Sunday, October 21, 2012

G-Shock #44: Dave's Quality Meat's Concrete Creation

On November 22th 2007 Casio released a special series collaboration models with Concre. Concre is the fusion of the words Concrete and Creation. It’s founded by artist, DJ and musician Ken Isheda. Curious as I am, I checked out for his music. It seems to be very ambient. This made me more curious. Was he related to Ryochi Ikeda? I found the answer in an interview (Vital Weekly no. 256). Though signed by the same record label “Touch Music”, they are in no way related. Although Concre was launched relative big in New York, with an exhibition of artwork and forthcoming G-Shock models, it seems the activity was turned down soon after the release of these G-Shock models.
Sorry... It was not easy to find the Concre logo, but when I got it, I thought, what a shame, as you can use it in so many fun ways...
No less than 4 limited edition models were part of this release, all in a small release of 250 pieces per model. Also there was a  basic Concre model (not limited) as well. Every model was based upon this basic Concre DW-5600VT model, which was a popular basic model in Japan at that time. Actually I have tried to get a basic DW-5600VT for some time, with no luck, but with the release of the current Basic Black DW-5600BB, I think Casio has a very good and maybe even better alternative for this model.
For this Concre collaboration project, which was actually called the first Concre Collaboration series, Ken Ikeda teamed up with NYC based artists Eric Helms, Rostarr, Madsaki and East Village (Bowery) retailer Dave’s Quality Meat to design each Concre model. Today’s teatured G-Shock is designed by Dave’s Quality Meat.
Dave’s Quality Meat (DQM) is a small clothing shop for the skateboarder and biker founded by Chris Keeffe in 2003. According thier website: “Remaining true to this history and its roots in skateboarding, DQM has grown to become not only New York’s premiere location for sneakers, menswear and skate goods, but also a fully-fledged brand in its own right, with a complete seasonal collection of clothing and accessories sold in select locations around the world. DQM has been proud to work regularly with New York City’s up and coming designers and photographers as well as with companies as well-known as Vans, Nike, Crescent Down Works, Mark McNairy, Stormy Kromer, Adidas, G-Shock, and Incase”
Chris Keefe, © Mike O'Meally 
The models from the Concre series are packed in a great package. After removing the first slipcover, you get a box which opens in two parts, a smaller part housing a package of post cards, and the big part containng the watch. I think al Concre models have the same card set, with images which is also featured at the Concre website. The slip cover has the same camouflage pattern as the print on the straps of this DQM model, the other Concre models have a different print by the designing artist.
The very cool Concre card pack. Below front and back sides of these cards.
These G-Shocks were available at selected shops in the US and via Nano•Universe Japan. Actually I learned about these models through Nano•Universe online shop on Zozo Town, Japan (www.zozo.jp). The prices for these watches were not really cheap. The basic model could be bought for ¥23,100 and the special designed models were ¥24,150. I do not know what the retail prices were in the US, but I think they were around $200.-.
The DW-5600VT model compared with the DW-5600BB model.
As I wrote above (and clearly seen on my photo’s), the DQM stands out of the other Concre models with it’s camouflage pattern on the straps. On the top and bottom of the bezel there is also the DQM logo. Typical for the Concre models is the use of gold tone metal parts, as we also know of the 25th Anniversary models. The back has a special print etched, but frankly I can’t make something of the minimal logo. It does not look like DQM, not does it look like Concre.
Typical for the Concre DW-5600VT is the face around the display. While we find a rectangular thin lining around the the LCD display on normal DW-5600’s, it’s absent here, which creates a strange dark, but attractive look. As soon as I found out they were release, I tried to get one, but unfortunately it was almost impossible to buy one in a shop in the US and official Japanese Casio retailers could not sell this watch too, as it was only sold via the Nano•Universe stores.
About a half year after the release, I got a mail from $teve in Niagra NY, whom I know via WatchUSeek (WUS). He knew I loved the Dave’s Quality Meat model and he had one for me. He bought it straight from the store in New York. I do not know anymore what I paid, but $teve simply asked the same price as it was sold in the shop. I was very surprised when I saw the package. I knew the models, but not it’s package. It’s simply awesome.

Casio later adopted the basic Concre DW-5600VT design also on some later collaboration models with a similar look. Above show some examples, the "120 years End of Edo Period" commemoration model and the "Blow" collaboration model.
The Concre G-Shock has the negative display module 1545, which has the simple basic, but complete functions.
First one Alarm function, which can be set as a Daily Alarm, but also as a Date Alarm, or as you leave one of the two positions blank you get a 1-Month Alarm or a Monthly Alarm.
Next you find the 24 hour Countdown Timer. It can be set to the second and has also an Auto-Repeat function.
The last function is the usual 24 hour Stopwatch function, which can measure elapsed time to 1/100th of a second.
I think it’s clear this box one of my most special G-Shocks in my collection. There are only 250 made of this model and I think I have the best model in the Concre line-up, though the Eric Elms artwork looks nice too. I think I paid $168 plus shipping from the US to The netherlands for this watch, which is probably now a good price.
I found the original pics of the seller I bought this watch from. 
If you do a search for this watch on Yahoo Auctions Japan, you'll notice the DW-5600VT was used for many collaborations (including Bape and X-Large), but you probably not one of the Concre models. They are probably too rare to pop-up often. Since I have mine (April 2008), I have maybe seen one of these models for sale probably only one or two times. If you like this watch, but don’t care about the special limited print on the straps, you might want to look out for the DW-5600BB. This watch has even a more minimalistic design. Even the lettering for the functions are left from the face around the LCD display.

3 comments:

1337x said...

Hi Sjors!
Super collab! Looks like I missed a "G"olden epoch (~2005-2009), when released cool models. I dont understand why such interesting models released a super-small batches and never reissued. If the demand is there, why not offer? It is beneficial to all, including Casio. More sales, more money!
My first G-Shock was DW-5000SL-1 and I bought by accident in 2009. And only in 2012 I started to consciously collect G-Shock's (only 5600's model).
I am interested, you wear all watches from your collection and how do you keep them all?
If you have any 5600 models for sale, let me know ;)
Good luck!

Sjors said...

Hi 1337,

At that time the demand of the Concre models was not that big, so 250 each is not a bad number, as the artists are not that well known. The basic Concre model was released in big numbers, at least in Japan. G-Shocks were also not hyped as they are now by a lot of new collectors. A few scream and the rest follow the herd, if they like the watch or not.

Personally I don't understand why Casio made the recent Wu-Tang model this limited, after advertising it for months. The only profit is there for those interested in fast $$$ and not in G-Shocks. Casio sells them for their retail price, resellers sell it for $100 more. Casio and Collectors the victims. I think this should have been at least a 5000 run.

I do not wear all watches, specially not the rare ones. For more limited models I try to find two. One to keep clean in my collection and one to wear.

If you knew me better, you should know I do not sell any of my G-Shocks in my collection. Maybe that's even a good thing, because that's why I can write about them. I personally do not like people asking to sell me my G-Shocks too. I receive even price list request every now and then :-(

Cheers,

Sjors

the chubby bear said...

hi sjors,
There's a concre model (used) on sale now but if it the 4 buttons are not in gold colour, also the buckle is in silver, should i be suspicous of it? backplate says concre tho..