Sunday, November 10, 2013

G-Shock #45: City Code NYC

Photo by Christopher Moy, used with kind permission.
It is already 4 years ago I featured my City Code TYO. At that time it was a bit of puzzle. Not that much has cleared. It is not present in the G-Shock Perfect Search (GPS). Today I will feature the City Code NYC. And where would such a watch be in it’s natural Habitat. Of course, in New York City. That’s why, for this article, I have asked a little help from two friends in the Big Apple. First of all, Chris Moy, one of the biggest WIS* in the world. He probably has one of the biggest wristwatch collections in the world and therefore also has a huge watch knowledge, but also he is an avid photographer. You really should check out his photography website. You’ll find very impressive photography there. For this article I got permissions to use some amazing photo’s of his home city. The city that, like Tokyo, never sleeps. My other friend is known as Kronos on WUS. He is known for his wrist shots, made during his walks through NYC.
Photo by Christopher Moy, used with kind permission.
The G-5500TS-8DR (NYC) and G-5500TS-9DR (TYO) were released August 2009 in East Asia. The release was not only restricted to East Asia. Mine was bought in Germany, which means this series were at least sold in Europe too. In the same year Casio also released an also mysterious G-5500US-3JR, also known as the “Cities of the World” LAX model. Unlike the City Code models, this bright green model does not have the city code LAX in the backlight, like the City Code models do.
When it comes to city codes, I think worldwide that of New York City is best know. As you probably know, I wear a lot of KIKS TYO stuff. At the school where I work I often got the question what it means. It appears that the city code TYO, as found on the G-5500TS-9DR, is not that well known. Frankly I like the idea of City Codes in the EL backlight and therefore I am a little surprised that Casio didn’t make a second or more series. I would love to have a watch showing LAX in the background, and what to think about LON, DBX or BCN. Of course there are many cool city codes. For many years I often use the city code of “Terneuzen” a lot. It’s a small harbor city and the entrance for ships to Ghent, Belgium. It has city code TZN. It sounds cool in Dutch and I think also in English.
Maybe it’s remarkable Casio choose the G-5500 as base for this series, but it’s also cool. The G-5500 and GW-5500 models are designed like the DW-5500C-1 from 1985. It featured the first “Mud Resistant” structure. The case was covered completely by the bezel. At the location of the buttons the resin was softer, so it was possible to push the buttons underneath. As the bezel was produced in one mold, this was quite a revolutionary technique. Because the DW-5500C was Mud Resistant, it earned the nickname: “Mudman”. This model stood at the base of the Masters of G models, which still exists. Lately even a new model was added, the Rangeman, and I have a suspicions that this will not be the last new addition to this special series. The G-5500 has adopted the Mud Resistant structure. Therefore the buttons, underneath the bezel, are a bit harder to push than with normal pushers, but it is not as hard as on the G-9000 Mudman. The watch and it’s strap are somewhat wider than the usual G-Shocks. Also is the watch very light. Only 54 gram. This makes this watch very comfortable to wear.
The G-5500TS is equipped with the 3160 module. It is Tough Solar powered, which means that the rechargeable battery is already charged with low light levels and that the battery can store a lot of energy, so that even when the watch is not exposed to light, it will keep running for months. According the manual the watch can keep running for 11 months. Of course Power Save must be activated, but this function is default toggled on. The state of the battery is displayed at the bottom right of the display in Low, Medium and High. When the battery is almost empty the display shows a flashing CHG sign, telling you you need to charge as soon as possible.
When you buy this watch, you first have to check the Time Keeping Mode. It’s important that you choose the right Home City and DST (Daylight saving Time a.k.a. Summertime) setting. This will make the World Time function work right. If you set your home time to the wrong time zone or DST setting, the World Time mode will not show the correct times of the shown cities.
As mentioned in the paragraph above, the next mode is the World TIme mode. It’s the usual 48 cities in 29 time zones version. DST has to be applied by hand. It would not wise to do this automatically, as the dates can be changed or even DST might be canceled in the far future. It might sound unreasonable now, but we cannot predict the future of DST in every time zone until 2099.
The watch has further more an Alarm mode with 4 normal Alarms, a Snooze Alarm and a Hourly Signal, a 24 hour Stopwatch and a 24 hour Countdown Timer. This makes this watch a pretty complete model.
What would be an article about a NYC G-Shock, without a small tour through the city. Kronos, who is known for his "Walk through the City" posts on the WRUW threads on the G-Shock Forum, took his G-5500TS-8 for a walk to his favorite places in the city. 
"Entrance to Lexington Avenue Subway."
"On the meridian in between the uptown and downtown lanes on Park Avenue. The flowers are stunning there."
"The Central Park Reservoir"
"Looking North over the Central Park Reservoir. One of my favorite views in Manhattan."
Photo's above by Kronos for 50 Gs. 
It seems the City Code models were primarily sold outside Japan, although they appeared on the Japanese market as well. As I find both the -ER and -DR suffix of these models, I assume they were primarily aimed for the East Asian- and European market. They must not have been very rare, though the gray NYC model seemed to be the most popular one, as it is practically sold out world wide. The lemon yellow TYO version can still be found. It’s pretty understandable the dark gray NYC model sold out faster, as this is a quite acceptable color for every one. The lemon yellow version might not be suitable for every one.
I bought this model at Uhrenblitz (Uhr-Shop) in Germany about a year ago as you can see on the bill above. I had actually forgotten I had this model, until I was searching for another G-Shock through my collection. It was a pleasant surprise, as I wanted to have both City Code models. The price was very reasonable. The watch was with €59 very nice priced. Unfortunately the shipping cost were relative a bit high (see bill above). I did a quick search and found only a few of them. On eBay there is one for a ridiculous price, as this watch was normally sold around €60 - €80. In Japan you can find some imported ones for around ¥10000 - ¥12500, which is a quite reasonable price. If you are a G-Shocker and happen to live in NYC, than I think this watch should at least in your collection. If you don’t live in NYC, it is still a very nice, light and comfortable watch with a somewhat more serious appearance as the flashy TYO model.


Duster34010 said...

I've been trying to locate the grey one however I agree the price for the one on eBay is crazy I have several of these and they are my favorite wish I new how to locate one from the japan market. Thanks and I enjoy your work,,,

Just a Blog ! said...

I have one for sale.Private owner, never worn,have box and book too.