Sunday, October 27, 2013

G-Shock #43: MTG-120

In 1999 Casio introduced a new G-Shock line which is positioned between the high end MR-G models and the more basic resin models. While the MR-G series were fully made of metal, the MT-G models are usually a mix of metal and resin. The resin parts on MT-G models were often found as links in the bracelet and bumpers on the bezel/case. On today’s model, the MTG-120-1AJF, resin is hard to find. No wonder, it was marketed by Casio as a (full) metal model, although, if you look closely, you find two small rubberish wrist rests and some kind of red resin spacers in the bezel.
The MTG-120 is a full analog model. It has a similar display as the MRG-120 and MRG-121, but if you look closely, you will notice a nice extra. It does not only show the current time, it also shows the date. Instead of a marker at the 4 position, there is a little date window. The date does count until 31, so if the past month has less than 31 days, you have to manually adjust. The case of the MTG-120 is a little bit smaller then the MR-G models.
I think this model would have also have passed for a MR-G. It’s well build and the MRG-120 and the MRG-121, which are pretty much related to this model, have a rubber wrist rest too, although those are located around the screw back. On this MTG it is located at the attachment of the bracelet.
Different form the above mentioned MR-G models are the two crystal guards and the location of the crown. It looks like they put the MRG-121 module rotated 180 degrees in the case, with the light button placed above the crown. The bracelet has full metal links with a brushed 3D arrow like design. The three fold buckle can be used to fine adjust the length of bracelet by 1/4 of a link. The crystal guards and the bracelet give this model a quite sturdy look. It somehow makes me remind to the Revman.
I tried to find the on-line manual, but there is non available for the 2310 module. Not a real problem. There are no sophisticated features on board. The Screw-In crown can be puled out in two phases. At the first click you can adjust the date, at the second click you an adjust time. Like many other (mechanical) analog watches, there is the so called hack feature. When pulled to the second click, the seconds hand stops. This way it possible to set time to the second. I think, like mechanical watches, it’s best to only move the hands forward when adjusting time. Pretty cool is also the backlight, which lights up through the entire mesh dial.
The module (movement) is Antimagnetic according the JIS 1 standard, which is also called Class 1. I’m not sure how a quartz module can be affected by (normal) electromagnetic waves, but after some research (Grand Seiko manual) I learned that Class 1 Antimagnetic means that it is protected for (electro-)magnetic fields that occur with normal equipment in daily life and work. I won’t recommend to test it inside a microwave.
The MTG-120-AJF was released in August 2001. I bought this watch 9 years later in 2010. I checked all my bills around the time I bought this watch, but couldn’t find from who I bought it and how much I paid for it. They do not pop up too often at auctions, but they are also mostly not very expensive. The original retail price was ¥28000 (now around $280.-, €210,-), which was more than double the price of a basic model around that time (and still is). I can’t remember what I paid for it, but I guess it would not have been as much as you pay for a good condition MRG-120. I probably paid around $120.- or so, three years ago. For this price you get a nice heavy full metal G-Shock.
EDIT: The riddle of where I bought this watch is solved. I got a message from my friend/co-author Flexofiel. I bought it from him three years ago. About the price I was spot on. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

G-Shock #42 Addendum 1: Rangeman goes up the hil. An Altimeter test.

"Allen wollen Oben sein..." Do you remember my article about the GW-9200 Riseman, where I test the Altimeter function by climbing the highest dune on our island back in 2009? Of course I was constantly thinking about this article, when I got my Rangeman. I wanted to try it again, So we drove to the "Zeeuwse Riviera" and performed a small climb again.
I made a little mistake at the foot of the dunes. It showed 5 -6 meters when I got out of the car, so I set it to 0 meters. Actually the foot of the dunes are at about 5 meters (as you can read in my Riseman article), so we now record actually relative altitude.
One thing about steep hills... They are hard to photograph. It almost shows like a gently sloped path, but it is in fact the steepest slope you can find on our island. Many road bicyclist and mountain bikers know this hill. Someone told me a former Tour de France cyclist claims that only if you can climb this hill on your (front) middle cog wheel, you are capable enough to ride the Tour. I can assure you, no hair on my head ever though about going to middle cog wheel while climbing this small beast.
Halfway the climb, you can follow a path to the beach (Absolute Altitude 23 + 5 meters = 28 Meters). The first time I went p this slope, I rested on that bench for maybe 10 minutes, not knowing I was only halfway the climb. I didn't notice there was a path going up further on the dunes, neither that it was even possible to climb with a bicycle...

The view above is amazing. Even at a hazy day like this, there is a lot to sea at the sea, beach and the small nearby village Zoutelande.
Relative Altitude 37 meters (42 meters above sea level). We are not there yet. The highest point is on the next dune.
Again a very steep slope. With the bicycle you have no problem. You get a lot of speed riding down the dune. Walking or running is quite different. 
And again, what a view. This is the platform used by parapente flyers (paragliders). In the past I measured this spot as 55 meters above sea level with bicycle GPS devices, a ProTrek and also with the GW-9200 Riseman. As I set the foot of the dune as 0 meter, I now miss 5 meters, but the Rangeman shows me the correct relative Altitude of 50 meters. Satisfied, we turn around and walk back to the car in Zoutelande.
It seems our car is still at the same altitude... 
When checking the barograph of the watch at home, I notice I must be happy with the good results of the Altimeter test. The barograph shows the air pressure is very unstable, not the best conditions to test this feature. Still it proves that you can rely on your altimeter, even during less favorable conditions for a short while (it was a walk of about an hour). 
As bonus, here is a small movie I made with the 2Raumwohnung song, where I based my 2009 Riseman article on. Unfortunately the record company does not allow to play this video on mobile devices (works fin n my laptop though). Enjoy!