Sunday, October 11, 2009

#42 Ji-Zu

When I was searching for my GS-300 Giez model, I discovered the batteries were died. Like more ana-digi models, this Giez has two (silver-Oxide) batteries. Since I didn't know what kind of batteries, I had to open the case for a quick look.
The Giez models have a titanium case and screwback. You need a special tool to open the case. Since the back is closed tight, it is best to use at least a three dent opener. There are professional openers that completely lock the case and the teeth can't slip, but those openers are pretty expensive. A tri-dent case back opener can be found easily on ebay from about $25.-.
Before the case can be opened, the straps need to be removed. The lugs of the straps cover the case back partly.
Once freed of the straps, the guts of the Giez show a different look than most basic G-Shocks.
The metal/rubber/resin shock absorber can be easily removed, though it is wisely to remember how it is put on the module. Two notches on the side make this absorber fit over the module in two ways.
It is remarkable that the battery types are stamped on the module. Unfortunately I didn't had the SR920W battery... I had to close up the case again and search for a SR920W battery.
I found a battery in an on-line shop in the Netherlands and a few days later it was in the house. After putting the batteries in their slots I had to reset the module. When I took a sneak peak at the display (without turning the module!) I saw all digits were light up, showing only eights. This time there is quite some distance between the AC contact and the battery. The points for the reset are marked with arrows.
Just put a sharp point tweezer (two small screwdrivers will do the job too, I even used fold out staples to short cicuit the contacts) on both points and hold for about 3 seconds.
The reseted module worked flawless. Before the case is closed I re-lubed the gasket with silicon grease.
With the re-lubed gasket and the working module, it's time to close the case again...
... and put the straps back on. I had to set the time two times. First the digital time, then the analog time (in Hand Set mode). When you set the digital time the hands move to the correct time if they were synchronized with the digital time after adjustment, but after a battery change the hands are probably ways off the digital time. So let's concentrate on the watch. So what's GIEZ? Frankly I have no idea what the name refers too. I can think of several options. Maybe the designers saw the watch and said: "Giez, what a watch!. Not very probable of course, since it is designed in Japan. Maybe it's the plural of G. So I could have called this weblog also 50 Giez.... Don't think so, you would expect 50 Giez series G-Shocks.
It is highly probable it refers to English. When you read the Japanese description of these models, the way to pronounce Giez is included ジーズ( Gi-Zu).
This Giez is the GS-300-4B. This model was only released in Japan. In the US there were other models released (if I'm correct with the blue, black and white dial). The GS-300 was the 3rd generation Giez models, which were released in September 1999. Before this model, Casio released a digital model in 1998 and an analog model in early 1999. In2007 the Giez line was revived again.
The Giez models are, like the MR-G series and later the MT-G series, the more exclusive models of the G-Shock line. In price the Giez models are priced between the more expensive G-Shock models and the prestigious MR-G models.
I very much wanted this maroon model, but because it was a JP only release it was not easy and cheap to find one. While in the US overseas models around 2002 were sold for pretty affordable prices (around $100.-), this model cost me about $180.- exclusive shipping. I'm not sure where I bought it, I think I found it in Hong Kong. On the back there is a big S stamped. I am not sure, but I thought this stamp was used for Japanese overstock models, that were sold outside Japan.
Though the color is very beautiful, I never was fond of the Giez models. I rather have G-Shocks with a rim around the crystal, than with notches as crystal protectors. As you can see on the photo's above and below, the crystal is not protected well on the top and bottom side. When Casio released the new Giez models, I was glad that Casio also revived the MT-G models with the same movement.
One of the most eye catching feature of the GS-300 model are the two digital displays. On this model it are negative displays, but there are models with a regular display too. This model was designed for car racing. Therefore it has a dual display stopwatch function. When the timing has started, you can measure lap times by pressing the Adjust button. While the bottom stopwatch shows the total time, the time elapsed on the lap is displayed on the top display.
To reach the stopwatches, you have to press the mode button for two seconds. In the recall mode, you can read which laps were the fastest.
Because the crystal is protected by notches, the watch is slimmer than conventional G-Shock from that time. The streamlined design makes it a perfect watch to wear under a jacket.
The hands have a bit luminescent substance on the tips, but frankly they do not light up long. It would be great if Casio would use more luminescent substances for their hands.
The EL backlight on this Giez is now very dim. I remember the EL backlight was brighter with the first set of batteries, but since the first battery change, the light was dimmer. Somehow I suspect Casio for using different batteries-types for models that use Silver Oxide batteries. The same thing occurs with the Gaussman. Also here the EL is dimmer after a battery change. Don't let you be fooled by the photo below. The EL light stay s on for quite a long time. I used 4 seconds exposure.In summery, the 2nd generation and higher Giez models (the cases of these models are all the same) look very good and elegant. Although I couldn't find reference, I even think a harder (saphyre?) crystal is used, to prevent scratches. The double display stopwatch was intend to be used for car races, so I think Casio aimed this model to car lovers, though I also think it is a great looking watch for the office. The fact I am not to fond of this model is more personal. I just like other shapes. I have seen quite a lot of people owning a Giez that were very enthusiastic about it's looks and when I got this watch, back in 2002, I know WatchUSeek owner Ernie Romers bought a black GS-300 version for his own collection. Nowadays this model will be pretty hard to find, but the alternative of the current Tough Solar Atomic models look at least as good. Also battery driven non-Atomic versions are available


Albe said...

Hi Sjors,

I've noticed you put a link up to my blog. Thanks for that !

I was wondering : After some time batteries deplete - do you try to keep your huge collection of G-shocks all running ?


SkyForce6 said...

Hi Sjors!

Did you recieve my PM at WUS?

Anyway me too never liked the Giez very much. They are nice watches but they do not get me excited. I am not to found of the sleek design, not enough G-Shock in its design sort of speak...

I much prefer MRG and some cockpits. Also the new pilot watch the GW-2500 just looks awesome, way better and cooler looking then the Giez.

As for the Giez word,according to Wikipedia it is: Giez is a municipality in the district of Grandson in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

Many companys have played with the word Jesus, thats a word you can use when you see something that surprises or impresses you. If you see a really fast sports car speeding by perhaps you then say "Jesus"

I remember a swedish company OLW that in the 90's had a commercial where they used the slogan Cheeses instead of the word Jesus to describe their Cheese Doodles.

Perhaps that was the way Casio where thinking with the Giez name, Giez was originally a premium G targeted towards the European market. Here in Europe where we did not have any Frogmans or MRG's it was the most expensive models in the G-Shock line. So perhaps the name is a play with the word Jesus and G-Shock, basically a name that denotes the impressivness of the top of the line G-Shock that makes you say Giez thats a nice watch hehe

Sjors said...

Hi Albe,

No problem, I have no idea what's going on in the remote control helicopter world, but you do look like a pro in your weblog.

To get back on your question. I have about 475 G-Shock's. An average battery holds about 3 - 5 years, so about 100 batteries die a year, that's two a week.

I try to keep most running (specially the ones I wear). I buy CR2016 batteries in batches of 100! Since a battery change can take some time (specially those DW-003 and DW-004 models with covered back protection), sometimes watches pile up for a battery change. In fact this one was on the pile and several are still waiting.



Sjors said...

Hi SkyForce6,

Of course I did read your PM.
Reading your comment on my article only confirms that I choose the right companion. That text has space enough for at least 9 photo's ;-)



Neil Hugh said...

Just a quick note to say thanks for the detailed battery change guide.