Hi everyone, I'm posted a few times (very few) and mostly lurked around, gathering info and stuff like that. But I just bought my first Master of G, the GR-9110ER Gulfman, and I'm stoked enough to write a review! Context is, my previous G's were all quite basic, GA100s, 110s, a variety of squares, etc.
So I gradually warmed up to the prospect of owning and wearing a Tough Solar G. Having owned several battery-powered ones over the years, and having read and heard some horror stories about the unreliability of anything more complex than a regular battery, you ought to understand my apprehension.
I got this display piece LNIB off a popular local buy/sell phone app. This particular model does not have atomic timekeeping, which would be wasted over here in Singapore anyway, which is out of reliable range for any signal.
On to the watch itself:
The Gulfman is just the right size (in G-Shock terms) for my stick-thin wrists, with a very unique bezel design that reminds me of classic mecha (Macross anyone?). You might have seen stock photos of the Men In Military Colours online, and the bezel on the watch head may appear white in those... but in the flesh, it's a really nice flat, light grey.
The navy blue accents, particularly the bezel ring(?), complement the solar panels, making them look navy blue as well, instead of purple.
Now, about the functions, there's nothing much to write home about. I've only just gotten my hands on it, so I can't really tell about the battery capacity. In fact, I'm still in the process of getting the charge back up to H. Pretty exciting, I must say!
I do like the fact that you can choose to show the time from another city of your choice on the main timekeeping screen, great feature for travelling.
For basic functions, stopwatch is 24hrs, countdown timer is the same with minimum increments of 1min, pretty standard fare. The Gulfman has 5 alarms including one snooze alarm, so that's nice.
EL is a decent brightness, but like other Tough Solars, it's not as brilliant as it's battery-powered cousins. There's an interesting anchor design to the EL, following the naval theme of the Men In Earth Tone (weird name) series.
What intrigues me is the tide and moon phase function. It's completely different from the GLX5600 I own, arguably more accurate, but also less flexible.
On the GLX5600, you'd have to manually input your location's longitude, as well as calculate the lunitidal interval there (if Casio doesn't provide it, or you're dissatisfied with the accuracy). While it's a PITA to get it down precisely, it also means that you can get a tide graph for virtually any area with diurnal or semi-diurnal tides.
On the 9110, however, you don't have to input anything other than your home city and time in the timekeeping screen. That, and also the time of the current day's first high tide. I noticed the tide graph readings are more accurate than those of the 5600, but then if your location is not one of the 48 cities, you're out of luck. Still, I'm returning to the sport of my school days, kayaking, so it should come in handy.
Now we come to the twilight zone - my moon phase display is very odd. It is fairly accurate, though it seems to be off by one day depending on which source I'm looking at. That's not the odd part though; what's odd is that mine behaves like a negative display. What I mean is, on a positive display, the shaded area corresponds to the dark part of the Moon, and unshaded represents the illuminated part.
On my Gulfman, this is reversed. Not mirrored as in north-south orientation, but reversed, as in, the shaded parts now show the illuminated part of the moon and vice versa. So I still can check the moon phase within Casio's specs, but I have to counter-intuitively invert the shades in my mind. In the picture below, it's supposed to display a waning gibbous moon. So yup.
I'm fairly certain that this isn't a fake. The caseback etching is too precise, it definitely looks like titanium, Auto EL works fine...
Perhaps my module happens to have a little crossed circuit or something in there? Or is this quirk just exclusive to the GR-9110?
Well enough about that. On the wrist, the watch is comfortable and light. The strap is a decent length, which means it's just sliiiiiiiiightly long for me. The buckle and holes are two-pronged despite the relatively narrow strap, so it feels sturdy without covering up too much of my wrist. The annoying thing is, the underside of the strap tip is convex, so it's has even less of a natural curve to it than other G's, making is stick out a little bit much. Maybe I'll try boiling it one day.
Things I love:
1. Lightweight comfort, fits my wrist just nice
2. Sexy looks along with a more sober size
3. World time on timekeeping screen
4. Pretty accurate tide graph, for my location
5. Titanium bragging rights
Things I don't:
1. That wonky moon phase display
2. Annoying strap tip
3. Dimmer EL
A few more pictures:
A picture with my Seiko and Totoro, with the GLX5600 and GA100 photobombing behind.