Friday, September 13, 2013

G-Shock #38: Friday the 13th with a Stealth Jason

In the early 90’s Casio’s G-Shock design department was busy with a new concept. While all G-Shocks, until then, had case covered on top with a polyurethane bezel, the design group wanted to make a model with a totally covered case. Probably the designers used the DW-6100 “Thermometer” (1992) as example. The big G on the, hiding the thermo-sensor of the DW-6100 was replaced by a kind of bulb with small holes in it. The result looked a bit weird and was, according the legend, not meant for release. It is said a famous Japanese artist was at the Casio headquarters around that time and saw this prototype. He loved the design and encouraged Casio to release this model, which is now known as the DW-001. The DW-001 was the first model known from the NEXAX models, outside Japan better known as Capsule Tough models. This model was soon succeeded by the the DW-002, DW-003 and later the DW-004. The DW-004 is, as far as I know, never mentioned as a NEXAX model, though it has the similar “capsule” around the case.
There is also a story floating around that Kanye West was visiting Casio in Japan and saw an old DW-001 lying around. He insisted to bring this old model back to life, though, this story is unconfirmed. Fact is that the G-001 saw life at September 2010. I doubt this last story is true, but maybe kanye was a Friday the 13th fan. I rather think it is a thickened up version of the original story.
Due to the shape of the bezel, the DW-001 was soon after the release nicknamed “Jason” after the iconic main character of the Friday the 13th slasher movie series. Unfortunately the special functions of the original “Jason” did not return. The DW-001 had a Thermometer function and also told you the Sunrise and Sunset, a function which have been absent for a long time on G-Shock watches. I recently saw the specs of the forth coming GW-9400 Rangeman, showing the comeback of the Sunrise and Sunset feature. I pretty much love that.
Have you ever seen a Friday the 13th movie? I have tried to watch one of them, but frankly I gave up after half an hour. Probably you need to be in the good mood fro a slasher movie (some extra alcohol intake may work too). The murders are often too fake and what’s going to happen is too obvious. I think Freddy Krueger was better in “Nightmare on Elm Street” (“one two, Freddy’s coming for you”…)
Today’s model is the G-001-A, one of the first G-001 models, released in September 2010. There is not much fantasy involved to see the resemblance between Jason’s ice hockey mask and the face of the watch. The open holes in the original DW-001 are replaced with closed ones on the G-001, since it doesn’t have a Thermometer function anymore. I have already told what functions were missing at the new G-001 model, but what do we find then.
The G-001 is released as a modern basic model and already 16 different versions have seen the light. I even think it is a popular model for G-Shockers too, as I see that many G-Shock collectors have at least a G-001 in their collection. The G-001 comes with the 3247 module. Besides Timekeeping Mode, you find a 48 City World Time Mode, a 24 Hour Stopwatch, a 24 Hour Countdown Timer with facultative Auto Repeat function and an Alarm Mode with two normal Alarms, a Snooze Alarm and of course the Hourly Time Signal.
With setting the watch to the correct time, you need to choose a city in your timezone. Best is of course if you live in that city, but the timezone is good enough. If you choose the wrong home home city, the World Time will not function correct.
The old DW-001 had only a dim micro light. The G-001 has however a the now usual Electro Luminescent Backlight. The length of the afterglow of the backlight can be set to 1.5 seconds or 3 seconds. Also there is the Auto EL backlight. When toggled on, the EL backlight will turn on when the your arm is hold parallel to the ground, while your wrist turns over 40º towards you.

This particular G-001 model has a negative display. Together with the total black “Capsule” bezel and the 90’s style black resin straps with the metal mesh inserts, it has a very dark and obscure appearance. Perfect for a Halloween party, or for wearing on Friday the 13th. The digits are amber, but the backlight is the usual greenish blue (or is it blueish green). Due to it’s dark look and the amber digits, it could also be considered a Military Style model. Although it’s iconic shapes, it is quite a stealth model.
The G-001 models are still easy available. On eBay you can find them from around €60/$80.- going up to around €100. Only the yellow version and the multicolored G-001-2 are hard to find and change owner for inflated prices. Secretly I hope the G-001 will stay in the current G-Shock collection for a while. It’s design is something I often refer to as ”Beautiful, because it’s Ugly”.


Gary near NYC said...

I have to admit, I never took a liking to the Jason. The bulbous bezel bottom with holes in it looked to me like a kid's wrist walkie-talkie, especially with the bright colors. It just didn't feel like a serious G-Shock.

And I have to admit, the stealth version changes all that. It looks REALLY good! In fact, I'd be rather tempted to get it, except... I'm rather saddened that the sunrise/sunset info and thermometer functions are now absent. It boggles my mind how CASIO has created these functions so long ago and can't just re-use them. Perhaps there are some technical challenges due to base module changes. Whatever the case, we know this functionality exists in some modern CASIO models, so it seems like increasing the price a little to provide them would have been well worth it.

Anyway, thanks for your great detailed review, Sjors! Cheers, ~Gary

crow said...

Thanks for your review! I love this one and have several. I think the green one is my favorite, and I even lucked out and found the yellow one at a good price on eBay.

I agree, it's got that "so ugly it's beautiful" thing, plus I like how thick and solid it is.

LucianoW said...

Ha! Now we have "super-production" with visual effects in your reviews? You're outdoing yourself, Sjors :). As always a great review about a great watch (I have the positive version and L-O-V-E it).


Unknown said...

Thanks Gary and Crow for your nice comments.

@ Luciano,

I had this in my head for some time, but due to busy schedules of friends, it became actually different than waht I wanted. I was pretty lucky to stumble upon some kids, recording a movie in the hall of our school. One of the girls had bloody make-up. The knife comes actually from internet and is edited and pasted into the photo with Photoshop. You can probably see, it was real fun to do ;-)