Sunday, August 1, 2010

#32 G-Shock for The 3rd Intenational Dolphin & WhaleEco-research Network, gthe Brave Heart model.

 4 years ago, July 2006, a mysterious package arrived. I had gotten a mail from Jurphaas, a fellow Dutch G-Shock enthusiast, who also became a good friend of me. He asked me my address some days earlier and I thought he was sending me a T-Shirt of Spyderco, but this package was pretty heavy. To my big surprise the package contained 4 pretty hard to find G-Shocks.
One of these watches is this I.C.E.R.C. model of 2003. In June 2003 Casio did not release less that 6 G-Shock models. These models also had a Baby-counterpart. The counterpart of this G-7000K-2JR is the MSG-140K-2JR. This set together is called the Brave Heart pair. The watches were not sold as pairs actually. I also have the GW-203K-4JR Frogman, which forms the Love Song pair with the BGW-104K-4JR. Not only is in my opinion the red jelly GW-203K the best Frogman released ever, the BGW-104K is also a very good looking Baby-G Frogman.
The G-7000K comes in the same kind of box as the GW-203K, and probably the other 2003 edition I.C.E.R.C. G-Shocks. The box is made of recycled paper, all in line of the eco-theme. I.C.E.R.C. stands for International Cetacean Education Research Center. For those who English is not the first language, cetaceans is the collective term for Dolphins, porpoises and whales.
The suggested retail price for this watch was 23000 yen in Japan. A portion of the sales of the I.C.E.R.C. watches are donated to ICERC Japan. “This network supports dolphin and whale research institutes around the world. The Network aims at deepening global awareness by collecting information and making knowledge about dolphins and whales more widely available.” From learning about Catacean, we can learn about the Earth.
Organizations supported by ICERC Japan are “The Oceania Project” in Australia, “Dolphine Communication Project” in California, USA, “Interspecies Communications” Washington, USA, “Ogasawara Whale Watching Association”, Japan and “Mikura-jimi Bottlenose Dolphin Research Project Group" (website does not exist anymore), also in Japan.
Information of these projects can be read in the leaflet that is included in the box, both in Japanese and English. This indicates these models were sold also outside Japan. I bought both my GW-203K Frogman in South East Asia. I can’t remember if it was in Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia, but I remember this Frogman was for sale in relative high numbers on eBay.
 In the box I found the original international Tourist Warranty Certificate. The back of the certificate shows the stamp of the shop where this watch was bought. It was bought at Watches Planet, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A few weeks ago I got a mail from Queens6, when he was there for his work. This is a very cool place. I do not know if Jurphaas has purchased the watch himself, or that he bought the watch on-line. I know he sometimes is traveling a lot around the globe (mainly Europe and the USA).
Normally the I.C.E.R.C. models have resin bezels and straps, but this model is somewhat unique. Quite a lot models have cool translucent resin, some are in white, white/blue or black/yellow schemes. This model however is a metal watch. It is the only metal I.C.E.R.C. model that has been released till this date.
Not was the G-7000K the first (and last) metal I.C.E.R.C. model, also it was the first G-7000 model too. In Japan there were only 4 G-7000’s released, but I know there was at least one black coated model released overseas. Somehow I can’t find the exact model number of that one.

 Left: G-7000K-2JR, right: G-7000D-8JF (basic version)
 The G-7000 has somewhat the same size and shapes as the G-2300, which is a bit strange for me. In my perception the G-2300 looks a bit small. When compared with a standard DW-6900 it shows the G-2300 is not small at all. Funny enough, the G-7000 looks pretty big. I have always wondered what causes this perception, but I think the shiny metal parts give a bigger appearance than it is in reality.
10 years ago, when I bought my first G-Shock, one of the main reasons I choose G-Shock was the fact that the display is protected by a raised rim around the display. This reduces the chance of scratches on the display dramatically. On a standard DW-5600 this rim is not very high (but it works), but on this G-7000 the rim is remarkably high, suggesting the display lies deep into the watch.

