Saturday, March 6, 2010

#8 Ralliart Motorsports.

Todays article is about my Ralliart DW-6900. It had a dead battery when I started with this article and also the strap was somewhat damaged. I gave the watch a fresh battery and I also found new straps for it in my spare parts box.
I think this was the original battery. Normally Casio uses Maxwell and Hitachi batteries. I can't remember I found a Panasonic battery in a G-Shock. For the Tough Solar models Casio uses Panasonic batteries only though.
The infamous alarm spring. Never turn around an open case, or this spring will fall out. They are very difficult to find if you let them fall on the floor (I have probably written this over a hundred times...)
Don't forget to reset the module. Simply touch the back of the battery with the AC contact.
A little silicon grease will keep the gasket in good condition, so the watch stays water resistant.
Well, the EL light and the alarm work, so the battery change was successful.
Now let's get this strap changed.
There is the spring bar. I use a springbar tool to release the strap from the case.
Well, That looks better. Maybe I should put on a new button, but it looks good enough for me now. I found the toy car a month ago on a scale model expo. I saw a box with used cars and it was actually the first car I grabbed. It must have meant to be.
On the scale model expo of 2009 I saw this Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. It is a scale model of the car that is driven by the famous rally and four times World Champion driver Tommi Mäkinen. Check out the motto: "The Spirit of Competition".
In May 2007 I was staying sick at home. I was bored, so I started browsing eBay Belgium, a place I normally do not visit. Belgium and The Netherlands are normally not the most interesting places to hunt down interesting Gs. I stumbled upon a blurry phone picture of a DW-6900. The bid price was low, so I placed a fun bid on it. The I noticed the inner plate wasn’t just black and there was some kind of logo on it. This was a watch to follow. Of course I double checked everything. Although the photo was not very sharp, it clearly was a genuine G-Shock DW-6900 model.
I placed a post on the WUS G-Shock forum to find out what it was. Several members thought it was amusing, “Sjors asking us to identify a G? The world's turned upside down”. Well, believe me, I know a lot about G-Shock and model numbers, but I don’t know everything. There are so many collaboration and promotional models released, it’s hard to keep up.The logo was recognized pretty fast. It was the Ralliart logo. I watch F1 racing occasionally, but I actually do not know much about car racing, so this name and logo were totally new to me. Ralliart is the racing division of Mitsubishi. Although I eventually bought the watch for about €40 - €50, it seems this watch was sought after in Japan. People actually ask 40000 yen for this watch on Yahoo Japan though a price of $250.- sounds more realistic to me.!
Well, I almost was sure what watch I bought, but there were some problems. Although Belgium is almost next door for me (about 40km), the guy seem to be middle school student that had no bank account, so I could forget asking for a Paypal account. It was also not easy to get good contact with him. I tracked down his address. Using Google Earth he seem to live in a “better suburb” of a small town. I guessed he wasn’t allowed to use the family computer all day.
Finally I got a bank account I could sent the money to. Unlike Paypal, sending money from a Dutch bank to another EU bank outside the Netherlands takes ages. If the receiver does not have an on-line account, he also has to wait for his weekly bank notes in the mail. It seemed it took ages, but after almost three weeks (note: buy and pay in Japan takes 3 days to get here, USA sometimes only 4 and Singapore usually 5 to 7 days!).
I opened the package and was surprised. When you see a blurry mobile phone photo on eBay, it mostly the watches are pretty much used but the case looked in very good condition. There are some dents in the light button. Also there is damage on the strap. I’m not sure that it is from wearing. It looks like it has been strapped on very tight (much to tight) for a long time. I wear my watches pretty snug and you can see an imprint of the buckle of the watches I wear if you inspect closely, but this imprint it so deep, it would work as a tourniquet on your wrist. Fortunately it is a standard DW-6900 strap, so it is easy to replace and the watch would looking as almost new.
Ralliart is the motorsports division of Mitsubishi. Ralliart Europe was set-up by Andrew Cowan in Europe to develop and prepares cars for European off-road and rally racing cars in 1983 . At the same time Ralliart Australia was set-up by his old team mate Doug Stewart. Also the brands name is given to high end Mitsubishi car accessories available for public. Together these two men were responsible for success for the Mitsubishi motorsports division. In 1993 Mitsubishi launched the third generation Lancer Evolution III. In 1995 and 1996 the Ralliart cars began to claim lots of successes all over the world.
Ralliart truck in the North of France last summer.
RalliartMitsubishi Lancer Evolution from the Guy Colsoul Rallysport Team.Enjoy the ride on-board a Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X with Bob Colsoul and Tom colsoul during the 9th stage of the Terre De Causses 2009. For the real thrill, watch it full screen on Youtube.
So, what’s the background of this watch. I think this model was for sale in the Ralliart shop or stands. Ralliart has divisions worldwide. There is also a team active in Belgium. I happened to see the Belgium Ralliart truck when I returned from vacation in the north of France, near the Belgium border last year .
This watch was released in 1999. It originally came in a hexagonal plastic box with a G of G-Shock printed in the middle. The box and logo point that this watch was an Japanese release. It is a shiny and has a bold G printed in the middle. The Ralliart logo is printed in white on the lid, There might have been an outer cardboard box too, but I have not found a photo of one yet.
This photo from a Yahoo Japan auction shows the watch and the original hexagonal container.
In 1999 most basic G-Shocks in Europe were sold in this typical hexagonal boxes. Also Japanese high end models and special editions were sold in these boxes (mostly Frogman models). These boxes differ a bit from the European boxes. The font of the “G” is different (European has the typical G from the G-Shock Logo) and the Japanese boxes are shiny black, while the European boxes have a matte finish. I wish Casio used these boxes longer, but on the other hand these boxes were probably mostly thrown away by the end users. This does of course not pretty much fit the green image of Casio. I like these boxes however, because it is an efficient way to store a lot of G-Shocks.
The watch itself is a beautiful designed DW-6900 model. The base of this model is the DW-6900G-9 model, the gold variant of the basic DW-6900. Instead of the usual black rim around the face-plate, the rim is red. I think it looks good on this model. The Ralliart logo is printed on top of the face-plate while under the display the Ralliart motto “THE SPIRIT OF COMPETIOTION” is printed. I think all makes it a very nice combination, the red and orange logo of Ralliart, the red and orange lettering with the gold tone display. It would totally not have been a disaster if Casio would have released a basic DW-6900 model in a similar color scheme (with red rim around the face-plate).
A nice surprise shows up when the EL backlight is lighted. It shows the logo of the model that Ralliart made famous since 1995, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Casio did not only release a DW-6900 model for Ralliart, but also a DW-8400 Mudman model. Both models are pretty rare, though the DW-6900 might show up occasionally on Yahoo Japan and eBay. Recently a DW-6900 model was sold for $130.- on eBay. I think that is a reasonable price for a rare vintage piece, that not only might be sought for by G-Shock collectors, but also by motorsports fans.

2 comments:

bennett said...

wow really nice G-shock you have there.. I've been looking for one since I have a Mitsubishi Evo5 as my track car ;-) pls let me know if you see the same watch for sale :-)

Sjors said...

Hi Bennet,

I hope you find one. These Ralliart models are very rare to find!

Cheers,

Sjors