Sunday, December 9, 2012

G-Shock #49: Army Green Reprise

It’s the third and last article for 50 Gs that I wrote at my vacation address in the Drôme, France. It has been already been 4 months ago, so I myself look forward to see my pics made at much better temperatures, than what we have here now. We had even first snow this week. One of the watches I brought with me on vacation was the GX-56KG-3 of the Army Green series. Of course not only to write about, but of course also to wear. I hope you enjoy my write-up and specially the photo's I took on location at Chateauneuf de Galaure.
Army Green at Palais Idéal, Hauterives, France. 
I think I didn’t hide it under the table that I pretty much like the Army Green Colors models. With also a love for the GX-56 and GXW-56 “King” and the 6900’s, it should not be a surprise I would try get one in my collection and get one of these to wear. Since in April 2012 the GX-56KG-3 was released as an International model (“overseas model”) at a much more friendly price than the Japan Domestic GXW-56KG.
These khaki green models were unfortunately not available in Europa, though Kish has the G-6900KG model. I bought my GX-56KG in Hong Kong at Watchesdeals, a pretty big Casio seller on eBay with pretty sharp prices. I was pretty lucky on this one. About a year ago I bought the white Green Collection G-6900 from them, but when tested before shipment, the watch appeared to be faulty, while it was their last one in stock. As a good maker they promised me a 10% discount on the next purchase. After a message they were indeed still happy to provide me my 10% discount. My bad then has become my luck now. In the mean time I already had found another white Green Collection G-6900. Like we say in our country: “Everything has fallen back on it’s paws”.
While the GXW-56KG was manufactured in Thailand, the GX-56KG is manufactured in China. While as far as I know all King models were made in Thailand, there is probably only one good reason for this change. The Thailand plant had been struck heavily at the floods at the end of 2011. From what I have heard is that even complete production lines had been disassembled by divers and been transported to the China DH and China Y plant. This somehow also explains why the GXW-56KG was delayed and this GX-56KG was released later than the other Army Green Color models.
The GX-56 is the biggest G-Shock model ever produced by Casio and that’s why Casio calls this the “King”. As I am a pretty big and tall guy, I love to wear big G-Shocks and with a King I never can go wrong. Not that I don’t wear 5600’s, sometimes I do, but I prefer models at the size of a 6900 or bigger as it looks better on my 7” wrists. With big models at the second half of the 90’s, Casio decreased the size of most G-Shock’s at the start of the 00’s. Therefore I’m pretty glad Casio came with the King and the X-Large models in the past years.
Test Displays
Mode displays
In Casio model numbers the X stands for Extra. In case of the “King” this refers to the extra shock absorbance by the use of an extra shock absorber made of α-gel, Mud Resistance by using a bezel that covers all buttons and a part of the back and probably also for Extra Large. The extra shock absorber can be seen around the display. It’s that black blocked layer hidden half under the solar panels.
When I unpacked the box when this “King” arrived, I was surprised it looked so dark. When looking back at the atomic model, I believe I thought the same of that one. I can’t compare them now, as I am writing from my vacation address in the Drôme, but I have a feeling this watch is slightly darker than the JDM model. Still it looks khaki outside in bright light and almost black in a darker room or in the evening. Still it is good visible the watch is green and not black, because for the accents the buttons (actually not the buttons, but their covers) are black and if you take the watch off, you’ll notice the back protector is too. Of course also the α-gel shock absorber and the negative display are deep black. All lettering on the display is orange, except for the CASIO brand name. Orange contrasts nicely with khaki and black. The use of orange on this model is inspired by the green bomber jackets, which have contrasting orange lining. In my opinion these bomber jackets are much lighter green than this watch.
The khaki color also reminds me to the “Old Shit”, as military here are called in their last stage of their service, when I served our army. I was lucky enough that in half 1993 our army went from dull khaki uniforms to high quality Woodland uniforms. Too bad for those “Old Shit” (. They had to wear it until their service was over.
The only difference in function compared with the GXW-56 is the lack of the Multiband 6 function. Frankly I have no clue why Casio doesn’t release the Multiband 6 models also in China, Europe and the US. On the other hand, this GX model is way cheaper than the ¥20000 I paid for the GXW version. I do not remember exactly what I paid, but I believe it was priced €130.-, and with a discount of 10%, I probably payed €117.
The 3221 module uses the same display as the Multiband 6 version (module 3220). You can see this when you activate the test screens. In one screen RCVD can be seen, which meant that the atomic time signal has been received. Of course this is enabled on this module. The functions are basic but good. A 48 city, 31 time zones World Time function, an Alarm function with 4 regular Alarms, a Snooze Alarm and a Hourly Chime, a 24 hour Stopwatch function and a 24 hour Countdown Timer function. Basic, but probably all you need on a basic G-Shock.
The dark khaki green color makes the GX-56KG a nice special watch, without the color shout out too much. It’s a good alternative for people who normally only buy the black models, because they don’t want to wear all kinds of colors. Specially, because the tone is pretty dark, it’s a watch that can be easily combined with all colors of clothing, without shouting or swearing. The watch was released in East Asia and the US. I’m not sure if the availability in the US is good, but in Hong Kong and Singapore it seems not too hard to find one. I have strapped mine around my wrist since I got it (after a long wait and paying €17.- extra for custom fees and tax). The only GX(W)-56 model I miss is one with a regular display. It would of course also be great if Casio released a red or yellow King. Let’s see what the future brings. I hope more Kings!


K said...

Have to correct you on this one Sjors "While as far as I know all King models were made in Thailand" I have black and red GX 56 King, made in Japan. The first Kings (both GX and GXW) were made in Japan, then they transferred production to Thai and China.


Unknown said...

Hi Kolin,

I had to re-read my text (I wrote this in July). I also checked my first Kings. You are right these were produced in Japan (Japan Y = Yamagata to be exact).

Though in this article I refer to the GWX-56KG and GX-56KG models. At least the GWX-56KG comes from the first batch (I have good connections in Japan) and it is also assembled in Thailand. So technically, we are both right, but talk about a different matter :-)



Anonymous said...

hello sjors, i have this model to and i love it texture... I have a question, could you tell me what is RCVD and what it use for... thanks

Unknown said...

Hi Aswan,

RCVD means "Received", which means the Atomic Signal is received. This GX-56KG is not Atomic, but it shares the display of the GWX-56KG. It is probably cheaper to use this display on both the Atomic ans non-Atomic model.



Backblast said...

Good Morning Sjors,

My name is Carlos Gonzalez, but my Friends called Sarge. I am retired from the U.S. Army, and of course love the GX56KG-3. I have just recently started collecting Casio watches. However I have used many over the years, some of which I had issue to me as part of my gear outfitting.
I like your in depth review of the watch, your passion for the watch comes true very naturally and it is refreshing to see someone else appreciate these awesome watches. I would like to keep in touch, if this is ok with you, and maybe we can collaborate with each other and share our passion for Casio's watches.
Very Sincerely Yours,
San Diego, California.