Sunday, July 28, 2013

G-Shock #32: “And we have a winner”, Rising Red GW-M5630A

Today's article is the second and last article which I wrote during my vacation in the East Cantons. Of course a lot of photo's were made in in the Ardennes. Some photo's were taken from the web, or are screen shots (I guess it's obvious which ones these are) and also my friend Bleaphead made some great photo's of me wearing the GW-M5630A, while he was Barbecuing. Thanks Bleep and thanks GShockNL!. Enjoy reading!
In May GshockNL, the Dutch G-Shock promotion Facebook page, organized a photo competition. The prize was great. A GW-M5600A, of the Rising Red series. You had to post a photo of “a cool G-Shock”. At the time I noticed it, there were not many entries. I thought I should take the chance and try. As you probably know, I have this model already in my collection, but wouldn’t it be great if I had one to wear. I think it is publicly known bright red and yellow are my favorite colors. And since my G-Shock budget had dried up to the bottom, I could use a little help here.
Around that time I had just finished the article about the great looking special Akira 30th Anniversary models, which had finally arrived a week earlier. If I had a bigger budget, I surely would had even gotten a second Kaneda model, but these were very, very expensive. As I had figured out (with help of many friends) all the details of these watches, I pretty much find, especially the Kaneda model, very nice and surely one of the coolest G-Shocks in my collection (thank you Terry, for talking me into this).
One of those pics that pops up every time is from a commercial photo session for G-Shocks in 2011. 
Stab magazine knows how to keep you focussed on the featured products, by leaving (almost) all disturbing elements away (The photo below was actually only for the backpack, not the "Albino Panda" G-Shock). 
There were already a few entries in the competition. Some were wristshots with one or more G-Shocks. One contestant had posted an old commercial of a surf magazine (Stab), showing a (topless) woman in tiny lingerie, wearing a Jason. As this photo, along with a few anothers has been posted many times (even GShockNL used a photo from this commercial photo shoot), I thought it wasn’t rather original. One entry looked pretty nice. The contestant was airbrushing the G-Shock 30th Anniversary Logo by Damien Boom. I thought I should post my Kaneda model. Maybe the photo itself wasn’t that spectacular. It showed the Kaneda on my CP-Holder watch stand on my “usual” garden table. This watch was so full of cool details, picking one of those details, would just do not just on other details. That was about what I wrote as the description of my photo.
So I had posted my entry, but now I needed likes. I had to do something I normally pretty much don’t like. Since Facebook became popular a few years ago, “LIKE” buttons can be found everywhere. If I really like something, I will not withhold me from pushing a LIKE button (as long as I not get involved with unwanted notifications elsewhere), but I pretty much don’t like the “begging” posts, as Please, like my photo, etc, etc. You want my LIKE, then earn it. From the three photo entries in the competition with the most likes, one would be chosen as winner. At that time one of the competitors already had 28 likes.
One day later I noticed my humble two or three likes. My sister had found the competition. Sending some messages to my family worked a bit, but I wasn’t even close for a top 3. I needed to change my tactic. Facebook has quite some (secret) G-Shock groups. Although my priority lies with WUS, I sometimes post there or give a comment, specially when I disagree on a topic or when people have no clue what model they have. The only group I am relative active in is a group founded by some Panaristi. These guys are more down to earth and that group is not that hectic as many others. Actually, pretty comparable with the G-Shock forum on WUS. A little post on some of the groups got me several more likes. In two days I was way behind #2, but I was in the top 3.
Bottom right, it's your author on the faders of the SFX.
The week after I posted that photo, I was involved in the theatre play “Solo y Acepto” of our school. Not less than 175 of our students had a task or roll in that play, choir, make-up, costumes, musicians, dancers, actors, PR and computer tech (there were quite some interactive scenes where actors have conversations with pre-recorded projections). Well, there was an entrance. When I told about the contest to on of the PR guys and to a Computer tech wizard, things began to roll. People came to me even, to say they voted for me. That was funny. At the end of the week, when the contest was closed, I ended #1 on the list, yeah!
I think the entry by Damien Boom was also in the top 3 entries. I thought it was maybe the most original entry. It’s generally known I own a “few” G-Shocks, so I thought the jury would rather sent it to someone with only a few Gs. A few days later I got a mail by GShockNL. My entry was chosen. I won the GW-M5630A! A few days later a package arrived at my school.
Boulettes à la Liégeoise at the Brassery d'Achouffe. Very delicious and probably enough calories for half a day serious mountain biking. 
And, of course, the famous delicious beers from Achouffe. 
I decided to take my new GW-M5630A with me on vacation. This year we choose to stay relative close to home. A three hour ride brought us deep into the Belgian Ardennes. We stayed in a part I always wanted to discover, the East Cantons. It’s a small part of Belgium, where German is the main language. It’s pretty amazing that such a small country has three national languages. I can recommend this place. I love the pastry. Specially the eclairs, which are easily 150% of the size of normal eclairs found elsewhere in Belgium of France and stuffed to the max with pastry cream. An other good reason to stay there was that we were pretty close to one of my favorite breweries (and probably the best known brewery of the Ardennes). Not only the beer is good. They have a restaurant where you can eat very good meal for a very good price. I had looked forward to the Boulettes Liégeois and I recommended Bram the grilled trout. It tasted so well with the Achouffe Ete.
