Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vintage Croton Equator

Now that I've exhausted my current supply of G-Shocks, I'm moving on to every other kind of watch I have, including vintage, like today's. I'm wearing a Croton "Equator" Swiss manual wind probably from the '50s or early '60s. It's actually quite attractive, with a linen-textured dial and stylized applied numerals. I think it's interesting that the numbers all taper toward the inside of the dial, so the numebrs at the top of the dial are all narrower at the bottom, while the 4, 5, 7 and 8 all are narrower at the top. I suppose it's a small thing, but it makes for a pleasing look. The stainless steel case and back are plain but in good condition. I've fitted a new period-looking lizard skin strap that seems to coordinate well. My major complaint with this watch is the size. It's less than 29mm across (about 1 1/8 inches) which I find quite small even for a vintage watch. It's quite possible this was a "boy's size" or midsize watch. I assume the Equator name was chosen because the watch is "waterproof" (although no mention of any rating) and would be suitable to wear in wet and humid equatorial weather. I was surprised to find that Croton still makes a line of watches under the Equator name, although they're definitely fancier than this one. This is another watch that my dad bought at some point either on eBay or at an antique store. I have no idea if it's been serviced, but I've been wearing it all day and it's keeping very good time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Non-Stop G-Shocks: DW-6900M-8T Eric Haze

Welcome to the end of the line. Not the complete end, mind you, but the end of the Non-Stop G-Shocks. Today I'm wearing my last G, a DW-6900M-8T from 1999. It was designed in collaboration with Eric Haze and bears his "tag" on the face and strap. You might not be familiar with his name, but you've probably seen album covers, posters, sneakers or other items designed by him, many of which are shown on his website. He also designed another G-Shock model released in 2006, the G-Shock 25th Anniversary logo and packaging and a not-yet-released Eric Haze Signature Model G-Shock. Today's watch does have some similarities to Haze's other G-Shocks, but it has a unique metallic silver finish. The finish looks good, but can wear off over time, although with the pampered life most of my watches lead, I'm not concerned. The watch also has a mirror-backed LCD (like the Ocean Grey 5600) which is a little difficult to take good photos of. Sjors did a good job here. I bought my DW-6900M-8T brand new pretty recently, but the EL backlight wasn't working. This is the watch for which this watch gave up it's functioning backlight. It seems lately that I've really grown fond of the 6900 design watches, so I can definitely see more of them in my future. If I get any more you'll be sure to see them here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Non-Stop G-Shocks: DWX-101P-1T

I think I chose a pretty unusual watch to wear today, although it looks like these are reasonably popular among collectors, possibly because they can usually be found pretty cheap. It's a DWX-101P-1T. Similar models are marked "X-treme" and/or "G-Lide", but this one wears neither title although it shares most elements with the other DWX models. This one is marked "Special Edition" on the box, but I can't tell you what features earned it that moniker. Keep in mind this watch is from 1999, so it's not some new deign you've never seen before, it's an old design that you've probably never seen before. It's late so I'll make this quick: I like it. It looks like a futuristic Frogman, and for all I know, it could have been a design for a Frogman that was adopted for a different line. The resin feels a little slicker and less soft than some of my other G-Shocks, but this doesn't seem like a G-Shock for extreme duty anyway; it seems like a G-Shock for use on a space station or moon base. I like the wide webbed nylon band (and the extra red and black band that I forgot to take photographs of) and the enormous deployant clasp on the end. The whole watch is pretty light, low-profile and comfortable. A nice watch and an easy purchase given the relatively low prices I've seen on eBay, especially if you like the way it looks.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Non-Stop G-Shocks: DW-6900-1V

