Friday, October 8, 2010

#40 Jason Returns

 It has been a huge topic for G-Shock collectors and aficionados. There were rumors a few years ago on Japanese bulletin boards (they still exist there) and weblogs. Casio was working on a new Jason model. A long time ago this rumor died until in March this year at Baselworld three new prototypes were shown. I got my first (and, until recently, also my only) Jason in 2001. I had just started collecting and discovered the wealth of G-Shocks sold on eBay Germany. On one day I saw this strange yellow model. It had a kind of toyish look. It had the G-Shock logo on it so I placed a bid on it. I think I paid around DM30.- for this DW-001. Even when I received the watch, it looked a bit odd.
Before I started G-Peopeland I was looking on Japanese bulletin boards for information. When I posted somewhere that I had a yellow DW-001, I got several e-mails from G-Shock collectors in Japan if I would sell the watch. I had no idea that this toyish watch was a highly sought model in Japan.
In the past few years I have seen several DW-001’s for sale, but never the yellow version. Always the black model with the red eye.
Although the new models were already presented in March 2010, it took a long time before the release date was announced. A good month would of course have been August 2010 (on Friday 13th), but it was released a month later, September 2010. Although I saw some photo’s of owners of the new G-001 model half September, mine was sent off at the end of September, arriving on October 1st.
Actually I ordered the yellow version and would I purchase the blue one later, but the seller accidentally sent me the blue version, so now the yellow version is also on the way. Frankly I like the black/pink model also very much. I do not know what to think about the version in “Real Black” color scheme. The G-001 is a model that has to stand out, because of its unique shapes. The stealthy look of the blacked out version looks therefore a bit like a contradictio in terminus.
For those who love the old black Jason with the red eye, in November a black G-001B will be released with a little different band (it looks like it is made of leather). Also this model looks very good.
In a conversation with the former marketing manager of Casio Europe, he told me that Casio aims for a large group of people with the recent models. You’ve got the classic models, like the DW-5600 and DW-6900. For more serious occasions there are the Giez and MT-G models, but also for people who love pilot watches there’s the GW-2000, GW-2500 and the GW-3000 series. On the other hand there are the models that are meant for poeple who want to have a watch that stand out. Earlier the Hyper Colors GA-110 models and the HUGE GX(W)-56 were released, now the Jason can be added to this category.
The blue Jason (G-001-2JF) is probably the strangest of the four current models. While the other models are based on the usual one or two color tones, the blue version is more or less a happy explosion of colors. Although the base color is blue, there is fuchsia red (or is it pink or purple?) on the bezel and the strap keeper, while the wrist protectors, the main display and buttons are lime green. The eye and upper display are orange, but color yellow when the EL backlight is activated. Just when you thought you saw all color, the back protector is purple.
So, what are the differences between the original DW-001 and the G-001. The DW-001 was the first Capsule model Casio made, later successfully followed by the DW-002 and DW-003. The DW-001 was one of the last models that had a light bulb instead of Electroluminescent backlight. The strange shape of the bezel can be explained by the fact the original Jason had a Thermometer function. Also the original Jason has moon and sun data. I think a thermometer function is a bit strange feature on a watch. When worn, the watch is affected by body temperature. You have to take off your watch and leave it for about 20 minutes to get an accurate temperature reading. The moon and sun data are pretty cool actually. I do not know why sun set and sun rise are no longer featured on watches, even those that have a Tidegraph.
The new Jason is actually more a basic model, like the DW-002 and DW-003 were. The functions on board are a Worldtimer, a 24H Stopwatch, a 24 hour Countdown Timer with repeat mode and 3 Alarms (one is a Snooze Alarm) and a Hourly Signal. The holes in the “Ice Hockey Mask” shaped bezel are not long roper, simply because there is no longer a temperature sensor behind it.
Like more newer models, the G-001 is powered by a CR-2025 battery, which has, according to Casio, enough energy to power the watch for 7 years. My experience is that batteries usually last much longer than the what Casio predicts. Although you might expect that Casio found a way to cut power from to backlight, to provide a longer battery life, the EL backlight is very bright.
The function of the Thermometer display (upper part) has been changed into a graphic representation of the seconds. The eye shows the seconds, while the upper display show the tenth seconds. The digits are mirrored type on this model (and I think it’s on the black/pink model too). These kind of digits are also found on the Crazy Color models. The display is therefore not always very clear, but when wearing the watch reading time seems a lot more easier than when looking/photographing it in its box. Probably the dark reflection of the person looking at the display is enough to make the display much more readable.
Like I already mentioned, this watch is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. You wear this watch, because you want to have a special watch that stands out. It occurred t me that in the past few years quite some sneakers were made in these kind of daring color schemes. It might that Casio is inspired by that sneaker trend and I think that you might look at the same target group that might be interested in this watch. If you don’t like the flamboyant color schemes of the blue and yellow model, you might like the black G-001 and G-001B models. Frankly the black G-001B looks great to me. If I have some cash left in November, I might order one.
At the moment the Jason is easily to get in Japan. The price of 13000 yen might look high, but the Yen has been pretty expensive for EU and US citizens. A year ago this watch would have cost under €100.-, while I paid now €118.- for it. Currently the best way for getting this watch is order it in Japan at Higuchi-inc, Seiya Japan or Chino Watch. You can look at eBay, but the prices they ask for these models at the moment are ranging from high to ridiculous. I have no idea about if the model will be released in other parts of the world (it seems already been launched in South East Asia), but I think the US and maybe Europe will follow later.


zed4130 said...

Now that is certainly different sjors, bet it stands out in your collection,


Unknown said...

Hi Paul,

It certainly stands out, like the yellow Jason from 1994 already did. This one is special, because I do not have much blue in my collection, and it's even more special, because I like it, while it's blue ;-)



BeatinguSilli said...

I need one of these, Fasho. Thanx for the review Sjors!

BeatinguSilli said...

Niice! thanx Sjors!