Sunday, March 6, 2011

G-Shock #9: Mudman

Sorry for the little mix-up last week. The article of the Helly Hansen Nippon Cup Gulfman was written by Martback, not by me. Normally I do a little intro, but due to circumstances I didn’t have time to write one. I think it is a great article, quite in the spirit of 50 Gs. The fact that people thought the article was mine is probably both a compliment to Martback and me. Martback promised me to do some more articles this year, so that I have a little more time to do other things, like updating my G-Peopleland website and spend a little more weekends with my family.
Wednesday I was looking though my G-Shock collection. I had been wearing my red GWF-1000RD Frogman for several days and I wanted to wear something completely else. The first watch I fished out of one of my shoe boxes was this DW-8400 Mudman. I checked the light, which was very bright and I strapped it around my wrist.
Whie I was sitting on the dinner table, I wanted to make a wrist shot. Since the Frogman has been almost constantly on my wrist, I thought it was a good idea to take a photo of this watch and post it on my facebook profile. I hadn’t posted something new there for a while, so a shot of my Mudman would be something nice.
When looking closer to my watch, I noticed something strange. I thought I only had the overseas version. The overseas version does not show the name MUDMAN on the face, but only ILLUMINATOR. That was a cool surprise. I completely didn’t knew I had this model. A small check of my G-Shock administration was needed. It seems I have bought a basic Mudman in 2008 and one in 2009. This must be one of them (I bought my first Mudman somewhere in 2002).
I was a bit surprised I got quite some comments about this watch from people who love this watch on facebook. I actually didn’t expect not much attention, as it might look as a DW-6900 in the small thumbnail for many people.
The Mudman is the second Master of G model that Casio released, after the Frogman. Actually the Master of G line was first mentioned with the DW-5500C (a.k.a. G-Shock II). Casio called the DW-5500C with its mud resistant bezel construction Mudman. The name was not written on the watch and it is not usual to refer the DW-5500C as Mudman. so you might rather consider the DW-5500C more as the predecessor of the Mudman and Master of G series.
The DW-8400 Mudman was released in Japan in November 1995. It was only 8 months after the iconic DW-6900, which is after more than 15 years still very popular. The Mudman also has the typical three eyed 1289 module. This 1289 module is actually also used on some DW-002. By the way, not all DW-6900 models have three eyes.
The Mudman and the DW-6900 do not differ much under the hood. The case is almost exactly the same. A little notch around the buttons on the Mudman and a different light button make it impossible to interchange the DW-8400 and DW-6900 bezel.
Although the case and the module of the Mudman are almost the same, the DW-8400 looks much bigger. It’s like a DW-6900 on steroids. The bezel is mold in one piece with two different kinds of resin. The bezel covers the complete case on top and on the side, including the buttons. Most parts are made of the hard kind of resin (poly urethane) that is used on other G-Shocks, but the buttons are covered with a soft rubber kind of resin. This makes it possible to operate the buttons through the bezel.
Actually a similar construction was used on the DW-5500C, though not many of those were sold. It is probably the rarest basic classic G-Shock around. Luckily the DW-8400 is much easier to find. It has been a worldwide release and it has been sold for several years (it is still present in a German catalog of 1999).
The DW-8400 has the double closure buckle as also is used on the Frogman DW-8200 at that time. It gives the watch a very tough look. The straps feel quite solid when put on the wrist, which adds pretty much to it’s tough look.
Using the buttons on the Mudman is a little harder than a G-Shock with normal buttons. This is off course caused by the bezel. First you need to get used to the feel, but after a while you won’t know any better.
Although the DW-6900 and the Mudman share the same triple eyed module, there is one major difference on the display on the Mudman. The big eye is hexagonal. On most basic Mudmans the eye is silver, but there was also a gold version released, which is much harder to find. The shiny bolt nut like look of the big eye gives the Mudman an unique look.
In 2006 the Mudman line was revived with the G-9000 line-up. Actually this model revived the complete Master of G line. The new Mudman is totally different from the original DW-8400. The new Mudman is smaller, but the mud resistant construction is improved, as now also a part of the back is protected from dirt and mud.

To be complete on the Mudman blood line, I have to mention that in 1997 Casio released also an analog Mudman. This analog Mudman model was almost a year later sold under the name Gaussman.
A basic Mudman might not to hard too find, though a NIB (New In Box) version will be harder to find. New bezels or straps of this model are rare or impossible to find, which is a pity, because the button covers tend to crack after long and intensive use (this goes for all Mud Resistant models). With a crack in the bezel the watch only looses the Mud Resistance, but it will still function under the “triple 10 criteria” (at least 10 Bar water resist, survive a fall on concrete from at least 10 meter (30 ft) and have a lifespan of at least 10 years).
 While taking photo's of this Mudman I noticed the START-STOP button is cracked. Probably this button has been used a lot of times. It is often the MODE button which cracks first.
Prices on these older models are hard to say, but a good shape used would cost you maybe $75.-, a very good shape $100.-. Special versions are pretty rare and therefore more expensive, roughly about double the price of a basic one. Only the Real Black Mudman is pretty much sought after so it has a matching price. This watch was made in large numbers for several years, so there might be many floating around somewhere.

1 comment:

Chi Wai said...

Where can I find a dw-8400 mudman case? I just received one from a friend, but the case is cracked due to the age. thanks