Sunday, April 21, 2013

G-Shock #17: ジルミ クライン presents "Hook-Ups".

As a teenager I was already obsessed with special T-Shirt prints. At festivals and on holidays, I was always checking out little stands and boutiques for something colorful. I also designed T-Shirts myself with obscure lyrics of obscure bands in alternative fonts, simply with markers and textile paint. Although I actually made them for myself, friends also knocked on my door, asking me if I could do such a Tee for them too. I have never counted the tees in my closet, but I won’t be surprised if there are at least 250 of them piled up for daily use. I was actually not really into brands, until I got into G-Shock collecting. The first brand I stumbled upon was Hook Ups. I had never heard of this brand and it still is quite hard to find in Europe. Actually all the Hook Ups Tees I have right now are imported from the US.
A random selection of my Hook-Ups tees. 
I think I got this G-Shock February 2002. It was not easy to find info about this watch at that time, but a few years before I found this watch, it seemed G-Shock sponsored a lot of professional skateboard riders at the end of the ‘90s , at least there were Willy Santos, Steve Caballero, Eric Koston, Pedro Barros, Tommy Guerrero, Gio Esteves, Dan Drehobl, Ed Templeton and off course, Jeremy Klein. Even nowadays there are professional skateboarders sponsored by G-Shock, like Pedro Barros and of course Stevie Williams of Dirty Ghetto Kids (DGK).
Focus Sjors, focus...
Ads for Hook-Ups sneakers
Jeremy Klein posing for an Hook Ups poster in the mid '90s.
In July 1994 Jeremy Klein (July 12, 1971) started a T-Shirt line, called Hook Ups. He was inspired by candy, ice cream, girls, video games and of course anime. Later also skateboards and shoes were added to the collection. Hook Ups is widely know by the use of Japanese animation style girls and monsters on their products. Since I got this G-Shock, I have been also a fan of this T-Shirt brand. Although they are hard to find outside the US, I have quite a collection. We had a theatre play two years ago from our school. The play was situated in a hospital. I managed to wear a Hook Ups shirt every day (for 5 days), with an anime nurse on it. I didn’t even know myself I had so many nurse Hook Ups shirts….
My infamous Yellow Fever shirt...
Hook Ups also has a side T-Shirt branch called Yellow Fever. This brand could be compared by the Pornstar brand, which was popular about 10 years ago. While Hook Ups has some funny graphic content that might raise eyebrows sometimes (as I wear my fire woman shirt, colleagues easily get distracted, really), the Yellow Fever shirts often are not really safe for work.

Intro of the movie "Destroying America" by Hook-Ups.
"The making of" the The Hundreds x Hook-Ups commercial.
Rap trio CBG (Chill Black Guys) performing in the new The Hundreds x Hook-Ups Tee.

At the moment it is reasonable easy to get an authentic Hook Ups shirt outside the US. In August 2012 Boby Hundreds and Jeremy Klein met in a Korean barbeque restaurant in LA (Parks BBQ), where they made plans for a collaboration between The Hundreds and Hook-Ups. According The Hundreds it is the first collaboration of Hook-Ups. Something tells me they forgot about this collaboration with G-Shock.
At the time I got this watch, I had no idea what the Japanese text ジルミ クライン on the label meant. I had several contacts in Japan around that time. “Giez” translated it for me as Sirumi Curain. Now I can a little bit decipher katakana, it actually says Jirumi Kurain. I had no clue, until a member of the G-Shock forum, EdoubleB, in April 2005 got the answer. It is the name of the founder of Hook-Ups, Jeremy Klein. Actually the first character is notジ but ジェ (ェ is usually written smaller), which makes the pronunciation not Jimumi, but Jerumi. It’s the closest you can get his name written in Katakana. Katakana is a syllabary script, which is often used to transcript foreign languages into Japanese. For instance, my name in katakana is ショーヅ, which translates back into Sho-zu.
As basis for this watch is a G-lide model used, which was only available outside Japan. The only difference between the regular G-lide are the patches on the strap. These patches is actually making the watch very cool. The main one shows a typical fierce looking Manga monster, instead of a G-lide logo. Compared with this Hook-Ups patch, a regular G-lide patch is actually dull. On the other patch there is the Hook-Ups logo, which looks somewhat like a tilted shooting target. Although Hook-Ups does not use this logo often, it can be clearly seen on the van used in the Hook-Ups skateboard movie “Destroying America”, featuring Jeremy Klein.
Actually there were three Hook-Ups models made. I think this red model is the best looking one, but there was also a green model and a yellow/blue model. This last combination was a pretty much used color combo in the ‘90s. Even in the beginning of the ‘00s there were a few yellow/blue models. You probably know that I love yellow G-Shocks and often don’t like blue G-Shocks. In that light I have never understood this color combination, but I guess it was popular. Both the green as the yellow model show an anime girl, but frankly, not as spectacular as the T-Shirt prints. In my opinion, only the print on the red version can cope with those printed on the T-Shirts.

