Sunday, July 18, 2010

#30 The basic “Triple Eyed Devil’

Is it Sunday again already? @%#$$*&^(#! 
Now, put that crossword puzzle aside, let's get writing. 
In the past weeks I have written seven articles about special Football G-Shocks for the FIFA Word Cup 2010, which was quite an operation for me. Frankly I do not watch football often. My favorite sport event is happening at the moment, the Tour de France. Of course the tactics of different teams and riders are interesting, but I also like to watch the views of France landscapes.
It is a pity I am pretty bad with languages, though I think French is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, though Italian girls talking English is also a golden combination (I still hear her say in the garden of Casa Loma, Toronto: “Oh George-eh, it’seh so nice-eh”). I think there are not many G-Shocks that have a special French theme. The FIFA World Cup 1998 is, but I have written enough about football probably for the coming next 4 years, and that Collette x aLife collab that was released some time ago. I must put Collette on my “to visit” list, in case I might end up in Paris some day.
So no French and no cycling (these seem to be rare too) G-Shock for today. Let’s look at one of the most basic G-Shocks around. The DW-6900-1V. The fun of this classic from around 1995 is that it was released worldwide, except in Japan. In Japan a “gold version” was released as DW-6900B-9, probably in March 1995, together with the “Totenkopf” models and a desert camo model.
Frankly I have not seen that desert camo model much around, but the red and yellow DW-6900H “Totenkopf” models were released in enormous numbers. You can still find the, 15 years later, on the 2nd hand market in all kind of conditions.
This DW-6900H-4 (the 6900's with the skull) was found on a flea market 2 weeks ago in Florida. It has been abused for many years, resulting in a broken bezel. This G is used as it was meant to be. Photo by Steve B, published with permission.
In Japan you still often see the “gold version” DW-6900 and DW-6600 (with orange light button). I think it is a matter of local preference. European and US people probably like the “silver version” over the “gold version”. Personally I have not a preference of one of the versions, but I am also half European, half Asian.
The "gold version" DW-6900B-9
Don´t expect extreme differences between a “gold version” and a “silver version”. For this DW-6900 it means the silver version has a normal greenish LCD display and white lettering. Above the eyes the text WATER 200M RESIST is blue. The gold version has a yellow (gold) display and yellow lettering on the bezel. The text WATER 20BAR RESIST is also yellow. On both versions the text G-SHOCK is red and the buttons are silver. On some “gold versions” the buttons and buckle are in gold tone.
Both the silver and gold versions can come with the plastic buckle. The strap that comes with the plastic buckle is quite rubberish, which makes the strap feel as a second skin around your arm. Although the plastic buckle might look cheap, the buckle is in fact pretty tough. There is only one thing that these buckles can’t have. Postage stamp machines. I once bought a 6900 with a plastic buckle. It was sent from Germany in a simple envelope. The watch was received intact, but the buckle was smashed to small pieces. I believe this model also is sold with a standard metal buckle.
I still remember seeing my first DW-6900 in real life. It must have been in the fall of 2000. II went with the family to Antwerp for shopping. We stopped at “Het Elfde Gebod” (The Eleventh Commandment” = “Thou shall enjoy”) for a meal and a good beer. “Het Elfde Gebod” is quite a well known café-restaurant. Besides a good choice of beers, they have a very nice choice of Flemish food. When I wanted to order a second beer, I walked to the bar and noticed the watch of the bartender. For those days, it looked huge.
The bartender appeared to be an US student and had this watch already for years. While I had a nice talk with this student, probably about his study, I could not take my eyes off from his watch. Those three eyes are almost hypnotizing.
DW-6900S with a 1557 module.
It are these eyes which I think make this watch look so special, though not all DW-6900’s have a 1289 module. There are also DW-6900 models with a 1449 and 1557 module. Still if you mention the DW-6900 model, every G-Shocker immediately thinks about the versions with three eyes.
DW-6900's (Left European, right Japanese version) with 1449 module.
About 7 years ago, when I was starting the G-Peopleland website, I often read Japanese bulletin boards. Once I read a message on such board, regarding the DW-6900. The poster of the message called this version (translated) a “Triple Eyed Devil”. I don’t know who posted this message, but I think it was on the BBS of Yachtrays a.k.a. Sailboat Bat. While this (private) bulletin board is hardly active anymore, one of the members, FUMI, is still an active G-Shocker. Since I have read this message, I started referring the DW-6900 as “Triple Eyed Devil” as I think this is a matching name for this model.
In Japan some models are also referred to movies where they are used in. Probably best known is the DW-5600C which Keanu Reeves wore in the movie “Speed”. For this reason the classic DW-5600C model is often called “Speed”. The DW-6900 was featured in the movie “Mission Impossible 2”, so this model is sometimes also called MI:2. While this name was pretty common several years ago, I noticed this name is not used much anymore. It might be because it’s already some years ago this movie was released.
Actually the DW-6900 used in MI:2 was a mocked up watch. The texts “CASIO” and “G-SHOCK” were removed and the watch module seems to be digital altered with an “transponder tracking device”, whatever that might be.
The DW-6900 is probably the most used model for special editions. It is probably harder to find a (still produced) basic DW-6900-1V than a special edition. You aren’t hearing me complain about that. I love the look of this model. It is somehow classic, but it looks fresh in many new releases, like the recent Crazy Color designs and the countless collaboration designs. Many of these models have passed the revue here and this one will for sure not be the last.
Like the basic DW-5600E the DW-6900-1V can be found for very friendly prices. In Europe you can’t find this model. The basic DW-6900 here is the DW-6900E-1ER “Rough Rowdy” here. It costs around €80.- in the shops. It’s better to look in the US or South East Asia for a DW-6900-1V. On eBay you can find them for prices starting already from $35.-. It is a pretty good daily beater. I think every G-Shocker should at least have this basic model in his or her collection.

1 comment:

Suzaidee said...

This is a good read man. I'm getting my first G-Shock around this week and it is the DW-6900-1V. Just a basic watch for me to get the feel of G-Shock. If it suits me, I may starting my own collection... and yes, the DW-5600E also in my wish list now :)