Sunday, August 25, 2013

G-Shock #35: Nano•Universe

Nano Universe is a retailer in Japan. It is established in July 2002 and sells fashion and jewelry for men and women. With the headquarters based in Shibuya, there are now 54 Nano•Universe department stores in Japan. You can find them in the bigger cities. Besides their own brands they also sell from collections from selected brands. It can be compared with other department store chains like Beams and United Arrows.
Check out this nice promotion video of the Nano Univere Autumn Winter Collection 2013.
The fashion Nano Universe sells is a combination of modern and traditional European fashion, as seen in fashion houses in France, the UK and Italy, which is very popular in Japan. Also Nano Universe likes to collaborate with other fashion and jewelry brands. One of these collaborations is this Casio G-Shock collaboration from September 2006.
The watch is packed in a very nice box. The sleeve is plain white, but the box is printed with a tweed pattern. Tweed is a very close woven rough fabric, originated in Scotland. It’s very popular for outdoor coats, because it wind tight, moisture resistant and durable. Although in the past decades tweed had become less popular, it now is again popular under hipsters. The now current Eleventh doctor on the Doctor Who series (who will actually “regenerate” soon), played by Matt Smith, wears a similar tweed coat as the print on the box.
From the watch itself you can’t tell it’s from Nano Universe, until you watch the back, where you find the company name and logo are engraved. 
For this Collaboration Nano•Universe was inspired with European fashion trends. “The Next Standard - New Black” seemed the theme in European Fashion around 2006. The new black is in fact a very dark shade of brown. It is so dark, that it can easily been mistaken for black. Indeed, the rein of the watch is very dark brown. Under daylight it is easily to see it’s brown, but worn indoors it almost looks brown. The brown resin is nicely contrasted with gold accents. The buttons are in gold tone and the face plate (the part of the crystal that is not the EL display) is in a flashy gold yellow tone. The contrast is even made stronger with the negative display.
The Nano•Universe G-Shock is based upon the DW-5600E. It’s an older model, so it features the 1545 module, which has an internal calendar programmed until December 31 2039. Well, until then you can enjoy your G-Shock without date worries for at least more than 9600 days.
The DW-5600E is a basic G-Shock model and therefore has only basic, but useful functions. First you find the Alarm, which is normally a daily Alarm, but it can also be programed to a date as a date Alarm. If you leave one of the digits of the date blank on the date Alarm, you can create a 1-Month Alarm (daily Alarm only during a specified month) or a 1-day Alarm (watch only sound the alarm as the date number of the month has reached). Further more you find a 24 hour Stopwatch and a 24 hour Countdown Timer, which can be programmed to the second. The Countdown Timer can be set to Auto-Repeat. A nice extra function is the Flash Alarm. When toggled on (a star like icon appears in the display, above the seconds), the EL backlight lights up shortly when an Alarms sounds. 
The Nano•Universe G-Shock was only available in Japan and was mainly sold in the Nano Universe department stores. With a retail price of ¥13000, it was, even back then, pretty fairly priced. I bought this watch from my good friend “Skyhook” in Hong Kong in 2007. I do not remember exactly what I paid for it, but it was a good deal. Maybe it was around $150. I do not think this model is a real sought after model, as Nano•Universe is not very known outside Japan. The dark brown and gold theme recently was revived in the Garish Gold series (June 2013). It might become a returning G-Shock theme.

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