Sunday, May 3, 2015

G-Shock #19: Iron Man

I might probably not have mentioned in my 50 Gs weblog before, but I pretty much like comics. Though, I think there is quite a difference between US and West European comic culture. If I think to American comics, I think about superheroes and talking robot cars. I think most European are more down to earth. Not that main characters aren't heroes, or that super heroes can't be anti-hero's. When I was plotting the intro for this article, I was continually conflicting myself. Are American comic characters always Superheroes? Actually, I suddenly had to think about Garfield and one of my favorites, Peanuts. Often American Superheroes are also Anti-heroes. I think European comic characters are more various. If they are heroes, they are not really super. I'm not sure how popular European comics are popular. We've got "Suske en Wiske" (in English known as: "Bob and Bobette", "Spike and Suzy" and "Willy and Wanda"), and Tin Tin. For a more mature audience there is the beautiful series "Amoras", with more adult and detailed characters from Suske en Wiske, with also more mature dialogs. When I read the first comments on the first album, some people complained that Suske (for many people a child hero) was swearing. When I first read the album I finally found that part. Somewhere on page 34. He falls from a balcony into an abyss in the Jungle. I guess, some people rather would have seen saying: " what a pity, I am falling".
Photo's above by my friend Gerald from Austria, who is also a proud owner of this GA-110CS-4AER.
Anyway, my comic collection is a bit more diverse I think. I collect some newspaper comic albums. "Heinz" is a cat living in an absurdistic world. He is often grumpy and rude. "Sigmund" is a psychiatrist, who gets funny patients. Often it looks like his patients are better off than he is. Sometimes he gives funny advise. A man with a big nose asks if he should do an operation. "However you look at it, it still is and stays a guess..." . In Dutch the word for guess also is synonym for nose. In the next picture you see Sigmund surprised leaning out of his window at the top of a high building.
"It still doesn not want to summer..."
I also collect albums by Milo Manara (Click, Butterscotch)and Paulo Eleuteri Serpieri (Druuna). Both cartoonist are known for their explicit comics, but both also made very beautiful "normal" stories. My most precious albums are the Philémon series by Fred (Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès, 1931 - 2013) about a young men who experience surrealistic adventures on the letters of the Atlantic Ocean. A year after Fred's dead, in 2014 the first translation in English became available as "The Castaway from the A". Also "The Wild Piano" will be released in May 2015. In my opinion, 35 years late...
So, quite an introduction, not mentioning the main subject. To be honest, I do not know much about Iron Man. I could have bought some comics of course, like I did with the GA-110 in Superman colors. Frankly, I really intended to read those comics, but I never did. Frankly, I do not even know where I have left them. All I know they are still in the cellophane I got them in. And yes, I tried to get into the subject. Of course I know a flying Superman, a man gliding down with bat wings and a man who makes webs like a spider are quite incredible and impossible, but in a story or movie it looks believable. I pretty much like the latest Batman trilogy. But a superhero floating around with jets under his feet, maybe goes too far for me. Frankly I can't remember even heard from this comic character about 5 years ago.
I think I first heard the name Iron Man when the Rising Red series were released. Some people nicknamed the DW-6930A-4 sometimes Iron Man, though it never became a general name. The release of the July 2014 Crazy Colors changed that. Crazy Colors is a returning series, started in 2008, where Casio pushes the edge of combining, often bright and unusual, colors on a G-Shock. This series consist of two GD-8900CS models, two GA-100CS, a GD-X6900CS model and this GA-110CS-4. This GA-110CS-4 comes in a beautiful red/gold color scheme. According the official description it's a combination of a vivid color with gold metallic color, combined with a "color ring" (probably referring to the white/red/gold outer ring), making this model worthy for the Crazy Colors series. Behind the scenes however, this model was already nicknamed "Iron Man" by Casio employees, as it has the same color scheme as the modern variant of this cartoon super hero. Actually, Iron Man started in 1963 in a gray harness, actually more logical for someone called Iron Man. 

The GA-1100CS-4 was released at the end of August in The Netherlands. Although not marked as a limited edition, shops could only order maximal 2 of this model, as the availability for Europe, and probably worldwide, was pretty limited. I never found out what the reason was. Maybe, because Casio thought this was a bit over the top color combination, but I rather think to keep this color variation a bit exclusive. I was lucky enough to get two of this model from one shop, so I could save on shipping. I had of course seen the product photo’s of this model on internet, but in real, this model is quite breath taking. Specially when you open the your box and tin for the first time. From models I like very much and want to wear, I often but 2. One to wear and one to keep mint in my collection. The photo’s and movie in this article are actually from my “to wear” model.
The bezel is bright shiny red with white lettering. The gold tones on the strap and dial are a light gold tone. A color tone I pretty much like and sometimes use on my silly “Lucky Cat” paintings. I prefer this tone over the more antique (darker, deeper) gold tone. I pretty much like the positive digital displays. The background is also in a gold tone, matching the gold accents on the dial. The white ring around the dial and other white accents on the dial break the red and gold tones, which makes this watch a very good looking well designed piece.
The GA-110 model with the 5146 module is, in my opinion, the best looking analog budged G-Shock model around. I own quite several GA-110 models, but I still haven’t got a GA-100 model or a GA-200 or even a GA-300. I simply like the design of the dial and the Tachymeter sub-dial.
When you buy this G-Shock, you probably use it most for Time Keeping. Besides Timekeeping, this watch has also a 24 hour Stopwatch with Tachymeter function, a 24 hour Countdown Timer, World One of the functions you probably hardly will use is the Tachymeter function, but it’s pretty cool to have it on-board. You use this function to measure how much time an object (mostly a race car) to travels over a known distance to determine it’s speed. The units of the distance is not really relevant, but usually in kilometer or miles and can be input from 0.1 to 99,9. Speed can be indicated from 0 to 1998. The sub-dial hand can indicate up to 100, segments on top of the upper display show the 100 units, and for above 1000 units there is a 1000 indicator. When that one is showing, you have to add an extra 1000. If you input 1.0 for the distance and measure 30 seconds, your speed will be read as 120 units/hour, for instance 120 km/h if the distance was in kilometers. The above display will show one 100 unit, the sub-dial hand will show 20, together 120.
I did not buy this watch for the Iron Man association. I simply didn’t grow up with Iron Man, but I particularly bought it for the great looks. I pretty much like red G-Shocks and gold tones have grown on me, since I got my first Gold Defender Frogman. I could of course not resist in buying matching LEGO props, as we are a pretty big fan of LEGO too. An Iron Man set is a bit out of our interest, but for a G-Shock it’s OK. The set shown in the photo’s and movie is from Polybad 30167, which is a limited promotional item given away if you bought for a certain amount at a LEGO store or LEGO On-Line shop. You might think it is a rare item, but if you look good you can still find this 2013 17 piece set for around €5,00. Also the watch can still be fond here and there for a reasonable price around €180/$220.-. This is quite a lot more than the retail price in August 2014, which was €129/$129. I bought my GA-110CS-4’s at Boersma Jewelers in Monickendam. Unfortunately I can’t buy G-Shocks in my own area, but I try, if possible to buy in my own country to save on time and shipping. Luckily there are quite some retailers carrying G-Shocks in my country. Needless to say I’m pretty happy to own and war this model.

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