After years of wanting one,but never finding one that was in mint condition, I finally got my grail!!! The MRG-1100, A.K.A. MrG Frogman. Big chunk of titanium with no resin to speak of.
It comes in one of the older style MrG leather cylinder boxes.Mine came with everything except the tags.
Retail was 70,000 yen back in 1999. At the date of release, May 21, 1999...the yen to dollar exchange rate was such that this watch would have been the equivalent of $567 USD retail. $567 in 1999 is the equivalent of $796 in 2014 due to inflation. Which, as it turns out, is pretty close to what I paid for it. So it seems the value of the watch is keeping current with inflation over time. 70,000 yen was a lot of money for a G-shock back in 1999. I have always thought that the late 90's were the best time for G-shocks as far as quality. The materials used, the quality control, and the machining of the metals seems to have peaked in the late 1990's, and premium models in particular from that time are very well made.
This watch is a lot heavier than I expected for a titanium watch. The case appears to be very thick, which accounts for most of that weight. The domed crystal is very attractive and along with the highly polished outer bezel gives this watch a lot of presence. It is a very unusual design, with odd shapes and grooves, but manages to come off as very formal and classy while being fun and unique at the same time.
I think this is probably the only digital watch I have had that would look fine with a suit. Sizewise, it is perfect, large enough to look modern, but small enough to fit under a shirt cuff and not look too flashy or informal.
The fact that it is all titanium and thus resistant to resin rot is offset by the fact that it is VERY scratchable and needs to be worn carefully if you want to preserve its looks. Kind of ironic that such a tough watch is at the same time rather delicate (when it comes to its appearance). The reason why I had such a hard time finding one of these is that titanium scratches so easily, and all the others that I have seen for sale are scratched up. The polished outer bezel is not only the most easily scratched part of the watch, but it is the most likely part to get scratched in daily wear.
Still, I think this watch is like a work of art, and will go down in history as one of the best digital watches ever made. I am a big fan of titanium, and have been drawn to this watch for a long time because it is the only all titanium Frogman. Of course, there are many other titanium MrG's, some much more affordable than others, but this is the only one designated as a Frogman.
The frog on the caseback is lazy, riding around on a sea scooter. (The Men in Smoke Frogman's backlight shows a frog riding a similar scooter as well). I don't know why Casio chose this particular version of the Frog on the caseback. Maybe to indicate that this wasn't really a work watch that a real diver would use. It was a Frogman for a man of leisure. Who knows.
The blue anodized titanium ring under the bezel is gorgeous. I am not usually a fan of blue anodized titanium, but in this case it works well. Funny enough, this wasn't the only watch I got in the box. Another Yahoo Japan watch that came with this one (from a separate auction) was this 25th anniversary Master Blue Gulfman:
Yes, it looks terrible. I have to say, I got this cheap because I plan to restomod it. Although this model has always been kind of a grail for me as well, I never really liked the blue ring on it, so I hoped that one day I would find one with a damaged ring that I could remove and replace with an all-black ring. Only $60, so well worth it. I am going to polish the scratch off the crystal, replace the bezel, and replace the ring, and put it on a NATO strap. Just waiting for the parts from PacParts.
Size comparison with a mudman G-9300GY:
closeup of bracelet: