Saturday, October 6, 2012

G-Shock #42: A new classic in vintage colors for the Coastal marathon.

Today’s G-Shock on 50 Gs is the model I wear at the Coastal Marathon of Zeeland. At the Coastal Marathon I am the mountain biker that marks the last runner. The so called “Broom Bike” (Bezemfiets”).
In the past years, specially after starting to write on 50 Gs, I try to put on something matching with the theme. As I work with several Lifeguard groups and the Water Board (Waterschap) I try a model that fits in a rescue workers/life guard profile. This year I wear my “Vintage Colors” GW-7900CD-9ER. It has a series name which does not really make you think about lifeguards, but at the release in 2009 the G-7900 and GW-7900 models was marketed as G-Rescue models (not to be confused with the orange Rescue-G models from 2008).
The G-7900 and GW-7900 have a quite unique look in the G-Shock line up. Maybe this model comes close to the G-Shock models of the 90’s, still my most preferred G-Shock era. It might be the yellow color, it might be because the use of wrist rests. You might even think, with the 4 screws on top of the bezel, that the GW-7900CD-9 is a beefed up DW-9052, an almost forgotten still produced classic model.
At the beginning of September I started thinking about a new watch for the Coastal Marathon. I had looked around a bit on internet and found that Ace Jewelers still had this model on their website. A quick chat with Dale Vito learned me that the model had sold out, but it was still possible to order this model from Casio. I decided to look around a little more first, but pretty fast realized that this model was getting hard to find. All I could find were two in Germany for the same price as at Ace, but with pretty high shipping costs. I was getting a bit scared that Casio would not even have this model in stock, but I could try. I asked Dale Vito to order one for me and we would see. He told me it should be in the shop in about two weeks.
Exact 8 days later I got a message my watch arrived. What a relief. This old model was still in stock then at Casio Europe (I assume this is where this watch came from). As I had let it send to my school, I was very tempted to wear it, after I got it at the lab next day and I think 5 minutes later I was walking at the lab with this yellow G-Shock. It’s really a good looker. Maybe the best 7900 model I know (I haven’t seen the red version in real life).
The resin straps and black wrist bands might suggest you this watch would feel strange around your wrist, but actually this set-up is very comfortable, comparable with the G-001 and the older 90’s model featuring these wrist rests. The 4 screws on the bezel add on the though look of the watch, although they don’t have no function, like eon the Frogman. I think it isn’t even a screw, but a kind of metal plug, pushed or glued on the bezel. If you ever might be tempted, I can strongly not recommend to try to unscrew it. You might make more damage than you would like.
The GW-7900CD comes from a series of three models, called “Vintage Colors”. This series also include a silver white Riseman and a grey blue GW-400 Silencer. The series were inspired on street fashion, where these matte color tones were in fashion. I can imagine the silver white and grey blue, but I can’t remember that a mat tone of yellow was a fashion color in 2009, but it’s forgiven. This watch just looks too nice to think about that.
Indeed, the resin parts have a matte finish, just like the old basic yellow DW-5600C and DW-6900H models. In that light, you can call this yellow color vintage, but I would rather prefer “Classic”.
Classic look or not, the functions of the GW-7900 are totally now. The heart of this watch is the 3193 module. Power is generated by the solar cells around the digital display and stored in a CTL1616 rechargeable battery. A complete charged battery can power the watch for up to 9 months in total darkness. The solar cells already charge the battery under dim light conditions, as in the office or at home.
The Time Keeping is daily adjusted if you live in the range of a public transmitter of atomic clock signals. I am pretty lucky, living almost in the middle between the Mainflingen transmitter in Germany and the Anthorn transmitter in the UK. Of course the Auto Receive function should be enabled, but this is the default setting of the GW-7900. All you have to do if you buy this model is adjust your “Home City”, so the watch knows which signals to pick up.
When you leave the Time Keeping function with the MODE button, you first will find the TIDE function. Although the Tidegraph is now more common on recent models, it had been a while that Casio adapted this function on a G-Shock when this model came out. It’s perfect for me as I live near the sea. Like on more Casio watches the Tidegraph is easy to set. Just look up the high tide in your location and fill in the time of the High Tide in Tidegraph Adjust mode (in the Tide function, press and hold ADJUST). The watch automatically calculates the tides from now and also calculates the Moon Phase (Note you have to choose if the moon is in the north or in the south for a correct moon phase projection in the circle eft of the Tidegraph in the display). Also nice is that the Tidegraph function calculates the if it’s Spring Tide, Intermediate Tide or Neap Tide, which is shown by the hight of the graph.
Further functions are a World Time function with 48 cities in 31 time zones, an Alarm function with 5 Alarms (one is a Snooze Alarm) and a Hourly Time Signal, a 24 hour Stopwatch function and a 24 hour Countdown Timer function.
The GW-7900 has a nice bright and greenish EL backlight. You can choose between a 1.5 second and a 3 seconds backlight. The watch has also a Full Auto Illuminator on-board. When activated (press the light button for about 3 seconds) the EL backlight will turn on in the dark when you tilt your arm about 45 degrees towards you, while your arm is parallel to the ground.
Above photo's taken during the "Kustmarathon 2012" by Eva
Above photo's taken during the "Kustmarathon 2012" by Bram
View from my bike at kilometer 33.
Further more, the watch has a Power Save function (default toggled on), which turns off the display in the dark after about an hour (60 to 70 minutes). If the watch is more than a week in PS mode, it will also stop to receive the Atomic Clock signals. In Time Keeping mode you can display the chosen World Time in the upper display, which can be handy if you have correspondence n other time zones.
Although the look of the GW-7900CD might look “simple”, there is a lot under the hood. It has a lot of useful functions. The fact it is Tough Solar and can receive the atomic time signal, means that I do not have to worry about the correct time, daylight saving time or dead batteries. The Tidegraph is for me a big plus, as I live near the sea and we have quite a big tide difference. Further more the Countdown Timer and Stopwatch are sufficient enough for me. When you see the watch first you might think why should I pay €49 more than a basic DW-6900 G-Shock, but if you see the additional functions and specially the Tough Solar power supply and the atomic time keeping, I think this is more than worth it. If you still can find this model, it will cost you €149.- in Europe. I guess in the US it will be around $150. Although this specific yellow model will be probable hard to find now, there are always the basic versions.