Above: DW-003X, Middle DW-003HU, Bottom: DW-003 G-Lide
The double Velrco strap itself is a bit typical. The nylon lower- and upper strap are the same ones, used by Casio G-Shocks before, but the buckle is different and isn’t branded Casio or G-Shock. Instead there is a third party brand logo on it, NIFCO. The Nippon Industrial Fastener Company is specialized, among other products, in making buckles on belts for a lot of appliances. There is also an US branch, where this buckle is probably made. The case of the watch is the same as found on the DW-003X models, which were sold worldwide (as X-treme in Japan, as basic G-Shock “Illuminator” outside Japan) and the double velcro DW-03 G-Lide model. The DW-003X came also in maroon, green and yellow/blue as these Hook-Ups models, so I think this model is derived mainly from that model. There were also a blue and a black DW-003X, but I guess three Hook-Ups models were enough.
The difference between the DW-003X and the Hook Ups model is the module. The DW-003X was the first DW-003 model had a 1596 module, which looks somewhat similar as the module found on the basic DW-004 and the still produced DW-9052 model. This model comes with the 1597 module, the model most basic DW-003’s came with. What intrigues me most is the G-lide logo in the backlight, though it is a G-lide model anyway. You might think Casio used a basic G-lide model and replaced the strap only.
The functions on board the G-Shock are basic, but efficient. It has an Alarm Mode. In this mode you can program your Alarm as a Daily Alarm, but also as a Date Alarm. Leaving a digit black in the date can make you program a 1-Day Alarm or a 1-Month Alarm, which makes the Alarm go of only that day of the month or only that month. Further more you find a 24 hour Stopwatch and a 24 hour Countdown Timer. As the case is somewhat elevated from the wrist, the Alarm sounds are pretty loud, as the case back is not blocked on the wrist. An extra feature is the Flash Alarm. When an Alarm sounds (not the button tones) the EL flashes up shortly. If this function is activated, a small star like symbol appears in the small eye on the top left corner (11o’clock position). I love this feature.

Dating this watch is a bit “wet finger work”. The DW-003X dates from November 1996, but the 1597 module was introduced in March 1997 and was used until November 1999. My guess is that this model was released spring/summer 1997. That is the best period to flash around with such a good looking G-Shock while cruising on the boulevards with your skateboard. Just a nice walk in the sun is OK too, of course. Since I banged my head so hard on the concrete as a child, when I stepped on a skateboard, I never took an attempt again.
(on the right the regular DW-003 G-Lide)
I was probably extreme lucky to find this model. It was put on auction in February 2002, with a starting price of $1. I do not know what the end result was, but I guess it was somewhere between $40 and $60. Unfortunately for me, the green and yellow/blue version were also on auction, but at that time I could only bet on one auction, so I had put all my money on this one. Simply, because it was the most appealing to me. Putting a price tag on this one might be also hard guessing. On one hand, there are of course G-Shock collectors out there, who love the old ‘90s. These collectors don’t go for the huge inflated prices of the nowadays collaboration models and do not buy a G-Shock, because everyone has one. On the other hand, a 2nd hand old Hook-Ups T-Shirt in reasonable condition, sometimes change owner for the price you can almost buy a new G-Shock for… I guess, the original retail price of $99 would probably a good suggestion what you pay for this model, if you can find one.


dorkinaut23 said...

Wow! You really provided a lot of history and background info there Sjors. That YouTube video "Destroying America' is funny.

Unknown said...

Hi Dorkinaut,

In the time that movie was made, I was pretty active in the local skate scene, although I didn't ride a skateboard. From what I learned later, my band mate had a Steve Caballero Skateboard. Our band photographer rode a Girl and a Blind board, but I was totally not into skate boarding. These kind of movies were played a lot at a youth centre, where we hung out.

Already from the start of 50 Gs I wanted to feature this model. While for a lot of people this is just a cheap '90s model, for me it was the start of collecting these great Hook Ups Tees. I really have a lot of them and I pretty much like the designs. Therefore an article about this model, though the only special feature is the strap, should be perfect to me.

I'm glad you liked it. I think I saw the complete video posted on Youtube. It's now part of Skateboard History ;-)