Sunday, May 3, 2009

#20 The Lion of Zion

"I'm gonna be Iron like a Lion in Zion" (Bob Marley, 1973).
From the start of my collection I was not very enthusiastic about the DW-5600 models. I bought my first G-Shocks because they were colorful and big.
Still among my first Gs there was a red DW-5600E. Though it looked smaller than my other Gs, I was surprised that it still looked big on my arm. Maybe because it has a face protector (a.k.a. "Bull Bar").I was pretty lucky getting that watch. It was priced f80.- which is about €37.-. Considered the retail price for the basic DW-5600E-1V now is €99.- and the cheapest G-Shocks I can find here are €80.-, that was a real bargain.
Still the love for the "Classic Squares" had to grow on me. I got some nice DW-056USV models, which looked bigger due to the double Velcro straps. Nice for the collection, but I preferred the bigger ones.
I think things changed when I got my first DW-5600C. This vintage heavy screw-back forced respect to the classic squares.
Casio never lost faith in the original G-Shock design. New models based on the classic DW-5000C, DW-5600E and DW-5700C are still released.
So is this DW-5600R-3DR of the Rastafarian series. Before the GLX-5600 and the GLS-5600V (see this year's G #17 ) were released, this was probably my favorite square.
You could find them at budget friendly prices after release. This is my second ("to wear") of this model. I bought it at Tiktox. They still have one or two left at the moment and it is (due to the low British Pound) a real bargain. A small search on eBay show the watch is still available in the €65 - €100 range.
Jamaican cultural heritage themes has been used frequently by G-Shock. In the past series were released with reggae, Bob Marley and Xaymaca as theme. The Rastafarian series of March 2008 is the latest in this row.
Actually model is of the 3rd Rastafarian series. Also in June 2005 and May 2006 a Rastafarian series was released.
Sticked former series to the Rastafarian colors: red, yellow and green (of the old Ethiopian flag), this series uses the colors of the Jamaican flag: green, yellow and black.
The EL background is very impressive. It is the lion from the Ethiopian flag during the reign of Emperor Haile Selasie(1930-1974).
Rastas hold that Selassie is a direct descendant of the Israelite Tribe of Judah through the lineage of King David and Solomon, and that he is also the Lion of Judah mentioned in the Book of Revelation*. Jesus Christ was also called "the lion of Judah". The lion was the symbol of Haile Selasie.
I don't think there is a deeper meaning in the dark green color or the glossy finish. The DW-6900R and G-5500R of this series where white and black and have the same finish.
The gold color buttons and buckle perfectly match the dark green tone and the gold colored display. The strap keepers bear the color of the Jamaican flag.
With the glossy finish I regret the back of the watch is just plain like a basic DW-5600. A shiny back, like the DW-5000SL Spike Lee would have fitted well with this model. A gold tone back (like the 25th anniversary models) even better.
For functionality the DW-5600R is pretty simple. It tells time (with day and date), it has an alarm function with hourly chime, a stopwatch and a countdown timer. Frankly these are the functions I most need on a watch.
Overall I think this is a great watch with a beautiful chic look, which you maybe still can find for a great price.
* Quoted from Wiki Page: Lion of Zion

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