Sunday, July 7, 2013

G-Shock #30: GW-T5030C-1JR: the ONE Watch

Introduction by Sjors: You might expect a 2 week stop after the trilogy of Resist Black last week, but I had still something up my sleeve. After the GW-T5030C was announced, I got several messages from G-Shock collectors if I knew where to find these. I might not be the only collector who got these questions. One thing was very cool. One of these very limited watches was going to The Netherlands, but not to me. My friend Isezumi had traced one in Japan and bought it. I couldn't resist to ask him to write an article about this watch, which he was very glad to do. So today, another guest article on 50 Gs. Don't forget to look at the "Making of.."
After owning my first G-Shock in the late ‘90s, I had a hiatus from digital watches for over a decade: that was until last year. I wanted to buy myself a present for my birthday in June and accidentally stumbled upon the GWX-8900K-7JR I.C.E.R.C. model which blew me away at the very first sight. However, I would not be me if I did not do some thorough research first which (inevitably in hindsight) led me to the G-Shock part of the forum called Watchuseek (WUS): the point of no return for many a visitor and not any different for me.
I spent a lot of my time on WUS and Google soaking up all kinds of information and had already made up for myself that I loved the round models and could not care less about the squares even though they are referred to as the original and classic G-Shock (with very good reason): I had a hand full of G-Shocks at that moment and was quite happy.

That is when it happened: the release of the Rising Red 30th Anniversary series which consisted of 4 regular models and one limited to 200 Frogman model. The GW-M5630A-4 was the first time I really liked a square: the great contrasting colors, marvelous display and extremely good fit. I wanted it and I got it. Not soon thereafter I saw the Hundreds square GW-M5610TH-1 and I had to get it as well.

So now I was only 2 squares in and I was already longing for the modern square, the GW-5000-1. The prices dropped and I was ready to make my move when all of a sudden I read a vague wish, rumor, expectation or whatever you want to call it on WUS: Casio could perhaps release a 30th Anniversary model of the modern square. People were wildly speculating about what would be the next Anniversary models and although a screw back a la DW-5000C was high on the public want list, there were some (you know who you are) that wanted something along the lines of an offspring of the TW-7000 and GW-5000-1: the TW-5000. I decided to wait for the next batches of releases: I would be satisfied with just a a 30th Anniversary GW-5000 if it was going to be released.
Syncing...
Then the week of Baselworld 2013 arrived and the forums were buzzing with something new: an unknown (to me at least) Japanese site was linked with the announcement of the upcoming GW-T5030C-1JR as an addition to the already announced Resist Black series! Casio had somehow listened to the wishful thinkings and creative mock-ups on WUS by releasing this titanium version of the GW-5000-1 which it shares the 3159 module with. But...
Yes, there always is a but and this one has a bit to do with the price: ¥ 136,500, quite a hefty sum. What does it bring at such a price? Well, it is advertised as a sort of collaboration containing a bag of the luxury brand Porter by Yoshida Co Ltd. Apart from the very nice bag there is nothing on the watch itself that suggests it being a collaboration.
The GW-T5030C-1JR is limited to 200 pieces worldwide which are numbered xxx/200 (mine is 185/200) on the case back: the second square with a screw back and that in the same 30th Anniversary series! The logo is in 3D which looks and feels very awesome.
This is where the cool, sexy and expensive part of the watch is the most discernible: TITANIUM!!! It is 6-4 grade titanium alloy which is made up of 90% Titanium, 6% Aluminum and 4% Vanadium: the stronger and stiffer of the two must commonly used types of titanium. The bezel screws, buttons, buckle, case, case back and keeper are all made of this alloy: of which the buttons, buckle and keeper are brown copper and the case and case back are dark grey. On the other the buckle springs, buckle spring rods, e-clips for buttons and spring rods are all made of steel. This all makes the watch feel so light weighing in at a mere 56 grams, in shrill contrast to the 75 grams of the GW-5000-1. I cannot stop being amazed by this...
And the screen. It resembles the pixellated screen of the GW-M5630-4, but has a more brown gold tint to it which gives it a very smooth look. It contrasts and transitions very nicely into the solar panel around it and the gold-grey honeycomb structure around that.
The resin is very soft and comfortable, quite different from the DW-5600BB-1 I have. Another difference is the color of the resin which is especially noticeable in direct (sun) light: it is a bit lighter black with a very feint shimmer of brown gold. The coloring of the lettering is a very pleasant combination of brown and gold reminding me of my first G-Shock: the DW-003-1.
Summed up, the GW-T5030C-1JR is more than worth it for me: the classic G-Shock look and feel infused with high grade materials, technology and last but not least nostalgia. I for one will be wearing it with formal and office attire and if I can obtain another copy (or enough spare parts) I will be wearing this as a daily wearer/beater as well. For someone just having started last year buying and collecting, I can say I have found my holy grail and have less of a urge to buy watches anymore.
Is it my exit watch? Who knows, but I will keep it for the rest of my life as the One Watch.
My advice: get it while you still can!
Thanks to all that made this article happen: 
you know who you are... ;-)

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