Sunday, December 15, 2013

G-Shock 48: Gorilli x G-Shock Collaboration in Delft Blue.

It must have been many years ago, I stumbled upon Gorilli’s webshop and their weblog, while looking for new G-Shock information. It must have been around 2006. I was quite surprised it was actually a Dutch weblog about lifestyle, music and street fashion. From time to time I checked this weblog, because once in a while special G-Shock collaboration models were posted. You can compare that weblog with current websites like Hypebeast, Freshness Magazine and High Snobiety. It was a big surprise to me when an article appeared about a new special G-Shock that I showed on my website G-Peopleland. Later Gorilli opened their Concept Store in Rotterdam.
The name Gorilli derives from Guerrilla, as in Guerrilla Stores. Guerrilla stores are similar to Pop Stores, brand stores that only exist for a certain, usually short, time. Gorilli is specialized in exclusive higher segment street fashion, art, designer toys and lifestyle gadgets. For instance it’s probably the only place in the Netherlands where you can find Bape and BBC clothing. Although I have never visited the Gorilli Concept Store, I frequently checked their web shop. About a year ago, I had my eyes set on a beautiful Bathing Ape x Original Fake T-shirt. It was in my favorite red camo and my size (XL). Several times my finger hesitated hovering above the “Buy” button, but the price was just a little too high for me (around €100). By the time I had finally saved up some money for that shirt, unfortunately it was sold. I would probably never have dared to wear that T-shirt any way.
Two years ago, just before the Dee & Ricky 2 came out, I called the shop if they could put one of them aside for me. My name, Sjors, and the subject, G-Shock, gave it away. “Is it you?”. “yes, it’s me”. It was one of the co-founders, Talat, on the phone. It became a lengthy phone call, where I learned that Gorilli was in the market for a brand collaboration with G-Shock. When I was phoned about half a year later for some info, I was told to try later, because the staff was in a meeting with a Japanese delegation. Later I learned it was a delegation of Casio. At the end of the conversation I ended up with my second Maharishi G-Shock. In May this year Casio launched the first Be@rbrick x G-Shock in the Netherlands with a party in Gorilli, who sold this model exclusively in The Netherlands in the first weeks of the release. Actually it was planned that the 400% G-Shock Be@rbrick would also be sold during the event, but for some reason they had not been delivered. A pity, because I would have loved to get them both. Luckily a few weeks later I got an iMessage that the bears had finally arrived. Next day one landed in my lab.
With the package is also the original Casio G-Shock box and tin included, which was used to send the watch to Gorilli. Of course this tin is empty, as the watch is in the other box. 
Anyway, while we were handling the Be@rbrick, Talat and I came back to the subject of the collaboration G-Shock. He told me about a great concept. What if we would do a collaboration watch that breaths “The Netherlands”. Think about a white G-Shock and Delft Blue (Delftware). He had a very good point there and also, he already knew how to sell this product. Normally Delft Blue products are pretty dull. Porcelain cloggs, painted cows, pencils, etc. But how about a modern digital watch? If the result was as good as Talat was telling me, this must be a great model. As they were not completely finished with the concept, it was not yet known what model would be used for the collab, but I remember that I strongly advised to use a DW-6900, not a DW-5600. We seemed to be quite on the same wave length about that.
The "Stronger through Struggle" T-Shirt by Kiks TYO and Gorilli form November 2011.
Actually the G-Shock collaboration was not the first collaboration with Delft Blue as a theme. In November 2011 Gorilli collaborated with my favorite Japanese brand KIKS TYO with a  T-Shirt “Stronger thruogh Struggle” featuring Aya Kichuchi in a Delft Blue bikini and Air Jordans. Aya comes from Kanagawa, the same place where I stayed in Japan in 2010. We actually almost met. A few minutes after I walked out the Kiks TYO head office in Shibuya, she walked in. You can’t have them all… A collaboration between Kiks TYO and Gorilli was a must have. Needless to say, this T-shirt (limited to 100 pieces) is of course in my collection.
The tile found in the fundation of the roof of my friend's house. It probably dates back to around 1650. 
Delft Blue is the typical white blue decorated pottery of the Netherlands. Later Delft Blue also uses other oxides to create other colors, but the classic blue color is best known. Although Delftware can refer to pottery as plates and vases, it is, at least in my country synonym to the typical tiles found in monumental houses. Many 17th and 18th century houses have a kitchen decorated with Delft Blue tiles. The decorations are often typically Dutch scenes. Actually Delft Blue tiles were produced in immense quantities. When I was helping a friend several years ago with renovating his roof of his 17th century house (at that time I lived myself in a house build in 1651), Delft Blue tiles were used to fill holes and to level beams. We actually even found some 17th century tiles in good condition. Since one of them was decorated with a deer, I decided to take it with me. Before I started painting cats, I painted deer in very rudimental forms.
Even in our kitchen (1935) you find Delft Blue motives. 
Bram's breakfast plate from the HEMA Hugo Kaagman collection 2001 - 2002. 
"Rotjeknor" 1 x 1 m, Acryl on canvas by Hugo Kaagman
Delft Blue also reminds me of a Dutch artist (in Amsterdam) who I pretty much love, Hugo Kaagman. He started as a stencil graffiti artist and was an iconic artist during the Punk period in the 70’s. Now he’s world famous for his Delft Blue paintings, which are a bit different from the classic Dutch themes. From 1997 to 2005 British Airways flew with Hugo Kaagman’s Delft Blue painted planes.
The Gorilli x G-Shock collaboration is based upon the iconic DW-6900NB-7 of the “Metallic Colors” series, released February 2011. It became an iconic model since Eminem wore this model in one of his clips. The basic model was from then referred to as the “Eminem” model. The print of this watch has a design based upon classic 17th century Delft Blue. It features a typical scene of a boy and girl in traditional Dutch clothing in a kissing pose and a lot of decoration as found on the edges of Delft Blue tiles. The name Gorilli is printed in a bold Gothic font, both giving the name a classic and solid look. The watch comes packed with a unique matching Delft Blue tile. The Delft Blue design is done by Studio Leyp, also from Rotterdam.
There should be a mixtape mixed by Kraantje Pappie included, but unfortunately the mix wasn’t finished yet at the release. Kraantje Pappie is a well known Dutch rapper and also an avid G-Shock collector. Originally the mixtape would be on the included miniature DW-5600 USB stick, but now the owners of this watch get it sent digitally to their e-mail address when the mix is finished. According Dony (the other co-owner of Gorilli) they didn’t want to delay the release just because of the mixtape not being finished. “Now people can choose to put the mixtape on the USB stick or put it on their computer, so they could use the USB stick for other purposes.
Except a normal package (“White Package”), you can also get a “Blue Package”. This package is the same as the basic “White Package”, but has also a T-Shirt included. Furthermore there is the very exclusive “Silver Package”. This is really special, only 10 have been made. It contains the same stuff as the “Blue Package”, but the resin keeper of the watch is replaced with a real silver keeper (by Dheeradj Jewelry Design), with the Gorilli logo engraved in it.
Michelle van Dijk posing with the Gorilli x G-Shock watch. Photo's by Tyson Ernste.
On the right the silver strap keeper (photo by Tyson Ernste for Gorilli).
I was quite in doubt about which set to take, but the unique silver keeper was very expensive, so I chose the resin keeper. I have been told one of these ten “Silver Packages” is owned by Kraantje Pappie.
The DW-6900NB-7GORILLI is equipped with the 3230 module, which is found on all newer DW-6900 models. It’s a non-complicated basic module, but it has some nice extra features hidden. First there is the Alarm function, which can be set to a Daily Alarm, but also can be used as a Date Alarm. By leaving one of the digits black, you get a One Day Alarm (one day per month) or a 1-Month Alarm. Of course the Hourly Signal is also present. Further more there is a 24 hour Countdown Timer with an Auto Repeat function and finally you also find a 24 hour Stopwatch function. The watch has a Flash function. When activated, the EL backlight flashes briefly when an alarm sounds. Not an essential, but a nice extra feature. The display is a negative version, which means the background is black and the digits are gray. Negative displays are very cool, but are is dim light situations a little harder to read.

