Friday, April 13, 2012

G-Shock #17: It's Friday 13th, time for a Jason!

It must be a special Jason year. It’s only April and there is another Friday 13th and another one is coming up in June. It must be a good yea for people who love the Friday 13th movies. I checked the TV guide, but unfortunately, tonight no Jason Voorhees.
Jason Voorhees is the main character in the Friday 13th movies. He’s best known for wearing an ice hockey mask, while killing around teenagers. I have only seen one of the Friday 13th movies and frankly, I have been more laughing than that I was shocked. It looks to me these movies are more for teenagers. Popcorn and screaming…
The DW-001 was released in November 1994. The rumor goes that a Japanese pop star happened to be at the design department and saw a prototype mock-up G-Shock, which was not meant to for release. He insisted it should be released. This original Jason model (there were only 5 different variations of this model) was the first “Capsule Tough” model, later succeeded by the DW-002 and DW-003. They were called that way, because of the bigger case (than the DW-5600), which made look like the module was kept in a capsule.
Remarkable on the DW-001 was that it had a Thermometer function and a Sun Set and a Sun Rise function. These functions did not appear on the new Jason models, the G-001. Officially already 13(!) variations of this model have been released yet. To be honest there is at least a 14th model. G-Shock made a collaboration model with Stüssy. I wish that this model was a bit more affordable, but I don’t have the steep €345.- for this model. I think this price is the reason it is still available on their website (it was released many months ago).
My first and only DW-001 was the yellow version and when I saw that this epic model was going to be re-released, the first one I wanted to have was of course this yellow model. I have been trying to find an affordable second one to wear, but I have been not that lucky. A yellow Jason would be much fun to wear, don’t you think? Meanwhile I have 4 versions of this model and a 5th is on it’s way. With the release of the Rastafarian models I have been tempted to get another one, but I have completely dried out my funds and have already pre-ordered a G-Shock in the somewhat more expensive range for next month.
If you look at a Jason model, you probably would think, why on earth would I buy one. I think the design is very playful, although the part with the holes (they are not open on the G-001 anymore) have no function anymore. I think it’s something I have with other G-Shock models too. You might ask yourself, why do you or other people like the Gundam/Techno models. I think they look that great or good actually because they are bulky and ugly. Ugly things make people curious. It makes it interesting to look at. It’s different. After a while you might think, “is it actually ugly?”. I like that kind of design. I think Casio likes to make G-Shocks that look different from what “normal” digital watches look like.
Although it is a little mystery why the G-001 was released, the DW-001 model has always been desired by a select group of (mainly Japanese) collectors. I think that the fact this model was discussed about on Japanese BBS (kind of small personal forums) might have been the reason it came back, 15 years after the first version was released. The rumor of the return of the Jason model had been there maybe since 2008.
The G-001 has the 3247 module and has pretty basic functions. Besides Time Keeping, you’ll find World Time (48 cities, 29 time zones), a 24 hour Stopwatch, a 24 hour Countdown timer and 3 Alarms with a Hourly Chime. The third alarm is a Snooze alarm. Remarkable for a battery driven model is that this model has an Auto Illuminator function. When turned on, it turns itself off after six hours to prevent the battery drained by continuing light operations. For those who are not familiar with the Auto Illuminator function, if this function is turned on (press and hold the upper right button for about 5 seconds) the EL backlight will turn automatically on when the arm is held about parallel to the ground and tilted toward you for about 40 degrees. This sounds complicated, but this is actually what you normally do if you look at your watch.
Some other special features are that you can adjust the EL Backlight duration from 1.5 seconds to 3 seconds and you can also sync the EL backlight to alarm sounds. If turned on, the light will flash when an alarm goes off, a countdown operation has ended and with the hourly chime.
I think the G-001 is a fun watch, which is also pretty affordable. I must have paid around ¥13000 for this yellow version, but if you look around good, a G-001 version can be picked up with prices starting from €70 -€80.-. For a collector, I think they are fun to have at least one, just to wear every Friday 13th.

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