3 comments:

Locarios Tennis said...

Hi Sjors, thanks for writing about this watch because its one of my favorite G's. It was my first atomic and I love the vibrant yellow, its probably one of my top 3 G's. My question is that my 7900CD has dark navy blue buttons and wrist rests. Is this an anomaly? It always kinda bothered me because the G button is black and it never seemed to make sense. Then again the colors are varied on the watch itself, the "G" is red and some of the printing on the module is light blue so I just figured it was a unique design choice. However since you mentioned that your buttons are black, Im just curious. I believe I have the ER version while yours is JF - is there a difference there?

Locarios Tennis said...

Hi Sjors, thanks for writing about this watch because its one of my favorite G's. It was my first atomic and I love the vibrant yellow, its probably one of my top 3 G's. My question is that my 7900CD has dark navy blue buttons and wrist rests. Is this an anomaly? It always kinda bothered me because the G button is black and it never seemed to make sense. Then again the colors are varied on the watch itself, the "G" is red and some of the printing on the module is light blue so I just figured it was a unique design choice. However since you mentioned that your buttons are black, Im just curious. I believe I have the ER version while yours is JF - is there a difference there?

Sjors said...

Hello Locarios,

I have checked mine this morning. THe buttons are really deep black. It puzzles me a little. In the 90's the yellow/dark blue combination was quite usual, though I haven't seen it for a while. I also have the -1ER version, like you. It was bought in The Netherlands and I can't remember I have seen another color combination with yellow of this model.

You can see the JP model here, which is exact like mine:

http://product-search.casio.jp/wat/g-shock/watch_detail.php?m=GW-7900CD-9JF&n=4358

while this is for instance a yellow/navy combination from the 90's:

http://product-search.casio.jp/wat/g-shock/watch_detail.php?m=DW-003H-9T&n=326

Cheers,

Sjors