Monday, March 1, 2010

#7 Feel The Vibrations Oh Yeah.....

Hello everybody!

Originally I had it all figured out, before going on my vacation to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria I wanted to make this article like a tourist guide of the city and then take shoots of the watch in question, in the various environments. The reason I wanted to feature this particular model in Las Palmas, was because last time I was in Las Palmas back in 2006 I remember that I wished very much that I wore one of these. It was my nr one dream watch/ Grail back then. So now finally when returning in 2010 my wish was fullfilled.

Hey punk what are you looking at? I steal your G-Shock I swear!

But Then bad luck struck me not once but twice, first I became very sick on day 5 of my vacation, so I ended up spending the majority of my vacation in the hotel room and also on the very nice Las Canteras beach, as I did not have the strenght to do much else. So the tourist guide idea had to be scrapped. Maybe I will return there sometime in the future so that get to see more of it.

Second strike of bad luck happened to me near the end of my vacation, while I was taking pictures for this very article. During a shoot my new Canon Ixus 100is camera just shut itself off. I first tought that it was a empty battery but when I started the camera again it just sayed something about file error.

So I put in a different memory card and the camera worked just fine again. But since this was the end of my vacation I had no time to take more pictures. When I returned home, I tried to use a recovery program to rescue pictures from the broken SDHC Kingston card. I was succesfull in recovering only a few of the pictures that I originally made for this article. The ones I managed to save was not some of the best ones I made. But hopefully they are ok enough, to use in this article. I also discovered when I got back home that the card was not a genuine Kingston, I had bought a fake card. It was only a 4GB card but it claimed it was a 8GB card, and also registered itself as 7.3GB in both the camera and in the computer. And the card happened to break on me when it was about half full. So most likely what happened was that when the camera tried to write to memory modules that where not really there the data became totally corrupted.

So the lesson here is, always be carefull when buying memory cards, always buy them from trusted retailers. Life lesson learned for me thats for sure!

Well now lets get on with the watch shall we...

The GW-400 Silencer was first introduced to the market in may 2005. The very first version was not as one might suspect a basic black one. No instead it was the Hawaiian Lifeguard limited edition the GW-400HL-9JF with a retail price of 26250 japanese Yen or about $180 USD in 2005. So it was not a cheap model.

But originally it was not very well liked amongst the G-Shock society. Even though most was quite excited about the brand new module in the G-Shock line up, it was the strange very pale yellow that many did not like. I did not like it either and tought it looked like something old that was all burned out by the sun for a long time, someone gave it the nick name Egg nog!

Thankfully tough later in the same month casio released the dark metallic blue GW-400TCJ-2JR Triple Crown of Surfing North Shore Hawaii model. That one ended up beeing very sought after by the collectors and G-Shock fans in general.

This was then followed by the basic black edition GW-400J-1JF that was not limited, and is the only Silencer that has been in constant production since 2005.

In may 2006 came the next Triple Crown Of Surfing North Shore Hawaii model, the white with sand colored accents GW-410TCJ-7JR. This one is probably the most popular version of them all amongst japanese G-Shock collectors, but it is also the rarest, almost impossible to find one these days.

Then in june 2007 came the version that I have, the metallic forest green GW-400SF-3JF 2007 Hawaiian Surfing Limited edition. It was later nicknamed the Green Turtle Silencer because of its turtle like coloring and the similarity between the profile of the Silencer watch and a turtle shell. The very unusuall round vent/shell shape is one of the things that makes it special and one of the reasons I like it so much.

In 2008 casio did not release a new Silencer model and all that was available was the basic black. So we started to think that it might be a model casio would soon discontinue. Not untill November 2009 when we the G-shock collectors community was very surprised and casio released a new limited edition, the ice blue GW-400CDJ-2JF. This version is part of a series of watches called Vintage Colors, part of this series is also a yellow GW-7900 and a light grey GW-9200 Riseman.

Worth noticing about the Silencer line up is that all except the black version have colors that are
closely related to the ocean and Hawaii, the white one has sandy colored accents and the pale yellow one has a color similar to a yellow beach or the yellow underside of a turtle, the green one has the color of a green turtle or a forest, the dark blue one of the deep ocean and the new ice blue one has the color similar to ice under water. So there is definetly a tought behind the coloring choices. Another thing worth noticing is that many of the Silencers seems to have a connection to Hawaii despite never beeing sold there nor anywhere else in the world except in Japan, the Silencers are exclusive to the Japanese domestic market.

Some older wrist shoots from last summer!

Now lets digg into my version of the Silencer and its module...

Let me introduce to you, the Silencer, the GW-400SF-3JF Hawaiian Surfing Limited Edition 2007, or as it is also known as, the Green Turtle Silencer:

Attached to one of my fave shoes my wonderfull Gold Nike Flightposites!

Here we have some pictures of the packaging it came in. I really like that tag with a turtle!

The back case is a standars stainless steel back case with a 4 screw design. Stamped on it are the Hawaii islands and as you can see it is made in Japan. Module number is 2931.

