Sunday, April 17, 2011

G-Shock #15: The Analog Mudman

In the past I posted from time to time a thread on the G-Shock forum, called “The Forgotten”. In such a thread I posted a set of photo’s of a G-Shock model that seemed to be forgotten for some time, the “widows and orphans” in the G-Shock World. Maybe 50 Gs has become a kind of similar platform. Sometimes I write about a new or popular model, sometimes I choose a less popular or almost forgotten or not well known model.
Today’s G-Shock might be such a model. It's the analog Mudman, mors exact, the analog “Men In Black” Mudman, model number AW-570Z-1T. To add more confusion, there is also the digital “Men In Black” Mudman (DW-8400Z-1T). I can almost hear many readers thing: “An analog Mudman? All Mudman were digital, weren’t they”. Frankly it took me also some time to discover there was an Analog Mudman. If there was no G-Shock Perfect Search (GPS), I would still have known that there were also two basic analog Mudman versions.
The original owner of this watch bought it on March 31, 1999 at a Yodobashi store in Japan. Unfortunately I can't figure out which store it was.
Lately my blog friend Anicar showed her newest acquiry. It was a Gaussman, but she called it a Mudman. I think in Japan this mistake can be made easily. The Gaussman look exactly the same as the analog Mudman. It is not strange when you see that the model number. AW-570 is both used for this model as for the Gaussman (MIY, MIS), although AW-571 was usually used as the (base-)model number for the Gaussman. The difference between the analog Mudman and the Gaussman is just cosmetic. Only the name differs on the basic models and on the special editions the Mudman version has a mining mole, while the limited editions of the Gaussman have a electrified mole with a magnet. I like to dedicate this article to my blog friend Anicar.
 The backlight of this Mudman was not working, so I had to replace the batteries. This Mudman, has the same module as the Gaussman, module #1700. It takes two Silver Oxide batteries instead of the usual Lithium batteries. The batteries required for the battery change are a SR626W and a SW927W. The following photo's were made during the battery change.
This is the back protector of the module. The back side is the rubber shock absorber, on the other side it is made of metal. Pretty unusual.
The 399 battery is the same battery as the SR927W, 376 and 377 are the same batteries as the SR626W. I have no idea why 376 and 377 are the same battery. I prefer the SR notation of the battery, because it is the most common used notation.
The battery types can also be found in the original 1700 manual. End of battery change photo's.
I think originally Casio wanted to use the name “Mudman” for all Mud Resist models. I think that after a few months there was too much confusion, so the name of the analog Mudman was changed into Gaussman. I do not know if this is what really happened, but I think it is a plausible explanation for the existence of this model.
The first analog Mudman was released September 1997. This ”Men In Black” model was released in October 1997. The first Gaussman was released March 1998. The analog Mudman has only been sold for 7 months (and probably only produced for a short time). The Gaussman however became a pretty popular Master of G model and was sold worldwide.
The series name “Men In Black” is of course inspired by the movie, which was released in Japan in December 1997. It started a long series of models that started with the name “Men In”, also known as “Men In Color” series. I have no idea if Casio planned it this way or it evolved later, but the ”Men In Color” series still gets new models added. The latest adept is the Men In Dark Purple series, released March 2011.
All “Men In Color” models are “Master of G” models. This explains the name of these series as all “Master of G” have names ending on “man”, except for the Codename and Codename Cipher.
It almost looks like in November 1998 Casio had a foresight. It was the day Casio released the “Men In Black II” series, 4 years before the second Men In Black movie. As this series was released after March 1998, this series have a Gaussman and a Mudman. The first MIB series are black models with white accents, while the second MIB series have yellow accents. Between these two series, Casio also released the beautiful Men In Yellow series and the Man In Smoke series.
Not only on the outside the analog Mudman is exactly the same as the Gaussman, also the module used in this model is the same, module # 1700. For those who do not know what the module is, it is the actual timepiece inside the watch. In every G-Shock the module “floats” between shock absorbers.
Although this model is often referred to as the analog Mudman, this model is actually an ana-digi model, so it does not only show time. The 1700 module has 3 alarms on board, a 60 minute Stopwatch function and a 60 minute Countdown timer. Well, 24 hour versions of the last two functions would be nicer, but this watch probably focus more on its analog timekeeping.
This module also has a Handset Mode. You can use this mode in two ways. First you can use this mode for correcting the hands to the digital time, if it is not correct. You can also use it to set the analog time as second time zone. I have just put in fresh batteries, so the module was reset to 12:00, while the analog time was frozen to the time I took out the batteries. With the HS (Hand Set) mode you can put the hands back in the right position. A nice extra on this module is that if you change the digital time, the analog time automatically sets itself to the new digital time. It’s a feature that was not always seen on ana-digi models of that time. I pretty much annoy myself when I put on a Cockpit model, but have to switch DST off. I have to scroll the hands 11 hours forward (and hoping not to skip over the desired time).
There is something strange with all models I have had that use the 1700 module. If you bought the watch new about 10 years ago, it had the original batteries installed. The EL backlight is pretty bright. Somehow, after a battery change the light is dim. I suspect Casio secretly used different batteries installed in the factory. According the manual the module needs two batteries, a SR626W and a SR927W. These are both 1.55V Silver Oxide batteries. I won’t be surprised as the batteries installed in the factory had a higher voltage output. This does not only apply on the analog Mudman and Gaussman, but also on the GS-300 Giez model and the G-100. The EL backlight looks bright on my photo, but it is actually weak. I just have a pretty good camera.
I wanted to have this model for a long time. Of the (first) Men In Black series, I think this was the model I wanted most. For a long time it was the only analog Mudman model that I knew. This model now gets a nice place in my collection, next to its digital Mudman and Riseman Men In Black brother.
I actually have not checked what a good price would be for this model. I bought it from a good friend. The watch was in near mint condition and I paid €200 for it. It looks like a high price, but this model is very rare and is not often for sale. I checked Yahoo Auctions in Japan. There are only two MIB models on auction, start prices 14000 yen and 23000 yen, roughly €120 and €200.-.


Leo said...

From the stamp on the watch's warranty certificate, it was bought in Yodobashi Camera in Niigata prefecture!

Unknown said...

Hello LKN,

Thank you very much for your information. I have a good blog friend living in Niigata.

Kind regards,