Sunday, October 24, 2010

#42: Dee and Ricky Design

Casio has released quite some sensational G-Shocks this year. We have seen the GXW-56 and the new Jason models here on 50 Gs. From a different order, the Dee and Ricky collaboration was quite a sensation too.
While the watch is pretty colorful, I did not expect that this watch would be so embraced by G-Shock collectors around the world. Maybe it was not such a big surprise at all. Dee and Ricky designs are often based on Lego. The colorful Lego bricks and colorful G-Shocks already go hand in hand. I noticed that there are also some G-Shock collectors who still seem to enjoy playing with the Lego bricks. As I use to visit a large Lego expo every year with my family, it seems that the love for the bricks is not exclusively for the older G-Shock collector.
The Dee and Ricky G-Shock model was announced in June 2010 and launched a month later. Frankly I had never heard of these brothers. I had seen their funny video’s and photo’s of the Launch Party and their weblog, but after reading more stuff, I gained more respect for these guys.
 So who are Dee and Ricky. Demetris (Dee), Ricardo (Ricky) and also sister Laura Jackson are triplets. Dee and Ricky are identical twins. They were born and raised in Arlington on Staten Island, New York along with three other children by a mother that was addicted to crack (according to relatives).*
* source: NY Daily News
Dee and Ricky design fun clothing accessories with the famous Lego bricks. Their belt buckles were seen on fashion shows and pop stars like Kanye West and Rihanna wear their brooches. Also they have designed brooches. I think that is a pretty smart idea to make jewelry and accessories of Lego bricks. Although the idea is so simple, nobody had done it before. I think they made some very creative designs, like the Chanel lipstick, the cigar and cigarette. The last two even look like they are burning.
Lego accessories for the 2008 collection Marc by Marc Jacobs.
For this G-Shock Dee and Ricky could of course not use the Lego bricks, but its design is definitely based on these building blocks. The design of the GA-100B mode also helps a lot. It might be that Casio had considered asking the twins to make a collaboration model after they noticed the similarity of the little round studs on the bezel and on the dial with the round studs on Lego bricks. When looking close to the GA-110 models, known from the Hyper Colors series, it is not a completely surprise that Dee and Ricky were asked to make a special limited edition collaboration edition.
It is always quite a question what a limited edition G-Shock is. I think the emission of this model was not very small. I even think that you rather have to think in ten thousands than in thousands. The main reason why this watch was sold out so fast must be looked in the fact it this model was a very attractive, and not only to G-Shock collectors. When this watch was released my sister even sent me a photo of this model, telling me she liked it. While I was looking over the Kish.nl website and noticed that they had this model too, Bram walked to me behind the computer and said, “That’s a nice watch, can I have it?”. As this model was primarily sold in the US, often in big department stores, I can imagine similar situations happened. I remember a member of the G-Shock forum went to a department store (Macy’s?) and returned with 7 Dee and Ricky G-Shocks.
This model was not only released in the US. It was also released in Japan. Strangely you can’t find it in the new products release list of July 2010, but if you do a search in “G-Shock Perfect Search” (GPS) you’ll find out it was definitively released in Japan too.
A funny thing is that New York based media artist and director Kenzo Digital made with G-Shock and Dee and Ricky a unusual promotion movie for the release of this watch. Of course the movie plays in a Lego build world, but with stills from life characters, that move through a very rough stop-motion technique. Bram has already bookmarked this movie in his favorites and every visitor that comes at our house has to watch this six and a half minute movie. Of course this movie shows some brilliant ideas like Lego Samurai swords, Lego Ninja Stars and Lego Sushi, complete with Chopsticks. Very nice how they made my favorite sushi, the rice rolls.
This G-Shock model has been designed very well by Dee and Ricky. Of course you’ll find the basic primary colors as used by Lego. Only exception is green, which is not a primary color, but this color has been used by Lego for a long time for the 32 x 32 studs base plates. Nowadays green building blocks are also available, as are other color variations.
While the colors red, green and blue are pretty exact like the colors of the Lego bricks, the color yellow is more pale. I do not know if this is done deliberately. The original bricks are more cadmium yellow, while the yellow inserts around the dial are more like citron yellow.
In the past years Casio released models in very wild colors in the “Crazy Colors” and “Hyper Colors” series. Compared to these models the Dee and Ricky model is that wild. I think that both the black bezel and straps as the pretty normal digital display keep this watch in balance. It’s like the black bezel says: “up to here and not further”, like some sort of color barrier.
 Whatever you might think of this model, I think the color design is pretty well thought of. A kind of playful on the inside and elegant from the outside. It’s a bit what you see in the Dee and Ricky articles and video’s that you can find everywhere on the net. At first glance they look like two colorful twin brothers who make a lot of fun. Although they wear these bright colored clothing, these clothing suite them well and appear even stylish and elegant on them. And I think they are pretty smart too. Selling self build Lego brick ornaments as clothing accessories was a nice move.
