Sunday, June 28, 2009

#29 MIB Mudman in Sheep Clothes

Beauty can come in several ways. Sometimes it comes with a beast. In this case, it is a beast. From ugly duck to graceful swan. No idea what happened on the road of life with this Franken-beauty.
Not that it's life really started as an ugly duck. A Men In Black Mudman (digital version, in right "clothes") was a long desire of me to own and only just recently my wish was fulfilled.
The first (digital) Men In Black Mudman was released October 1997. I got this watch end October 2006, exactly nine years later. Probably the previous owner had abused his Muddy a lot, so he wanted new clothes and bought a "Men In White Gray" refurbish set.
It is also possible that the previous owner put the M.I.B. bezel and straps on a basic model. The EL design makes it probably one of the hardest to read displays in the dark.
The M.I.W.G. model is quite younger than the M.I.B. Mudman. In May 2000 it was the last, but one classic Mudman model. The last classic Mudman was the legendary, February 2001 released Real Black Mudman.
Together with this Franken Shock I also obtained a real M.I.W.G. Mudman. Instead of a mole with a drill, it shows a mole with a snow shovel. It looks like the November 2008 Men In Ice White (M.I.I.W.) series were inspired by this series. An EL-Shot of the mole with the snow shovel appeared on my 2006 G-Peopleland Christmas card (for close G-Friends all over the world).
The straps on this Franken Shock are probably from 1997. Though looking good, the color turned more beige or crème. Still the watch looks pretty impressive.
The classic Mudman is one of the biggest G-Shock models ever made. There is more than only a cosmetic reason for that. The bezel does not only cover the case, it also covers the buttons.
All classic Mudresist models (DW-5500C*, Mudman, Raysman, Gaussman, DW-8500 Codename) were actually pretty big. With the new G(W)-9000 Mudman, they managed to make a medium sized G-Shock, with still the case and buttons covered by the bezel.
Since I got this Franken Shock I have been hunting for original parts. Actually it is hard to find original straps and bezels for the 8400 Mudman.
I managed to get a DW-8400-1 bezel and DW-8400-9 straps ("golden eye"), but I actually love this combo so much, that I think I leave it this way. And by the way, what good will it do. It is Franken and still will remain Franken. My M.I.B. Mudman in sheep clothes.
* The DW-5500C was nicknamed Mudman and actually the first Master of G. Though not comparable with the later Mud resistant models, it was significant bigger than his square DW-5X00C brothers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

#28: Silver G-Lide, repainting delight.

About two weeks ago I saw this auction on eBay Germany. The bids were low and I thought I would give my luck a try.

