Sunday, September 22, 2013

G-Shock #39: UNDFTD II


August 2013 Casio presented the second collaboration model with UNDEFEATED as part of the 30th Anniversary Collaboration Series. The first UNDEFEATED collaboration was released April 30th 2007 and was only sold in their stores. Therefore you can’t find this model (DW-6900UD-1JF) as an official G-Shock release in GPS (G-Shock Perfect Search). For 2013 Casio decided to make this an official release and even dropped it worldwide.
Photo's above by B-Shock
In the Netherlands it was exclusively for sale after a launch party on Friday August 16 at Sneaker District, Amsterdam. I would have loved to visit the party, but Amsterdam is a good two and a half hours travel from where I live. Luckily a friend of me sent me pics of the party. When I called the store next monday, the first thing they said the store owner told me was that they were expecting my call. Casio had already informed them. As the release party was at the same time as the very popular “Lowlands” music festival, it took a while for the web shop to update as the webmaster was at the festival. Thanks to my call, I was the first customer to buy this watch on-line, even before it was available on-line.
UNDEFEATED was founded by Eddie Cruz and James Bond (not the 007). They were inspired by the attack on the USA on 09-11-2001. With the name they want to say that the US is invincible. The first store opened in LA on 09-11-2002. The logo of UNDEFEATED is the 5 Strike logo, sometimes also referred to as the Fab 5. The 5 Strike logo stands for victory. Also the motto “Play Dirty” can be found often in their designs. You might expect that UNDEFEATED clothing would have a military inspired designs, but general it’s casual street wear.
Undefeated also work with graphic artists. They have a famous ‘Billboard Project”, where artists, like Geoff McFetridge, Phil Frost, Jacob Weinstein, Brent Rollins and Sanford Biggers can show their work on a billboard on top of their LA store.
For this collaboration Undefeated and Casio designed a great model. It comes in a very nice clean khaki color scheme. It has been a long time Casio used strap adaptors on a DW-6900 model, but here we finally have one. No double Velcro strap this time, but a great tough looking 3-ring 22mm ZULU style strap. There is a UNDEFEATED patch sewn on it. For those who do not know the difference between a NATO strap and a ZULU strap, a NATO strap has an extra band piece, while the ZULU strap is a single strap, usually made of a thicker and stronger woven nylon fabric.
A selected amount of these models came with an extra red/white/blue strap. Unfortunately not in The Netherlands, as it has the colors of our national flag. It would have been a nice feature on the launch party. I have no idea where this extra strap is coming from. It seems only been distributed in the US and East Asia. Frankly, that extra strap look great by itself, but it’s not a good match with the khaki watch. If you like this strap, but can’t find one for a decent price, just do a search for ZULU straps, and you can find many color variations, so there are always ones for your liking. Once I might buy myself an “Original James Bond” ZULU strap (this time the 007). Maybe cool for one of my vintage Pontiac mechanicals.
The UNDEFEATED x G-Shock collaboration is packed in a nice military styled khaki box and a similar styles tin. Specially the big military style stencil letter UNDEFEATED logo around the tin is very nice. The display is very clean and clear. The branding and functions have all moved to the light gray accent line around the black face plate, so that the “5 Strike” logo has all attention on top of it. On top you’ll find the term “Illuminator”, a term Casio gives to watches with an electro-luminescent backlight. Maybe this model would have been nice to use the other old term “FOX FIRE”, which Casio used in the past, primarily for their domestic market. FOX FIRE referred to a movie about a futuristic military plane called “Firefox” (1982). The EL Backlight has a very nice amber color. in the back you see the UNDEFEATED text logo, which you can always view better seen from the right side.
If you can’t get enough of the logo’s, there is also the 5 Strike UNDEFEATED logo engraved on the back. To reveal this engravings, you have to remove the strap, which is in this case much easier than the old double Velcro/snap watchbands.
The watch fits pretty comfortable around the wrist. Strap adapters allow the case to slide slightly over the strap for a perfect fit. The end of the ZULU strap can be folded back over the last ring and put under the middle ring if it’s too long, but the band fits my 7” wrist perfectly. The loose end is, in my case, too small to fold back.
The DW-6901UD-3ER, the full model number of this model in Europe, is a DW-6900 variant. The number is chosen to accentuate this is the successor of the first UNDEFEATED G-Shock. It comes with the usual 3230 module. I have written about DW-6900 models with this module quite many times, so I will only short mentions what functions you find on this watch. First of all, this module is one of my favorite ones. It is basic, but has all functions I need in daily life. First of all there is of course the Time Keeping mode. That’s where you buy a watch for in the first place I think. It shows time, the day of the week and the date. With the MODE button you can scroll through the different functions. You will find an Alarm mode, with a Daily Alarm, which can also be set to a date and also the Hourly Chime. Next you find a 24 hour Countdown Timer. You can use it as a one time Countdown Timer, but there is also a repeat function, which you can toggle on and off with the light button when you adjust the time to countdown. Last function you find is the 24 hour Stopwatch.
The retail price of this watch is ¥14000 in Japan (¥147000 with tax). In Europe this watch was released in selected shops with a retail price of €119.-. There might be some left at Sneaker District Amsterdam and The Good Will Out in Germany. Specially if you are located in The Netherlands or Europe, I would keep an eye on Sneaker District as they have an international web shop and have a nice recent range of G-Shocks for sale. If you live in the US, the retail price of this watch is $120.-, but it’s only available at the UNDEFEATED stores and G-Shock SOHO. It seems the supply in the US has dried out already this month. Probably several are available in Europe, but the stocks seem to dry out soon. So if you think this is a great watch, which I think it is, and you have the funds, I would not hesitate too long to buy it.

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