The strap and buckle is a double pronged one which I like alot. It has lots of holes so most people will find a comfortable fit. And it is actually quite long so will fit most people with up to 20cm(8") wrists.

Sometimes, lots of printing on the strap can make it look less attractive. But not in this case, infact the sand yellow colored prints on both the strap and bezel makes it lok even better. It have just the right complement color. So what do we see printed here, along side one of the straps we see 2007 Hawaiian Surfing Limited edition, but wait what are those brands? Yup your right we see a nice cool in4mation logo. in4mation is a famous surf clothing line and retailer, they have collaborated with G-Shock several times by now and all of those collaboration models are highly sought after models.

But many people who knows about them are not aware of this model, this model was the very first in4mation collaboration model. But wait there is more, Excel is a wet suit maker so they also collaborated with G-Shock, oh and one more still? Tokoro which is a short board manufacturer. I am not aware of any other G-Shock with so many joint collaborations. Thats just one other thing that makes this watch so special.With all those water related collaborations one might think this is a G-Lide model, but it is not considered part of the G-Lide series, the Silencers stand at their own.

Now lets have a look at the module shall we...

Regular Time keeping Mode, day and date on top!

Regular Time keeping Mode, Temperature on top!

Regular Time Keeping Mode, Tide graph on top!

First we have the time keeping mode, here you can see the day and date on the top screen and a eye counting the seconds, in the center we have the charge level( this watch is solar powered) and receiving indicators ( this watch has atomic syncing capabilitys but only in Japan and in the US so not very usefull for me in Europe) aswell as the moon phase. The time can be shown in both 12 and 24hr format. The digits are nice and clear. By pushing the upper left button you can change the view on the top screen, from day and date to temperature or tide graph. The temperature tough can only be shown in celsius. On odd thing is that the bottom half of the display is a standard fixed segment display while the upper one is a dot matrix display to create a better tide graph.

Tide mode! Here you can also see the Dicapac WP-310 that I used for my Canon Ixus 100IS camera, during the taking of the water shoots...

Next if you push the lower left button which is the mode button we have the tide mode where you by pushing the lower right button can check up on the tide data for the future up to several years in advance. But it takes the watch 40 seconds to calculate the tide at any given day in time so it is abit slow.

For the tide data of today, you can just check it up in regular time keeping mode. To use the tide graph you first have to make some settings in time keeping mode, first press and hold the upper left adjust button untill the upper part of the display starts blinking. What you see first is the time zone area selected, just select a city in the same time zone as you, next press the lower left button and the area code starts blinking. Now you have to specify a specific area, the watch have over 100 locations In memory I think. Unfortunatelly there is not many locations for Europe where I live, if I choose BER or PAR for Berlin or Paris which is in my time zone, the only areas available are some strange mostly unknown places where I never travel:Boucau in France, Caggliari in Italy, La Coruna and Portugalete in Spain.

Perhaps those are known surfing locations in Europe? I do not know. So the tide function are mostly useless to me. In most casio watches with a tide graph, you have to program it with stuff like Lunitidal Interval etc in order to get a correct tide and that can be somewhat complicated. But with the Silencer you just input a location and it will program itself correctly. So that is very convenient but the downside is that it will not work everywhere in the world. I wished they would have complemented it with a programmable mode so that I could use it anywhere. The tide graph itself is the best I have seen in a G-Shock, very clear and easy to read.

Timer mode here! You got to protect your G's against evil bunnies and zoombies that are after your G-Shocks, these are my gate keeper neon Teddy bears!

Next mode is the Timer mode, unfortunately it is only up to 60 minutes, which is good enough for me but it would have been prefferable with a 24 hour count down timer. What is good tough is that there is two different modes, one auto repeat mode where it counts to the end and then repeats for up to 8 times, a repeat mode where it will stop after the countdown reaches 0, but if you sometime during the countdown press the upper left button the timer will reset to a special reset time that you have programmed earlier.

I find this usefull for instance when boiling eggs, it takes a certain amount of minutes for them to start boiling then after that additional 7 minutes for them to become hard boiled, so I set a 10 minute countdown and a 7 minute reset time, then I can start the 10 minutes countdown and once it starts signaling that it is near completion then I just push the upper left button and the timer will quickly reset itself but not to 10 minutes instead it will go to 7 minutes and then I start it quickly and a new 7 minute countdown starts. Very convenient function. When not stopping the repeat timer the watch will start counting time upwards up to 10 hours.Unfortunatelly the time can not be displayed in timer mode, not a big issue for me but might be for some.

Stopwatch mode! The Diesel Weasel became very tired after chasing after the ball for almost 20 minutes hehe!

Next we have the stopwatch mode, its a regular stopwatch but it can count up to 100 hours with a 1/100 s resolution so it is longer then most. It has up to 2 split times, unfortunatelly the time can not be showed in this mode either.

World Time Mode! lets check up on the time in Napoleons land, Vive La France!
Btw I love those apple candys and so does my sister. I bought them In Las Palmas, but they are no where to be found here in Sweden :(

Next we have the world time mode, the GW-400 will show your home time at the same time so this is a real world time mode. It has the time for 32 citys stored.

