Sunday, January 22, 2012

G-Shock #4: Black X Gold

After saving up money for more than a year, I finally had saved enough to buy my dream laptop. It is a 15" MacBook Pro. This article was still written on my old slow laptop, but the photo's were edited on my new Mac in CS5.5 and I also  composed this on . 
The Black x Gold series have been around since December2009, but the second release in June 2011 had probably more impact than the first release. While the AWG-100BC-1AJF, GW-2000BGD-1AJF and GW-2310-1JF could be the gold tone basic version of their model, most of the 5 released models of June 2011 have more blinging accents. Only the GXW-56GB-1JF looks more like a gold tone basic model. Also the GW-9300GB-1JF does not have much gold accents. These last two mentioned models were released in the US as Non-Atomic models (GW-56GGB-1 and G-9300GB-1).The GD-100GB, the today featured GA-110GB and the GDF-100GB are real blingy models. Outside Japan these models are known as the Garish Black series. Hence the code GB bind the model number. I even think Garish Black covers the overall look of this series better
Most G-Shocks have a part above the display that focus you on the used parts of the display, which I refer to as the “face plate”. On the last three mentioned models this face plate is mirror gold. The use of a gold mirror faceplate is not new. In February 2010 Casio released a new series of Crazy Colors (called Mirror Face series in the US), the pretty popular black DW-6900CB also had a mirror gold face. In fact it could easily blend in the Black x Gold series as the color scheme is practically the same.
Intermezzo: Above I mentioned gold tone basic models. Maybe I need to explain a little further. Until not that long ago, Casio released often besides their normal black version a second black version in yellow tones. The normal black version has the usual red and white lettering and the blue Water Resistant text and a blue/green display The second black version has a red/yellow color scheme with only the Casio logo in white and a gold/green display. The first basic model is often referred to as the silver model (while it’s just plain black), while the second version is referred to as the gold model. Often both versions were available at the release, but the availability of the silver tone was about 10 times higher than the gold tone. This is probably because the gold versions were more loved by Asian people. Some models were in Japan only released in the gold version, like the DW-6600 and DW-6900.
The so called "Gold Version" of the DW-6900.
Normally I prefer silver metal, for that reason I also love the MR-G models, but after I got a Precious Hearts model of 2006 I was pretty sure gold wasn’t a that bad color and with the 25th Anniversary models I was convinced gold could be looking great on a G.
Often when a series of models is released in a wide variety of colors I somehow try to get the colored versions first. Black is just ehm.. well, just black. This Black x Gold series are different. First of all the black resin is glossy, but we have seen that before. It’s the gold mirror parts that scream out for attention. When I saw this series announced I thought immediately, I should get the GA-110GB. Frankly also the GD-100GB and the GDF-100 GB look very nice to me. It’s that I have to make choices, but also I would have bought them all three.
The GA-110GB is probably the most blingy model of this series. All dial parts and markers are metallic gold and so are large parts of the hands. Personally I think this is a flashy watch to be seen with. Frankly the functionality of the analog timekeeping is maybe even worse than the monochrome Hyper Colors models. Note that I do not want to write this as a negative remark actually. The dial also has a digital display, which under normal circumstances shows time perfectly. No, the blend of the dial and the hands are actually giving the watch a kind of sophisticated look, which makes people curious.
Meeting at my house, January 4th, with from left to right: Ernie Romers (owner Watch-U-Seek), me, Tribe125 and DragonJade (who prefers to remain incognito)
Two weeks ago I had a meeting with Tribe125, former G-Shock Forum moderator on WatchUSeek and DragonJade, one of my co-moderators on the G-Shock forum. Our meeting point in front of the Antwerp Cathedral. By coincidence I ran into them at the side of the cathedral. I wanted to check time, but the sun had already set for about half an hour. I noticed my watch looked great, but it was almost impossible to read time in such bad light and weather conditions (there was quite some water pouring down from the sky.
I am not sure what attracts me most on this watch. Maybe it is the high contrast between the gold and black parts. I think the most interesting for me is the sophisticated look of the dial, with all its layers.
For the functions on this watch, I rather refer you to the Dee & Ricky model that I reviewed recently on 50 Gs. I think it’s enough if I say the watch has a Stopwatch function with Tachymeter, a Countdown Timer, World Time and an Alarm function. The only downside of the functioning of the watch, and I have mentioned that before, is that the mode button is standard silent and can’t also turned on. If you are used to G-Shocks it first feels like your watch is defect.
Like the other GA-110 reviewed here, this watch also has an amber LED backlight. Where I think this backlight does not real right to the previous reviewed models (my pink Hyper Colors shows bit boring brown/grey dial), it works out very nice with this Black x Gold display. With a bit of luck you can even read time (well, I maybe exaggerate a little here).
At “Shock The World Amsterdam” I met an employee of the Casio watch division and we have discussed about Casio watches since then. One of the first questions he asked me was why I bought so many G-Shocks overseas. In the past I had a good excuse to say these models were simply not available in the Netherlands. Well, since a few years things have changed drastically. G-shocks have become more expensive in East Asia (specially in Hong Kong), G-Shocks are relative cheap in the US, but the customs and specially the TNT postal service try to make from every good buy a very expensive one. For storing a package for almost a week before handing over a package to the customs they charge shamelessly €17.-, while the 20% tax has still to be added. You don’t have to be surprised when your $80.- watch with $20.- shipping ends up with an extra bill of around €35.- for customs and duties. I once had to pay at the door over €20.- for tax and duties for a $20.- watch, which appeared also to be the wrong watch sent from the seller.
The employee of Casio pointed me to some great Dutch G-Shock Trend Shops. Since shipping in my country is often free of charge, it became pretty interesting to buy G-Shocks here in my own country last year. I was lurking for this model for a long time. I knew “I Love Sneakerz” had one on their website, but when I finally decided to buy this model, it was just sold. Also no luck at Gorilli. Hmmm, I felt a little panic coming up. I contacted the account manager of Casio. He told me the watch was not available anymore, but he had seen one that morning in Amsterdam at Ace Trends Shop of Ace Jewelers and he gave me the internet address. I couldn’t find the watch directly on their website, so I tried out the “Live Chat”. I was helped within seconds. The watch was in store and a special page was made for me so I could buy this watch easily. Next working day (I ordered it Friday, but the postal service does not deliver insured packages on Saturday, so it was delivered Monday) the package was delivered perfectly. I had to say, I was amazed about the looks. I think I felt the same way when I opened the DW-6900CB-1. The black and gold color combination is just awesome. I have called it a blingy watch, but there is a good balance between the shiny gold and the black resin. Normally I would keep such a watch for my collection, but I couldn’t help myself by strapping on this watch.
I paid the full price for this watch. I think it was €129.-. After I bought this watch, I was contacted by one of the employees of Ace, who I happen to know, who told me that members of WatchUSeek can use a discount code (Ace Jewelers is also one of the sponsors of WatchUSeek). Well, it’s a little pity, but hey, I finally got a watch I was lurking at for a long time. That’s probably most important for me.


Dennis said...

Simply beautiful, it's almost like having a downscaled Kinkaku-ji night time light up on your wrist.

Unknown said...

Hi Dennis,

I had to look up Kinkaku-ji. I was in Kyoto December 2010. I have seen many templrs, but not this one.

I can see the resemblance.

Kind regards,


Dennis said...

You definitely should check it out next time you're there, it's quite sight for sure.

Here is a link to a picture of Kinkaku-ji at night.

Unknown said...

Fantastic Dennis!