Sunday, April 29, 2012

G-Shock #20: Fire-G

I was a bit going through my collection this week and discovered that there is actually not too much G-Shocks that I haven’t reviewed here. Even worse, I picked up two models, but found out I already have reviewed them here. Somehow, I was already a bit afraid this would happen. Actually I was thinking in December to get a sabbatical on 50 Gs, so I can gain a little more energy for another series of 50 G-Shock articles. With the 30th anniversary coming up in 2013, which falls together with the 10th anniversary of G-Peopleland and also 50 Gs will be 5 years in 2013, it would have been good to take a break. With a break of a year, it would be easier to start again fresh and review also models that were already had been on 50 Gs.
After some search I found this Fire-G at the bottom of a box. I bought this model late 2001 or early 2002. This DW-069TD-4MJF. It’s part of the Fire-G series and was released on September 2001.
The complete Fire-G series consist out of this DW-069TD-4MJF, a yellow G-100TD-9MJF and a blue G-2000TD-2MJF. These models come with typical Tie Dye straps, which explains the TD in the model number. These Tie Dye patterns express, according the official description by Casio, the warmth of flames, like lava and magma.
The strap is a bit different than what you normally find on G-Shocks with one piece cloth straps. The strap is actually one long piece, with a special buckle and a Velcro closing on one side. A small loop can be slide over the closing, to prevent accidentally opening of the strap. The strap is quite long. I have a 7” wrist, which is not really small, but I have fold the strap through the strap adapter and it ends under the case. So if you had large wrists, this had could have been a good watch for you.
While cloth bands on G-Shock often consist of double bands, this one is a single type. Although the cloth feels strong and rugged, it is actually pretty comfortable. I tend to wear my G-Shocks pretty tight, but the strap doesn't cut into my arm. 
The DW-069 is a model number that is not much used by Casio, analog to the DW-056 number. Only 7 different models were made. Actually these models are similar to the DW-6900 and the DW-5600 and both have the usual 1289 and 1545 module.
The case of this DW-069 model is very nice anthracite gray. The finish of the case looks like it is made of stone, probably lava stone. The red faceplate and unusual red display give this model indeed an appearance, like it is hot.
You might expect that the EL backlight is red, but it is actually the usual greenish blue color. Maybe Casio slipped an opportunity here. If it had a orange/red EL backlight, it would have looked more like this watch is on fire, like glowing lava.
Another point that have could been better on this model is the back. With Fire as a theme, it would have ben nice if it had a special back, with a flame or fire etched on the backplate. Instead it has a regular DW-069 plate, similar to the DW-6900 back plate.
I think, if you are a regular reader, what the functions of this watch are. The 1289 module has an Alarm Function, a 24 hour Countdown Timer and a 24 hour Stopwatch. The Alarm function can be set to a Daily Alarm, or a Date alarm. Since you can also choose only to fill in the day or the month, you can program the Alarm to go off only on a specific day in the month, or only during a month. In Countdown Timer mode and in the Stopwatch Mode you can view the current time too.
While taking photographs, I asked Azra if she like to pose with a watch. She had posed also three and a half years ago with my "Tough Guy".
Azra bought her friend Paqui with her. While preparing for taking photo's Paqui asked if she could put on some music. She asked for some tech house. I gave her my iPod. "Oh Cool, you like Deadmau5?". When I played some Vitalic too,  the lab turned into a small party place, so it took a while before I could start take pics.
My coleague Paul D. wearing his Fire-G, back in 2002, before we moved with our school to a new location.
This watch was not very popular when it came out and it was available for relative low prices on eBay. In October 2002 I actually bought two of them. One for myself, one for my colleague Paul D, who still wears it occasionally, although he seems recently hooked on his GW-6900 (and who wouldn’t). I think I paid around $50 to $70 for each, while in September 2001 the retail price was ¥12000 (not easy to convert, because the exchange courses were pretty different then and the Euro wasn't even introduced).
I think it is still not a popular model. If you find one, you probably find it under $100, although I have actually seen this model very sporadic for sale, since 2002. Maybe only 2 or 3 times.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

G-Shock #19: Sakura's here!

I’m not really in the mood to make a complete new G-Shock article. Spring has arrived recently in The Netherlands and I am enjoying the colors of the trees and flowers in the vicinity. An early cherry blossom tree started bloom already two weeks ago. We have a kind of cherry blossom tree in our garden too. It makes me want to wear the Mat Dial DW-6900SN-4. I already reviewed this model in November actually. It is a watch I have worn a lot since I have it. Although it is pink, it is not really very outstanding. Maybe it looks even classy, due to it’s glossy finish.
Since I have it, I got a lot of nice remarks about it. Well, pink isn’t probably for anyone, but this one does it nice with my slightly tanned skin. It will probably look even better in summer.
I think this pink version is the best of the “Mat Dial” series, although the turquoise version looks nice too. As there have been a lot of big releases lately, which sucked up practically all my money, I unfortunately haven’t gotten one of those. They seem to get a little harder to get, so I am afraid it won’t happen in the future too.
Not only the sunshine in he garden made me happy today. I got a tip from a friend where to get a “Bouwsteen” (“Building Brick”) of Westvleteren. This Bouwsteen is a special package, containing 6 special bottles of Westvleteren 12º and two special glasses. This package is sold to fund renovation of the Saint Sixtus abbey. Normally Westvleteren beer is sold only at the abbey and in the café on the other side of the street. A few years ago an American website pronounced the 12º from this very small Trappist brewery as the best beer of the world, and unfortunately it hasn’t been moved out of the Top 50 list since.
"Ad aedificandam abbatiam adiuvi", it means "I helped building the abbey"in Latin. 
From a hand full of beer lovers, now people all over the world try to get a bottle of Westvleteren beer. Could I buy 10 wooden crates (240 bottles) n the past on a free afternoon, now the beer is strictly limited to one or two crates per car. Beer can only be ordered on special times and a license plate number is required to order. Still it can take hours before you reach the monk who takes the orders, or when you are less lucky, the tape telling you the beer is sold out.
These packages created a lot of stir in Belgium. It was for the first time sold in a supermarket chain (Colruyt). A complete hype was the result. With a receipt of a door to door leaflet, you could buy one of these packages in such a supermarket. On the Belgian national radio people were warned around 12:00 not to go out to a supermarket anymore as in many cities the traffic was jammed and long cues of people were standing in front of the Colruyt supermarkets. It even reached the Dutch 8 o’clock news.
These packages showed up on eBay pretty fast and it’s hard to get this package under €100.-. A Dutch chain of wholesale supermarkets also participated in the fund raising for the abbey. It is actually harder to get these packages and the beer is not very known here, so, if you are a pass holder, you could subscribe for one of these packages. I learned too late, but luckily, not all people who ordered a pack collected it. Their loss, my gain. Still, not cheap, but a fair price, where the profit will 100% go into the abbey and not in the pocket of profiteers.
But we were writing about a G-Shock, isn’t it. Well, maybe there is not much to write about this model, what would be new. Maybe just look at my photo’s. That was actually the only reason I started writing this article. Enjoy the photo’s and enjoy spring (if you live on the northern Hemisphere).