Sunday, April 14, 2013

G-Shock #16: Commemorative G-Shock

Today my website G-Peopleland exists 10 years. Of course I don’t want to pass this little milestone, without a special G-Shock. I opened my database to check which watches I bought around April 14, 2003. There were several models to choose from, but this one is a good model highlight now.
A friend of me, Bleephead (Bleep for friends) told me, probably a few months before I started building my website, that I should have one. He even provided me some simple software and showed me how to use it. For several weeks this basic website was on my computer.
Bleephead, me and his daughter Dani
My Colleague Paul

Proost! Cheers! Kanpai!
When my colleague Paul pointed out how to host a website, I thought; “I’ll give it a try”. I basically re-designed Bleep’s website and hosted it on a service in New Orleans. Frankly, in 10 years my website just grew bigger and bigger, but it is still based on the simple set-up of Bleephead and I’m still hosted at the same service.
Before that time it was very hard to find any info about G-Shocks. There was a Japanese Watches bulletin board, which was not very active. Frankly I do not remember how I knew this series was coming. The G-Shock forum wasn’t still there and English information was very scarce. It was a puzzle for me where I bought this watch. I first thought it came from Seiya Kobayashi-san in Tokyo, but then I thought I did not know yet of his and Katsu Higuchi-san’s services. Looking at the box reminds me that I got this watch from Hong Kong. At that time Javys, the importer of Casio in Hong Kong was very active in getting special G-Shocks to Hong Kong. Hong Kong had even special models that were not available elsewhere. I did not buy this watch directly from Javys. They have a well sorted shop with a lot of limited editions, but they know how to push prices up. I bought mine from a Hong Kong seller who bought directly from Javys. It was a seller I bought from several times at that time, but he has gone a long time ago.
Back in 2003 Casio was only thinking of celebrating decades. There had been a special release in 1993 to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of G-Shock, the DW-1983-1, which was actually a special DW-5000 model. In January 2003 Casio released for the 20th Anniversary 6 models in this “20th Tribute Series”, this DW-5000ML, a DW-5700ML, DW-6900ML, a G-3000ML and a GW-300ML. Actually the last one could also be bought as a package with a special 20th Anniversary book. I rather would like have seen that the DW-5000ML got a package with the book. We are talking original G-Shock DNA here. All these models have the amber brown display, the G-3000ML has even red/brown digits. Unfortunately I had not enough funds to buy the DW-6900ML, which I still regret today. In May 2003 Casio also released a G-600SP and a DW-5000SP (“Team Tough”). Alas, not in my collection too.
Pretty unusual macro. Someone left the watering can in the garden.
The watch comes in the typical basic export box, but when the sleeve is removed, you’ll notice the box has a special 20th Anniversary logo in silver on it.
The watch itself looks petty nice. The red/brown display attracts immediately your attention, as the rest of the watch is in gray tones. The color tone is about that from a iodine solution. Looking at the watch is some kind of surrealistic. The metallic red/brown is so unusual. Very nice also, of course, is the screwback. Also a very nice detail is the black metal strap keeper, which says: RESIST SINCE 1983. Frankly I would love to see that Casio would use metal strap keepers more often. Over the years, the strap keeper is the first part to break (though, under normal use, after many, many years).

So, what’s that thing about “screwbacks”. Screwbacks can only be used with metal cases (stainless steel or titanium). The back is screwed with some force into the back of the watch. The part where the thread is applied also presses into an O-ring, to provide the 200 meter water resistance. So, would a screwback be better than the 4-screwback? For the 4 screw back, the case is polyurethane, one of the hardest and most durable plastic available. Of course the metal case and screwback have the feel of higher quality, but applying the back on the case cause quite some friction between the rubber o-ring and the screwback. Also, the chance of the module gets crooked is pretty high, as the rubber back protector of the module gets some friction too. I think the friction on the O-ring is not real bad, as it’s lubricated with silicon grease. With a 4 screw-back, the force on the gasket is applied without friction, while the 4 screws apply force on the gasket evenly. Should one system be better than the other. I frankly don’t think so. Your gut feeling might say that the screwback fits like a lid on the case, but it’s actually the O-ring, keeping the internals dry. The force applied on the gasket of the screwback is only caused the the force it’s tightened. For the 4 screw back, the force of the screws do not need to be extreme tight. In this case water pressure also applies (water-)pressure on the back, so theoretical, I even think the last system is even better. Cosmetically a screwback and a steel case looks great though. It probably triggers your nostalgia feelings too. They can be a hard time to remove for a battery change though. I had to take several attempts to get this one open to give the watch a fresh battery. It would have been a pity to accompany this article with photo’s of a dead watch, isn’t it?
Sorry, the fun you can have with a POL filter...
The DW-5000ML comes with the 1545 module, the same module that you find on the DW-5600 models. The new DW-5030C model, released for the 30th anniversary, will be (probably) the first DW-5000 with the updated 3229 module. Actually the functions are practically the same as the 240 module, found on the classic DW-5000C. Of course the new DW-5000 models all have EL backlight. Also the pretty unusual half hourly time signal on the 240 module was replaced by the more usual hourly time signal. On this model you find after leaving the Time Keeping Mode (by pressing the Mode button) in succession the Alarm Mode, the 24 hour Countdown Timer and a 24 hour Stopwatch. On the classic DW-5000C you could not set the Alarm to a certain date, but you can on this model. Consequently, you can also set the watch to an Alarm once a mont or at a certain day of the month.
It's pretty hard to catch the orange/red EL backlight with my camera. The reflector for the LDC is a perforated metallic foil, so it also let the light of the EL backlight trough. In real you can perfectly read time, as you can see in the photo above. If you try to take a good macro pic, it's not easy to have the digits included. 
The DW-5000ML was not produced as a very limited model, although it sold out at that time pretty fast as far as I know. A pity that Casio did not use serial numbers on the back. I don’t know if the DW-5000SP, which was released 4 months after this model, had a serial number . The DW-5025 had a special serial number, telling you which production number you had of the 2008 produced. The display was one of the main reasons of me to buy this model. I thought it looked awesome then, and I still think it looks like that now. It’s a pity I didn’t buy the DW-6900ML too. Put a value on this DW-5000ML is a bit difficult. They are not for sale a lot. Generally you can say that most DW-5000 model keeps it value. Only the DW-5025SL model was mass produced. All other DW-5000 models that I know of, are pretty rare. For instance the DW-5000-1JF re-issue of 2001 sold out in 70 hours! I think if you should put a price tag on this one, you must think to prices around ¥15000 - ¥20000, pretty much around the retail price at release (¥15000). The special “Project Team Tough” (“Roots of G-Shock”) model, released in May 2003, with a special box and normal display, will cost you round, will cost you around ¥25000 - ¥30000. A pretty nice model too, if you like these nostalgic screwbacks. If you like a DW-5000 model, but don’t want to search too long, you may be happy to hear Casio released the 30th Anniversary DW-5030C-1JR. At the moment I write this, it’s not sure if this 30th Anniversary model will be released overseas.


havell777 said...

Thank you for all those years Sjors - you are great motivation and awesome leader to many people around the world. Cheers from The East Coast Radek

dorkinaut23 said...

Congratulations on 10 years of G-Peopleland and thanks for all your efforts in making your collection and G-Shock information available on the web.:)

That's a nice 20th Anniversary model. I like that metal strap-keeper and the radial sunburst reflective foil/metal mesh background in the display. When I got my GW-M5630 a few months ago, I thought it was the first time Casio had done such a thing. Now I know better. - fwupow