Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Intermezzo #38: Asking a little help from my reading friends!

 I am a big fan of KIKS TYO clothing, but since I buy a lot of G-Shocks, so I can review them for you here, I hardly have money left to buy new clothes. KIKS TYO has a contest on Facebook. If you put a photo of you in Kiks TYO clothing on their fan page, you should try to get as much "like"s as possible.  The winner gets a package of clothing. Well, I can use some new stuff. Please go to this photo on Facebook and like my photo before April 30th. Hopefully I win, so I don't have to spend money on clothing and buy more G-Shock's, that I can review here :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

G-Shock #16: Put on your sunglasses for the Summer Colors of the GLS-5500MM-4ER

After a long winter, spring started and how. If you didn’t know better, you would think it was summer here. Last night I slept with all windows open and the temperatures in the bedroom didn’t even drop under 20 ºC. Today’s watch is a model with a summer feel, the GLS-5500MM-4ER.
 Actually I wasn’t sure of which series this models was. The looks and colors might guide it to the G-Lide series, as bright colors are always popular in the surf world. So I started searching on Riley’s “My G-Shock” website. To my very surprise I stumbled upon a news item that leads to be me myself who brought news about this and the DW-6900MM models with vague photo’s from a European catalog in June 2010. 
This reminds me one of the reasons I started G-Peopleland. The main reason I started this website was because a lot of people told me I wore ridiculous big cheap plastic watches (well, that was way  back in 2000) . I found these  watches pretty cool and tried to find other people who wore these watches (hence the G-People section) to show I wasn’t the only one liking these. The other reason I started this website was to keep information about different G-Shocks stored somewhere.  I already had so many different models back in April 2003, that it was sometimes hard for me to remember what was special about certain models. While everybody can now find info on my website, I actually use it quite often too. Actually this weblog has become a source of information for myself too. I simply can’t remember all that’s written in the past 226 articles that can be found here (maybe my age is showing).
In Japan this model was part of the Crazy Colors series of August 2010. Beside this hot pink GLS-5500, there also was a smurf blue and a bright orange DW-6900MM model in this series. Strangely this model isn’t mentioned in the official new product page of this month. You can only find the models of this series by searching for DW-6900MM and GLS-5500MM on G-Shock Perfect Search.
 Outside Japan these models were sometimes not promoted as Crazy Colors, but as “Summer Collection 2010”. The release of these models was worldwide, like most of the Crazy Color series.
These models are different from the other Crazy Colors models. While the earlier (and later) models in these series were known for the combination of two contrasting bright colors, these series stand out, because they are all in one outstanding color tone. Even the display. 
The concept of a one color model was also used for the Hyper Colors series with an all blue, green and pink model. Maybe it would have been more logical to had made this models part of that series.
 While the lettering on the bezels of the DW-6900MM are painted with a variation of the base color, the lettering on the bezel and strap of the GLS-5500MM is unpainted. Though, this is not really a stealth model, unless you fell in a tank of raspberry yoghurt. 

The hot pink tone is on this GLS-5500MM is very bright. It’s very vivid, even more than the pink Hyper Colors GA-110 and the pink DW-6900CS of the first Crazy Colors release. You might almost think it is neon pink. It breaths summer. I think this would be a very cool watch for flashing at the beach and surfing. The 5500 design is very streamlined and is a good buddy in the water. The strap and case design make the case stand a little on the wrist, so a little ventilation is allowed under the case and strap. Therefore the watch dries fast if you come out of the water, reducing the chance of irritation and nasty smells under the watch.
Due to the bright color, you might forget all 5500 models have a Mud Resist structure. Somehow I think you don’t want to drag this model through the mud, but you can. The bezel falls over the actual buttons. The parts you see as the buttons are actually softer parts in the bezel, allowing you to press the buttons through the bezel.  
The GLS-5500MM has a different module (3178) than the G-5500 model (3062).  The main difference is that the GLS-5500MM has a battery driven Module, while the G-5500 is Tough Solar. As this is a summer watch, it is a bit a pity it isn’t solar, but on the other hand, I do not know if there are pink solar panels available (though I know Casio was working years ago on colored solar panels for watches).  Even on the solar Crazy Colors versions (G-6900CC and GW-6900CC) the solar panels used are black. 
The 3178 module is surprisingly packed with a lot features. First of all it has 2 stopwatches with a 1000 hour capacity (OK, it’s actually 999 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds and 99 hundreds of a second). Stopwatch 1 also has a Auto Start function, which allows you to countdown 5 seconds before starting the stopwatch function.
Next you have a 24 hour Countdown Timer Function. I am glad this model has a full 24 hour capacity, while you expect only a 60 minute counter on models like these. It doesn’t only countdown, but it also has an Auto-Repeat function and a Progress Beeper function, that both can be toggled on and off. The Auto-Repeat function does what is says, the Countdown Timer starts at the programmed time again when the programmed time has elapsed. The Progress Beeper function starts 10 seconds before the 5 minute mark is passed with 5 high and 5 low beep tones to announce the final part of the countdown has started. From that moment, every minute four beeps are heard. Also 30 seconds before the end four beeps sound. Then the watch counts down the last 10 second with a high and low beep, before the end signal sounds with a long high beep. Well, this way it must be very hard to miss the end point.
The Alarm function has 5 independent alarms. The 5th alarm has a Snooze function. The Snooze alarm sounds every 5 minutes. I have no clue for how long (as it is not in the manual), but I guess for about an hour. The alarm functions can be set as a daily alarm, but it is also possible to select a specific date. As you can also select only a day or a month, you can set an alarm also to go off at a programmed time on every certain day of a month or at every day of a selected month. I haven’t seen this function on a new model for a long time. 
The last function is the Worldtime function. The 3178 module has 48 city codes programmed over 29 time zones. The Worldtime function can be handy when communicating or trading around the world. It does not set Daylight Savings Time automaticly for the time zones, it has to be done manually. Note that in Timekeeping Setting Mode the displayed time is referred to the Universal Time Code (UTC). If you set the main time in a wrong time zone, the Worldtime Function will not display correct times, not even if you apply DST if needed. For The Netherlands it is at the moment UMT+2 (with DST ON). 
Pink might be not a color for everyone, but I think this watch colors look very good by a summer’s sun taint arm. This model can be found on eBay. In the US and East Asia it is a pretty cheap model, which can be found around €55.- ($70.0), in Europe it is unfortunately quite more expensive with prices around €95.-.
I love the way Casio makes G-Shock models in a brought range from stealth military inspired black models with reversed dim EL displays to these extreme bright colored models that stand out. There is a G for everyone!