An "Old School" Obsession
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  1. #1
    Member Neily_San's Avatar
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    An "Old School" Obsession

    An "Old School" Obsession

    In the spring of 1982, at the age of 11, I passed the entrance exam for the local Grammar School. My parents were overjoyed. They wanted to express their happiness and pride with a gift. We quickly agreed on a watch, as this would be something worn and appreciated every day. It would be something to look upon many years later and remember this occasion.

    Being a young teenager I naturally wanted to buy the biggest watch in the local shop. I had grown up in the 70s when Japanese quartz was king and Swiss mechanical was archaic. So Rolex, Omega, et al, were simply not of interest to me. I was looking for a Casio !

    Browsing through the display cabinates I immediately spotted the watch for me. It looked huge. In fact, on my skinny 11 year old wrist it WAS huge. It was a Casio digital divers watch, waterproof to 200m !! Until that day all the digital watches I had seen were slim, sleek affairs with metal bracelets. This watch was big, with a chunky rubber strap and a plastic bezel protecting the face. To my eyes it looked like the watch an adventurer or action hero might wear.

    I wore the watch everyday through 7 more years of school and on to University. It didn't leave my wrist for any reason other than contact sports ( well, people tend to object if you wear a watch onto a Rugby field ). Every bash, bump and scrape that my body suffered, was more-often-than-not shared by the Casio.

    By the summer of 1993 the watch was pretty beaten up and scratched. It even had a cracked bezel. The strap had long since perished and been replaced by a succession of brightly coloured nylon ones. I adoured the looks of the watch. To me it was simply acquiring character.

    Later that same summer I was in the French Alps, climbing Alfred Mummery's classic route "The Grepon". This infamous mixed rock and snow route takes a full day to complete; or rather it should take a full day. My climbing partner and I had what is known in climbing circles as an "Epic". We became be-nighted on route and ended up taking a day and a half to get back down to the valley. Late on the first day I looked under my glove and noticed one of the spring bars had broken on my Casio. I took it off and put it in my pocket ... intending to get it fixed when I got back down into Chamonix.

    That was the last I ever saw it ! By the time we were safely sitting in a cafe drinking fruit juice ( we felt far too exhausted to contemplate beer ) my pocked was sadly empty.

    For a while I wore an analogue Casio dive watch, before inheriting a vintage 1973 Omega Seamaster f300hz. Once I became accustomed to the low level buzzing of it's tuning fork movement ( audible throughout the quiet of the night ) it became my daily wear. Over the next decade I occassionally thought of, and missed, my old Casio. Sadly I had no idea what it's name or model number might be.

    In 2002 I discovered eBay and a yearning to replace my beloved Casio began to grow. Unfortunately, I was clueless to search criteria. When I typed any combination of "Casio", "Digital", "Dive" or "Vintage" into Google it returned approx 1.5 million sites ! Over the next 6 months I would periodically return to the search and trawl through a few hundred web sites looking for that image I was sure I would still recognise.

    Finally I stumbled upon CasioNerd's ( sadly now defunct ) website. There I saw a beautiful and instantly recognisable picture of ... a DW-1000 !


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    I had found my watch and I now knew its model number. CasioNerd endearingly called it "The Grandfather of G-Shock". Personally I have always preferred the "Genesis of G-Shock".

    I spent another 6 months contstantly checking eBay. During that time I was infuriatingly outbid twice. Finally I won and received in the post a wonderful, if battered, DW-1000. I instantly bought a replacement bezel from www.casiosalesandservice.com. I had a new daily beater.

    CasioNerd's website also had some great shots of the DW-5000C-1A; the Original G-Shock. My interest was peeked and I wanted to learn more.
    Whilst searching for further information on the development of the original DW-5000C-1A G-Shock I happened upon Carlos Perez's artical "Unbreakable" on www.timezone.com. This is a wonderful article and even as I write these words, many years later, a copy of Carlos' article hangs on the notice board next to my desk.

    I learned of the DW-5200, the DW-5600C, the DW-5600E ( possibly the most widely produced G-Shock of all ) and the G-5600. So many fantastic watches ... so many subtle changes in case, face and module describing a clear evolution of the 'triple ten' ethos of 10yr battery, 10bar water resistance and 10m drop.

