Thursday, April 15, 2010

#13 Hopefully A More Colorful Future Meet The Hyper Colors

Well well well, its Spring season again. This means we will start to see some colors in nature again. I hate the winter, I am a summer person not a winter person. I also love strong bright colors. So therefor I have really longed for the spring to come. During spring and summer I also let my more colorful G's out to play hehe. During winter I keep them mostly boxed up, because I wear long sleeved sweaters. And it is not recommended to wear colorful ones when having long sleeves that cover them up and potentially stain them. And also there is no point with wearing a colorful watch, when it is all hidden away from view, if you wear colors then flaunt it hehe. So a T-Shirt is the recommended clothing when wearing a brightly colored G-Shock!....

Notice in this article there is also a separate article within the article written in purple text that you read alongside the review article, its about colors and technology in general.

This is my very first unboxing video on YouTube.As usual if you want to view it in 720P just double click the video window and it will open up on YouTube where you can choose 720P resolution. I think I am the first outside of Japan to own these models and this 50G's article is the very first article/review about them, I was so excited over them that I pre ordered them over a month ago hehe. I think I made a beginners mistake tough by spending to much time unboxing and to little time showing the watches off within the 10 minutes limit lol

As you can see I made a mistake in the video by opening the white box first, I had no idea what was inside and I was expecting the watches to be in the nice Japanese cushion presentation boxes. Instead the seller had placed the watches and manuals inside this white tray in a separate white box. These trays are practical to store G-shocks in case you have watches without their own box.

And Voila, here we have them the stars in this article, the yellow GA-110A-9JF and the acid Kelly green GA-110B-3JF thats is part of the Hyper Colors series.

The Hyper Colors series also consists of the following models:

GA-110A-4JF The orange version. I like this version too!

GA-110B-2JF Cyan Blue version. I like this one too, but I guess Sjors is not to found of it considering his aversion towards blue colors hehe.

GA-110B-1A2JF Black resin with blue face version.

GA-110BB-1A3JF Black resin with green face. Amongst the black versions I like this one the most. Its kind of like Zombie Slayer color combo.

GA-110B-4JF Then we have the all hot pink version. This version I love I think. But it was not available to pre order at the time I ordered the Hyper Colors. But this version is definitely something I consider ordering in the future.

GA-110F-2JR Then we have this special one the G-Shock Man Box version, or as it has been nicknamed The Fruit salad version hehe. I am not to found of this color combo but the G-Shock man is great and this one is the most popular version in Japan amongst the collectors mostly due to the G-Shock Man.

All of the Hyper Colors is a sub-series to the Large Face series (in the US they are called X-large series) that also consists of the GA-100 models, that have been available in Japan and Europe for about a month and a half or so...

Hyper colors is actually special colors that are very volatile. They are color substances that changes color dependent on the ambient temperature. Here in this picture I have placed a Jurassic Park Lost World pendant/key ring with a lenticular picture of a Stegosaurus that I received in a box of Kellogs Corn Flakes serials back in 1997. I was planing to use a Hyper colored Porsche toy car from the 80's that changes color from green to yellow, but I just could not find it for this article. So instead I found this thingie to demonstrate it. Here it is a dark maroon red in room temperature.

And voila, here we have the same keyring but now after heating it up in my hands it is all slime green. Magical is it not? hehe. But The Hyper Color G-Shocks do not have these properties. I guess Casio calls them that because they are so wild and crazy. But apparently in the US they are not going to be called Hyper Colors instead they will use the name Vivid colors (in the US only the monochromatic ones will be available, not the multicolored ones).

Its nice to see casio being back in their old game...

The 1980's and 1990's where very colorful decades with lots of brightly colored stuff for men. There where a higher acceptance for men to wear bright colors. But the color trend was also seen in the tech world, lots of company's where producing serious tech in playful packages. Most memorable is perhaps the fruity iMac's computers at the end of the 90's by Apple, and all the colorful peripherals and accessory's to go along with it. I actually own one of them the 1999 iMac DV 400MHz Strawberry color, basically a transparent pink computer. It was my very first home computer and I liked the "fast" 56K modem oh the days lol....