Today I'm wearing a watch with a story more interesting than the watch itself. It's a slightly beat up DW-6900-1V, the basic version of one of the most popular G-Shock designs (even if you don't count all the terrible fake BAPE 6900s.) I've fitted a pair of aftermarket strap adapters and a 22mm military-style strap with a black buckle that seems to match nicely. I did this because in addition to being well-used and "stealthed" (it has had the colored paint removed from the bezel lettering so it's now all black,) this watch came to me missing the strap and the bezel screws. So, here's the story: A little while ago I bought a limited edition 6900 that had a non-functional backlight. I really wanted to remedy this (and my initial thought was there was just a dirty contact or a spring missing) but the EL light was really and truly dead. So, before I spent the money on a brand new 6900 only to tear it apart, I posted to the Watchuseek G-Shock forum to see if anybody had a 6900 "beater" with working backlight that they'd like to sell. I was very surprised to be offered this 6900 with a perfectly good module for free, including free shipping, by a fellow forum member. Because the model I was fixing had a special LCD as well as a special bezel and strap, I had to switch the LCD display between the two modules (just a matter of 4 screws and pretty easy if you're careful) then switch the modules between the watches. The swap went very smoothly, and rather than keep this watch for pats, I thought I'd put a band on it (I was eager to try out the adapters anyway) and wear it a little bit. It works great, except for the backlight, of course. I think I forgot about this watch and my other 6900 a few days ago when I mentioned I was on my "third-to-last" G-Shock, so I think I actually have two more (the other 6900 I mentioned here and another one I received today) then I'm done with Gs until I get something new.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Non-Stop G-Shocks: DW-8600YJ-9 Men In Yellow Fisherman

Today I'm wearing my last Men In Yellow G-Shock, my DW-8600YJ-9 Fisherman. I always thought the Fisherman models were pretty much the same as the DW-9700 Gulfman models, but it appears that the Fishermen use a different module (a 1629 vs. the Gulfman's 2080) which includes a temperature sensor in addition to the tide graph and moon phase which both models have. The Fisherman model seems to be the rarest of the Men in Yellow series, but I don't know if they just weren't popular or if they were produced in limited numbers. I bought this brand new one on eBay recently, and hadn't seen any for a while before that, but have seen at least one since. As you can see from the Men in Yellow group shots below, it's similar in size to other G-Shocks, although it seems to wear a little smaller, like the modern Gulfman. The Fisherman has a unique nautical look to it, maybe because of the shrouded stainless steel ring around the bezel and grey accents; it just looks like it would be at home on a boat. It has an interesting buckle on the strap, sort of a double buckle, which keeps the loose end of the strap tucked under and out of the way. It also seems like it would be well protected from impacts and would be low profile enough to keep from snagging on things in a fishing environment. I'm not a fisherman so I'll probably never try it under those conditions, but I like it and it's a fine addition (and conclusion) to my Men in Yellow G-Shock collection.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Non-Stop G-Shocks: G-9000MC-8V Mudman

Today I'm wearing my last Mudman, the grey camouflage G-9000MC-8V. It's also my third-to-last G-Shock (not counting the one I bought through eBay last night and any others that might follow) so "Non-Stop G-Shocks" will be drawing to a close after tomorrow. Like the green camo G-9000MC-3V Mudman, this one has a multicolor band made by mixing different color plastics during the molding process, like the Jam'in Color series. All the G-Shocks I've seen with the "MC" suffix on the model number have bands, bezels or both, so I suppose it stands for "Multi Color" or something similar. This particular model also has a cool "Dual Illuminator" backlight, with white EL panels behind both the LCD and the panel around the display, which gives it a somewhat ghostly nighttime appearance. It's pretty impressive to me that with all the various Mudman models Casio took the time to fit each one with a different combination of display and backlight colors. It makes each one unique and not just a matter of changing the bezel and band.

I'd also like to mention that today's watch marks my 100th watch worn and posted to my blog. If you've missed any, you can find all the posts under "Blog Archive" on the right side of the page, starting back in March. If nothing else, my photos have gotten much better since then. Thanks to everybody who has been reading, and, as always, feel free to post comments.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Non-Stop G-Shocks: GW-205K-2DR I.C.E.R.C. Frogman

Today's watch is the last Frogman I currently own, a GW-205K-2DR. It's another I.C.E.R.C. model and was released in June of 2005. Like most of my Frogmen it's titanium, Tough Solar and has Multi Site Memory. This one sets itself apart from the rest with its unique color scheme; a dark blue, slightly translucent bezel with a very light grey-blue band, both in a matte finish. It also has what looks like a sperm whale in the EL backlight and the I.C.E.R.C. logo on the polished titanium caseback. It's a very cool and unique Frogman and I'm happy to have it in my collection.