    A G-Shock "Old School" obsession was born.

    :-D

    Neily

  2. #2
    Member Dianetix's Avatar
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    Great story! I think we all have one like this that means something to us, thanks for sharing!
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  3. #3
    Member StephenWatch's Avatar
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    Re: An "Old School" Obsession

    I look forward to reading your first novel - a very entertaining piece of writing!
    Never argue with an idiot - they'll only bring you down to their level and win from experience...



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  5. #4
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Re: An "Old School" Obsession

    Great story and wonderfully told, Neily.

    I remember when G-Shocks first came out. Pricing was pretty good for what you get, compared to the competition at the time (which was particularly lacking with LCD displays). I owned what I believe was a DW-5200 (it was definitely a screw-back model). It got pretty well beaten up, and even the crystal somehow cracked. I kept wearing it until the battery died. Then it got tossed in the junk drawer. About a year later, when I was serving in the USAF, I browsed the Casio display of a local department store in Northern California, known as the Emporium. And then I found it, the watch that I'd wanted for so long--an all metal LCD watch with solar cells: the DW-2000.



    I used it faithfully for about 9 years, when the first battery replacement was done. It ran for another 7 years, but by that time the batteries were discontinued.

    Just like you, I kept searching for possible replacements, but couldn't find any. Eventually, I managed to learn of a suitable battery... but the module didn't work and appeared to be dead. It would take another couple of years before I'd manage to get a bashed up DW-2000 that I could cannibalize for the module. Finally, it's working again and a great "vintage LCD" watch conversation piece.

    I hope your DW-1000 serves you faithfully for many more years to come.
    Last edited by xevious; December 13th, 2011 at 01:48.
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  6. #5
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    Re: An "Old School" Obsession

    Great story, and it's nice you found another DW-1000!

  7. #6
    Member 1of2's Avatar
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    Re: An "Old School" Obsession

    Very well written and most enjoyable.
    It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes.

  8. #7
    Member Sedi's Avatar
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    Re: An "Old School" Obsession

    Very nicely put down! I enjoyed reading it!
    My obsesison with watches also began with the ebay-hunt for a long-lost childhood-watch - it was a Dugena Digital Automatic - didn't get one till this day but bought a bunch of others along the way .

    cheers, Sedi
    Cheers
    Sedi

  9. #8
    Member Neily_San's Avatar
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    All,

    Thank you for your kind words.
    I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.

    :-D

    Neily

  10. #9
    Member Neily_San's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    Great story and wonderfully told, Neily.

    And then I found it, the watch that I'd wanted for so long--an all metal LCD watch with solar cells: the DW-2000.


    Xevious,

    I can certainly empathise with that sentiment. The DW-2000 is definitely on my "wish list" and I have a eBay search in place. Unfortunately it hasn't turned up anything, in an acceptable condition, during the past few years

    Enjoy yours.

    :-D

    Neily

  11. #10
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    Re: An "Old School" Obsession

    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    Great story and wonderfully told, Neily.

    I remember when G-Shocks first came out. Pricing was pretty good for what you get, compared to the competition at the time (which was particularly lacking with LCD displays). I owned what I believe was a DW-5200 (it was definitely a screw-back model). It got pretty well beaten up, and even the crystal somehow cracked. I kept wearing it until the battery died. Then it got tossed in the junk drawer. About a year later, when I was serving in the USAF, I browsed the Casio display of a local department store in Northern California, known as the Emporium. And then I found it, the watch that I'd wanted for so long--an all metal LCD watch with solar cells: the DW-2000.



    I used it faithfully for about 9 years, when the first battery replacement was done. It ran for another 7 years, but by that time the batteries were discontinued.

    Just like you, I kept searching for possible replacements, but couldn't find any. Eventually, I managed to learn of a suitable battery... but the module didn't work and appeared to be dead. It would take another couple of years before I'd manage to get a bashed up DW-2000 that I could cannibalize for the module. Finally, it's working again and a great "vintage LCD" watch conversation piece.

    I hope your DW-1000 serves you faithfully for many more years to come.
    That's an interesting watch. I wish that Casio would make something like that again. I'd probably switch it with a black rubber strap.
    ShockMister

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