The Gorilly x G-Shock collaboration is a very cool one. It was released on December 14 2013, but as a very exceptional exception, I got the watch a day earlier, so I could finish my article in time. I wish they made more than only 40 of the, as this model looks very beautiful and I know there are many G-Shock collectors who want this model in their collection. I guess Gorilli was also surprised about the interest in this watch. I hope these watches will end up at loyal customers and Gorilli fans as that is where this watch belongs in the first place. I think this colaboration is very reasonable priced. A DW-6900NB-7 costs at least €109 in my country. For €60.- extra you get the custom print on the strap, a very special custom made Delft Blue tile an USB stick and a mixtape by Kraantje Pappie. As Kraantje pappie has a pretty good musical reputation I am very curious for this mixtape. For €20.- more, you get an exclusive Gorilli x G-Shock T-Shirt. For €100.- extra you not only get a T-Shirt, but also a very unique hand engraved strap keeper made out of silver with the Gorilli logo. Unfortunately I have purchased a little too many G-Shocks lately, so I stick with the normal strap keeper, but the T-Shirt I could not let pass. I looked forward for this collaboration and am very happy how it ended up. Let’s hope Gorilli will do some more G-Shock collaborations in the future.


MinistryofGShock said...

Great review! Thanks for the detailed background and fine pictures.
I stayed & worked in Amsterdam for a year in the late 90s and those Delft Blue prints and designs certainly bring back memories.

Unknown said...

Great review!!

SkyForce6 said...

Really nice looking G this. But I missed the 1 minute window when it was available so I am out of luck.
What was the storage capacity of that USB stick?

Perhaps you can contact Gorilli and ask if it is any possibility that any more of this watch can be delivered? Or if 40 is the finite amount.