Saturday, September 13, 2008

#36 The Solid Server

When Greg suggested to start a G-Shock weblog, I had several G-Shocks on my mind. I wanted not to shine a light to very rare, hard to find models, but more to G-Shocks that had a meaning or story for me, that I wanted to share with the world. In the mean time several Gs have passed and I have shown here some of my dear Gs. Still the two G-Shocks that came to my mind at first were not shown here. So here is the first one. The DW-004B-4V
In 1999 I went to the open-air theatre spectacle "Onno", by the "Dogtroep". It was for that time a revolutionary show where video projections were interactive combined with visual drama, acrobatics and live music from several stages.
Dogtroep always uses the location as decor. The performance was located at the Flushing Shipyard. The video's they used were shot in Flushing and several locations on Walcheren.
One of the projections was shot at the city centre of Flushing. While the actor was playing at the foreground, I noticed the shop sign in the background. With big letters it showed the G-Shock logo. The signboard actually was the side of a watch display case in front of the jeweller shop.
Every time I was in Vlissingen I stopped at this display. There were about 30 interesting watches in all kind of shapes and colours. Most models were G-Shock models from the 1997 - 1999 collection.
I wore a digital Timex around that time that I had for about 3 years. It had a scratched face, because it scraped along a wall at one of the first days I wore it. It told time, had typical green Timex display, 50m water resist and Indiglo, a cool word for electro-luminescence.
I worked as a DJ in a discotheque. The booth was pretty dark, but my Timex had a night mode. In night mode the display was lighted for two seconds, even when the light button was released. Also the display lighted up when changing modes.
Since I saw "Onno" I noticed myself stopping every time I passed the G-Shock display in Flushing.
I just started working on a school as a technical educational assistant, so the prices for those watches somewhat dazzled me. The prices started from around f250.-(€113.-). That was a lot of money for me. Besides, my Timex was functioning well. The bracelet however was in a poor state.
At a day in June 2000, the bracelet (finally) broke. I have to admit that I was hoping for this day. I went to Flushing, to the jeweler. I observed the display for a long while. It was not easy to choose between all those models. I narrowed my choice to the maroon models. A DW-004 and a DW-003 G-Lide with double Velcro strap.
I stepped into the store. A man (it was the store owner) asked me if he could help me. A few moments later he returned from outside with the two watches.
First I tried the DW-004. It felt very solid and comfortable. I liked the maroon cloth top on the leather strap. I could not resist pushing the light button. A very nice sharp and clear green glow lighted the display. This was so different of what I had seen before. This did not look like a cheap watch at all.
I strapped on the DW-003. Awesome. What a huge strap, what a huge watch. It was simply amazing. I had never felt such a comfortable watch. It looked huge, but you hardly noticed you were wearing it!
It was a tough call. Which one should I choose? The DW-003 was tempting, but I thought the huge band would look too big on my wrist. I choose the DW-004. If this was the right choice, I will never know. Fact is I bought the DW-003 a few months later, which started my G-Shock craze.
The version I bought is called "Solid Server" and is an overseas version. The complete model number is DW-004B-4V, but you won't find it in G-Shock Perfect Search. In Japan most models had the typical double Velcro watchband, some had a resin band, but there were no official versions with cloth/leather straps.
The DW-004 was introduced in November 1997 in Japan. I think my "Solid Server" was part of the fall/winter 1997 collection.
It is a pretty basic model. It has timekeeping, one alarm with a hourly chime, a stopwatch and countdown timer. It didn't have the night function as my Timex had, but instead G-Shock had afterglow. This means the EL-light stays on for a few seconds if the light button is pressed.
I also discovered the "Flash function". When the bottom right button is pressed for a few seconds an interesting cross icon appears on the display. When activated the display lights up when an alarm sounds. A cool feature, that I used once in a pyramid of synced G-Shocks.
The DW-004 has the 1659 module. The eye and middle display show the seconds count. This animation can best be compared with the function of the seconds hand on an analogue watch.
The reason why this watch is so comfortable is probably because the design of the back. First of all, the metal back plate is protected with a flexible resin cover.
In the second place there are two "wrist rests" mounted on the sides of the watch. These rests are formed perfectly around the rounding of the wrist.
The straps are attached above the wrist rests with the cloth upper part with a spring bar on the case. This attachment is much smaller than the strap. The rests make the strap look very solid. Actually the DW-8800 Codename Cipher has a similar strap attachment. This model does not have a wrist rest. One of the down sides of that model (in my humble opinion) is the visible space between the strap and the case. Of course the strap attachment is very strong, but this space makes the strap look less tough. The wrist rest does hide this space so that the straps and the watch case look like one whole. The rests also make the strap look a bit beefier.
This DW-004B-4V was a great start of my collection and of course it has a special place in my heart.


Jurphaas said...

Hoi Sjors, even een berichtje uit Leiden. Hoe was je verjaardag? Een groot feest dat met de nodige biertjes gepaard ging, neem ik aan. Nog maals van harte gefeliciteerd. Je ziet er trouwens goed uit zonder haar op je hoofd. Maakt het opstaan en toilet maken erg makkelijk en snel. Even de spons erover en..... klaar!
Leuke foto van Bart, Eva, en jouw in het Hawaii shirt. Een geweldig leuk jong gezinnetje! Dat zullen je ouders zeker ook vinden.
Ik verwacht één dezer dagen mijn (een beetje stiekem) bestelde MIRO GW-M5600 !!!
Over een week vertrek ik naar Coventry, UK voor een Outdoor Trade Show.
Hey, Man... De mazzel en tot ziens of horens.

guyo said...

Hello Sjors,

Beautiful review!

I have a similar DW-004. It's actually identical, except for its color, which is a light blue, as opposed to your red.

The strap has been flaking and needs replacement, but due to the high price of some of the genuine replacements I've seen (around the price of a brand new DW-5600...), I'm considering converting the watch to a nylon/velcro strap.

I realize I need strap adapters, but am unsure how these would fit together with the wrist rests. Would they fit well? Would I have to remove the wrist rests, and if so, what to do about the four screws holding the rests in place sticking out the side?

Any ideas?



Unknown said...

You can equip a DW-004 with a Nylon/Velcro strap, with adapters, but you have to remove the wrist rests. I see Tiktox has there adapters:

You can also find the original Cloth Velcro strap there.

I also saw they have the original leather/cloth strap of the DW-003, which also fist the DW-004. It's cheaper than the conversion with strap adapters and a ner cloth Velcro strap...



guyo said...

Yup, I thought as much.

Thanks for the information and links.

I'm still not giving up on the velcro strap/adapter option. However, if I indeed remove the wrist rests, I'm either going to be left with four vacant holes (where the screws holding the wrist rests used to be), or four screws sticking out the sides of the watch with visible gaps (uggh!).

The following two pics depict a G-shock with plastic attachments that could possibly replace the wrist rests and solve my aesthetic challenge:

Any idea what these attachments are called, and whether or not they can be ordered someplace (black would be ideal, I suppose)?

Thanks again, Sjors! :-)