Sunday, September 12, 2010

Intermezzo #28: G-Shock naming.

I’ve been for a few days in the beautiful Loire valley in France. Since I have almost no internet connection, I have a lot of free time to write an intermezzo article that I planned quite some time ago. Every once in a while we see names for certain G-Shock models on the G-Shock forum, My G-Shock and here on 50 Gs. Where do they come from?
DW-5200C a.k.a. "Hero"
I think one of the oldest G-Shock names is “Speed”. The “Speed” model is the basic DW-5600C-1. It was, pretty obvious, named after the movie with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. There also was a green classic DW-5600. It was called “Hero”, because it was worn by a character by the same name in a Japanese movie. Also the DW-5200C got the name “Hero”, but for another reason. The DW-5000C and the WW-5100C were not very popular when they were released. It was said that the DW-5200 would be the last of the G-Shock range if the sales would not increase. Probably thanks to the famous “Ice hockey” commercial, the sales of the DW-5200C was booming.
The DW-5200C saved the Casio’s G-Shock line and so it deserves the name “Hero”.
DW-5600C a.k.a. "Speed".
The origin of the name “Hero” and “Speed” come from the land of G-Shock, Japan. G-Shock has been popular in Japan probably since the 90’s. As long as I had access to internet, there were already many G-Shock platforms in Japan.
G-Shockers, as Japanese G-Shock collectors call themselves, did came up with another name. “Gundam”. The classic “Gundam” is the, somewhat robotic, DW-6400. With some imagination you can indeed see the head of a Gundam robot in the face of the watch. In Japan, also the DW-8300 “Heavy Metal” is also called “Gundam”. I actually didn’t know that, until recently my friend FUMI from Utsonomya told me this. I’m not sure, but probably also the “Techno” models might be called “Gundam” by Japanese G-Shockers. The “Techno Models”are the DW-81XX models, on the XX can be filled in numbers, like 10, 20, 50, 95, etc. Although the models numbers are different, the basic case. Like the DW-6400 and DW-8300, they have a bezel that consist of a square big metal cover with big resin bumpers on it.
DW-6400, a.k.a. "Gundam"
While explaining the name “Gundam”, two other names come up. As far as I know the term “Techno models” are not official too. It is unclear to me where this name came from. It could been from Japan (most obvious), but it could have been one of the first names given to the watch by European or US G-Shockers.
Then there is the “Heavy Metal”. That name is actually an official name for the DW-8300-1V. Since G-Shock was introduced in Europe (if I’m correct in 1994), Casio had a tradition to give all G-Shocks a name. And not only G-Shocks. At least all Protrek, SeaPathfinder and Baby-G models got names. I wish I had a database with all G-Shock names. These names were mainly used in Germany, but I have seen them used in the Netherlands also occasionally. I never saw those names in Belgium though, so I think the names were primarily used in Germany.
The DW-8300 a.k.a. "Heavy Metal". In Japan also considered a "Gundam" model.
The DW-8300 was widely available worldwide and I think quite many of them were sold. They were actually not very popular in Japan. The watch was simply too oversized. Most Japanese people have very small wrists, compared with the wrists of Europeans and US citizens. These huge watches looked in Japan more like toys on your wrist, than a serious tough watch. The DW-8300 “Heavy Metal” was also worn in the US television series “Stargate”, so the watch is sometimes also referred as the DW-8300 “stargate”. I didn’t watch that show often. I rather liked watching the Star Trek series, so for me the DW-8300 stays “Heavy metal”. With the big metal cover, I think it’s quite a appropriate name and it is also an official name by Casio.
DW-8150. The DW-81XX models are called "Techno models".
Recently Casio Europe stopped with name giving. Maybe the inspiration went dry. There have been hundreds of models that have been given a name. Actually I found it always cool to see those names, so I am a bit disappointed that it stopped.
The website of a German  on-line store.
Sometimes the German nicknames can be very confusing. It is not handy to give named G-Shock models also a name. I think nobody knows what I m talking about when I mention the Gridstone, Sky Tramp, Clasher or Conspirator. It would be easier to talk about the Riseman (DW-9100) or the Gaussman (AW-571).
"Sky Tramp"
 "Red & Bad" (it's actually orange...)
"Planet Hopper"
"Ocean Outlaw"
Personally I try to limit the use of German names to only a few models. The only name that come into my mind are the “Cosmoxer” and “Heavenly High”. Probably because it were two models I wanted very much after I had bought my first G-Shock in 2000.
Images of the German 1999 catalog "Tough Stuff"
Personally I prefer not to use too many names, besides the model numbers. It is fun that some special models have a nick name. Recently I think two names can be added on the list.
From left to right: "Cosmoxer", "Smokey Sunset" and "Heavenly High".
First there is the DW-6900CC-1 of the Crazy Colors series. Because of the poisonous green color used with shiny black resin, someone called the watch “Zombie Slayer”. It came pretty fast adapted on the G-Shock forum and it seems to be a general name for this model now. I think somehow it is both a suiting as a funny name.
This version of the Crazy Colors series is also known as "Zombie Slayer". This is actually a special version, made for Mountain Dew.
The second new name is from very recent origin and comes from Casio. The GX-56 models were called “The King of G-Shock”, referring to its size. This means that the GXW-56, with the same case and bezel, must be referred to “The King of G-Shock” too. This name is too long for normal use, so the name will probably be shortened by G-Shockers as “The King”. I think that is already usual to use this name.
GWX-56-4JR, a.k.a. "The King of G-Shock"
So, I think I have written enough. I smell delicious Italian pasta. Ciao!


vqa said...

I like short name: The King =) Sounds good 4 me+)

dorkinaut23 said...

I think here in the USA, there haven't been any magazines or catalogs which have offered names for whatever G-Shocks they list or advertise. It wasn't until I started buying a lot of G-Shocks and spending some time here at 50Gs or G-Peopleland or the various forums that I discovered that many G-Shocks even had nicknames. I was a huge Stargate fan and since I had no previous knowledge of G-Shocks, the "Stargate" nickname is what really sticks in my brain. The TV series was almost over by the time I bought my first G-Shock and for some reason, I never paid attention or tried to figure out what the cast of Stargate SG-1 was wearing on their wrists until I was mysteriously drawn into G-Shock collecting. Honestly, even now, I don't bother to discover or commit many nicknames to memory. I guess I'm a lazy collector.