I could not see which model this was exactly, but it sure was a G-Lide model from Summer 2002 (20th Anniversary model). I managed to win the auction. Final bid only €5,72. It must have been my lucky day.The watch somehow reminded me to a watch I spotted on Queensday 2009 (a day that later ended tragically, but that's a different story). The scouting group of a nearby village were entertaining kids with baking bread above a fire. I noticed that one guy was wearing a G-Shock. I noticed the watch had three eyes, so I was quite curious. There were many children waiting in the que, so I didn't want to bother him with trivial questions what G it was and where he got it.
I had sent out a message (in my best German) that I had won the auction, that I was a Dutch collector and that I would pay for the extra shipping costs from Germany to the Netherlands. A day later I got the message that it all was OK (98% of the German sellers don't mind sending to the Netherlands if you ask politely in German). The seller only had to check the shipping costs. After that it remaind pretty silent, so a few days later I wrote another message, if he knew the shipping price already. After excusing for the dalay, he wrote he got the shipping price. €8.45 is a very good price for shipping. Amazingly he had a Paypal acount (which was not common in Germany a few years ago). only excused himself for posting it later, because he would be in Germany again later. At the bottom of his e-mail I noticed a signature. This guy had his own website:
I'm pretty curious, so I followed the link. While I thought I was buying from a German seller that didn't know much about sending and selling outside Germany, the seller apeared to be a pretty known DJ on tour through Canada and the USA!
Actually the watch arrived pretty quick. Three working days later it was delivered at my doorstep. As was stated in the auction, the watch was used, though I had expected an even worse scenario. Some scratches on the metal parts and a lost "H" in G-SHOCK. An excellent candidate for a repaint job.
So what do I need: good paint (I use scale model paint, better known as Enamel), a brush to apply on the letters, a piece of paper tissue and white spirit (in Dutch called wasbenzine) to wipe of excess of paint.
First I paint over the lettering. It's actually not as thick as it looks on the photo, but the paint covers all the letters well.
The trick is to remove the excess of paint carefully. You need the tissue paper with a little bit of white spirit (or an other mild paint remover) and carefully wipe over the bezel. Repeat this two or three times with a clean part of the tissue and fresh white spirit. After that the bezel looks like new painted. Sometimes there is a little white/gray hue over the resin, because of the white spirit residue, but that goes away pretty fast. Of course I was a bit unhandy, so unattended I painted my fingers a little too...
I noticed the black part with the G-logo under the light button was not as bright as the lettering on the bezel. Although normally I would not have repainted it, I did it to make it look more matching with the bezel.
So what kind of watch do we have here. It appears to be a silver version of the GL-150. The GL-150 is the overseas summer 2002 G-Lide model. In Japan same and different color variations were released under number GL-151.
I actually have the clear red version, which I bought new from "Peter Porschen Zeit und Juwelen", a friendly jeweller in Augsburg, Germany. He contacted me after the release of the European models that he could get limited supply of the pink and yellow version. While the basic model was pretty expensive, these limited model were far above my financial limit. Also I thought these models (with the pale pink and yellow color) were more feminine models.
The summer 2002 G-Lide models G-Shock feature the multil layer display, which were also used earlier in Twincept and Protrek models. With two or three layers of LCD displays, it is possible, with different color liquid crystal, to create different color displays on one watch.Although the GL-150 has black, blue and red liquid crystal displays, you can actually only choose between two different screens in time keeping mode. Both choices can be seen in the photo above and below.You might think "Sjors, you didn't like blue, don't you?" Well, that might be, but I think I like the blue DAY display with the red digits more than the plain gray/black display. It also look more symetric with the blue date digits too.
The best thing for me is that the GL-150 comes with a tide graph. For people living and/or sporting near or on the sea, this is a handy gadget. I always check the tidegraph when we go to the beach.
In the tidegraph the actual tide flashes on and off in the display. As you can see above in the photo above, it is high tide at west side of Walcheren.
The tide is caused by the forces of the sun and the moon. The hight of the tide depends on the moon age. If it's full moon, the moon is opposite of the sun and the pulling of these celestial bodies cause the highest tide possible, while with the moon in a quarter, the moon has less influence resulting in neap tide.
The tidegraph of the GL-150 can shows the moon age and the Tidegraph can also show if there is a higher or lower tide difference in the graph. For an accurate working of the Tidegraph you need to program the watch well. If you program the proper latitude and longitude and the lunitidal interval, the watch can calculate the the tides on your coordinates. I have once written an article to help you find and calculate these data.
The design of the GL-150 is pretty unique for G-Shock. These big square display models with a kind of streamlined case were only released in 2002. The rim protecting the display is pretty high, so the display is well protected agains unexpected encounters with walls, doors, surfboards and other objects that can come on the way. It sometimes reminds me to the glasses of DMC.
The the 4 buttons on the side have button guards. The light button is placed in a recessed part, that also acts as a button guard.
When I got the watch I had to feed it a new battery (it was very dead). It was actually not easy to get at the battery lid. The metal upper part of the bezel must be removed after removing the back protector. A mysterious copper spring falls out of a hole of the case, which actually connects the bezel to the battery lid. I have no idea why. Sorry I did not make photo's of this procedure. I might re-open the case again later and post it in an intermezzo.
The streamlined design is also found on the straps with fish grate formed holes. A bump on the end of the strap works as a lock on the strap keeper (see above).
The back protector makes the watch pretty comfortable on the wrist. Though I still think this model looks a bid odd, I think it looks pretty good on the wrist.
These dual layer displays make you of course curious how the EL Backlight would look like.
The EL is pretty bright and sharper than in the photo's I took. Different is that the sharpness rapidly decays if the view angle is different than the normal viewing angle (from your wrist). Not something to worry about. You must wear your watch when you use the EL backlight."He knows the moon, he knows the stars. He knows the milky way"...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Intermezzo #11: I got to run!!!

