Sunday, January 25, 2015

G-Shock #3 : Bloo G-2600

Recently someone asked “What’s a Grail”. Apparently the epic movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” from 1975, is not that known under the younger generations (笑). A grail is something personal. It doesn’t have to be necessarily very expensive, but it’s something you want very much and which is hard for you to get your hands on. Although, it does not look like one, specially if you look at the color, maybe this G-Shock was a kind of grail for me. I wanted to have it for a long time, but it took me more than 10 years to get one.
The Kouter in Ghent, where we usualy park our car.
It must have started somewhere in winter 2001-2002 I think. I live in the south of the Netherlands, far from Holland. This does not mean we live totally isolated here. From where I live you are in 45 - 60 minutes in the center of big Belgian cities, like Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen and Bruges. When visiting Ghent I discovered a jeweler not far from where we usually park our car. They had a nice selection of G-Shocks. Most of them were the typical basic G-Shocks from that time and this one. For a moment I must have been in doubt, should I buy it? The price however was too hight for an impulse buy. I think it was probably around BEF1000 (around €120.-). This model was only for a short time on the market and within months you did not see anymore. And frankly, I think this was the only store I saw this model.
Still, this model has been “ghosting” in my head for years. Every time I was in Ghent, I walked through the street of that jeweler. The first time it was still there, but the next time it was sold. Now, more than 10 years later, I can’t find that jeweler anymore.
A few moths ago I was browsing the listing of an overstock seller. I was a bit surprised, as I know that seller for a very long time and he still sells over stock G-Shocks. I haven’t bought from that seller for a long time, because of the customs. It is fun to buy an extreme discounted G-Shock that you cannot find elsewhere, and the customs think the same, as they add you here a nice extreme high duties and fees bill with it. So you think you are happy with your $50.- watch and $20.- shipping, but the additional €30 - €40 is killing all the fun. Luckily I had a friend who brought me over three cheap Gs from the US (one is the G-5500B which cameoed in the G-Shock Mini article last week, the other one the Annelies Braeckman G-Cool) from this seller a few weeks ago, avoiding me from a huge customs bill.
The G-2600 was released October 2001. It has a very nice streamlined design, though I think it does not have the usual “tough look”, more an elegant one. It might explain why this model was a less popular. For elegance you probably look for another watch than a G-Shock and for a tough watch, you rather have your watch looking tough too. Still you find the typical recessed crystal with a protective rim and button guards at the side. The strap contains of two parts. The gray part on the strap is actually an extra insert. I don’t know the reason why it’s there, but it might be there for extra comfort and holding the watch in place on the wrist. If you want to change the battery, you have to remove the whole construction, which is probably a bit of annoying an time consuming process, compared to the models with a simple easy accessible 4-screw back.
Around 2001 Casio released several G-Shocks with day counters, instead of a Countdown Timer. Well, this is one of these models. Although the lay out differs much, it’s 2248 module operation is exactly the same as on the G-2110 and the G-2210 models (modules 2276 and 2278). With that knowledge, I observed the display closely…
About 10 years ago I was looking at my G-2210 and suddenly thought the watch was winking to me. Really? So I watched closely and nothing seemed wrong. Then there it was again. When I wasn’t paying attention. It was winking to me. I had not drunk any beer, I don’t do drugs. Was I loosing my mind? Was I seeing things. There it was again…. Finally I discovered the time digits animate for about a second when they change and this actually happens every minute. But for short moment it fooled me. Indeed, this G-2600 also has winking digits. It’s playful, but on an elegant designed watch, it looks a bit odd. This feature better fits a Baby-G, where display animations are more common.
Let’s look deeper in the functions of the G-2600. The display lay out has three eyes, which move similar to the DW-6900 “Three Eyed Devil”. The bigger eye on the left displays the 10 seconds, while the two small eyes display the seconds. You can compare the functions of these eyes with that of a seconds hand on an analog watch. Pretty unusual, besides the time, day and date, also the year is displayed. You can easily change from Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time) to Winter Time and vise versa. All you have to do is toggle DST on or off in Time Keeping Setting mode.
When leaving the Time Keeping mode, we enter the Data Bank mode. In an era without mobile phones and not even smart phones and clouds, this was a handy feature. You can store up to the amazing amount of 25 records of names (8 characters) and telephone numbers (12 characters) in this watch. A quick calculation, that would be about 500 bytes or 0.5 kb storage capacity.
Next is the Day Counter mode, where you can input 5 target dates. To let you know what target you have put in, you can give the Day Counter a name of maximal 8 characters. If a target has reached the indication “DAYS” is shown in the Time Keeping display. I rather see a Day Counter as a gadget, more than a functional feature on a watch, although in 1999 I had bought a “Millennium” watch, which counted down to a specified date (pre-programed to January 1, 2000 of course). For years I had programmed it to Bram’s next birthday, until recently the batteries died.
When leaving the Day Counter, you find an Alarm function where you can Program 5 Alarms and the Hourly Signal, followed by a usual 24 hour Stopwatch Mode. The last mode is interesting. This watch does not come with World Time, but with Dual Time. In my opinion a bit easier to use, as it can only show one time and can be programmed in steps of 30 minutes from the Time Keeping Mode. Besides the Dual Time, it also shows the time in Time Keeping Mode.
You don’t see these G-2600 models very often. Although produced as a basic model, I do not think the production number was extreme high. As far as I know, there were three color variations, Gray, yellow/blue and this dark blue/gray model. Although you don’t find these models very often, they tend to be very cheap. When they are on sale, they often do not cost more than maybe €50.-/$70. If this model is something for you, is up to yourself. It has a quite different look than most G-Shocks, but of course it features the Shock Resistant and 20 Bar Water Resistance. In the past I already bought the yellow version, but finally, after more than 10 years, I bought this remarkable looking blue/gray model. I’m probably am not going to wear it, but keep it as a nice and remarkable model in the G-Shock line-up in my collection. But never say never, I may pick it out of the box and strap it on as, although it’s bloo, it looks pretty sexy.