Another challenge for the 50-Gs blog team: During the World Cup Football 2010 in South Africa we will try to write articles about G-Shocks that have a relation with Football. Today in the real tournament the Kick-Off is at 16:00 (GMT+2). At the same time we Kick-Off with this referee Timer. Pick up your vuvuzela and enjoy the show! The props in the background in this article were provided by my school.
One of the biggest sports events of the world has just started, the FIFA World Cup Football 2010. The teams of 32 counties will compete for the title. In 1994, 1998 and 2006 Casio was one of the sponsors of this event. Unfortunately Casio is not a sponsor in 2010. Of course special G-Shock editions were released for these tournaments. For the World Cup of 2006 Casio developed a special G-Shock model, the DW-56RT Referee Timer.
As the name already says, the watch has special functions to help the referee keeping time. The G-Shock Referee Timer has the shape of the classic 5600’s, but that’s where any comparisons stop. The display is very different from other G-Shock’s. While normal 5600 type watches can display two lines of information on the display, the display on the DW-56RT seems longer than usual and it displays three rows of timing information. A mirrored S-curved line divides the display in two parts.
In the middle row, the left part belongs to the upper line, while the right part belong to the lower part.
While the first two versions had only the S-curved line, this DW-56RT-1V version has also a colored beam in the middle.
The first DW-56RT model was released in February 2006. Only 6 models were released. The last model was released October 2006.
I think the DW-56RT was not a very popular model. Personally I think that two rows of information on the classic 5600 shape works best, but the digits are actually pretty big and clear on this model (module 2991).
The DW-56RT-1V was the basic Referee Timer model. In Japan the model number is DW-56RT-1JF. The only difference on the Japanese model is the text WATER 20 BAR RESIST instead of WATER 200M RESIST.
According some reference I found (by my old friend Leon Eckell!) the bezel on the DW-56RT is not interchangeable with the DW-5600E, but it is with the G-5600. The resin straps have a little different design than the standard 5600 straps. The middle part of the strap has a kind of miniature tear-plate pattern mold in them. I find any difference from the basic flat strap interesting and this structure looks pretty nice.
For a basic model it has quite an unique color scheme. The white lettering on the bezel is pretty normal, but the big yellow ring around the LCD display is pretty different of what we normally see on a basic version of a certain model. The word REFEREE TIMER is printed big below the display, so you can’t miss the name and also the start/stop button is marked with red letters, in case you miss it.
Referees probably don’t use stopwatches to time matches. The stopwatch found on this watch are probably the worst I have ever seen. When you start the stopwatch, the upper and lower display show the same time, while the hundreds of a seconds are displayed in the middle. So far no strange things. If you push the start/stop button again the upper display stops (in whole seconds), while the lower display and the hundreds of a second cheerfully keep counting. You can restart the stopwatch from where it stopped. Below shows the total elapsed time including stop, above the measured time. The only way to stop the entire stopwatch is stopping the measuring (upper display stops counting) and press reset for 2 seconds. I have totally no idea why the hundreds of a second are shown. Until you reset the watch it doesn’t stop keep counting.
This isn’t the watch you want to use to record the next 100m sprint. If seconds and minutes are fine, it works like a stopwatch, but it is limited to 60 minutes, the timing of the total measured event (lower display) is limited to 99 minutes. For some reason you can program the event time for the lower display in minutes. If you set for instance the total time to 45 minutes, an alarm sound will be produced as the timer in the lower display reaches 45 minutes. The recording of the event time is not stopped after the set time has passed.
While the stopwatch function is crap, the timer functions (there are 2!) are extensive and, if you get good acquainted with the watch, indeed very useful for referees during matches and probably also for other occasions.
The first timer is the Preset Timer. A normal football match is played in 2 half of 45 minutes with a 15 minute break. The preset timer can be set to 45 minutes and the number of cycles can be also programmed. It is possible to pause the timing. This can be useful to calculate the extra time. At the end of a football match some extra time can be added to replace time that has been lost due to injuries, etc. By stopping the timer when the game is stopped and start when the game is started again, you can play the total 45 minutes.
The second timer is the Countdown Timer. You can use it as a simple Countdown Timer, as we know from most other G-Shock models, but this Countdown Timer is very extensive. You are able to program up to 9 intervals, for example for interval training. The intervals can be set from 0’05” to 59’55”. If you program an interval to 0’00” the interval isn’t taken up to the chain.
As if the 9 programmable intervals are not enough, you can also use the Auto-Repeat function, so that after the last programmed interval the timing starts with the first programmed interval. If you want to program a football match, you program the first interval to 45’00”, the second to 15’00” and the third to 45’00”. I think this function is actually very good for runners or other sporters that use interval training. Normally I prefer a 24h timer, but in this case I actually see the benefit of programmable intervals with a maximum of 60 minutes (minus 5 seconds) per interval.
For the international active referees active on the World Cup, it is useful to have a World Time function on board, to see what time it is in the hosting country or, when you are at the World Cup, to see the time in your home time zone.
The Referee Timer is a nice gadget watch. For people who like the classic DW-5600 design might love this model too, but the division of the display in three parts makes this watch actually look different from the classic shape. I think this is a model you like or you don’t like it. I think this watch was not very popular, which also explains why there were only released 6 version of this model over a 8 month span. While the official retail price in Japan was ¥12000 and $99.- in the US, this watch could be picked up for almost dump prices in the US. I think the retail price of this model was around €99.- in Europe. The yellow ring around the display looks nice, but the fact the hundreds of a seconds keep counting, while the stopwatch is stopped, I see as a major design flaw. Frankly I have hardly worn this watch. It is not quite my favorite. Still I think the timer functions on this watch are very extended and can be very useful for sporters.