The functions of the buttons are written on the inside of the rim, which makes the watch less busy than if it would have been on the outside, which is actually more common on G-Shocks. Only the name G-SHOCK and SHOCK RESIST are on the outside. On the other, it’s not easy to read the functions on the inside. I have no idea if this actually is a bad thing. When you own a watch, I suppose that you learn to operate it blind while using it daily.
You might have noticed the -2JR suffix, where JR stands for Japanese domestic market (though bought in Malaysia) and the cipher 2 stands for the color blue. The blue color appears around the display and in the digits. It’s actually more a shade of turquoise or aqua. Normally I am not fond of hard blue colors, but this shade is very beautiful. The white CASIO logo and a red (almost pink) G logo stand out a little to break the blue hegemony.
The display has a kind of grid structure. I have seen this grid structure on several other G-Shocks, which all have an Auto-EL function. I do not know if there is a relation between this grid and the Auto-EL function. On this Tough Solar model, it is actually a Full Auto-EL Light function. The solar panels detect the amount of light. If there is enough light to read the display, the EL does not light up when the wrist is twisted to view time.
When the EL light is activated, you can not only read time in the dark. It also reveals a jumping humpback whale. All I.C.E.R.C. models have whales in their backlight. The whale is pretty big and shown covers both the upper and lower display. It does not affect the readability of the display very much though.
 As I wrote above, there are two main displays. The lower is used to display time and has nice large and bold digits. The fact that the digits are greenish blue, does not make the display less readable. The grid might make it look maybe a bit more luxurious. The smaller upper display has two lines of digits, which is rather unusual on G-Shock models. Although the digit format is a bit small, they are remarkably clear. At my age I am blessed with very good eyes, but I can imagine that people with elderly eyes have difficulty with reading the upper display. On the other hand, I have never heard anyone complaining about the function lettering on the bezel of G-Shock, which are significantly smaller.
While most parts on this model are silver metallic, this model distinguishes from other G-7000 models by the bottom part of the bezel, which is shiny black. In fact this part is also not metal, but resin, but it is very hard to notice. Since this part also makes skin contact and is also used for attaching the bracelet to the case, I think resin is used to provide a maximum of comfort. The lugs for the bracelet are quite long, so they look like part of the bracelet. A piece of the black resin bezel part is visible, so that a black rectangle gives a nice accent to the bracelet.

The clasp of the bracelet features the I.C.E.R.C. logo, a whale and the I.C.E.R.C. slogan “All as One”. The back of the watch shows a beautiful engraved logo of “The 3rd International Dolphin & Whale Eco-Research Network”, the name of the gathering of dolphin and whale research institutes in 2003.
The G-7000 has not only similar looks as the G-2300, it also has the same functions, which makes the G-7000 quite a complete watch. The use of the two lines in the upper dial is pretty handy. The focus on the time is on the lower screen in World Time, Stopwatch and Countdown Timer mode. In Data Bank mode the name and first 8 digits are somewhat small, specially compared to the big lower display digits. I think this is no big deal nowadays, where almost everyone is carrying a cell phone with probably a multiply data than the maximum of 30 data sets of this G-Shock. Maybe this was one of the last models featuring this function.
The 24 hour countdown Timer has an Auto Repeat function. The 24 hour Stopwatch function has an Auto Start function. In Auto Start mode, the stopwatch performs a 5 seconds countdown before starting the Stopwatch mode. In the last 3 seconds countdown, a beep is heard every second.
The G-7000 comes with a large rechargeable battery. I have 2 G-7000 models and I have still no problems with the batteries. Like the Raysman and G-2300 you can put the watch manually in “Sleep” mode by pressing the MODE button for about 3 seconds.
I always considered the G-7000 model as a nice metal G-Shock. It appears big on my 7” wrist. It’s a pretty comfortable watch and has all the basic functions on board. The grid display and the green blue digits make this watch look pretty luxurious. For suggested retail price of the standard G-7000 was ¥21000, around $200.- in those days, which makes this a more expensive model. Outside Japan the prices were significant lower. The G-7000 was also released with resin straps, but I have always found the combination of a metal case with resin straps on a G-Shock looking strange.
At the moment I could not find a G-7000 for sale, so I have no real clue what they are doing now, but I think a basic G-7000 should cost you around $80 if you find one in good condition. I have no clue what price tag I should stick on this G-7000K. All I can say it’s a pretty beautiful watch and if you like it, you should try to hunt down one for yourself. A big thanks goes out to Jurphaas who gave me this watch as a gift. I am very happy with this watch.

1 comment:

Jurphaas said...

Hi Sjors, what a nice and complete write-up about this fine G-Shock. I'm happy you like it and that it has found a safe place in your fantastic collection! Wear it with pride.
Cheers Jur.