Sunday, May 19, 2013

G-Shock #21: Though Positive Yellow DW-6630B

Casio has something with the color yellow. In 1992 Casio introduced the first G-Shocks with colors, the yellow DW-5600C-9B and the blue marbled “winter Premium” DW-5600D-1. In 1994 Casio released the first “round basic model’, the DW-6600. I think it was around this time Casio became unstoppable in releasing nice colored G-Shock models.
Yellow is of course a great color. I can only think positive associations with this color. I live on a agricultural island. When riding on my bicycle in summer, I see the bright sun shine over the golden barley fields. My view of good times in summer. When I am on holidays in France, I very much enjoy driving along the huge sunflower fields. I think that yellow is particularly a color that makes you feel good. I once read an interview in an old G-Shock magazine, where one of the designers of G-Shock was interviewed. Although the text was in Japanese (and I don’t have a clue where that interview was published), it was pretty clear that the designer called this color “Positive Yellow”. In 1997 Casio released the Auréle collaboration model. The phrase “Positive Yellow” was even printed on the box.
This DW-6630B-9 was released in November 1994. It was released together with a purple and a blue version, but this yellow version was far popular than the other two. Casio released G-Shock in Europe in October 1994, so this was one of the first colorful G-Shocks available here, specially in Germany. It was sold in great numbers. You still can find many of them in used condition on eBay. In the past you could have them between €10 and €20 and I think that if you want to have one now, if you pay more than €30, it is over priced.
Sjors would not be Sjors, if he had not a few of these. About 10 years ago it was not an exception that 5 -10 of these were on eBay auctions simultaneously. I just did a quick search and I found one in pretty reasonable condition on the first result page with “G-Shock” as search phrase and another one in moderate condition.
The coolest part of this watch is also the most vulnerable. It’s the face protector. This piece of metal wire is coated black, but over time the black coating chips off. If you want to baby your watch, you might not like this, but as a beater, it only adds to the though look of the watch. It seems this watch was at first not intend to be distributed outside Japan. in the ring around the display you can clearly see the text “Fox Fire”. Fox Fire is the Japanese name for “Illuminator”. It means the watch has an EL backlight. It might not be very important to write such a text on the display, but the DW-6630B is a version of the DW-6600 and the DW-6600 was the first G-Shock with an Electro Luminescent backlight.
The backlight of the DW-6600 is well known. It is probably the brightest EL backlight on a G-Shock. You almost can use it as a flash light. It even got a Flash Alarm on board. If this feature is activated, the EL lights up when an Alarm sounds. As on many DW-660o, a big G is shown in the EL backlight, but unlike the usual red, this G is yellow.
So, what do we find on board. The DW-6630B comes with the 1199 module, the same module as found on the DW-6600. It’s pretty basic. An Alarm function, a 60 minute Countdown Timer and a 24 hour Stopwatch. In all modes the time is shown, which is something some people like. It is indeed handy when you are using your Stopwatch to time several events or are monitoring a longer countdown, though, with only a 60 minute capacity, what’s long.
The LCD is shown in one big display. The display is divided in three area. The upper part shows the date in Time Keeping function and the mode and current time in other modes. The bottom part shows all the time functions. The middle part shows the progression of time in two layers. The upper part counts the 10 seconds, the lower part the seconds, There are only 5 arrows, but they change up and down. Some people think these animations are a waste of space, but I think it is nice to see the time progression on the display. You can compare it with the progression of a seconds hand on an analog wristwatch. I never heard anybody complain about the presence of that. For a long time Casio used both DW-6600’s and DW-6900’s for their special releases, but in the past years the DW-6600 has not been used anymore. It seems even that the complete line has discontinued.
The DW-6630B-9 is a fun watch to wear. Not real a watch to pet. The face protector challenge you to use this watch during extreme conditions. The yellow color won’t stop you. I once saw an interview with artist Paul McArthy, known for his confronting art, including installations and live painting. That DW-6630B would probably have been beat up a lot, but it looked in still good condition of television. Finding a mint one, will be almost a mission impossible, but a nice used one, can still be found real cheap. After almost 19 year, you might even wonder how many of those were sold in the mid 90s. If it's wise to buy one? The resin of these watches will become victim of resin rot probably more sooner than later.  Actually, one of mine already has. Still, it's a fun model. The purple model was also sold in Europe. Although not real rare, they are not that easy to find anymore. I never have seen a blue model in Europe, so I guess this was a Japan Domestic model. Not a big problem for me. I much rather have a yellow G-Shock, then a blue one.


dorkinaut23 said...

That's a nice old 6600 or 6630 I should say. I like the yellow G-Shock "G" in the backlight. In more recent years CASIO produced a DW-6600 with a more plain looking red "G" in the backlight. I have one of those, but I'd prefer the slanted G-Shock style "G" such as in this one.

Unknown said...

I have the purple one, in great condition, complete with the stainless steal protectors.

Unknown said...

I have it since new. Box and manuals included.