Sunday, February 12, 2012

G-Shock #7: Khaki Green G-Shock with military look.


In November 2011 Casio released a series of 4 khaki G-Shock models. Beside this GW-6900KG-3JF, there were also an AWG-M500KG-3AJF, a GW-7900KG-3JFG and a GW-M5610KG-3JF. In earlier leaked photo’s there was also a G(W)-56KG model, but until present there is no news about such a model.
There were sounds that the floods in Thailand, last November, was delaying these models, but fortunately for my, these were already produced, although these models seemed not very wide available. I was pretty much loving the GW-M5610KG and GW-6900KG models, but also the Parra and Dee & Ricky model came out, so choices had to be made. Finally, about a week ago, I placed an order by at Katsu Higuchi in Oita, japan. I was very pleased to hear this model was available in Japan and Katsu could get one in 2 or three days. Somehow it took 7 days before the watch was delivered at my house, while it was luckily not hold at the customs this time. A few weeks ago I had to pay €35.- fees and tax for three shirts and a hoody, quoted for 6000 yen…
The khaki green models are called “Army Green” series in Japan. I heard the rumor that non-Atomic model will be released in the US later this year. Maybe it will have the same name, maybe it will be called “Khaki Green”, which would explain the KG suffix behind the model number. I think it is a pity that the Atomic models are not for release outside Japan, as Casio once achieved to release Tough Solar Waveceptor models. It might have something to do with the higher (production-) prices for Atomic versions, which might be less interesting for the overseas markets.
Only looking at the name for this series, you could of course guess the resin color. It is the old army green color (as modern armies now wear all kinds of camouflage outfits). It reminds me somehow to the old television series M*A*S*H*. Nice detail, when I served for the Dutch army, I was a laboratory worker for the 121 “Light Surgery Field Hospital”, in English called a Mobile Army Surgery Hospital (121 MASH).
While the lettering on the bezel is plain black, the lettering on the (negative) display is mainly orange. It looks very sharp in my opinion. Also the color of the digits is orange amber. The digits are like the DW-5600MS and DW-6900MS (Military Concept, a.k.a. Military inspired series) darker than most usual negative displays. This reflects the military character of this watch.
Interesting are the three stars in the right bottom corner under the display, next to Tough Solar. It seems like a kind of ranking system. The GW-M5610KG has 4 starts, the AWG-M500KG has, like this model three stars (a little harder to find on the dial) and the GW-7900KG has 2 stars. In November also a stock photo appeared of a GXW-56KG, only showing one star. It is not sure if and if so, when this model will be released, but it is, due to it’s size, maybe the model with the most military look. If it will be released, I would try hard to get one in my collection.
Under normal light conditions the display is however good readable and it is even very sharp under sunny conditions, as you can see on my photo’s. If you can’t read the digits anymore in dark conditions, you have, of course, the pretty sharp EL backlight. You can’t use it as a flashlight, like on a normal display DW-6900, but it is very clear.
The GW-6900KG has the 3179 module. For those no acquainted with a module, it is the guts of a G-Shock and all other Casio timepieces. The module can be seen as the digital equivalent of the movement of a mechanical watch, the module number as the caliber of a movement.
The 3179 is a pretty complete module. First of all, the watch is Tough Solar and has a 6 Multiband Waveceptor function. This means that the watch can operate with only a little light and can store a big load of energy in it’s rechargeable battery. With the Power Save mode on, the watch can run for maybe a year in total darkness if the battery is fully charged. The 6-Multiband Waveceptor functions makes it possible to sync in a lot of parts in the world with an Atomic Clock transmitter. I live at a very good location, about in the middle of the Mainflingen (near Frankfurt) and Anthorn (UK), where the European transmitters are located. The transmitter in Fort Collins covers large parts of the US, The transmitters in Fukuoka and Fukushima cover Japan and the latest transmitter is located in Sangqui City. Every night the watch will try to sync with one of these transmitters if your home location is within a transmitter range. In total the watch can try up to 6 times to get the signal. Once the watch has gotten the signal, it will perform a synchronization procedure the next night.
Further more there is a World Time function, with 48 cities in 31 Time Zones, an Alarm Function with 4 normal Alarms, a Snooze Alarm and a Hourly Time Signal, a 24 hour Stopwatch function and a 24 hour Countdown Timer function.
Like all Tough Solar G-Shock models, the GW-6900KG has a Full Auto Illuminator function. When this function is activated, the EL will turn on in the dark automatically, when the watch is tilted towards you, while your are is about parallel to the ground. When you try this in normal light, the light stays off. I always found this a pretty ingenious function, which was featured first on the DW-9300 Raysman. The duration of the EL Backlight can be set to 1.5 seconds and 3 seconds. For me 1.5 seconds is always a little to short. 3 seconds is more than long enough to observe time.
I can’t really remember when Casio made the last khaki models, but frankly I love this color. I have once featured a khaki DW-069USV-3T here, which was released in July 1999. That model looked good, but with the orange accents, this model looks even better.
If I had the money, I would have Casio let make a small Sjors signature G-Shocks with this model as base. Would that not have been fun?  I read rumors a G-6900KG will be released in the US later this year. It will probably be a lot cheaper than this one, but then it will lack the 6-Multiband Waveceptor function. The recommended retail price for this watch is 21000 yen (€210), but I got it for much budget friendlier price via Higuchi Inc. I think if you go to a electronics store in Japan, the watch will cost you around 19000 yen (€190). I do not know how the availability of this model will develop. If you look this model up in G-Shock Perfect Search (GPS), you’ll notice that the release date is not shown. This often mark models that will be available for a longer time. As far as I know this series will not (soon) be released in Europe. A pity, it is a great series.

7 comments:

Z432 said...

Very beautiful watch! Nice write up. I'm starting to think the stars are for the number in the series I.e. 3/4 .
Keep up the good work, I enjoy your writing.

Sjors said...

Hi Z432,

It's not the number in the series, as the GW-6900KG and the AWG-M500KGboth have three stars. I think the stars refer to a military ranking system.

Cheers,

Sjors

opal_froot said...

Im pretty sure the stars refer to the length of time the base model has been in service

opal_froot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sjors said...

Hi OpalFruit, I think that's a brilliant thought. I think that is correct too. THought the use of stars are of course inspired by military ranking system.

budak jam said...

hi sjors! greetings from malaysia!
i've been following your blog for quite some time now as i'm also a g-shock collector (and also other watches as well). just started the G collection seriously last year.

btw, i just got myself a G-6900KG-3DR which is a normal version of this GW-6900KG-3JF. one question that got me curious. the numbers on your caseback which reads 202A236A, are those actually a serial number? because mine also have these numbers as well (mine reads 0204A109B).

on the other hand, i also have a casio tough solar AQ-S800W-1B2VDF which also have these numbers at the caseback (i forgot the numbers).

so are these numbers are actually serial numbers? as far as i'm concerned, i think casio only have limited serial numbers on certain limited edition models (especially g-shock). but if these are serial numbers (even for normal casio model), then i think it's an upgrade for casio (in terms of status and branding-wise) just like seiko and citizen which incorporates serial numbers on all their watches.

till then, keep on "shocking"!

Sjors said...

Hi Budak,

These numbers are probably not serial numbers, but batchnumbers. I just got a G-6900KG-3 too. Mine has 204A112B as number.

The serial numbers that Casio normally uses starts with one digit of the uear, then one digit for the month (N for November, D for December) and 4 digits for the production number.

Cheers,

Sjors