Sunday, October 30, 2011

G-Shock 43: Playset part 3: Come and play with us!

Today´s article is a delayed article. Originally the photo would be taken by Luis Manuel, a student from Puerto Rico, who has built up an amazing nice collection of G-Shocks. Unfortunately he had not managed to gt a camera in time. Well, it's his 23rd birthday today, so this article is for you Luis. A pity we can't enjoy Puerto Rican scenery. This article is about the GD-100PS-3ER model (in Japan released under the model number GD-100PS-3JR). This set of the “G-Shock Man Box” series comes with a vinyl G-Man figure, designed by Shiro Nakano.
Shiro Nakano is one of the three designers of “play set products”(note the absence of capitals), a group of designers that design both for their own brand as for other, mostly Japanese, brands. Shiro Nakano has also designed for Hobby:tech’s Quolomo brand (Hobby:tech is also the founder of Kiks TYO).
In 2008 the first G-Shock Man (G-Man) was presented. Giant G-Shock Men, inspired on the GW-5600 and DW-6900 model, showed up at the entrances of the “Shock The World” parties worldwide. These G-Shock Men always attract a lot of attention to the visitors of these parties.
Small versions of these G-Shock men, including an AW-500 and GW-5500 version showed up at Casio dealers. First in Japan, but later worldwide. Although these figures were wanted by G-Shock fans all over the world, they were not for sale.
My DW-6900 and GW-5600 G-Man figures. These are normally only used for display purposes at shops of official Casio Dealers.
Luckily in 2009 Casio released the first G-Shock Man Box, based on the purple “Crazy Colors” DW-6900CC-6JR. The DW-6900SW-6ER (SW stands for “Shock The World Limited”) was sold as a limited edition, but many were given away in the goodie bag for special guests (mainly press) on the “Shock The World” parties in 2009. It differs from the “Crazy Colors” model in its gold metallic light button and the special engraved numbered back.
In March 2010 a new G-Shock Man Box was released, this time a GA-110F model. Unfortunately I had no funds for this model, but this multicolored model looked great. The third G-Shock Man box was released in April 2011. This time Casio used the GD-100 (X-Large) model. In the LED backlight the logo of “play set products” becomes visible, while in the first two boxes the name of the designers are absent. I think that Shiro Nakano wanted to advertise his designer company too, which I can understand as the first two boxes were very popular, but there was no referral to “play set products”, while it could have been done on the DW-6900SW too.
The G-Man Boxes models come, as the name already suggests, in a clear presentation box. Although the watch and the box look very cool, I wished the show box had a skeleton of cardboard. In the past Casio releqased more special models, like the DW-8150 Techno models and the Lover Collection models in similar clear plastic boxes. Unfortunately these plastic damage easily when they are opened. Once they are a little damaged, it’s very good possible that the box or other plastic supporting parts of the box break or tear open. I had a 1997 Lovers Collection box that came n a great presentation box, but at the moment only the outer part is more or less showable. A cardboard skeleton presentation box, like is found on the 2004 I.C.E.R.C. Frogman, would probably sustain the life of the box drastically. On the other side, Casio makes watches to be worn and not to be collected, the way I do. Inside the presentation box, there is a little cardboard box to store the G-Man in.
The 2011 G-Shock Man box is again a great model. This time Shiro Nakano used different shapes of khaki, which makes the watch and the G-Man look a bit military. Also the greenish/amber display give the watch a kind of army look. When I saw the first photo of this model, I showed this to my 11 year old son. He’s very fond of army stuff. We have a very wild garden and all children in the neighborhood like to play war here, for some reason. No surprise that he was very enthusiastic when I showed this photo.
It was probably no surprise too that Casio and play set used this GD-100 model as base for their collaboration. With the GA-100 and GA-110 releases Casio showed the come-back of the big G-Shock models. With the GD-100 G-Shock heavily promotes these “X-Large models”.
The display of the GD-100 is divided in three parts. The upper part is a kind of info display. In Timekeeping Mode it shows day and date, in other modes it shows in which mode you are in. In the middle there are three Alarm indicators and 2 “graphic areas”, which animate elapsed time, like a seconds hand does on an analog watch. The bottom party is the time display.
The GD-100PS is uses the 3263 module. Besides time keeping, you’ll find 4 other modes on this model. The first mode is the World Time mode. The watch can show you time in 31 time zones of 48 cities around the world. A cool feature is that you can quickly switch between 4 preset time zones in Time Keeping mode. The base time keeping time zone and 3 “temporarily” time zones. Ideal for people who travel a lot around the world.
This watch has 5 alarms on board. The alarms works with the operating time zone the watch is in. All alarms can be set as a daily alarm or a onetime alarm. That last feature looks pretty handy to me. Also there is a hourly chime on board and also the button function can be muted (is done from Time Keeping Mode).
Like most new G-Shocks, the GD-100PS has also a 24 hour Stopwatch function and a 24 hour Countdown Timer on board. For most activities more than sufficient.
 