The reason these are being referred to as Large Face series and X-large series in the US is because of their large size. Here in these 2 pictures, you can see it compared to a GW-9125 Ocean Grey Gulfman. I selected that model for comparison because it represents the typical size of a G-Shock released by casio during the past years. As you can see the GA-110 is considerably larger. Casio have designed it with a large overall diameter with a big dial hence the name large Face. So it wears quite big, more like a Pathfinder/Protrek then a typical G-Shock. Because of the overall large dial and the small protrusion of the lugs I do not think we will see any atomic version of these, there simply is not enough room in the lug area for the antenna construction, casio have put priority on the size of the dial on these ones instead. So not only when it comes to colors casio is back at the game, but also when it comes to the size. G-shocks back in the old Masters Of G era during the late 90's where very big models. Casio have released other big models lately such as the all analogue GW-3000 and the Solar atomic Frogman the GWF-1000 that is even slightly bigger then the GA-100/110 series. The GA-110 is 55mm from lug to lug and 50mm wide and 17mm thick, and wears larger then a DW-6900.

Anyway casio also contributed to the color trend. But they beat Apple by a few years, casio started already in 1994 with a new generation of G-Shocks, and reached its height in 1999. During these years casio and its G-shock brand reached a peak in popularity. They became the iPod's of their day. Casio where selling millions worldwide, and for the first and only time in history where actually stealing market share from Timex in the US market. It was quite fun walking by a watch shop display window and look at all the new models, one more exciting then the last one. Every month you could see several new colorful models and they where selling like butter. You saw people wearing them everywhere.

But then the Millennium hit. The G-Shock boom crashed very fast. After all it was year 2000 and digital watches where no longer so "high tech", everyone wanted a cool mobile phone instead because that was the future. Futuristic was the new trend... When this happened it seems casio lost confidence in the western markets and took away most of the models, especially the colorful ones. They started to sell mostly basic more boring ones. The trip to the watch shop display window where no longer as exciting for a G-Shock fan. I guess casio thought that since the young and hip bought less watches, they mostly started to target an older more conservative consumer group. Only back in the home market in Japan casio continued the colorful trend.

Another disaster for colors that hit not only watches but everything from clothes to all tech stuff was the 9/11 terror attack in 2001. After that major event, its like the world went into a major depression. And people started to become much more conservative, especially men. After that event the mood became so serious, gone was the easy going "just have fun" attitude of the 80's and 90's that where reminiscent of the 70's Hippie movement....

Now finally lets have a closer look at the watch design and its functionality...

First we have regular time keeping mode

Here in these macro shoots we see the upper display and in here we have the day of the week displayed. Above that we have a sort of indicator for the stopwatch that I will go into when describing the stopwatch, but these also doubles as an indicator with streaks or dots that flashes by every time you change mode. Below and what is very hard to see in the picture, but if you look closely below SUN on the red display, there is like 3 lines that follows the center of the dial. Those goes around and continues in the bottom half of the digital display as well, in total there is 10 of them so they indicate every 10 second. But they are not very noticeable and you hardly notice them.

In the bottom half we have the time, if you want to see the date/month you have to push the lower right button. The seconds is counted slightly above the rest of the time. Now to the analogue part, The analogue hands are always showing the time regardless of the mode so thats one of the advantages of being ana/digi. The downside is of course that the hands sometime obscure parts of the digital display. Casio have been very playful in the design of the dial. I just love the technics gear design of the hands, the Y-axle is designed to resemble a front or rear wheel suspension in a car, basically a undercarriage of a car. The small sub dial is made to look like a speedometer of a car. Between the big indices around the dial we can see ridges, kind of like a stadium design, also we can see some knurls/small knobs that are there to assist you a little in the reading of the minutes. Between some of the indices there is 3 of them and between some others there is 4.

