Sunday, August 26, 2012

G-Shock #38: Comando BCN

A short note: I have worked very hard to achieve my 50 articles a year goal. So hard, that I am actually three weeks ahead of my yearly scheme. This means I can relax for about a week or two, which I pretty much need, as I have been writing a lot this summer. So expect the next 50 Gs article somewhere mid September, unless something very important happens in my G-World.
As you could have read earlier on 50 Gs, I visited Barcelona in February with my family. Of course the major goal of the trip was to visit the town and enjoy sightseeing and the delicious Spanish food. You should really try that tapas and beer bar we ended up the first evening, the food was sublime (Cervecería Catalana, Carrer de Mallorca 236). On our last evening I planned something special, a meeting with Comando-G members from Barcelona (Comando BCN).
Comando-G is a Spanish language forum for G-Shocks on Hablemos de Relojes (HdR). The cool name is derived from a ’70’s cartoon series (Japanese: “Catchaman”, English: “Battle of the planets”, Dutch: Strijd der Planeten”) and blends perfectly in the G-Shock theme. Like the WatchUSeek G-Shock forum, Comando G has members worldwide, but due to the Spanish language, a lot of them live in Spain.
Early in the Evening ToniToni (in a Bape x Star Wars shirt, to impress me and Bram) and his wife picked us up at our hotel and brought us, in another infamous ride (“I have a plan”) through the nightlife of Barcelona to our meeting point at a large shopping mall in the North of Barcelona. It was not a very big group, but with 8 collectors and Tonitoni’s wife, Eva and Bram it was a very friendly meeting. Although the place looked like a fast food restaurant, the food was from a very good quality and the Comando BCN had pulled many interesting G-Shocks with them.
Above: Some images of the Comando BCN meeting February 23, 2012
There are some real good handcrafts men in Comando-G, as there were al of of custom made watchcases and also restoration projects of vintage Japanese watches. At a certain moment Rocket showed me a special sheet of colorless clear plastic. It is the base for the backlight designs for the upcoming Comando BCN watches.
After the first Comando-G watch, there were attempts made for a second emission, which somehow failed (interest, costs?). The Barcelona group wanted to do a local Comando BCN model, based on the basic DW-5600. Of course I told them I would like to have one of these too. I love the city and El Xispas, Sexmachine, Tonitoni, Rocket and the other members (I’m sorry I do not know all the names who participated at the meeting) are great people to meet. I would be honored to be part of the group.
Comando BCN watches during assembly stages
For a few months I did not hear from the watch, until I got a mail in June that the project had started. I got a small preview of the Comando BCN. It looked like a basic DW-5600E, like was told, with a custom EL backlight. El Xispas told me they would make a special version for me. That made me pretty curios. Not long after that I received a package. I was amazed by the look of the tin. It has a nice looking print on it with the skyline of Barcelona. I immediately recognized some buildings. When I opened the tin, my jaw almost fell on the table. I expected a DW-5600E looking at me, but instead it was a fruity purple jelly looking at me. My Comando BCN was based on a GLX-5600B-4DR. This was much more than what I expected. Also the very nice Comando G pin was included with the watch.
Only 10 Comando BCN G-Shocks were made (you can see and read more here). Besides my model, also Rocket’s model is different from the rest. He has a G-5600A-7 based model, with custom red lettering.
If Casio would bring out such a model, it will be an instant hit. The 8 other models are based on a DW-5600E. What all 10 watches have in common is that they are all 5600 based and, when the EL backlight is activated, they’ll show the Comando-G logo. Here’s a list of all 10 owners of a Comando BCN watch:
  1. El Xispas (creator)
  2. Sexmachine (the ideator)
  3. Rocket (the creator of Logo Package)
  4. Venzim
  5. Hercules
  6. Skahill
  7. Txus
  8. Magila
  9. Sjors
  10. Wells
As mentioned above, my Comando BCN watch is based on a GLX-5600B-4DR, which is a G-Lide model and it is powered by a 3151 module. This G-Lide model was specially designed for Surfers and other water sports. The jelly bezel and strap are of course fantastic for these sports, as the sun loves to play with these fruity colored transparent parts and the Tidegraph is of course a great tool at sea.
The GLX-5600 has quite some features on board. Besides Time Keeping, you’ll find the Tide & Moon Data function, a 48 cities, 29 time zones World Time function, a 24 hour Stopwatch function, a 24 hour Countdown Timer and an Alarm functions with 3 Alarms (one is a Snooze Alarm) and a Hourly Chime. The Alarms can be programmed to a Daily Alarm, a 1-Day alarm, a Monthly Alarm or a Date Alarm. The Countdown Timer can be set as a single countdown or an auto-repeat countdown, with or without a progression beeper.
For an accurate programming of the Tidegraph, you have to set your Home Time Zone and DST setting right, as well the right Longitude and the Lunitidal Interval. The Lunitidal Interval is the time between the moment the moon is at it’s highest place in the south and the next High Tide. In theory it would be Hight Tide at the moment the Moon is in the south, but due to geographical obstacles and the big mass of the moving waters, the High Tide can be delayed for many hours. To calculate your local Lunitidal Interval you simply have to look up the the moon is in the south (moon pass over) and the high tide at your area. The time between these events is the Lunitidal Interval. Here you can find a calculation example of my home town.
The normal GLX-5600B-4 was released in 2010, but it can still be found for reasonable prices worldwide, starting from around €80,- in East Asia, to around €100 in Europe. Of course the normal version does not have this cool Comando-G backlight, which makes my G-Shock very special. Although I unfortunately can’t read or write Spanish, I’m very proud to be a member of Comando-G and Comando BCN. Thank you guys for making this posible