Sunday, February 8, 2015

G-Shock #5 & #6: Carbon, the next generation

OK, maybe “generation” is the wrong term.  After the RM series release in 2010 Casio started putting carbon straps on GW-9300 Mudmen (Japan market release) but never with the clear exterior to show it off.  The G-Shock cognoscenti had to wait until August 2013 and the 4th wave of the 30th Anniversary!  Isn’t that odd?  Normally when Casio does a colorway (let’s call the carbon fiber straps a colorway of their own since they were called the RM series) they run it through a few different G’s over a couple of months (say a summer or a winter or whatever).  We only had those TWO Carbon G-Shocks for a little over 3 years!  Crazy!  The Frog?  Ignore that for now, let’s keep focused on actual carbon fiber straps with clear exterior urethane for the identifiers here.
Let me introduce the DW-6930D.  The first ever carbon fiber 6900!  Even crazier?  Still the only non-square carbon fiber G-Shock.  Pretty unique piece from a few different viewpoints right there.  As part of the 4th wave of the 30th anniversary it features 30 stars on the end of the strap. Even wilder is how shouty the face is. Gold mirror screen?  Check.   Gold reflective face?  Check.  Mirror gold light button?  Check.  This is the loudest carbon fiber G I’ve seen.
Let’s talk about the features of the DW-6930D before we get into more visual details.   It is 200m water resistant, EL backlight with afterglow.  Multi-function alarm, hourly time signal, can flash with the buzzer for these alerts as well.  1/100th second stopwatch that will go to 24 hours.  Can do elapsed time, split time, etc.  The countdown timer works on full second intervals and can go to 24 hours as well as an auto-repeat feature.  Full auto calendar out to 2099, and 12/24hr time formats.  The battery?  CR2016 and it has the 3230 module.
Originally released with a suggested price of 24,000 yen this and its brother have some very nice eye candy.  First let’s start with the straps themselves.  On the long strap at the end is the 30 stars.  Wait, look at them again, those little stars have a height and are physical pieces UNDER the urethane resin layer!  You can watch the light reflect of the sides of them.  Further up the strap is the verbage “30th Anniversary”, again, actual gold lettering under the urethane.  The cosmetics of these carbon fiber G’s are very durable because of all this.
These carbon fibers G’s cosmetics are surprisingly durable.  I have yet to see any yellowing/discoloring of the clear urethane (unlike the clear jelly Glorious Gold wave of the 25th Anniversary) on any photo of one anywhere.  Since all the graphics and pieces are underneath, there is no stripes to crack or rub off, and they are safe to wear with cuffs as there is no wear marks unlike bright orange or yellow G’s which commonly get black marks from rubbing/contact with clothing.  You can wear these without great worry about them, the best of all worlds and exactly as Casio intended.
Back to the straps.  Over on the short strap near the bezel is the classic “Since 1983” while on the band keeper (which is also carbon) it simply says “G-SHOCK”.  All of the lettering and stars being in gold to go with the theme of this wave.  The gold continues over to the buckle, buttons, screws, and caseback.
The caseback.  Being a 30th Anniversary G-Shock the caseback is engraved with the infamous Eric Haze 30th logo.  It is very nice and adds an extra touch that this G is special.  I also like how the caseback matches the screws perfectly.
The brother.  Or the modern version of the RM series, the GW-M5630D.  If you remember, the RM series were kind of a bridge between the GW-M5600 and the GW-M5610.  This one is a 5610 though with the “30” for 30th anniversary.  We’ll get into features shortly, for now just look at it.
I like how the Green mirror screen offsets the gold accents.  The purple solar panels also somehow match well.  Like the 6930 it shares the straps and coloring of the gold buttons, screws, buckle and caseback.
And have a look at that caseback will you?  Like the RM series this one is serialized as well.  Very unusual indeed as not many G-Shocks get this treatment.  Mind you, this numbering refers to a batch date, not and individual serial number.  You will also notice how much more pronounced the engraving is on the back vs the 6930. 
Original suggested retail was 33,000 yen.  This one has the 3159 module which of course is solar and atomic as well as 200m water resistance.  Full auto EL backlight with Afterglow, World Time of 29 times zones (48 cities + UTC) with city code display and daylight savings on/off.  4 daily alarms and 1 snooze.  Hourly chime, 1/100 second stopwatch up to 24 hours.  1 second count down timer again to 24 hours.  Calendar is good until 2099 and the watch has 12/24 hour time formats.  Button operation tone is also on/off switchable.  Finally, and really pretty cool: approximate battery life of 10 months on full charge with no further exposure to light.  Oughtta get you through a long winter pretty easily. Due to the lack of titanium this one is specified at 51.7g or almost 5g (10%) heavier than the RM’s.  On one side, 5 grams is nothing, but on the other side you can actually tell.

1 comment:

Andrew Harbron said...

Hey Chris, Great write up. I remember my 5630 fondly and this is a nice reminder.