Sunday, May 20, 2012

G-Shock #23: G-Lide of Winter 2004

Let’s do a quicky. The camouflage DW-6900FS and the Rush DNM x G-Shock articles have cost me lot’s of time. I know the WatchUSeek motto is “Time is on our Side”, but I’ll guess time will learn now if I can make a new articel in time. I dove into my boxes with G-Shocks and dug up this model.
First photoshoot I did on the beach this year.
This is the GL-260-3JR from the 2004 Winter collection. It was released in October 2004 and there were 3 variants. The other are a black and blue variant, who both have a blue double cloth and Velcro strap. The GL-260 is basically a G-2300 model, but since it is released as a G-Lide, it got a quite different model number. You will notice in this article I often refer to the basic G-2300, which was released first in October 2000.
G-Lides that are released in a Winter Collection are mostly aimed for snowboarding activities. Casio advertises this model as Low Temperature proof, but we all know nowadays G-Shocks all are. This was different in the early 80’s. The Low Temperature LCD WW-5100 and WW-5300 were novelties back then.
The easy adjustable strap is ideal for snowboarding. The upper strap is guided through two special designed strap adaptors (different version than used on the DW-002, DW-003, DW-004, DW-5600, DW-6900, etc). These strap adaptors are more streamlined and adapt also the design of the case too. This construction prevents loosing your watch if one of the springbars might be torn loose when you are performing your most dangerous tricks on the slopes and your strap is hanging behind something.
The upper strap has a kind of speckled camouflage pattern on it. The series name G-Lide is embroidered near the buckle,
Most striking in my opinion is the creme/off-white ring around the display and buttons. They contrast nicely to the khaki green case and giving this watch also a unique look, as the ring normally is in the same color of the case or metallic (G-2310).
The GL-260 has the 2594 module. This is a bit interesting, as it the original G-2300 has the 2184 module. I have thoroughly read both manuals, but all functioning is the same. Also the display lay-out is the same and both modules are also powered by the ML2016 rechargeable battery.
I took my beat-up GL-260 to the beach. I never noticed the battle scars obvious visible on the light button and the bezel. Below is the light button of my other, hardly worn, GL-260.
Although I was not a big fan of the original G-2300 design, it was quite a well equipped model when it was released back in 2000. It has similar functions as the first Tough Solar Casio watch, the DW-9300 Raysman plus World Time. I never understood why I couldn’t get used to the normal G-2300 design. Somehow it looks small, but compared with a DW-6900 there is not much difference in dimensions. Probably the parts that stick out of the DW-6900 on the sides make it appear a bit bigger. In the past I have recommended the G-2300 quite often for people who wanted a very complete basic G-Shock though. All these people were pretty happy with my advise. The smaller look of the G-2300 is with the GL-260 compensated with the double Velcro cloth watchband. It brings the case a little higher on the wrist giving it a better appearance on the wrist. Somehow I think these double Velcro cloth watchbands give smaller models like the DW-5600 and the G-100 a better appearance. I would not object if Casio would be making models with thee straps again.
Let’s take a look under the hood of this GL-260. The GL-260 is one of first generation Tough Solar models G-Shock released. These first generation models (DW-9300 and DW-9350 Raysman, G-2300 and the solar versions of the GW-200 Frogman) had an enormous power reserve when the battery was fully charged. The ML2016 could easily power the modules for about 9 months if the battery was fully charged. Characteristic on the first generation models is that the solar panels had a large surface. All black you see under the crystal are solar cells. On the latest solar models these solar cells are often much smaller and still provide sufficient energy to charge the battery, even under dim light conditions.
The GL-260 has also a Power Safe function, but this function does not work automatically. You have to push and hold the MODE button for about 2 seconds. The display will go blank. The only digit in the screen is for the SLEEP function in the bottom section of the eye.
Besides Timekeeping Mode, you find a World Time Mode, a Data Bank Mode, an Alarm Mode, a Stopwatch Mode and a Countdown Timer Mode. The World Time Mode is not as extensive as we find on nowadays G-Shocks, but with 27 cities and 29 time zones, it’s sufficient for most travelers.
The Data Bank Mode can store up to 30 sets of names and telephone numbers. A name can be up to 8 characters, a number up to 14 numbers. The Data Bank function is a bit dated now and I can’t remember any recent G-Shock that has this function on board. When the G-2300 was released, mobile phones were not as widespread as now. I can remember using the Data Bank function on the DW-9300 and G-2300 when I started collecting.
The Alarm Mode has 5 Alarms and a Hourly Time Signal. There is no Snooze Alarm, but frankly I never use that Alarm function. The 5 Alarms can be programmed as Daily Alarm, Date Alarm, 1-Month alarm and a Monthly Alarm. This sounds quite extensive, but it is the result that you can facultative add a date you your alarm (Date Alarm). If you leave the day or date digit black you get the 1-Month Alarm, respectively the Monthly Alarm.
Both the Stopwatch Mode and the Countdown Timer Mode are of the 24 hour type. The Stopwatch Mode has an Auto Start function. When toggled on, the Stopwatch performs a 5 seconds Count Down. In the last three seconds a beep sounds and a long higher peep sounds as a start. The Count Down Timer has an Auto Repeat function, which is handy if you have to perform an activity repeatedly at a certain time interval.
The G-2300 was one of the first G-Shocks with the Full Auto Illuminator on board. Expensive battery powered G-Shock models sometimes already had an Auto Illuminator function. This function switches on the EL Backlight automatically when the arm is hold parallel to the ground and twisted 40º towards your face. The Full Auto Illuminator only turns on if there is not enough light to watch time on the display normally. Of course the light intensity is measured with the solar panels.
In Japan and I think in East Asia this model was released with an extra strap. It is shown on the japanese product page of this model. I have two of these GL-260s, although you don’t see them often. I know that I bought my first one years ago from a member on WatchUSeek, who was studying for watchmaker and now works for a prestigious Swiss watch brand (I forgot if it was Rolex or Breitling). I don’t know what I paid for this watch, but I think it was peanuts. Maybe €50.- or less. Later I found a second green GL-260, which I obtained for a similar price. Probably if you look a bit better, you might find one somewhere in the world. As G-Shock collectors do not dive on this kind of watches, you’ll probably can get one for similar prices as what I paid for it. For that price you get a nice looking, somewhat smaller G-Shock with a good functionality. The first Tough Solar generation G-Shocks have proven to be very reliable. I have only replaced a rechargeable battery in a Raysman once, and that was because the previous owner had drained the battery and instead of charging it again, he had put in a CR2016 battery. I use this GL-260 often for riding on my mountain bike. The strap is very comfortable during sporting.


havell777 said...

Nice pick, great job Sjors. Love the details you going to with Bram picks, awesome. Trust me, there is NOT many people in the world with better knowledge in this field then SJORS. Radek - NY

TR853-1™ said...

I loved this model so much i had it for the longest time among all my Gs. You know how i like bulky looks and the velcro straps are just beautiful! My first post in WUS was also about this watch. I was looking for parts to revive it. Sadly i couldn't find any. Thanks for the memories!

Unknown said...

Hello Trase,

Thanks for your comment. I am actually surprised to get comments on this model, as it is not a common model, or one of those you see people want for a long time. I'm happy to bring back your memories. It is maybe not a real flashy watch, but I pretty much like it when I got it strapped on.