Froggie going along for the ride, 30Km/h+ wow thats a fast ride for a frog hehe

Next we have the stopwatch mode. This stopwatch is a little special in 2 ways. First it is not a 1/100th of a a second stopwatch, no its a whooping 1/1000th seconds stopwatch. This resolution is quite rare these days. Casio had many models back in the 90's with this resolution. In the early 90's they where using 1/1000Th of a second in the Olympics to separate medalists in some sports such as swimming and running, when 2 competitors touched the finish line at the same 1/100Th of a second. But both the competitors and the Olympic committee thought that it was ridiculous and stopped using it in 1996. Since then casio have produced very few models with this resolution in the stopwatch. So it is mostly a gimmick that add coolness rather then anything else. Maximum running time is 100 hours which is very good especially considering the 1/1000 resolution, and it also have a split and lap time.

Now to the other special thing and that is the speedometer/tachymeter that the little sub dial is used for. It is mostly a gimmick, but it is fun nonetheless. Before starting the stopwatch you push and hold the upper left button then you will be given the opportunity to program a distance between 0.1Km(100M) and 99.99Km, there is no miles units only kilometers. Then when you start the stopwatch and then stop it, then the dial will indicate the speed in Km/h. Maximum speed is 99Km/h and it is rather rough as every Km/h is not indicated on the dial. So it is not for motor sports, only activity's that you do with your own muscle power. If you look back at the macro shoots of the upper time display, perhaps you saw the 100....500.... indicators there. Those are very rough indicators for speeds over 100Km/h, so for instance if I have programmed 0.1Km as the distance and stop the stopwatch at about 0.7 sec then the analogue sub dial will return to 0 and instead those indicators will show 500 for 500Km/h.

Another factor working against colorful watches in particular, was the meaning of the watch itself. I remember an episode in 2005 where my youngest cousin bought a $100 "bling" watch as an impulse buy. Well when his mother discovered this she became very angry and demanded that he should return it for the money back. Because they did not have enough money at the time for such luxury. But what made me realize something was one of the arguments she used in the argument "What the **BEEP** do you need a $100 watch for? Are you an adult?, do you have a job?" "You are not getting a $100 watch until you get a job". This argumentation would have been much less likely in the 90's when I was a junior high school kid. Back then it was not anything unusual for kids to be getting new $100-$150 watches every 2 years or so.

But now since the advent of the mobile phone and because these days there is clocks almost everywhere. Then a wrist watch is not an essential anymore. Back in the days it was standard for a parent to buy a kid starting school a wrist watch, to get a watch to learn how to read it but also because it almost became a must have. But these days a watch have become something else, it is now just a piece of jewelery but also a symbol. It has become a symbol for adulthood and responsibility. So instead of getting your first watch when starting school as a kid you might be getting it for your first job. Basically wearing a wrist watch have become a way to show you are a responsible adult who takes you job seriously. Because the watch have become a way to show "adulthood score points", a watch is expected to be mature and conservative in its design. Therefor if you where wearing something colorful, you might have been faced with a attitude by people that think you where wearing a "kids watch".

My Mr yellow puppy dog wearing my Hyper Color in timer mode as a championship belt. He wants to steal my watch but I managed to steal it back later hehe

Next we have the Countdown Timer mode. Its nothing special its a standard 24 hour timer. But what is special is the fact that this is a ana/digi watch and casio often only put mere 60 minute timers on them, so the fact that this one have both a 100 hour stopwatch and a 24 hour timer on board is really great, and remember due to the analogue part time will be visible in all modes. The timer also has repeat function. The timer only signals once the countdown has reached zero. I would have wished that the audio signals started to sound at least for the last 10 seconds of the countdown.

The Fluxcapacitor charging up be prepared... Very important to disconnect capacitor drive before opening. Be prepared to shield eyes from light before it starts... the frog laying all passed out in the background after his heavy run...

Here we have the World Time Mode. You have 48 city's in 29 time zones to choose from, your local time will be displayed by the analogue part.

