Sunday, July 12, 2009

#31 No Queda el Tiempo

"No Queda el Tiempo", "Not enough Time" or "No Time left". A good slogan for this weeks post. I started with a complete other watch a few days ago. I figured out that inspiration of that watch was an old book. Luckily there was a movie too, so I bought the DVD. I have ideas for the photo's, but no chocolate and I need to look for a model too. Next in line then. My 21st Century Boys G-Shock designed by Tommy Guerrero.

Part One: Time for a Change, a Battery Change:
I had not worn this watch for a long time. It appeared the displayed time looked no where near the atomic time of my I.C.E.R.C. Gulfman. Let's not talk about the date. Is it April 67th already? A simple press on the light button confirms what I was thinking. That battery is almost dead...
It was so dead, the time didn't appear in the display again. I needed to change the battery before I can make a proper photo shoot. Quite some screws have to be removed to remove the back and back protector and distant keepers from the case...
...but finally the watch is open as a patient on a surgery table. Operation "Battery Change" begins.I noticed the module was pop-ed out of the case a bit. If you see this, it might be that the rods of the buttons have slipped under the metal contacts. It appeared this was (almost) impossible with this module. The rods retract almost complete in the case. A gentle push moves the module back in it's place.
With a sharp tooth tweezer you can pop up the battery lock. When it pops open you can remove easily the empty battery. You can do it with the same tweezer (the battery is already dead) or use plastic tweezers. If you don't have these tweezers, a sewing needle might do the job too. Taking out the batter can be done with your fingers.The fresh battery needs to be put in with plastic tweezers. If you don't have those, you must be a bit inventive. You can use a piece of cloth between your fingers. It's important not to use metal tweezers and it's not good for the battery to touch it with your fingers.
On far the most G-Shock module there is a reset contact (probably not on full analog display, because there is not much to reset). It's indicated with the the letters AC, like on the photo below.
Hold your sharp point tweezer with one leg connecting the AC contact, while the other touches the top of the battery and hold it there for two seconds. This should be sufficient for a proper reset in most cases. If not, repeat until the module shows 12:00:00.
What ever you do, never turn around the case and module. This tiny spring (above) is needed for the alarm sounds and sits loose in its hole. After the module is reset it's wisely to re-grease the gasket. Use silicon grease (acid free). I use very pure silicon grease that is actually meant to be used to grease chains of mountain bikes. After the back is closed and all components are in place again it's time for the final test. Does the EL light work. Judging the photo below, this is indeed the case. Another successful battery change.A minute or so later the watch is set to the atomic time. According the photo below it took me 22 minutes to do the battery change. Of course this one took a bit longer, since I stopped several times to take photo's, but for this type of watch you might reserve 15 minutes for a proper battery change.
Part Two: The Good die young

Ship Historian Copper: "Human beings worship the great god Santa, a creature with fearsome claws, and his wife Mary. And evry Christmas people of the UK go to war with the country of Turkey. Then they eat the Turkey people for Christmas dinner like savages."

Excerpt from "The Voyage of the Damned" (Doctor Who Christmas Special 2007)

So I woke up this morning and grabbed my iPhone of my alarm clock. Since my son Bram was playing Generals on my computer, I had to do search about Tommy Guerrero on my iPhone. Of course I knew Tommy Guerrero was a pro skater. What I didn't know is that he's also a successful musician and DJ. I found out he has released albums on some pretty prestigious record labels.
One of them is Mo Wax, the legendary Trip Hop label of James Lavelle (UNKLE). I found the album "Soul Food Tequeria" (2003) and downloaded it into my iPhone. His music perfectly fits into the MoWax sound and remind me to DJ Shadow' s "Private Press". A blend of trip hop and laid back rock, soul and jazz.