The GA-110 is a pretty new model, the first model was released in March this year. It marks the recent trend of Casio to release bigger G-Shocks. I’m not always fond of ana-digi models, but the GA-110 looks more like an analog model, specially on the mono colored Hyper Colors model.
For a model that looks more like an analog model, it has the good functions of a digital model. To start with the Stopwatch. It does not only have a 100 hour capacity, it also measure in 1/1000th of a second. And that’s not all. The small sub-dial on the 9 o’clock position works as a Tachymeter. You can even input a distance for the tachymeter, so you are not tied to one unit (mile, kilometer, etc).
I am always happy if a watch has a 24 hour Countdown timer, so I am very satisfied with this watch. The world Time function is fine. I only for East Asian time zones, so I don’t have to correct for DST every time. I think that is a bit the flaw on a World Time function.
The watch has 4 Alarms and a Snooze alarm. Of course there is also a hourly Chime. There is one thing I somehow miss on this watch. I am used that a G-Shock beeps, while scrolling through the functions. There is as far as I could find no way to turn it on, like the Mute function on some newer G-Shock models.
One of the cons of an analog model is that the hands do get out of alignment, due to heavy shocks. Luckily you can correct the hands to the original position in Hand Home Position Mode.
At night the dial can be illuminated by a LED, that is placed at the bottom of the dial. It provides enough light for a good analog readout. Reading the digital displays is almost impossible. The length of the illumination can be set to 1.5 or 3 seconds. I prefer the last setting, because it takes me about 2 seconds to read time well. The 1.5 seconds illumination is just a little too short for me.
The watch is powered by a CR1220 Lithium battery. Casio gives the battery a lifetime of 2 years, which probably means the watch will run at least 3 times as Casio is always on the pessimistic side with their estimate battery life values.
Of course a collaboration model must be recognizable as one. The watch comes packed in a special colorful box. Inside this box there is a very cheerful tin with a cartoonesque drawing of Dee and Ricky on the lid (which is also their logo). The logo also return also etched on the back of the watch.
Hey! Who turned off the lights!
This model was sold in the shops for the retail price of $130.-, which is actually a very friendly price. I paid around €125.- ($175) for the GA-110A Hyper Colors models. Since the model was sold out the prices went up quick. A quick look at eBay show that the current price for this model is around $250.-, while some sellers already ask over $400.-. Frankly I think that is overpriced, but I think these will sell eventually as there will always be people who can afford and want to pay these prices.
When this model came on the market I thought I should pass this model, since I have bought quite some expensive G-Shocks in the past months, but I got several times attracted to this model. A problem with buying in the USA is that the watch will be hold by the customs for a short week and I will receive an additional bill with tax and relative high fees.
In September Dreski, who I know of the G-Shock forum and caliber 2010 and who is quite a Lego fan, told me he was in the race for this model. I know I was late, but I started looking around and saw this model was for sale on Kish.nl. I was very tempted to buy it, but simply didn’t have the cash for it. When my salary arrived on my bank account, the watch was already sold.
Around the same time I received a message from the USA. I think I was very lucky that a member of the G-Shock forum knew I liked this model and didn’t had it in my collection. He didn’t want to make fast bucks, but offered me this watch for the original price that he paid for it in the shop. I think this watch is a very fun looking model. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but on the other hand it’s also a watch not only for G-Shock collectors. I think this watch is also the ultimate watch for people who like Lego very much.
You might have noticed it already, I had very much fun with building the scenes for the photo shoot. I like to thank Bram for allowing me to build with his bricks and lending his Lego minifigures collection and Franzy for making it possible for me to get me this watch for a decent price. I hope you enjoyed reading and specially the photography of this article.
Happy Halloween!

6 comments:

zed4130 said...

That video made my day sjors, and a very coool watch,

paul

Sjors said...

Thanks Paul,

It is a funny video. When I was waiting for this G-Shock to arrive I had showed this video to my 10 y.o. son Bram. He has bookmarked this video and now he shows it to every friend of him that is playing at our house. Never thought that Dee and Ricky would make such an impact to kids. And never forget, the kids are the future ;-)

Cheers,

Sjors

zed4130 said...

I agree mate, i have 3 daughters and the oldest (11) has just started having a interest in watches, i can wait to get her her first G' this christams .

paul

Rob said...

Hey,i was pleasef to read this blog,because i bought THE last dee & ricki on kish.nl.

Sjors said...

Hi Rob,

SO it was you who snatched it from under my nose, LOL. No worries, I had a very good deal in the US on this model.

Cheers,

Sjors

mykol said...

I've been hunting for this watch ever since it launched, but the G-Shock models coming into our part of the world is very limited.

Thanks for featuring it. I might have to ask someone in Japan or US to get me one of these.