Even in a hurry you can post a message on your weblog. I saw this Emergency Exit sign in front of my office and thought it looked nice with my Jam'in Color DW-6900MC-3.This is a great watch for summer, with the bright green and yellow tones. If I wear this watch, I must be very happy. Back to my experiments!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

#27 Orange Again.

My 26th post this year. Half way. Every time a surprise I make these milestones. It might look easy, but it often takes me a few days to think out a post. Some work well, some less. Let's see what I can bake this week.
Last week a small package was delivered from Krazys, Singapore. Two watches, both from the Rescue-G series. First was the G-9100R Gulfman. It was my second, this one is one to wear.
The second one is a bit special, at least for me. As you can read in "Orange Alert" of October 2008, I was very enthusiastic about the Men In Rescue Orange series. While I had saved for these models, I was surprised that Casio released a spin-off series in the fall/winter collection at the end of 2008, called the Rescue-G series.
A half year after the release I have the series complete with this Riseman. I actually bought the little Lego set featured in this post around New Year specially to celebrate the completion of this series.
The Rescue-G series were the same Master of G models as the Men In Rescue Orange series, but then the non-atomic versions. The color scheme of orange with black accents was the same (Mudman G-9000R model, like the MIRO series, a black case with orange accents).
The Rescue-G series is dedicated to rescue workers, like lifeguards. I live in Zeeland, which easily translates sealand. Like the name suggests, we have a lot of coastlines. The Rescue-G series reminds me to old friendships.
Our province is mostly a group of islands from which, in recent history, some are grown together through poldering (reclaiming land) or connected with the building of giant dams.
I live on the (former) island Walcheren, which is somewhat diamond shaped. From the south (Vlissingen) to the north (Vrouwenpolder) we have on the west side one long sandy beach of about 30 - 35 km, which is very popular for both people on Walcheren as the many tourists that visit our island throughout the year.
The beach is a great place to visit, but the sea can be dangerous. Specially the big ships that pass near the beaches (Wednesday evening a gasoline tanker stranded on the Flushing boulevard) cause dangerous waves for small children and the tides create dangerous currents.
It might not be a surprise we have a lot of lifeguards on the beach, mostly enthusiast trained scholars and young students, who like to work and spend their time together on the beach. Note that most people who are born and raised here can't live without the sea. When I haven't been to the sea for a few weeks, I can get very grumpy. You can find me walking on the beach during storm, rain and sunshine.
Though I never joined the lifeguards, I always had very close connections with the Middelburg lifeguards. A good friend of me was for years active on the beach and is still now involved in the organization. We went out clubbing in discotheques a lot with other local lifeguards in Belgium and the Netherlands in the early 90's. In daytime I often visited the post on the beach during daytime. Still I work once a year close with lifeguard organizations, as I support the last runner, on my mountain bike, during the annual Coastal Marathon, the heaviest marathon of our country.
Since the route involves beaches that not are all ridable by bike (or at least not as fast as a runner), I get picked up in a lifeguard truck on one beach brought from one post to the next, 8km further. At the finish all helpers eat together, so I see a lot of people I haven't seen for a long time.
Well, lets return to the Rescue-G Riseman. Actually it is my first non-Atomic Riseman (G-9200). With the Gulfman and Mudman there are functional differences between the atomic and non-atomic models, but how I compared the manuals (the manual I got looks more like a volume of an encyclopedia), except of the atomic time syncing function, the functions are exactly the same. The retail price of the atomic version was ¥28000, say roughly $280.-. I think I payed around $250.-. Not cheap, but with the US dollar doing €0,65 around that time, it was affordable.I got mine for a good price, specially because I bought 2 watches, which reduces the effect of the relative high shipping costs from outside Europe.
A G-9200R-4DR can still be found for a price around $150 - $190 (ex-shipping, which for me is often around $25!). You might consider if only the atomic time function is worth the extra $100. Digital watches keep pretty good time. The accuracy of ±15 seconds off per month is actually on most new models I bought just a few seconds. I'm trying to save money for a trip to Japan next year. If I didn't have this plan, I would have bought a 2nd Rescue-G model. Besides my respect for people who risk their lifes by saving others, I very much love the look of this series.
One question remains for me. I have no idea why the overseas series are called Rescue-G and not Men In Rescue Orange. Both names indicate the series honor rescue workers. Unlike the Men In Rusty Black, Mat Black Red Eye and Military Inspired series, this series consist only of Master of G models, which means they all could have been included in a Men In series.