Sunday, January 29, 2012

G-Shock #5: My Missing MR-G

I pretty much love the classic metal MR-G series, that were introduced in 1996. In the past years I have found several of these models for affordable prices. At their release they were pretty expensive. At that time a MR-G model costed around €400, which would probably more than double now if you convert that price to the nowadays market (it was almost about my monthly income around that time).
 From Left to right: MRG-100, MRG-110, MRG-210 and MRG-120.
 It’s not that I do not like the new MR-G models. Frankly I do like most, specially the MRG-7000 models and higher (to me the MRG-2000 and -3000 series looked a little too much like the higher end metal G-Shocks and hence not really worth the price tag of €1000.- or higher).
I think the current MR-G line has a totally different target group than mine. They are, with my spending pattern, not even close to affordable to me, but if you, as a consumer, are looking for a high end watch in the same category as the Omega Speedmaster, etc, this might be a reasonable series to look at too. Maybe I might find some in about 15 years for a than affordable price. As I will be approaching my 60 life year, it might be that my interest might have migrated to the higher end watches and that my spending spree might have been slowed down.
Today’s MR-G model is the MRG-110-7, released November 1996. I was highly convinced that I owned this watch, when my friend Neil offered me one last year. A quick look at my website G-Peopleland learned me I was wrong. There was a hiatus. I bought a MRG-100 earlier from him, and also I bought a MRG-210. There was my mistake. The MRG-210, released November 1997) has also a square case. The MRG-210 has more functions and 5 button (one 5th light button) operation, while the MRG-110 has only a 4 button operation.
In function I think the MRG-110 is more made for me. Despite it’s Telememo, ID data and vital statistics, the MRG-210 only has a Stopwatch, where the MRG-110 has a Stopwatch function and a Countdown Timer function. The upper right button is the light button, so the Split function in Stopwatch models done by the Adjust button (upper left). Not the ideal position for this function, but you probably get used to this pretty fast if you need this function often.
DW-8900, photo's by Jan (dschaen81 of the SCWF)
The MRG-110 shares the same module as the MRG-100, module1569. The MRG-100 is by the way released outside Japan as DW-8900. The only difference is the plastic face plate part, which is white in the Japanese version and gray in the overseas version. At the MRG-110 the plastic part of the faceplate is also white. Personally I love this color design. It is a nice contrast to the full metal case and also it makes the text pretty clear. The texts indicate if certain functions are toggled on. Then toggled on a horizontal black bar digit appears under the text. There is an indicator for the Alarm function, the Hourly Chime, the Split function in Stopwatch Mode and the Auto Repeat function in the Countdown Timer Mode. This last function might not easy to find. If you are in Adjust Mode of the Count Down Timer (the digits are flashing), press the upper right button and you will see the Auto Repeat indicator appear (or disappear if it was activated).
The MR-G feels quite heavy. Some may see this as a disadvantage, but from a lot classic 90‘s MR-G owners I learned that most people like the way you can feel the quality back in the weight of the watch. Pessimists can always complain that you walk skewed to the left when you wear such a watch, but we are talking a watch that weights about 150 grams here.
The weight of a MR-G watch is mainly the result of the use of solid links in the bracelet. The bracelet can easily be resized by driving out a split pin and taking out the link. You need the proper tools of course.
The finish of the watch is from what I know brushed stainless steel. It looks pretty nice, but you you can also see the wear of the watch easily, as you can see on my photo’s. I bought this watch used, so I knew what to expect. While wearing, I think the condition of this more than 15 years old watch is very good.
Classic MR-G models wear very comfortable, because of the hard rubber back protector. This allows a space between the back of the watch and the wrist. As there are no ventilation holes, I recommend to take the watch of at night as there is no ventilation.
As the newer MR-G models are far from affordable for me and I think for a lot of G-Shock enthusiasts, the classic MR-G series are a nice alternative. For me a price under €300 can be considered affordable, but I normally use the definition of the Poor Mans Watch Forum (PMWF), who state that an affordable watch is priced lower than $1000.-. Classic MR-G models of the 90’s can be found regularly for sale on watch forums and eBay. They are also often priced very wallet friendly. You often find them under €100.-. I bought this MR-G together with my GWS-900-4JR Speedpass. I am not sure what I paid for the two, but I got this one for far under €100, rather think around $70.-. For that price I think it is totally worth for what you get.
If you are interested in buying a MRG-110 or another classic MR-G model, keep in mind these models are slightly smaller than the usual basic G-Shocks of that time (and quite smaller than the current X-Large models). Although my preference goes to the larger G-Shocks, I still love these little gems with their unique full metal look and their heavy and quality feel.


Morteza Alavizadeh said...

Very very interesting model, Sjors. Have you done a review of MRG-210 as well? That it has the fifth light button makes it a very interesting watch to me.

Unknown said...

Hello Morteza,

I have searched my weblog, but I couldn't find it. I thought I did, but it seems I was confused with the MRG-100. Gives me a new subject for an article in the future (as I am frankly running out of G-Shocks a little now).



Anonymous said...

Hey Sjors,

I have just bought me a MRG110T, but i have just found out that i am missing the rubber band on the back of the watch. Do you know a place or website where i can order a spare rubber band?

Thank you for your time and i found your website very usefull.