Perfect matching party shoes for the Hyper Colors in case a woman wears one.. Lovely shoes hehe oops back to topic ....

Finally some change...

But lately during the past 3 years I have noticed a slow change.It seems things are lightening up a bit and colorful gadgets are once again more accepted and liked. Nowadays we see plenty of colorful cameras, mobile phones and some other gear too. And starting around casio's 25TH anniversary in 2007-2008 casio have been back in the game with lots more colorful models available Internationally then before. One proof of this was that casio decided to have the launch event for the first Crazy Color series in the fall of 2008, in Germany of all places. To launch such colorful models in the European market was a big sign that Casio wanted to revive the glory of the 90's. In fact they are going even wilder then ever before with even more crazy colors then the 90's. I have noticed a trend towards more colorful ones in G-Shock collectors collections, which makes me happy.

More people who buys G-Shocks select a model of color rather then just buying black. I have also noticed a fashion trend amongst fashion watches to be more colorful these days. These days you might even receive positive comments from people when wearing a colorful watch instead of being bashed for wearing a "kids watch".

I hope this is not just a short lived trend but something more long lasting. I love the Back To The Future movies from the 80's. Especially Number 2 in the trilogy was and still is my favorite. Mostly because in that movie the Doc and Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) traveled to the future, to the year 2015. I loved it, the future was so bright and positive. Loved the style and all the colors, and all the cool gadgets. Well back then in 1987 when the movie was made, 2015 was very far away but now there is only 5 years left. Time fly fast don't it?. I remember the Pizza Hut pizzas that went from micro size to macro size and warmed up instantly in the future micro wave oven, the huge flat screen TV with multiple TV stations running and video conferencing, The self tying Nike shoes, the self drying and size adjusting inflatable jacket, the flying cars etc.

Yes yes very important to check the time before the lightening bolt strikes, we must make it hurry hurry... A reminder alarm might certainly come in handy for this situation to make sure you get there in time.

The GA-110's only have 10 second alarms which is rather short I would have preferred a 20 seconds alarms. But I would not count on a G-Shocks alarm to wake me up instead we should see them more like reminder alerts. There is 4 alarms on board plus a snooze alarm that repeats every 5 minutes up to 5 times I think. The sound is very similar to that of a GW-9200 Riseman. After the alarm mode we returns to the time mode.

So why not enjoy the beauty of these Hyper Colors out in the bright sunlight shall we...

Notice the short lugs and how the top bezel rises like a cliff or skate board ramp towards the top in the profile shoot. I just love that design part. Also notice the large width of the strap its 30mm at the base which enhances the big look of these watches.

Here you can see the lug to lug of the watch ( I have a 7.1" or 18cm wrist). If your wrists is much smaller then that then maybe these watches are to big for you. The buttons are nice and big and gives a sense of quality. Also worth noticing is that these watches (GA-100, GA-110 series) do not have any button tones when pushing the buttons. So if you get one of these and hear nothing when you push the buttons do not be worried your watch is not broken.

The strap is a nice double holed one, and the buckle is a double pronged one, or as you can also call it a fang or vampire buckle hehe. The buckle has a math satin finish to it, makes me think it could be a titanium one but not sure about that. I love the look of these G-5500 like strap designs.

Sun bathing watches ye haa...

The backplate is a standard stamped stainless steel one. Here we can see that the movement/module is made in Japan but it is cased in Thailand. Module number is 5146, I have not found an English manual for this one yet because it is so new, but it must come soon considering the green,pink and blue one are coming to the US market where it will retail for $120. Water resist 20 bar which is 200 meters or 667 feet. Also worth noticing is that it says that it is a anti magnetic module. Yes the GA-100 and GA-110 models is anti magnetic according to the JIS1 standard, this makes them like the good old Gaussman. So I do not know why casio have not decided to put these in the Masters Of G line up and call them Gaussman. Perhaps its because they are lacking the solar atomic function. The GA-110 comes with 2 year batteries according to casio, but I have not been able to figure out yet exactly which battery is being used.