Oh… yeah… My weblog is about G-Shocks. The Rising Red series were released in September 2012. It was the first series to commemorate G-Shock’s 30th anniversary. The series consisted of 4 models. The GF-8230A Frogman was reviewed here already in December 2012. Beside these models, there was also the GW-9330A Mudman and the more common DW-6930A. Outside Japan the Mudman was released as a non-Atomic model as G-9330A.
As this series came out, I thought Casio made a great choice in the models and in the color combination. First of all, what do I like in a Anniversary series. A model with the “Original G-Shock DNA” would be fine. Best is of course a DW-5000 model, but a good looking “square” would be fine. For those who do not understand “Original G-Shock DNA”, Casio means with this models that still have the same shape as the original DW-5000C from 1983. The GW-M5610 is the latest 7th generation and the GW-M5630A is a special version.
Like the other models in this series, the color scheme of this GW-M5630A is red and gold. The finish is glossy, which matches very well by the shiny gold details. Only the Mudman in this series has a matte finish. The gold accents are not just limited to the bezel lettering and the typical greenish yellow display, but all visible metal parts are in a gold tone. Buttons, buckle, bezel screws, backplate and back plate screws, all in a gold tone. If you really want to nag, I noticed, by very close inspection, that the spring bars are normal silver colored.
All models of this series come in a special 30th Anniversary packaging, designed by Eric Haze. It consists of a big outer box and a smaller tin inside it. It’s hard to miss this is an 30th Anniversary model.
The GW-M5610 it already the 3rd generation Waveceptor model (“Waveceptor” was the name Casio gave to the models that were capable of receiving Atomic Time signals). The GW-5600 was only 3 band (2 Japanese and the US transmitter), The GW-M5600 has a 5 band receiver, and the GW-M5610 is a little update with a 6 band receiver, good news for those who want a 5600 style atomic watch if you live in the reception area of the Chinese transmitter. The watch is powered by high quality solar panels, that already produce enough energy in relative dim light situations (in home, office, etc.). A large capacity storage battery can store enough energy to keep the watch going for many months in total darkness.
The 5600 style models are meant to be the basic models. From the 5600 style models, the GW-M5610 with the 3159 module, is the best equipped. First of all there is the Atomic Timekeeping. If Auto Receive is turned on, the watch tries to receive the signal at night. If the reception fails, the watch will try an hour later. If you have set your home city right (the closest city for me is Paris), the watch automatically search for the signal of the nearest transmitter(s). In my case, the transmitter of Mainflingen (“Frankfurt”) and Anthorn. If you live in the transmission area of a transmitter, you will have a watch that always keep accurate time to the second. The watch also can automatically change the DST setting for you. If you live or are in an area outside the reach of one of those transmitters, do not worry. The module is accurate enough to keep the time with a precision of maximal 15 seconds per month. That’s a deviation of maximal less than 0,0006%!
Further you find a World Time function on board. I have no internet here in our mobile home (I write this on my holiday location), but I think I counted 48 city codes. Of course you have to manually set the DST if you plan to use this function a lot. Next you find the Alarm functions, with 4 normal daily Alarms and a Snooze Alarm. Also you find here the Hourly Signal (what happened with the term Hourly Chime?). The 24 hour Stopwatch and 24 hour Countdown Timer make the watch complete. Do you not like a beeping buttons? No worries. If you press and hold the MODE button for a few seconds, the watch will go into Mute Mode. This will not affect Alarm tones.
Pics above by Bleaphead.
Bleephead (right) and his new BBQ
The watch has a beautiful green EL backlight. I am not sure how the reflector (background) of the LCD display is made, but I think it’s a perforated metal foil, to give the display it’s typical gold tone. The foil is perforated, because the EL panel is located behind the reflector. Under normal conditions the perforation grid shows like little black dots on the reflector, while in the dark these dots let the EL light through. Although the macro photo’s of such an EL backlight suggests the display is hardly readable, in real the display is very clear when the EL backlight is activated. I wish, however, that they made it possible to change between a 1.5 second and a 3 second EL backlight operation. Now the 1.5 seconds is a little short. The big and clear digits however show you the right time in a single backlight operation. You can also activate Full Auto Illumination. When toggled on, the EL automatically lights up in the dark when you tilt your arm about 40º towards you, while holding your arm about parallel to the ground, but in light conditions the EL light won’t light up.
The GW-M5630A was released almost a year ago (September 2012) as a limited edition model. I do not know the exact numbers made, but you have to think about several thousands. It might sound as a small number, but the GW-M5630A might not be the most popular model of the series. I think that honor goes to the DW-6930A in the sales and the GF-8230A for the G-Shockers. The price, €169,- ($225) if I’m right, might make this watch for more selective people, who do like the less present 5600 shape, combined with a nice, not over the top, color and with good functions, specially the Waveceptor function. With the Tough Solar power source, you always have a reliable watch that never let you down for many, many years. I love the red color. It gets noticed, though it still looks like a decent watch. I think that makes this watch totally worth the price.
 I am ahead of my schedule and I have put a lot of time in this article (probably over 20 hours). Therefore I might skip next weeks article, as I have planned some articles for the very end of the year and I want to enjoy a bit more of my summer vacation. 

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