned around, even the back was black. As a nice detail also the buckle of the watchband is black anodized, like on the "Men In Rusty Black" and "Military Inspired" series.
So what's with the name. Actually I think casio meant the "Men In Matte Black" series. I actually over-read this, because "matte" is spelled "mat" in the Netherlands. Also does the name somehow remind me to Matt Black, the half of Coldcut, you might know for their legendary "Timber"cut-up video and their "Beats and Pieces" cuts and scratch 12".
The dark tone of the watch inspired me to make this series photo's in a very dark environment, using large to very large shutter times. "I must say I'm amazed" (Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961).
This watch doesn't want to be on the foreground. It perfectly blends in the dark. The crystal is the only reflecting part of the watch.
The red lettering around the "revolver eye" is the only highlight on the watch. Actually I think it makes the watch also look very attractive.
Most curious I was for this eye. In the stock photo's I saw the receiving signal was pointed as a red dot. Does this mean red liquid crystal is used? I think the red color is not red liquid crystal, but a red reflector behind the digit, instead of the greenish white, that is used for the numeral digits.
I could write a rant of the absence of a Tidegraph on the Atomic Gulfman, but I think this watch actually looks better without it. The digits are very clear and viewable under a large angle. This technology reminds me of the recent GW-5000.
The very clear display is not the only reference to the GW-5000 model in my opinion. This Gulfman has straps that also feel very soft and comfortable as the straps used on the GW-5000. No need to say that wearing this Gulfman is a real pleasure.
A quick overview of the functions, as I have already reviewed some other Atomic Gulfmen here before: 60 minute Countdown Timer (Oh, casio, why not 24 hour at least), 1000 hour Stopwatch (to compensate the short CDT?), 5 alarms and a hourly chime and a Worldtime function.
he EL backlight afterglow is a bit short. The light turns of in about 1.5 seconds. I rather have a little longer afterglow, of about 2.5 seconds. I think this has to do with energy saving, there an EL light operation is of course energy-consumptive.
Too bad I am short of cash. I would have loved to have bought the whole series. On one side I miss a Frogman in this series. On the other side, Frogman models don't have a negative display, so would a Frogman probably have looked like the Black Helios model. If I had known this series would be released before the Men In Rusty Black series was released, I probably would have gone for this set. This Gulfman is AWESOME and I bet this goes also for the MIMB Riseman and Mudman.
The suggested retail price of this model is ¥29400 (€218 or $325). Expect a price of around $270 (¥24700, €180) shipped worldwide. I think that's a very good price. I have paid "slightly" less, because I already had paid for the shipping.