Sunday, January 27, 2013

G-Shock #4: Metallix-G

Do you know those electronic children’s entertainment in front of stores, often in the form of a horse, car or train? Well, when I was very young, let’s say in the early ‘70s, I always went with my father and younger sisters to a big store in Flushing (Vlissingen). On a crossing of paths leading to the most interesting goods there was such a thing, though this “thing” is a bit hard to describe, but I’ll try. It was in fact a circular tube, the tube had maybe an about 50 cm in diameter, maybe a little more. The circle was probably somewhere between 2.5 to 3 meters. It might be maybe even smaller, as it is from a child’s memory. There were three holes in it, with each a primitive child seat. It was placed on a sloped base and in the centre of the base there was a coin collector. If you inserted a coin (probably it was 25 cents coin), the tube started to go around at the static base. Since the base was sloped, the children went not only around, but also up and down a bit. A bit as if you were riding of the rings of Saturn. I think we went there every week, riding that thing a few times, depending on how many quarters my father had in his wallet. The fun you could have as a small child in such a primitive thing.
Well, you might now question, why I mention this nameless, strange rotating thing. The tube was made of polyester and had a gold metal flake finish. I think this metal flaked finish is a typical ‘70s thing.
In January 2007, Casio released the Metallix-G models. there were in total 5 models, 3 DW-5600GM models and 2 DW-6900GM models. I immediately ordered the red DW-6900GM model as I am a sucker for 6900’s, but about a year later I had the chance to buy a black DW-5600GM cheap, in a small lot of brand new G-Shocks. I remember there was a bloo GL-7500 in that box too, which I gave to a student at school, who loved the color and, well, you know how I think about bloo. I don’t know what I paid for the lot, but it was under $100. Not really surpising, as the GL-7500’s went sometimes for only $30.- plus shipping and these Metallicx-G DW-5600GM models were sold in East Asia for around $60 - $70.
The most striking part is the resin used for the bezel and straps. It is filled completely with very small aluminum flakes. In this DW-5600GM-1ADR (in Japan released as -1AJF) the lakes are both silver and blue. It gives the watch a very special look, which reminds me to the ‘70s. I think it was quite fashionable around that time. It somehow also looks like the finish of “bumper cars” and other attributes at fairs.
- O -
Not only the resin parts are interesting on this model. Casio has used a kind of Gothic font and around the “face plate” there are flames. Actually I always thought it were tattoo inspired tribals, but according Casio they are flames. It goes well with the Gothic writing. Pretty unusual on a 5600 model, the text “Shock Resist” is printed on the strap. Maybe it’s just done to write something on the strap.
I’m not sure if these models were actually popular. You don’t see them around much, but in 2007 and 2008 they could be bought for low prices in auctions starting from $1.- (where have those good ones gone). I frankly like them, as they look pretty different. The red DW-6900GM looks like the bezel is made of strawberry confiture. Strawberry is in fact one of the fruits I do not really like, if it’s not fresh (opposite to cherries).
This Metallix-G is a special version of the DW-5600, a pretty basic model. On board, besides Time Keeping of course, there is an Alarm mode, a 24 hour Stopwatch and a 24 hour Countdown Timer. The Alarm function can be set to a Date Alarm, which also means it can be used as a Monthly Alarm or a 1-Month Alarm if digits of the month or the day is left blank.
The watch has a reversed display (all Metallix-G models have this), which is in my humble opinion pretty nice in the EL backlight. The watch has a “Flash Alarm” function. When toggled on, this means the EL backlight also lights up when an Alarm sounds (Hourly Time Signal, Alarm and Countdown Alarm).
Yep, I know how to put 98 seconds in one minute...
Probably there are a lot of these models around, specially in East Asia, though after 5 - 6 years, you don’t see them that often. As it was not a pretty popular model, I think most people who bought this watch around that time, bought it, because they really loved it. That is probably also the reason you don’t see them around fro sale anymore. As they could be bought fro around $50 - $60, they are probably still not models that are worth pretty much. On the other hand, the use of metal flakes in the resin, make this watch look pretty different. It’s up to you to decide if you like it, or not.

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