LED Light on the yellow one

LED light on the green one.

The GA-110 do not have any EL light instead they only have LED's. These LED's are brighter then EL but mostly focuses on the analogue part. But I am able to read the digital time when looking at an angle. The LED can be adjusted between 1.5 and 3 seconds duration. I think the LED look a little bit brighter in the yellow one, probably because of the yellow dial ring and the fact the LED is orange/yellowish in color, in general I think the visibility of time is slightly better on the GA-110's then on the GA-100's due to the better distribution of light because of the ridges around the dial. The GA-110 also have auto light that when activated automatically switches the light on when you tilt the watch at a certain angle when looking for the time on your wrist.

Well it is getting time to leave now to 2015 and see if we will get flying cars lol

Time to power up the Delorean time machine... When you travel trough time you do not always know what will be on the other side, who knows you might hit a bumpy road and crash into a barn house hehe. Therefor this Hand set mode (that you reach by holding in the lower left button in regular time mode) in your GA-110 time travel companion, will come in handy to align the hands of the dial after a heavy crash, in case they have become misaligned with the markers on the dial.

Hurry hurry, the lightening strike will hit anytime now we must get there in time or else we will be Outatime...

Jiiippppiiii we are making it, Fluxcapacitor working... its good to have an anti magnetic watch in a situation like this, lots of electricity generated, 1.21 Jigawattt, Great Scott! oh yeahhh baby.... Zaapppp...... and we are gone bye bye.....

But wait. Now I'm back! Its like I never left, the advantage of having a time machine hehe you know....
I brought back with me from 2015 this wonderful Hyper Marty McFly 2015 Lenticular/Holographic cap that has a nice 3D effect and that changes colors as you move around. Really cool... They where very popular in 2015. Just love it!

My final verdict of the Hyper Colors is that I just love them. Even though I love both of them my favorite of the 2 is the all green one, but the multi colored yellow one also have some freaky power going on so I like both of them. These might not be the most practical of G-shocks, but they are so playful and very nice show pieces that demands attention. They inspired me to put some extra effort in making this article.What can I say I am a sucker for colors and big sizes hehe. Very cool and funky G-shocks!

Well this marks the end of my article, I hope you enjoyed reading it. I put some extra effort into this article since this is a world premiere and that I liked them so much. they inspired me to make this article.

If you liked it then please leave a comment...

Sincerely Joakim Ågren!


Sjors said...

Hi Joakim,

Great article. I love them both. I hope I will ever own a pink and a green version, but I am on a very strict G-Shock diet now. You have managed to write such a long story, that only views 1 article, LOL.

Thanks buddy,


SkyForce6 said...

Hehe lol

Yes I got a little extra excited when writing this article. For some reason they inspired me to make an extra long article compared to what I normally would write. Perhaps it was the recent arrival of spring here where I live (Finally) and the fact these are so colorful, I am a sucker for strong colors hehe

Jurphaas said...

hi Joakim, such a nice and loooong article. Great watches and fantastic colors. I was trying hard to kick the G-Shock habit and stop the crazyness of feeling the need for evry new model but.... these are very, very tempting. Are they already availble in Europe?
I like it when you jump in and help Sjors out with your articles. It brings a different flavor in and that tastes just fine to me!
Keep 'em coming and I\ll keep on reading, OK?

SkyForce6 said...

Thanks Jurphaas!

There have not been any announcement yet if the GA-110 will be released in Europe. So far it has only been announced that the Monochrome ones the pink, green and blue one will get a release in the US under the X-large Vivid Colors name. The multi colored ones are only for Japan so far.

Sorry for being so tempting hehe

Jimbo said...


I recently purchased the orange and cyan blue models, and I do love them!

My only complaint is it's not so easy to read the minute and hour hands, particularly on the cyan blue model.

But both watches are really magnificent looking and were worth the purchase!

Kin Laoshi said...

Great article. Fantastic attention to detail.