I have to search for a hard copy. I have seen some on eBay for friendly prices. Never expected to end up with this music when I started this article. You are never too old to learn.
Another label he worked for is "Azuli". When I was a young DJ I was got the tip from my friend "Bleephead" to look out for Azuli records. Those early records were not easy to get (we are talking about the early 90's), specially where I lived. These records had a US sound, but were in fact recorded in the UK by UK artists. By distributing them from a office in NYC it looked like the records were actually from the US and a hype was born. One of their early artists was the singer Romanthony.
Romanthony was quite a misterious guy. Records with his name were pretty hot amongst (European) DJ's. Nobody knew who he was, but his vocals and tracks were always very strong. Later he told he was restricted not to reveil who he was by Azuli, to create his hype. While most people probably do not know his name, he is well known for his participation on the CD Discovery by Daft Punk. He did the vocals on "One more Time" and "Too long". To my big surprise Azuli records is still in business. The album Tommy Guerrero produced for Azuli is "Another Late Night: Tommy Guerrero". On this album (again I can recommend this CD) Tommy has gathered some great laidback soul and funk tracks and features his track "Come Together" too. This track was later released as a limited 7" (2002).
I think I will also try to find a hard copy of this album. It shows also great artwork (which I always love on records and CD's).I am actually curious why Casio picked Tommy Guerrero for designing this watch in this series. Other designers in this series have also been pro-skaters. It might be that Casio was looking for the skater. Maybe Casio took him (like Ed Templeton too) for the combination of what he is doing.
The text 21stC.B. stands for 21th Century Boys. If you look at the G-Shock Perfect Search, you will see that this model (in fact, the complete series) is not present. This means this is an overseas only series. With these models not present in the G.P.S. it's hard to find out when this series was released. It is probably released in 1997 or 1998.I bought mine in Vlissingen (Flushing) in January 2001, so it's one of my first Gs. The shop where I bought it stopped selling G-Shock's and I paid f100.- for it (around €45.-) in the sale. Actually the screen went blanc a few days after I bought it, so I got a free battery replacement and water resist test.
I actually do not know the background of the text "Good die young" and the hand grenade logo. It might have something to do with Tommy's skateboard history. I found out Tommy Guerrero was born September 9, 1966, exactly one week before I was born. He was part of the in 1979 founded "Bones Brigade", a highly successful skateboard team featuring the best riders of that era. Other members include Steve Caballero and probably the most famous rider of all times, Tony Hawk.
The 21st C.B. models all have a double Velcro watchband (there was also a 21st C.B. Mudman released, which has resin straps and looks pretty much like the basic DW-8400 Mudman).
The 1597 module has a funny small eye in the top left corner. I have seen people with the question what it is. There is a little star icon inside it. When this icon is lit (standard after a reset/battery change) the watch will flash the EL every time an alarm sound is heard. I still think this is a pretty cool function. Of course it's not too good for the battery.This FLASH function can be toggled on and off by pressing the lower right button (start - stop button) for about two seconds.
Though I prefer separated sub-dials (like with the 1659 module), I think the display does not look bad. In the middle there is an animated display of the seconds. The 5 red upper parts show every 10 seconds, the lower every second. People who find it distracting, you might see it as a digital form of a seconds hand.
A funny detail. The back of the watch says "WATER RESIST 20BAR" while on the front of the watch is written "WATER 200M RESIST". I have no idea where the mark "-N-" stands for. It might refer to a production unit. Normally this would not be visual, but with a good macro lens...
Finally, the EL back light. It shows the hand grenade that is featured on the straps end too. You might find it a double appearance, but the grenade on the straps is not visual when the strap is closed. Actually the grenade in the display is also only visible when the EL backlight is activated.
This article is written under the influence of elevated music. Prolonged exposure might result in uncontrollable rhythmic movements like nodding the head up and down or swinging the arms in unexpected directions.
Copper: "So Great Britain is part of Europy and just across the channel you've got Great France and Great Britain."
Doctor: "No, no, it's just France and Germany. Only Britain is "Great"."
Copper: "And they are all at war with the continent of Hamerica".
Doctor: "No. Well, not yet."


Unknown said...

Nice article, I also have this watch. The battery died and the few watch repairers that I took it to were scared to open G-Shocks as they thought they might not be able to re-assemble them. Mine has sat in the drawer ever since but now I think I will dig it out and replace the battery myself, might check out his music too!

tofu_junky said...

I have this watch too - not in quite as good condition as yours though ~ really kicking myself for chucking the box out a few years back!!?
I'm considering putting it on ebay in the next few weeks - any idea of its current value?

Unknown said...

Hi Chris,

I rather would keep the watch than selling it. It won't be worth much. Think in the $40 - $50 rangs. If you got one in mint condition with box you can ask about $80 -$100 I think.

You can always donate it to a G-Shock museum in The Netjerlands though :-)