Sunday, November 6, 2011

G-Shock #44: Back 2 Basics

“He who doesn’t honor the small, isn’t worth the tall” 
(free translation of a well know Dutch expression).
In all the fuzz about new models you sometimes forget the basic and underrated models. For instance, since August lot’s of collectors are talking about the new Dee & Ricky model. Now it is finally announced and probably available, nobody thinks about the new GA-110FC-1 Hyper Colors model, which comes out at the same time. I even think it looks better than the Dee & Ricky. Or the new Parra. Somehow it seems there are not many sneaker lovers, clubbers and fashion freaks among G-Shock collectors. If Casio wouldn’t have brought us the first Dee & Ricky, I probably would never heard of these relative unknown designers. Parra in contrary has already build up a big name worldwide in designing Rockwell clothing, cool video clips and sneakers for Vans and Nike. I heard from someone at Casio there is a big demand for the Parra model at the moment. Not that I like the R&D design. I am a big Lego fan. I discovered that there is an abbreviation for this. I seem to be an AFOL, Adult Fan Of Lego.
Back to the subject of this week. Sometimes there is so much candy out there, that you forget that even basic models can be very nice. This week’s article is about the DW-002J-9. Somehow, I never had bought this model, although it is a very easy to find model, even now, 13 years after the first release in November 1994.
I saw this watch probably for the first time in 2001 on the German eBay auctionsite. You could have a slightly used model for as much as DM15 – DM20. ( €7.50 - €10.-). Well, those days are over, but this models is sold in such big numbers, that you can easily find one for below €40.- in Germany.

I always had a bit biased thought about this model. The color combination looked a bit strange to me at that time. Gray looked a bit strange and Casio did not used this egg yellow (I believe the right description is Cadmium Yellow). In the past 10 years I have been tempted to buy this model many times. 10 years ago I was not acquainted with the DW-002 models. Maybe I would have bought this model much earlier if I had one of these in my hands. From the “Capsule Though” or “Nexax” models, the DW-002 has probably the hugest look.
I think it was around 2003 when I visited the small town Domburg, in the north of our island Walcheren. There was one jeweler that sold G-Shocks, and this models was one of the models on display. Maybe I was tempted, though the price of €125.- was quite steep, as you bear in mind that this watch could probably found new in Germany for €40 - €50.- new at that time. Somehow this model lost my interest after this model. I started looking on eBay internationally and there was simply too much candy in world largest candy store.
In March 2010 my blog friend FUMI published a post, showing his then recent acquired DW-002J-9. I think I even shamed myself not having this easily to obtain model in my collection. I bought many pretty expensive G-Shocks over the years, but forgot about the basic models like the DW-002, DW-003 and DW-004, that started my collectors interest.
In March 2010 my blog friend FUMI published a post, showing his then recent acquired DW-002J-9. As you can see in my comment I woke up and thought I should get this model. Still it took me a while to set me to find one. This summer I thought it was time to hunt one down. I thought this model would be more or less rare now, but to my big surprise I had the chance to bid on three of these DW-002 models. Also other DW-002’s were on auction and I noticed there was a bid on one of these by a bidder from Texas. A quick pm via WUS learned my suspicion was right. It was Tsip85 looking for spare parts for one of his DW-002s. I do not remember with what bid I won this auction, but it was not much. I think the total price including shipping to The Netherlands was around €27.-. A few days later the package was delivered at the door and to my surprise it was in very good shape.
Where the DW-001 has a quite odd shape, probably because it actually was directly derived from a prototype, the DW-002 looked like what would probably be, the first “normal” looking watch in the “Nexax” range. Like the then new DW-6600 and DW-6900 models, this model had also 5 buttons. The 5th button below the display is primary only used to operate the electroluminescent backlight.
The case is , like the other “Nexax” models, covered unusual. Instead of a bezel that covers the side and the top of the case, these models has a kind of upper and lower bezel where the lower bezel also covers the back of the watch. Striking detail on the DW-002 is that the lower bezel has a bigger diameter than the upper bezel. This comes also back in the button design. The buttons stick out a little more on the lower half of the case than the upper part, where they seem to accentuate the difference in bezel diameter. At first it looks unusual, but I actually like this look. It is probably mostly optical illusion, but it gives the watch it’s huge look.
The straps on this model is quite comfortable. The comfort is also the result of the wrist positioning protectors on the back. The buckle is made of polyurethane. Although you might think a plastic buckle isn’t as strong as a metal buckle, I have only come across one broken plastic buckle. It was on a DW-6900H model. I’m not sure what happened, but the watch was sent in an envelope without protection of bubblewrap. I guess the stamp machine must have crunched it somewhere at a post distribution plant. In that case I had used a donor G-Shock and put a metal buckle on that strap. Under normal circumstances the plastic buckle will hold out perfectly.
The DW-002 is a pretty basic watch, and since it was a 1994 release, do not expect too much of the functions on board. This model uses the 1299 module. Later DW-002 versions have the typical triple eye 1289 module, which is used in many DW-6900 version (note: although most models do, not all DW-6900 models use the 1289 module). This model features a daily Alarm function with Hourly Chime, with both can activated separately, a 59’59” minutes Countdown Timer and a 24 hour Stopwatch. Unusual is that you can’t start the Countdown Timer function when it is set to 00’00”. Most other G-Shocks I know start from the longest possible program capacity in his function, hence this is not a 60 minutes Countdown Timer. You can switch between 24 hour and 12 timekeeping by pushing the lower right button. The watch also has a Flash function. When an alarm sounds (not when scrolling through the different modes) the EL backlight lights up too when this function is activated. You can activate and deactivate this function by push and hold the upper right button for about 2 seconds. When you are used to modern G-Shocks, you might have noticed that if you scroll through the different modes, the button tone is different when you enter the Time Keeping Mode. Unfortunately this module is that old that this feature is not implemented yet. A nice detail is that when the EL backlight lights up a giant red G is visible. Some people think this might disrupt your view of the time, but it hardly does on this model when viewed under a normal angle.
I think the DW-002 is a pretty cool model. If Casio is planning to do a revival of a classic model after the revival of the DW-001, I wouldn’t mind to see a G-002 based on the classic DW-002. At the moment I was seriously looking for this model, I found three of this exact model on auction in Germany. You can easily obtain them for a fun price and I actually think that is what these watches are. They are fun to own and fun to wear. Of course 13 years after the release the watch might look dated or maybe in contrary look futuristic. I think these DW-002 models are fun to have and to wear. I can pretty much recommend not only to look for the big releases, but sometimes let your light shine on these, sometimes forgotten, basic models.
This DW-002 has a unusual use of three color tints on its upper bezel. The mail color of the watch is gray, while the accents are in Cadmium yellow. The upper and lower part on the bezel are in black. A color that also comes back in the notches of the buttons.


dorkinaut23 said...

Nice review!

As I understand it, you can drop one of these 1299 modules into a 6900 case and have yourself a 6600C look except even a bit cooler.

dorkinaut23 said...

Nice Review!

As I understand it, you can drop on of those 1299 modules into a 6900 case and have yourself a 6600C looking watch except a bit cooler!

Unknown said...

It looks like that indeed!

a said...

I'm looking bezel for dw002... anyone who want to sell it for me?