Sunday, July 4, 2010

#27 FIFA World Cup 1998: I will survive with this red DW-6900WF G-Shock!

 In 1998 it was the second time Casio released a bunch of G-Shocks for the FIFA World Cup. In 1994 not less than 9 different black models were released for the World Cup held in the USA. These were models from before the DW-6600, so no EL backlight, the logo and text were just printed big all over the watch. In 1998 Casio released 10 different models in a wide colorful range. There was a special set of three models in the colors of the Drapeau Tricolore. Also a series of DW-6900’s was released.
The first model of the DW-6900WF series was black. I am not sure if it is a very dark gray translucent version or a plain black. Also a gray translucent model was in this series, but the best looking models were jelly versions in bleu, blanc et rouge.
The colors of the Drapeau Tricolore stand for the motto of the Républic Française. Blue stands for Liberté, white for Egalité and red for Fraternité (Freedom, Equality and Fraternity). So, my red model featured in this article represents brotherhood. Ain’t that also a great motto for the G-Shock community.
10 years ago, when I bought my first G-Shock, I could not have known that there would be such a big G-Shock community now. When I started my G-Peopleland website in 2003, assuming I was the only collector outside Japan, now, 7 years later there are several G-Shock communities where people try to help their fellow G-Shock collectors. If that isn’t a nice example of fraternity.
Although I usually do not watch football, I remember the World Cup of 1998. In the first place, because we reached the semi-finals. The Orange team played in Marseilles against Brazil. A thrilling match ended in penalties in the favor of Brazil, who later lost from France in the Finale.
The second reason I remember the World Cup of 1998 was that I went on vacation in France that year. Well, that fact is certainly special, since we often go to France on holidays. The fun part was that an older song of a Dutch band was used in France to promote the World Cup of 1998.
While the Netherlands could dream the lyrics of “I will survive (La la la) by the Hermes House Band, indeed a cover from Gloria Gaynor, the song dated from 1994, it was rediscovered and played during the World Cup and the whole summer.
Picture this. We were riding in Southern France, probably somewhere in Aix en Provence. The sun is already getting low in the evening. The windows of the car open. In the distance I see an owl sitting on a pole. The radio is on. We love to listen NRG radio, as they play a lot of popular music (a lot of French radio stations broadcast talkshows, while my French is actually pretty poor. We hear the song “I will survive”, but we do not pay real attention. We were already traveling through France for a week, so we had not heard Dutch for some time. The suddenly the singer sings “En nog een keer!” (Dutch for “Let’s do it one more time”). This was strange, hearing Dutch words on the French radio.
Later we found out the song was played in high rotation. When we did our groceries in a supermarket, I checked out the CD section. I found the CD single of the Hermes House Band, which was promoted as “Le Song des Champions du monde 1998”. I immediately bought that CD single for the Discotheque I was working. We already had that song of course, but it was funny to have the French version too. I regret it a little, because I don’t have that single anymore. I did some searches on eBay France, but couldn’t find this single, unfortunately.
Also for Japan the World Cup Footbal  1998 was important. It was the first time Japan qualified for the tournament. With loosing all three group matches, it wasn't successful for Japan though. In 2002 and 2010 Japan reached the best 16. Unfortunately they did both times not win the 8th finals.
I very much like translucent G-Shocks. Unlike the GW-203K Frogman, the straps and bezel are not clear but have a matte finish. You can find in all manuals that resin parts can leave white powder residue, when stored for some time. I think this is my only G-Shock that has this white powdery substance visible on the strap. Before I took the photos, I have washed the watch and dried it with a soft cloth, to make the resin red translucent again.
There are several texts on the straps. The long strap shows “Official Product of FIFA World Cup 1998”. Well, you can’t miss anymore that this is a WC ’98 model, but in order to convince you really, the France ’98 World Cup logo is also printed on the strap keeper. Near the case on the long strap there is the text: “For the Superior”, regarding to the next World Champion Football.
The logo France ’98 World Cup logo is also etched on the back of the watch. The back of the watch is unusually shiny. Normally a DW-6900 back is matte.
The silver gray face-plate looks great on these jelly models. The red jelly resin plays with the light, the silver plate makes sure you don’t overlook the most important place of the watch, the display.
When you activate the EL backlight the mascot of the World Cup 1998 is shown. His name is Footix. He is a cockerel (young rooster). While he often is shown holding a football in his hand, in the EL backlight he is performing a “throw-in”.
 All 5 variants of this DW-6900WF series have a different backlight, where Footix performs all kinds of football tricks. I think Footix is a funny mascot, which somehow remind me a bit to Woody Woodpecker. "Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!"
I am not sure where I bought this watch, but I think I found it in Germany. I probably haven’t paid much for it, although the watch is in almost new condition. I think I was a little amazed about that when I got the watch. It is probably a watch that is not easily found, but don’t expect to pay extravagant prices on these ones. I think a new one in box and papers might cost you around €60 - €80.-, which is lower than it’s suggested retail price in Japan, ¥16000. Mine didn’t come with box and papers. I think I paid around €40.- for it.
 "Tot ziens, Tot La La La!"

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