Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)
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  1. #1
    Member CdrShepard's Avatar
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    Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    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.
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    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.
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    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:
    Caseback
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    Wrist shot!
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    A picture with my Seiko and Totoro, with the GLX5600 and GA100 photobombing behind.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    One of the nicest g shocks I have ever seen. Propositions, colors, size, shape
    Very very nice, if it had any of the functions I need on my watch I would definitely go for it

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Quote Originally Posted by CdrShepard View Post
    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.
    Name:  20161220_001822.jpg
Views: 676
Size:  1.02 MB
    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?
    You watch is functioning perfectly, no "quirk" there at all. In the Southern Hemisphere, the moon phase indication will be reversed, since you're looking at the moon from a different side. Singapore, if that's where you're located, is very close to the Equator, perhaps already experiencing this reverse effect.

    There's a manual function that can reverse the moon display to match what you see. Check out this old thread on page 2 for manual excerpts and explanations: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f17/how...-547456-2.html The GW7900 and GR-9110 both share similar modules.

    By the way, very nice review. Too bad the GR-9110 is very hard to find now in our part of the world.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Watch_Geekmaster View Post
    You watch is functioning perfectly, no "quirk" there at all. In the Southern Hemisphere, the moon phase indication will be reversed, since you're looking at the moon from a different side. Singapore, if that's where you're located, is very close to the Equator, perhaps already experiencing this reverse effect.

    There's a manual function that can reverse the moon display to match what you see. Check out this old thread on page 2 for manual excerpts and explanations: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f17/how...-547456-2.html The GW7900 and GR-9110 both share similar modules.

    By the way, very nice review. Too bad the GR-9110 is very hard to find now in our part of the world.
    Thanks, I would think most people would go for the GW, since many cities are in range of the the atomic signals.

    Anyway what I meant was, the colours are inverted. Changing the N/S orientation manually only changes which side of the moon is shaded, and which direction the light travels across the moon. For example, in N, it's a waning gibbous with the shaded side on the right, but in S, it's a waning gibbous as well but shaded on the left.

    But on my watch, both N and S orientations show me the next new moon on 29 Dec is a full moon, according to the manual!

  6. #5
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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Quote Originally Posted by CdrShepard View Post
    Thanks, I would think most people would go for the GW, since many cities are in range of the the atomic signals.

    Anyway what I meant was, the colours are inverted. Changing the N/S orientation manually only changes which side of the moon is shaded, and which direction the light travels across the moon. For example, in N, it's a waning gibbous with the shaded side on the right, but in S, it's a waning gibbous as well but shaded on the left.

    But on my watch, both N and S orientations show me the next new moon on 29 Dec is a full moon, according to the manual!
    Interesting... I'm scratching my head for this one. Nothing from the manual (3218) for any other settings for moon phase, other than the N/S setting. My guess is the moon phase calculation is off. Check the moon age number to see if it's corresponding to the moon display. Full moon should be 14 to 15, while new moon should be 29 to 1. If even the numbers are off, that means the calculation is off.

    If that's the case, try an A/C reset to the watch to clear off the memory. Perhaps the watch was in display for so long, the memory was corrupted. According to your batch number "125B", it's manufactured on the 125th day (May) of 2012. That's more than 4 years ago! To do an A/C reset, you need to open the case back. Remove the battery and wait for 30 seconds. Then replace the battery and use a metal tool (e.g. tweezer) to contact the A/C points to reset the watch. Hopefully, that will fix the issue.
    Last edited by Watch_Geekmaster; December 22nd, 2016 at 07:10.

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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Watch_Geekmaster View Post
    Interesting... I'm scratching my head for this one. Nothing from the manual (3218) for any other settings for moon phase, other than the N/S setting. My guess is the moon phase calculation is off. Check the moon age number to see if it's corresponding to the moon display. Full moon should be 14 to 15, while new moon should be 29 to 1. If even the numbers are off, that means the calculation is off.

    If that's the case, try an A/C reset to the watch to clear off the memory. Perhaps the watch was in display for so long, the memory was corrupted. According to your batch number "125B", it's manufactured on the 125th day (May) of 2012. That's more than 4 years ago! To do an A/C reset, you need to open the case back. Remove the battery and wait for 30 seconds. Then replace the battery and use a metal tool (e.g. tweezer) to contact the A/C points to reset the watch. Hopefully, that will fix the issue.
    Yeah, the moon age corresponds correctly which makes this whole thing even more mystifying - and relieved because I won't feel the urge to have to do the reset. Either way, it's something I can live with as it still gives me the "correct" info in a different manner. I might check with a Casio service centre or AD soon, if it starts getting on my nerves. The tide graph receives much more usage though, so the moon phase will probably slip my mind after a while.

    Anyway, here's a couple of more photos, a daylight wrist shot with the solar panels catching some light and one with the EL.
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    Last edited by CdrShepard; December 22nd, 2016 at 16:33.

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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Well if the moon age is the same as what you observed looking at the moon or what other references indicated, the watch is calculating correctly just somehow reversed the moon display. Not sure what would cause that, or if that's how this model normally would behave. But like you said, as long as you can understand the info, it's not a big problem.

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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    I have the garish black version of your watch.
    I do remember reading in the manual that the interpretation of the moon phase is different depending on the type of LCD. For instance, on my neg LCD watch, the lit up segments represent what you can see in the sky. So a full moon has all 8 segments lit up. But a positive LCD is the opposite. The lit up segments represent blackness. So a full moon will have a blank screen and a new moon will have the segments lit up. A bit counter-intuitive if you ask me. It is a great watch though.

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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Horologic View Post
    I have the garish black version of your watch.
    I do remember reading in the manual that the interpretation of the moon phase is different depending on the type of LCD. For instance, on my neg LCD watch, the lit up segments represent what you can see in the sky. So a full moon has all 8 segments lit up. But a positive LCD is the opposite. The lit up segments represent blackness. So a full moon will have a blank screen and a new moon will have the segments lit up. A bit counter-intuitive if you ask me. It is a great watch though.
    Not according to the manual. http://support.casio.com/storage/en/...009/qw3218.pdf (also see excerpt below). While I don't have the GR9110 or related models, I do have Casio watches with moon phase function such as the one below. All of them are showing a full moon with no segments.

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    Last edited by Watch_Geekmaster; December 24th, 2016 at 00:37.

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    Re: Gulfman Tough Solar GR-9110ER-2 (and a question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Watch_Geekmaster View Post
    Not according to the manual.
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    The manual seems to verify what I said. On a negative LCD (light figures on a dark background) a full moon will be illuminated. But on a positive LCD (dark figures on a light background) a full moon is just a blank screen, and a new moon is illuminated. With the illuminated pieces representing "blackness". Like I said, it's counter-intuitive. If I had a positive LCD Gulfman, I'd assume a fully illuminated moon graph is a full moon, not a new moon.

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