when i got my mail today, i was thinking, another day, another G. when i got it out of the box, i realized how wrong i was; this is no ordinary G-Shock; quite the opposite.
i was wondering why such a huge box, but i forgot i had ordered a bunch of other stuff from amazon, and they put it all together. *by the way, 110 USD there, as opposed to ebay which people are selling the red version for $180 and more*
the black box; always a welcome friend:
warranty card from dexclusive, these guys are great sellers:
came in the modern style tin, which i love; i save all my tins, and the hexagon ones are smaller and take up less space than the classic greenish bronze:
now this part is probably my favorite part of the unboxing; it's the last moment before you meet your new acquisition, just before the initial impression, etc, its very exciting (showing my WIS status pretty bad here, but whatever, we're all watch lovers here):
the first thing i noticed is that the matte red has a very different finish from my other matte watches. i dont know if it's because of the color of the paint, possibly they had to use more/less paint than usual, or maybe it's a new mixture of resin since this is a very new model. it's less soft, feels a bit like soft recycled notebook paper, but still very comfortable to the touch, hard in a way but soft in a way:
and finally, the star of the show:
the negative display on this watch is the clearest, sharpest, biggest and brightest i have ever seen in person, no contest. the digits are bigger than any other G i have, the font is REALLY cool, and the display is cut into 4 spaces so the current local time shows in EVERY MODE!! amazing how rare that is these days. but even with 4 separate lines of digits, big fonts, a barometer eye, and a total display size slightly smaller than a GD-100, it still looks uncluttered, clean, inspired and easy to read:
i was going to wait til the end to show the lume shot, but yet another best imo; the LED on this model is absolutely fantastic, sharper and clearer than any other G i own, brighter than a frogman or GX-56 but not as bright as the GD-100, just right. the only complaint i have is this model has no Auto EL, which i use on almost all my watches because i spend a lot of time DJing in nightclubs and i need to see the time and/or my stopwatch with a quick flick of the wrist. but hey, with an LED this cool, i can deal with it:
it looks even better in darkness, i took quite a few shots trying to show this off but it's difficult to catch a good photo of it with no Auto EL or in the dark with a cellphone camera. i really need to invest in a good camera, my Droid R2D2 is my only option right now so, i apologize for the crappy shots.
now onto some angle shots: it's important to note that until i took this out of the box, i had been thinking that those 4 little black dots were buttons! they do not stick out, but are sunken into the watch face, i guess they are part of the sensor or they ARE the sensors. no, this G has two buttons on the left side like always. the side buttons are set very strangely into the bezel; they are nearly flat fronted, but are set at an angle so you have to push the top or bottom corner of the button, not the flat top middle of the button like you are used to. i thought the buttons were stuck because they wouldnt push down; it's simply a matter of pushing the corner down and not using your whole finger-pad on the buttons. once you get used to this, it's alright:
yet another oddity about this watch, it appears to be a 3-button model; there is only one button on the right side of the bezel. for a watch with altimeter and barometer plus temperature sensors, not to mention the timers, alarms, LED and everything else, i thought this was quite strange. many other G-Shocks need 5 buttons to do the same features, or even less. then i found something i've never seen before; the light/"G" button functions as the fourth button, instead of a function button also acting as the light. strange, when they purposely put 4 ornamental red dots in the place where the 4th button would have been:
who knows, im sure people much smarter than i design these, it has no effect on the usage of the watch, just seems weird.
the G button is nice and wide/long, much easier to press for a guy like me with big fingers:
face is easily visible from normal angles, nearly the same as head-on:
current local time is at the very top in every mode:
can't quite figure out what kind of red this is. partially because of the materials used that i mentioned at the beginning, in some lights it looks a bit dusty brick red, in others it almost looks like strawberry or even cherry red. the finish is very subtle and understated, which makes the black details stand out even more:
quick size comparison shot with my DW-8201 frogman, nearly the same in case size and fit; the strap is just a tad shorter than i would like it whereas the frog has a plenty long strap, but otherwise, they're very comparable in comfort:
comparison shot with a custom GD-100-MS to show the difference in the negative display:
and a quick group shot with some friends to finish things off:
all in all, this is a bold new model for G-Shock. lots of little differences and changes add up to make a G that, while different and original among other watches with similar features, still fits comfortably within the G-Shock lineup. you notice right away it's not the same old G, but it still feels exactly like a trusted G does; solidly built, tough looks with sharp edges and tons of features, striking looks yet feels easygoing on the wrist, well suited for the yard or the club or the mountain, whichever you require.
all i know is, i'm very glad for the CR2025 battery which is rated by Casio for 5 years, i'll be pressing that LED quite a lot more than i need to :)
thanks for reading!