Sunday, June 24, 2012

G-Shock #28: Mean looking Mudman to the Rescue!

In May 2008 rumors of a new Mudman model were spread. A Polish website posted a photo of a Multiband 6 Mudman in a similar case of the G-9000 and GW-9000. It was called the GW-9010 model. For some time it was assumed this was a joke or a photo of a new counterfeit G-Shock model. After month of speculations, it appeared to be a new model, the updated version of the 5 eyed GW-9000. Like the new GW-9200 Riseman, which was released a month earlier, it had a Multiband 6 receiver for Atomic Time signals.
At the time of release the reactions of G-Shock collectors were pretty mixed, but most of them were not really positive. Most liked the old 5 eye design better. It would probably take a while to get used to this model, as there are, at this moment of writing, still 2 models in production, the basic GW-9010-1JF and the Men In Dark Purple GW-9010BP-1JF (first release in March 2011).
The GW-9010 was released as the Mudman RS, where RS is probably referring to Rally Specifications with Time Control (the translation shows me TC on the "Madman" is Larry Specific...). While the 2006 G-9000 were totally dedicated to Rally sports, the GW-9000 had besides the Tough Solar and Multiband 5 features only basic functions. The GW-9010 model brought back the Rally features to the Atomic Mudman model.
To me, the look of the watch reminds me to that of an angry person. The graphic areas, the part above the tmain display that counts the seconds in Time Keeping Mode, look like raised eyebrows. It was no surprise to me that Shiro Nakano of “Play Set Products” choose this model as one of his G-Man characters. Of course the Mudman has a bezel that covers the buttons and even partly the back, giving it it’s Mud Resistant characteristics. The bezel and straps design is the same of the G-9000 and GW-9000.
The solar cells around the display have a honey comb structure. I do not know if this is functional or if it is meant to distract the relative large empty surface above the display. Whatever the reason is, it gives the watch face a nice look, specially in bright light.
In September 2008 a new highlight in G-Shock history took place. After a break of 8 years Casio revived the popular Men In Color series, starting of with the Men In Rescue Orange (MIRO) series. This series contains three models, a GW-9100R-4JF, a GW-9200RJ-4JF and this GW-9010R-4JF. There is a misunderstanding that also the G-9000R-4, the G-9100R-4 and the G-9200R-4 and even the GW-M5600R-1JF were referred to as MIRO models, but they are not. The non-atomic models are called the Rescue-G series and were sold only outside Japan, while the MIRO models were only sold in Japan. The GW-M5600R-4JF is not even a Master of G, so therefore cannot be a part of a Men In Colors series, actually it was not even marketed as a rescue model, but as a basic model. It happened to have a similar color scheme, though with black case and straps.
The MIRO Mudman is the only GW-9010 model I have in my collection, but there were a total of 4 different models released in Japan. Outside Japan there was also a non-atomic Tough Solar G-9010 model. While the Gulfman and Riseman in the MIRO series were totally orange with black accents, the Mudman has a black case with orange accents, while the straps are also orange.
The MIRO series were dedicated to rescue workers, like lifeguards, hence the bright orange colors. Also a big rescue axe is shown in the background when the EL Backlight is activated. It seems a bit strange that a rescue model has Rally Specifications, but the functions on the watch can of course also be used for other activities.
I can't read the Japanese manual provided in the box with the watch, so when I started writing I had to  look up the on-line manual. I noticed that I had gotten the wrong Japanese manual. When opening the PDF manual for the 3089 module, I saw this was a totally different looking module. A quick look at the back of the watch learns us that the correct module number is 3050.
New on this Mudman is the Rally Mode. With the Rally Specification behind it’s name, you might expect this. This function is quite extended and acts both as a complicated Stopwatch and a complicated Countdown Timer. Before starting a Rally you can set your Target Times for up to 10 stages. Each stage can be programmed a Target Time between 1 minute and 24 hours. These stages consist of competitive elements (Special Stage) and road elements to drive to the next Special Stage (non-competitive elements). This function is quite intensive, so if you want to use it, I can imagine this is also a good timer for interval training, I recommend to read the manual thoroughly. During the stages the watch shows both the elapsed time as the remaining target time. You start recording a Rally measurement with a 60 seconds countdown, but during the countdown the first Special Stage can be started by pushing the Start button again.
With such an extensive Rally Mode the Recall Mode is not an unnecessary luxury. It can store Stage (Lap) records up to 100 hours per stage and a maximum Total Time of 2999 hours, 59 minutes and 57 seconds (no idea what happened to second 58 and 59), which is impressive. Also it is possible to correct each recorded time to the official time, up to 1/10 of a second.
Furthermore the GW-9300R has a World Time Mode, featuring 48 cities and 29 Time Zones, an Alarm Mode with 5 programable Alarms (one is a Snooze Alarm), programable as Daily Alarm or set to a date, day or a month and of course the obligatory Hourly Signal, a 24 hour Stopwatch Mode and a 24 hour Countdown Timer mode.
Furthermore, the watch as a Full Automatic Illuminator function, which activates the EL backlight if the watch is tilted 40 degrees toward your face when your arm is hold parallel to the ground, but only if it’s dark, and a Power Save function, which allows the watch going to sleep mode when it is left in the dark for a longer period. It seems the Power Save function is pretty impressive. I bought this watch in October or November 2008, but when I opened this box, the Mudman woke up still showing a power reserve of M. As the Auto Receive function is disabled after 6 to 7 days in the dark, it had not be synced for years. Therefore it was still showing Winter Time (DST off) and in 3 and a half years it gained about 4 minutes. A quick calculation says this is about 6 second per month (about 40 months!), which seems more than reasonable good timekeeping to me.
This specific Men In Rescue Orange model is not a model you see often. If you look good around, you can still find them NOS for sale in Japan, but I can’t find any on Yahoo Auctions Japan or eBay. Although the MSRP was quite high, ¥26000, it must be possible to get one of these for around ¥20000. This is still quite a lot of money, considering you can find a basic GW-9010 for around €140.- or $200.- on eBay. Of course you will miss the nice orange straps and cool orange display with a big rescue axe in the backlight on the basic model.

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