Alarm Mode! Hey Dude the Silencer will give ur wrist a nice little massage! :)

Then we have the special alarm mode, it has 3 alarms and a snooze alarm, and ofcourse an hourly chime. Beeing a solar model, casio has limited the alarm time to only 10 seconds which I find abit short. I would prefer atleast 20 seconds. But the volume is not strong enough to wake me up so not a big issue anyway.

The special thing about this alarm and the feature that gave this watch the name Silencer is the special vibration alarm feature. When enabling it instead of giving off sound the watch will vibrate on your arm, when it is enabled the watch will turn completely mute so the hourly chime will be a little vibration aswell as all the signals in timer mode, and all button sound will also be turned off. So it is a form of muted mode. The vibration is not very strong, will not wake me up but is strong enough to work as a reminder alarm. The vibration alarm is a very rare feature amongst G-Shocks, there is only a couple of other models that have it too like the G-7500 and GL-7500 models. I dont know why casio have not made it more of a standard feature, I think they should, since it is kind of fun to have and sometimes usefull.

Then we return to time keeping mode again...

That was a run down of its functions...

And here comes the extra bits... These where the rescued shoots from my broken memory card from my vacation... These are not neccesarily the best shoots and some are fuzzy but I hope you like em. There is also a under water video and a feed the fish video that you can look at towards the end.

A nice macro shoot of the temp reading, here you can clearly see the dot matrix layout. This was the hottest temperature in the shadow during my stay. But it was only for one day and apparently it was a new tempreature record for Las Palmas this time of year (February).

Oh La La! what a beauty, I wonder if it will attract mermaids? hmm....

And up it comes to get some energy in the sun!

Excel? Yes indeed the Silencer excels in water! Notice the thermometer reading, its 22.1 degree celsius in the water. Thats unusually warm for this period, normally it should be 18-20 degrees. The functionality of a thermometer on a wrist are often questioned considering it will be affected by the body temperature. But I find it a quite fun function to have, it will give you accurate water temperatures which can be fun to know, and it will also be usable when you want to know the sun temperature when it is hot, it will be fairly accurate then also because the sun temperature will exceed the skin temperature. So it does have some uses.

Oh no my Silencer feel in love with a cactus, what to do? Help...

Here I was sitting in a restaurant waiting for my Pizza to arrive, so I took these random shoots. One of the waiters saw me taking this shoot of my watch strapped to a beer, he looked at me funny, like what the hell is that idiot doing kind of look hehe :(=)

Finally my Pizza arrived, this kind is called Dolce & Gabbana my favourite kind with ham cheese and tomato sauce. This restaurant is called Paparazzi Italiano Pizzeria and is situated right by the Catalina beach walk in the middle of it. I think their pizzas taste the best in Las Palmas.

The Silencer takes some interest in my Pizza!

This is on top of a parking house where that have made it kind of like a plaza. Its right by the ocean and part of the building is actually in direct contact with the water, this area marks one end of the Las Canteras Beach, you can see part of the beach and the sky line in this picture. The entire beach and its beach walk is 3.2km long. Its one of the nicest beach walk I have seen in a city of this size (Las Palmas have 400.000 citizens). On the other side of this plaza instead of beach we have lava rock formations with big ocean waves pounding on them, very nice area to look at, this rocky area also have a grill fish restaurant right by the ocean serving fresh fish. This couple in this picture where beeing laughed at by some other people, because they had a very funny military parade walking style and they both walked the same, they did not bend their legs. It looked funny hehe

On the walls of the "plaza area" the wallls that where placed directly in the ocean side. Lived these little pre-historic critters. They where very camouflaged and you could almost not discover them when they where not moving. I managed to snap a couple of them with the macro mode on my camera. I have no idea what kind of bugs these are, do anyone of you have any clue?

This is the rocky area I was talking about above! Its nice to see crystal clear waves pound on these volcano rocks.

A really nice sand sculpture someone made to earn some money on post cards, resembling a TV with lots of movie characters in there, do you rekognize em all?

This is a nice underwater shoot with the Silencer next to another one of my G's, that G-Shock is also one of my fave G's. Its exteremly rare, its the only G-Shock ever made with a very nice bright yellow transparent strap. Just awesome, I love it. What model is it? well thats for me to know and you to find out hehe! I might feature it in a future article who knows...

This Is a little video I made where I was feeding the fishes with bread, not much happening just for the fun of it hehe. If you want to see it in 720P then click on the video to watch it on YouTube instead.

Here I am testing my camera under water inside the Dicapac, also showing off my Silencer under water, and a little of the beach and skyline. In the end I follow a fish with my camera. If you know what kind of fish it is please let me know?
As per usual if you want to watch it in 720P then click on the video to see it directly in YouTube instead.

And then we leave Las Palmas with this very nice sun set over the volcanoes, OMG Heavens on fire!

OOPS! I almost forgot, as usual at 50G's I end this article with a nice EL shoot. I love that Turtle!

I hope you have enjoyed this article!

Please leave some comments!

Untill next time E YA LATER!

Joakim Ågren!

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