Sunday, June 26, 2011

G-Shock #26: Hope Japan

On March 11, 2011 a strong earthquake hit Japan. With a magnitude of 9.0 on the scale of Richter it was the strongest earthquake ever measured in Japan and the 4th biggest ever measured worldwide. Images of the destructive tsunami following to the earthquake were broadcasted worldwide and shocked the world. Over 15000 people were killed and over 300000 people were homeless or are evacuated.
A lot of money is needed to rebuild the struck places and to help the victims of this Earthquake. A lot of brands from Japan or with a strong base in Japan started to make special Japan relief products. All proceeds of these products go the Japanese Red Cross and other relief projects in Japan. Probably the Stussy “One World, One Love, One Heart” tee is best known. In May 2011 Casio USA teamed up with Eric Haze to produce three “Japan Hope” models, the DW-6900FS-8HJ, G-7900A-7HJ and the GA-110C-7AHJ.
These models are actually existing models with a print on the strap. Normally many voices would say that this is a cheap limited edition and this is easy money making, but this is something different. These models were sold for exactly the same price as the regular models. The print isn’t just a logo, but is designed by Eric Haze.
The relationship between Eric Haze and G-Shock dates from 1998 and this is already his 4th collaboration model. Eric Haze is a graffiti artist who gained fame for the tags, and logo’s and record sleeves designs he made for MTV and Hip Hop artists like LL Cool, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and EPMD.
You can see that the DW-6900FS-8HJ sticker is sticked over the original DW-6900FS-8CU sticker (it says actually DW-6900FS-8CS on the tags)
I think the idea for asking Eric Haze for doing these collaborations is a very good one. He has done a lot of artwork in black and red on white. Although the logo looks maybe simple, I think the marker tag logo with the red “O” symbolizing the Japanese rising sun is very clear. You don’t need to be very intellectual to understand the meaning of this logo.

 These models were made in small numbers, 100 pieces of each to be precise. There was some confusion about the number of models made, but Todd (Time4Fun) contacted Casio USA and got this reply back:
Dear Todd

Thank you for contacting Casio America Inc. Unfortunately there were only 100 of each made. You can contact our sales department at 1-800-836-8580, you may be able to purchase it directly through them.
These were only for sale through Casio America and were not distributed to stores.

I hope this helps you. And again, thank you for contacting Casio America Inc.


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Saturday, June 11, 2011 7:28 PM
To: watches_cms
Subject: only 100 of each?

TOPIC-|Where To Buy|E|
NAME-|Todd xxxxx|E|
CATEGORY-|Watches- Gshock/BabyG|E|
MESSAGE-|I wanted to buy one of each of the hope japan series of ghsock
watches but I see 2 of the 3 are already gone on, I heard their were only 100 of each, is this true or are their more for sale at another vendor?
Please advise, thanks
The Hope Japan models are packed in the new small G-Shock box and hexagonal tin. I still think the old plastic hexagonal box, that was used at the end of the ‘90s in Europe is the nicest packaging, but this is close. Best thing in my opinion is that the package is not very big. It might be tricky with the thick manuals, which you get on the more complicated modules, but small packages are much easier to store.
Besides the box and tin, the Japan Hope models have a special sleeve over the box. Normally Casio would have made a special box, but I suspect that time and money were quite a factor on producing these. Printing only 300 boxes is probably relative expensive, compared with ten thousands of standard boxes, and Casio and we want of course not to spend too much money on packaging, as we want to send as much possible money to the Japan relief activities. The sleve contains the same artwork as on the watch, together with the year (2011), the G-Shock logo and the tag of Eric Haze.
I already contacted Casio Europe if it was possible to release a limited edition Hope Japan series in Europe. The problem the Eric Haze model was only released in the USA is that the owner of the graphics (Eric Haze) only had given permission to sell it in the USA. Similar things happen occasionally with region restricted models. Casio Benelux and Casio Europe really would like to carry the Frogman line, but here the problem seems to be something with the 200 Meter Water Resistance ISO Rating.
I was a bit puzzled and disappointed about the low number Limited Edition. On the one hand, it was not too difficult to obtain these models from if you live in the US. Having good friends in the US is also a good possibility. That’s how this G-Shock ended up in The Netherlands. On the other hand, the proceed of this watch all go to Japan relief activities. Knowing that an enormous amount of money is needed to help the Japan, I think it would not have been a problem if this release was a little less limited.

The DW-6900FS-8HJ model is a special version of the DW-6900FS-8JF and DW-6900FS-8CR. It has been a model that I wanted in my collection for a long while, but the problem is that the only affordable models are available in the US. Buying one in the US would highly probable mean I have to pay an enormous tax and duties bill, making this model a lot less affordable for me (anyone has a slightly used for sale for a small price for me?).
There is some confusion about the color of this model. I would say it is white, but if you look very, very close, it is very light bluish gray. In daylight this might even appear “whiter than white”. I think the color tone is perfect. The DW-6900FS-8JF is already an older model that is still in production. Together with the pink DW-6900FS-4JF, it dates from December 2005. Despite the recent white 6900 models, I think this simple white model with matte finish looks best.
The 1289 module (the “Watch Engine”) is simple but practical. It works similar as the 1595 (G-001 G-Cool as worn in “Entrapment”) and 1659 (Standard DW-004) module, though with a different lay-out. Besides Timekeeping Mode, the 1289 module has an Alarm Mode, a 24 hour Stopwatch Mode and a 24 hour Stopwatch Mode.
It's the "Shinbun" (Newspaper) T-Shirt by KIKS TYO. It shows the first newspaper that appeared after the disaster on March 11. The headlines say: "Japan will rise again".
 These photo series by "Bleephead"
The Alarm Function is normally used as a daily alarm, but you can also set the day and date. If you only set the day, the alarm will sound only at the programmed time only that day of the month. If you only set the month the alarm will only sound at the programmed time daily during that month.
"Bleephead", that I hired as a photographer was distracted suddenly distracted by a plant in my garden.
I'm wearing here the KIKS JP HOPE shirt ("Never give up Japan"). It's the charity shirt of KIKS TYO. All proceeds of this shirt went to the Japanese Red Cross.
These photo series by "Bleephead"
One thing I especially like about these modules. This is the “Flash” function. It has been away for a while, but luckily you find this functions back again on new models too. With the Flash function turned on, the EL lights up, when an alarm sounds. Some people still remind me on the big “Beep Beep, Flash Flash” photo I made years ago, with a huge pile of G-Shocks, all set to the atomic time. It was very funny to see the pile light up every hour, when the hourly chime sounds.
Would this model might become a wanted model in the future? The looks are pretty much the same as the basic DW-6900FS. Also the Hope Japan logo might become less actual in the future, and there is no popular brand involved, besides the name of Eric Haze of course. Well, this model would probably not become the next Dee & Ricky, Bape, Stussy or Playset. Personally I don’t like people buying a bulk of one model and, as we say in The Netherlands, “turn out someone’s leg” by selling it a few months later to other fellow G-Shock collectors for double the price or more. This probably won’t happen with this model, as they were limited by Casio USA by one per model per household to distribute them fair under G-Shock collectors. I actually tried to get a second, as I often of these kind of emissions one to collect and one to wear. Alas, I am already happy a good friend bought this one for me, with the consequence he can’t buy one for himself. I asked him to take some great photo’s of it before sending it to me and published it on a pretty well known G-Shock news source, which he did. So if you think, I have seen the same watch before... Yep, it’s this one ;-)