 
Like the other X-Large models, the display is lighted with two bright LEDs. The3 LEDs light up the complete display, which is very well readable in the dark. When you are in Setting screen of the Time Keeping Mode, you can choose the duration time of the illumination and you can toggle the Flash mode on and off. This function makes the watch illuminate when an alarm sounds (not at button tones). You can also set the watch to Auto-Illumination. In this mode an internal switch detect when you tilt the watch for about 40 degrees, which is the about the same position you hold your wrist and watch when you look what time it is. The Illumination time can be set between 1.5 seconds and 3 seconds. Personally I always find 1.5 seconds too short to read proper time. For me 2 seconds is about sufficient, so with 3 seconds you have plenty of time to read time.
I think the GD-100 in general is a great watch. The GD-100GD has been plenty available worldwide and if you look good you might even find one for a good price. It was released in Europe at the end of July, when this box was already available worldwide for several months. I bought mine in the Netherlands at a sneaker shop. I paid €150.- for it, which is about the same price as the original price in Japan, ¥16500. Actually I recently saw this watch is still available in the Netherlands. I do not know how limited this model is, but I think the emission was about the same as the first G-Shock Man box, which consisted of 5000 numbered pieces. Well, it’s limited, but not extreme limited. Like I often tell to Luis: If you like this model and an afford it, just buy it. Frankly, I like the watch, but it would for me not have been a disaster if I had not bought this model. I actually bought it, because my son Bram liked it most. If you like the special color scheme, it’s a great model with a lot of features.
 
EDIT by Alan from New York (a huge GD-100 fan): A few items worth mentioning about the playset and GD-100 in general. The buckle is an attractive anodized black, also shared with the "military" GD-100. Adding to the feel of the military look, the tricolor green maintains the childlike playfulness, as does the distinctive red "D" button. The "D" button also allows you to scroll between the four Local time presets, one at a time or continuously. The Local time can also be swapped by pushing the "B" and "C" buttons simultaneously.

6 comments:

Alan From New York said...

A few items worth mentioning about the playset and GD-100 in general. The buckle is an attractive anodized black, also shared with the "military" GD-100. Adding to the feel of the military look, the tricolor green maintains the childlike playfulness, as does the distinctive red "D" button. The "D" button also allows you to scroll between the four Local time presets, one at a time or continuously. The Local time can also be swapped by pushing the "B" and "C" buttons simultaneously.

Sjors said...

Hi Alan,

I have added your comment as an extra edit to this article at the bottom. I checked my article also and I found that I had mentioned the quick switching between the programed timezones just above the close-up photo's of the display (with the eyes). I think I made a mistake as I wrote 5 timezones (I also think it are 4, but I don't have a GD-100 near me now).

Cheers,

Sjors

Alan From New York said...

Your article was, as usual, quite comprehensive, even though you added the fifth nonexistent local preset. The scrolling feature, achieved by pushing the "D" button for three seconds, is entertaining but pretty useless.

What IS useful is the font size for the time is larger than on many G-Shocks. Legibility is first and foremost important to me, which is why I'm a "huge fan."

An odd feature of the GD-100 line is that they are not all priced the same. While the playset is probably my favorite, it's high price is a turn-off. I'd recommend either of the MS models. The positive display GD has a distinctive reddish face and the negative display is unusually easy to read. Both cost less than half the price of the playset.

Sjors said...

That 5 timezones is a typo. I knew it could display 5 time zones, as I already reviewed a GD-100 XL model in July. I should correct that. I think I also mentioned the big digits in that review, as it is one thing you notice when you have this watch.

Cheers,

Sjors

sumit poonia said...

hi...friends,,

can anyone tell em from where i can get G-SHOCK GD-100NS-7JR

Владимир Онищенко said...

Good Camo Watch :)