Sunday, August 3, 2008

#30 Sailing around with the Gulfman

It's summer time. In my region that means a lot of people go to the beach or go out with their boat. Last week a friend of me came over the floor asking if we wanted to go out on their boat. It was early in the morning, so I had to grab my clothes. I didn't have to think long which watch to wear. I went with the Gulfman.
In July 2007 Casio released the updated version of the good old DW-9700 Gulfman. The original Gulfman was released in May 1999. The original Gulfman could be considered as an update of the July 1996 released Fisherman. The big difference between the Fisherman and the original Gulfman was that the Gulfman was Tough Solar.
The main reason why to buy a Gulfman should be it's Tidegraph function. Well, for me it was the most important reason to get one. It is a pity the tidegraph is missing on the Atomic model.
Water and metals are not a good combination. Salt water is even worse, but some metals are better corrosive resistant than other. For the Gulfman Casio uses Titanium. Titanium is not only a very light metal, it does not rust. Hence the text "Rust Resist" on the watchband.
On the other strap the text "Dual Illuminator" is printed, a cool feature, that already has been used on the G-9000 Mudman models. The buttons on the Gulfman are nice BIG buttons. You can't even miss them in a storm on deck. The big cross on the buttons are not only looking nice, but also prevent your fingers to slip off in wet conditions and help you find the buttons in the dark. A very smart feature.
The dial of the G-9100 is divided in 2 large sub dials and three smaller. In the upper dial the day and date is shown. A feature that is not always common on G-Shock's. It also shows if the Alarm Modes, Mute and Auto Illuminator are activated. The bottom dial shows the time and if applied also DST.In the middle you have the three smaller sub dials. The biggest show the current tide (if you have programmed it well). The small sub dial in the middle shows the phase of the moon. The right sub dial shows a circular animation of the seconds.
Programming the Tidegraph is not as difficult as it looks. The moon (and less important, but the sun too) pulls on seawater. Therefore there will be more water on the side where the moon is. This water comes from the side of the earth, so opposite of the moon there will also be more water. The high tide is not exactly when the moon passes at it's highest point. Due to slowlyness, rivers, land masses, different depths and objects in the water, the high tide is delayed. This delay is called the Lunitidal Interval. If you want to know how to program your Tidegraph, have a look at this instruction I wrote a few weeks ago.
The back of the Gulfman shows a sea turtle that is cleaning his shell, indicating this watch loves the sea. Of course the back is also made of Titanium.
Besides of showing time and current tide information, you can also observe the tide at any given date and time in the Tide mode. Further more there is a World Time function, a 24 hour Stopwatch Function, a 24 hour Countdown Timer function*, 3 Alarms (one is a snooze alarm) with hourly chime on board. If you don't like the beeps while changing the functions, you can mute the watch. If you push the mode button for approximately 3 seconds, the mute sign (a musical note) appears in the upper display. Even the operation buttons in stopwatch mode are muted. Only alarms will sound.
Of course you can use the countdown timer not only for timing sport events. It also functions well as cooking timer. The Dual Illuminator function lights not only the dials, but also a ring around the dials. In this ring you can find the button functions. Therefore you don't have to know what all buttons do in the dark.
On 50 Gs there is already written more about the other Gulfman models.

Topher has written a great article about his yellow DW-9700K
My white Atomic I.C.E.R.C. Gulfman as summer watch
My white Atomic I.C.E.R.C. Gulfman, on the road to Westvleteren

Sjors likes to thank "Captain Jack" for the great day on his boat so I could make many beautiful Gulfman photo's and Lexxorcist for providing the Gulfman promotion picture.

*RECTIFICATION: In the first version of this article I mentioned the Countdown Timer was a 60 minutes version. When you see me using it to time a cooking process, you already see it's not a 15 minutes, but a 24 hours timer. Thank you Thomas for mailing this mistake!


vqa said...

Anybody knows what is the point of the GULFMAN series? If FROGMAN does the same thing way better. And not to say that almost every G-Shock have 20 bar water protection.

Unknown said...

Hi Владимир,

I think there are some differences between the Gulfman and the Frogman at the time this model came out. The Frogman was an ISO rated 20 Bar Water Resistant watch, the only ISO rated watch in the G-Shock line. To earn this certificate costs quite some money and high standards (lot of testing and controls), so the Frogman (that was the GW-200 at that time) was pretty expensive. Probably the solid block of Titanium used to make the case didn't help the price come down too (When I went to Shock The World in Barcelona I was checked at the security when all bells and alarms went off, while I was sure I did not had any metal on my. I had to take off my Frogman and only one or two green lights were lighting up. There is a lot of metal in that watch.

As for the Gulfman, it is meant to be used at Sea. So it is mainly Rust Resistant. The classic model was a solar model with a Tidegraph. Pretty useful on sea or when living near the sea (as I do).

Now the Gulfman is probably more promoted for the Rust Resistance, because the solar GW-9100 has no Tidegraph. Luckily the new version (is it GW-9110?) has the Tidegraph implemented again.

I hope this answers your question a bit.