Sunday, February 26, 2012

G-Shock #9: Rock Hard!

Today’s G-Shock is a G-Shock of the G’Mix series. For those who think: “What the heck are the G’Mix series”, you might have heard of the Tough Label series, but even that series haven’t come with new models for a long time.
The G’Mix series were the Japanese version of the Tough Label series overseas. Often they came with the same models, but another patch and sometimes there were other models released in Japan than overseas. About today’s GM-100 model, the GM-100-8JF to be more exact, I m not sure if it was released overseas. If it was, it probably only was released in South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong). I also have a back version, but alas not with the original strap, which I got from Singapore.
The G’Mix series were, as the name already suggests, made for the music and club scene. This also applies for the Tough Label, of course, although I never saw the relationship between the series name and the music and club scene.
Often the G’Mix and Tough Label models have a gadget function, referring to music. There are models with a BPM counter, models with a animated graphic analyzer, models with musical color schemes. The GM-100 is a bit different. It has melody alarms. An average G-Shock has two tones. One beep to let you know that you moved to another function, or started/stopped an action and a different beep to let you know you are back in Timekeeping Mode. If you never noticed, chick it out on your G by scrolling through the modes. Almost all digital G-Shocks, released after the DW-6600 (which doesn’t have this second beep) have this.
The melody alarm sounds are also adjustable. For the hourly chime you can choose between two signals. A simple “BEEEEP BEEEEP!” one and a melodic one. In the past I have read the question if it was possible to make a louder alarm on a G-Shock. Well, you might be careful what you wish for. This alarm is loud! I always have the hourly chime on, as I seem to forget time often, and so I had turned it on on this watch, though I actually don’t wear it. At a night I had left it in the bedroom. I can tell you, you only do that once. Every hour the watch woke me up. As it was on the other side of the room, I didn’t want to go out of my bed to bring it to my storage room, but it was the first thing I did in the morning, not to mention that my girlfriend Eva was pretty annoyed about this watch.
Battery change on the G'Mix GM-100
The loudspeaker (front and backside)
A mysterious big metal disk devides the loudspeaker part from the module.
The back shock absorber. You can clearly see the alarm springs. Probably one for each voice.
The AC contact is a bit hard to find, but it is there.
Another CR2016 battery. After resetting the module I put a little silicon grease on the gasket, before I close the watch in reversed order.
I was pretty curious how Casio achieved such a loud alarm on a G-Shock and still have a 20 Bar water resistance. Remarkable is to see there are small holes in the back of the watch. Luckily the battery went dead, so I had to open the watch. The loudspeaker is not attached under the back plate, but is a special plate, which is pressed hard against the runner seal by the back, when the watch is closed. The two voices are achieved by using two alarm springs. The room between the loudspeaker and the back acts as a resonance box, which explain the hard sound of this watch. The module us hidden under another
The design of this GM-100 is inspired Rock (“Lock”) music. I’m not sure why, but the sword represents the Rock spirit. It reminds me a bit to a drawing I saw on Busy P’s facebook page about Rock Concerts from past until 2012.
The upper part of the strap is made of leather. This is used, because a lot of rock artists wear leather. The under part of the strap is made of a strong gauze material. This is probably to make the band good breathable.
This watch would not be complete with some rock songs for the alarms. There are 5 melodies, according the description of the watch, classics from the ‘50s until the ’90’s. They include “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley (1956), “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones (1965), “Walk this Way’ by Aerosmith (1975), "New Year's Day" by U2 (1983), and “Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana (1991). “Walk This Way is probably better known by the cover of Run DMC in 1986 featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the original writers of this song.
By pressing the upper right button in Timekeeping mode, the watch can play these melodies randomly. That’s why I have made cuts in my video, it would have last about 5 minutes to show all songs.
The functions on this watch are a also a bit different from what you find on a regular G-Shock. This makes this relative unknown model quite a special watch.
The first mode you enter when you leave the Time Keeping mode is the Day Counter. There can be programmed 5 Day Counter records, which are programmable between January 1, 1940 until December 31, 2039. You can assign a name up to 12 characters to a record. When a Day Counter record date has reached, the display shows “DAYS” flashing under the seconds. Casio has made more models with a Day Counter around 2000, but never was a common feature on a G-Shock. Although it’s a funny gadget, I rather have a 24 hour Countdown Timer on a G-Shock.
Next mode is the Alarm Mode. It has 5 Alarms on board. Every alarm can be linked to a song that you want to hear when the alarm goes off. It is also possible to choose a random song or a simple beep alarm. The Hourly Chime can be programed as a short melody or as a simple beep beep alarm.
Next there is the usual 24 hour Stopwatch function. Although the beeps are very loud when you push the buttons, the functioning is simple, like on most G-Shocks.
The last function that you find on this watch is the Memo Mode. In this mode you can store 5 memo’s. Every Memo record can contain a title of maximal 8 characters (upper display) and 16 characters for the data (lower display).
If you are really annoyed about the loud sounds, but like a hourly chime, you can set the volume of the watch. You can set the volume when you are in Time keeping Adjust Mode. Also in this mode you can choose between a melody hourly chime or a simple beeping hourly chime.
The GM-100 models were not quit the cheapest G-Shock models. The recommended retail price of these models (there were in total 12 different models released) was ¥18000. For instance the DW-6900CK-3MJK G-Viper model, that was also released in June 2000 had a Recommended Retail Price of ¥12000. For that ¥18000 you got a very unique G-Shock. Specially the versions with this double strap with leather upper part. I cannot remember that Casio released a similar strap for a G-Shock, although the GL-100V models have similar construction with a double strap connected to the case on each side. If you are looking for one of these now, they are not easy to find. Since I found an English manual, I think the watch was also released in South East Asia, but still you don’t encounter them often. Actually it took a long time before I found one. This is my second GM-100 and also the best looking (like I wrote above, the other does only have a simple resin strap instead of the original one). I would like to have more of these. The double Velcro versions look very nice, specially the red model. If I ever will own more, I doubt it. It’s actually not the price. I paid less than $100 for this one, but they simply do not seem to cross my path that often.

1 comment:

bayu said...

i also have this gshock...i bought it around 1999 in jakarta with my girlfriend (now she is my wife)...yeah the alarm sound is very loud but with the song tone..i like that. I think this watch is rare now. I'll keep it for my son so he can wear just like what i did.....