Sunday, May 8, 2011

G-Shock #20: DW-003 G-Lide, My eternal #2

Set-up for the photo shoot in the back yard.
The yellow towel seems to attract a lot uninvited guests :-)
Today’s G-Shock is for me quite a special G-Shock. I always call it my 2nd G-Shock, but in fact it’s actually my 4th. Still this might be the model that got the ball rolling for me to get into G-Shock collecting.
Back in June 2000, my good old Timex watch bracelet broke, while I was shopping in the Middelburg City Center. It was actually not a real disaster. I had bought this watch for about f30.- (thirty guilders), which is about €13,65 three years earlier and actually I was waiting a bit for it to break.
When I had bought that watch, in 1997, I managed to scratch the display on a wall at the school I worked those days. I was pretty annoyed, because it happened within a week I had this watch. Not much later the display of that watch bumped on a door handle, leaving quite a dent.
In the summer of 1999 I noticed In Vlissingen (Flushing) a display of G-Shock watches. They looked nice and colorful. Most important, I noticed the rim around the display, to prevent scratches on the crystal. I knew if my Timex would give up, I would go for a G-Shock.
I still remember going inside the watch shop. It was a very warm day, but it was nice cool inside. I told the shop owner that I was interested in G-Shocks and we went outside to the show case. I narrowed down to two models. The first was a DW-004 with a leather/cloth strap. The second was this G-Lide. Both in maroon, I pretty much liked that color.
 The shop owner and I went to a special table, where the shop owner took his time to tell about the watches functions. First I tried the DW-004. It was love at first sight. It looked great on my wrist, the time was clear, I liked the seconds animation, the watch looked rugged and sturdy and I loved the greenish EL Backlight, which was brighter than my broken Timex. Second I tried this G-Lide model. Wow, this watch was B.I.G.! The watchband was the most comfortable watch I had around my wrist ever. While the watch strap and case looked huge, you almost didn’t notice it was on your wrist. This was going to be a very tough choice.
I couldn’t afford to buy them both. They cost f250.- each, which now would be €113.-. I just had started a new job, so I had not a big salary (not that it is big now), and also in that time you could buy more with f250.- than you can now with €250.-. I had to make a decision. I tried them on both a second time. Again the G-Lide felt the most comfortable on the wrist, but also looked very big. Maybe too big. I pretty much liked the lay-out of the display of the DW-004. Finally I went for the DW-004. It had a more decent look, as I thought the DW-003 might look ridiculous.
I was very happy with my DW-004, no doubt, but every time I was in Vlissingen, I tried to walk by the G-Shock show case. Every time my eyes fell on the DW-003. I was still impressed by the comfortable strap. A friend of me told me that a discount store has a G-Shock for f120.- ((€55). I couldn’t resist and I bought that model. It was a DW-003 with a BPM counter. Pretty Cool. I used it a lot at “I Love Techno” at Flanders Expo in Ghent. Not much later I noticed a Gaussman in another shop. It was for sale. I do not know the retail price exactly, but the sale price was f200. I still remember that I went to that shop to buy it. It was raining terribly hard. My son Bram was just a 4 months old. I just had collected him at my parents around 17:30 and I arrived at the shop around 17:50, ten minutes for closing time.
 The Gaussman was Big and sturdy. If I could wear this, I could wear the DW-003 G-Lide too. Finally, when I got my salary, I bought this watch. I have never regret that. I wish Casio releases still models with double Velcro straps, They are not only comfortable, they are also very secure around the wrist, the case can move slightly along the strap for a perfect fit and the construction with the strap adapters make it a very construction while surfing, skateboarding or snowboarding. If one springbar might snap during an impact, the watch will still stay safe on the strap on the other springbar.
It’s not easy to find out when this model was released, because it is an overseas release. As far as I can see, this model was available in Europe and possibly the US. Most probable it’s a 1997 model, as most DW-003 models were released in that year.
The DW-003 is the last of the so called “Capsule Though” models. In Japan these models are referred to as the “Nexax” models. The case is covered on top by the bezel, while the back is also covered with a back protector. This might be the reason why it’s called “Capsule Tough”. I still don’t understand why the DW-004 isn’t part of the “Nexax” and “Capsule Though” line, as it has a similar construction as the DW-001, DW-002 and DW-003. Maybe it does not belong to this group, because the first three models were round and the DW-004 has more or less a drop shape.
At the lugs there are two distant holders attached. These distant holders allow a little space between the strap and the back of the watch. This allows ventilation, so if the band may become wet from water, snow or sweat, it can dry quickly under the watch, preventing irritation. With this kind of double Velcro straps, I would not recommend keeping it on while drying. The big elastic under-strap might dry quite slower than the models that have a thinner nylon under-strap.
 Although the display on the DW-003 is in one part (except for a very small eye upper left), you can divide the display in three parts. Above the day and date, in the middle the seconds animation and below the time. The small eye shows if the Flash function is turned on or off. Default the Flash function is turned on. A small star appears in the eye. The Flash function means that the EL backlight flashes when an alarm tone sounds (except when switching modes).
This DW-003 has a 1597 module. Besides Timekeeping, it has 3 other modes, Alarm Mode, Countdown Alarm Mode and Stopwatch Mode. The Alarm Mode has one alarm. It can be set to a daily alarm, or it can be set at a day and/or month. If you only set a day number, the alarm will sound every month on that date, if you only program the month, the alarm will sound daily only at the programmed month. The Countdown Alarm Mode and the Stopwatch Mode have both a 24 hour capacity. The Countdown Alarm has an Auto Repeat function.
I pretty much love my watch. I have a colleague on my school, who also did like ths watch. About 5 years ago I started searching for one and discovered it wasn’t easy to find one. Luckily I found a NOS one for him, but it took quite some time. Much later I found one extra for in my collection. The color, and the tough look of the strap make this a favorite model for me. Even though it’s over 10 years old, it still looks pretty good, though I have worn it a lot in the past.
If you want to look for one of these, you have to search hard. It’s a model that mostly have been sold in Europe, so that’s the place to look out for one. In the late 90’s it must have been a common model as you could find one easily 10 to 8 years ago on eBay Germany. I’m afraid this model now has become pretty rare. Finding a new one is almost impossible but if you keep an eye out, you might find a reasonable used one. It never had been a cheap model. While you could find a simple basic DW-003 model for €40.- or $50.- back in those days, you rather expect prices in the €60 to €80 for this one. Nowadays I would expect prices varying around €80.- for this one. The only problem is to find one.

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