The Rising Red GF-8230A-4 is a special version of the GF-8250 model, which is the last in the Frogman timeline, but is actually evolved from the stainless steel DW-8200 versions, known as the “Air Diver’s” DW-8250 models. I have no idea why Casio uses Stainless steel for these new “Diver’s”, but I do also not have a problem with it. I have the old DW-8250Y-9 Men In Yellow Frogman worn while swimming in our sea several times, but there is no sign of rust anywhere on the watch.
Let's compare some Frogman weights.
Original DW-8200 type with full titanium case
Original DW-8250 type, Stainless Steel
Tough Solar GF-8250, DW-8250 re-issue model
GF-8230A, Stainless Steel with IP Coating.
Two basic G-Shock models for weight comparison.
The heavy feel of the watch is for me also a plus. Maybe it is a reference to the old good mechanical watches, which are also heavy, because a lot of metal is used in the mechanism. The Rising Red Frogman, however, has a gold IP coated back. This is a sophisticated process where the surface metal is bombarded with ionized gold atoms in an almost absolute vacuum at very high temperatures. It results in a very strong bond. Where in classic methods (electrolysis) it was relative easy to wipe the gold off, it is now ion bond in the metal structure. The buttons and the case are black ion plated. Maybe a gold IP coated case would have looked too much with the gold tone display and screws in the bezel. It would probably not have been a price question, since IP coating process itself is an expensive treatment and the gold layer is actually only a few µm thick.
GF-8230A Tests screens: push the ADJUST, MODE and FORWARD button all together and scroll with the FORWARD button, until a normal screen appears again.
The GF-8230A-4JF was made as a pretty limited run. I am not sure how many were made, but it seems that there were only 3000 available world wide. This is not a very limited number, but sources will run dry faster, than with the GF-8250-9JF and the GF-8250ER-2JF. The first one was produced for over a year, while the production of the GF-8250ER has been stopped only recently. The price of this model varied quite with the region it was sold. In Japan the retail price was ¥47000, which is about €470-.-, which meant that if you looked good, you could buy it for around €430.-. I had my first for a good price for just under €400.-. I was not that lucky on a second one. The stock had dried out in Japan quite fast and it was hardly possible to find one under €500 in Japan. Luckily 10 of these were sold in the Netherlands, and I was able to get one of them. You might think that I should have wait for the US release ($ 500), but with expensive shipping and possible tax, it was easier and also a lot faster to get one from my own country. Of course it is also good to support your local economy if possible. The second Frogman I bought half October, came from Unknown, a sneaker store in Alkmaar (a city about 40 km north from Amsterdam), who also have a website called “I Love Sneakerz”. Meanwhile this Frogman is also released in the US at the beginning of November, with a retail price of $500.-. If you really want this watch and look around good, you can still find it for around retail price or maybe even lower.
I can't recommend leaving the Auto-Illumaination permanent on in wintertime. I had worn this watch for weeks with this function on and also wore it at night. After the EL photo session, the display went blank. First I thought it was the Power Save mode, but then I saw CHG flashing. I have to admit I was so much enjoying taking EL pics with my new 100 mm Macro lens, I must have pushed the light button about 20 - 30 times in about 10 minutes. I guess the battery didn't like that. Meanwhile the battery is back in strength after sunbathing in the pale winter sun for a few days.
I pretty much love my Frog. I have put my Japanese frog in my box for the daily rotation watches and it has already been on my wrist a lot of times. It is a nice alternation with my yellow and white watches. As this is quiet an expensive model, I was already intend to buy two, one to wear and one for the collection. I would like to thank my friend Katsu Higuchi-san for getting the first GF-8230A Frogman and also Darnell of Unknown for helping me out for the second. Also a big shout to the person getting me on track for the Dutch Frogman, who likes to remain anonymous. Without you I might had missed that Dutch release. Thanks guys for being my friend and helping me out!