Today marked my penultimate package from Japan for this year. It may well be my last for a very long time due to FromJapan now starting to charge a flat 200 Yen charge for every item you either order or win on Yahoo Japan (from the 26th November). I suppose £1.50 'ish per item isn't too bad and it won't stop me getting any real bargains or really rare G-Shock's but it would have stopped me from getting at least one of these three (the DW-6600).
Let's start this post though with I'd usually class as a pretty good find in almost any other company; an Amazing Spiderman collaboration from 2006. Just like Anime, Evangelion and Transformers I've always had a soft spot for comic related tie-ins. I started collecting American Marvel comics when I was about 10, starting with their Transformer comics and then working onto their superhero ones with the Avengers. After that my collection exploded and I quickly amassed a collection of about 4000 comics. I still buy the odd one nowadays but much more rarely ($3.99 each; are they mad?).
This was a Yahoo Japan win (as were the other two) and from the photo's you could tell it had been worn quite a bit with a a few marks on the bezel. It really wasn't that bad though when I opened the box. There's a mark just after ADJUST text and a few light smears around the G logo but that's about it. The best thing about this watch in my opinion is the little spider on its web at the end of the strap. It's just the right amount of customisation to make a difference. The box of course is another matter. It screams classic Spiderman with it's webbed design in blue and red.
Next up is a watch that I don't really know too much about. It's a DW-6600B Fake Star G-Shock. From lots of internet trawling I've pieced the following together. It's a limited release of 3000 that was sold during a tour by a band called Kuroyume. This tour was in 1996 and was for the album entitled Fake Star. One of the most popular songs on the album was called Pistol and the release of this single gave birth to the pink pistol logo on the strap.
The EL has the band name in it along with another pistol above the text. I can't find what the @ on the top strap stands for though. The back is a plain affair with nothing extra engraved upon it. I hadn't really been looking for this model but I do like DW-6600's and I've seen this selling for a lot more than I paid for this unworn and fully boxed one. I suppose if I ever go to Japan it might get noticed but I imagine that no one in the UK will have any idea what this watch stands for.
It's not very often I get really excited by finding G-Shock's that I've never seen or heard about before but this next one really bucked that trend. Most collaborations that I know don't really signify anything of importance; maybe a film, a character, a hip street brand etc... but this DW-6900 stands for something that probably means quite a lot to various people (not me though before finding this watch and starting to investigate it). It's a DW-6900BKR that was commissioned by the United States Navy VFA-154 Strike Fighter Squadron (aka the Black Knights) to commemorate their departure from Atsugi Naval Air Facility in Japan and more notably, their last flights in the F-14 Tomcat after 20 years of service with them.
This happened in September 2003 when they were relocated to NAS Lemoore in California and the F/A-18F Super hornet became their aircraft of choice. The watch itself is one of only 450 made and I expect that most of those went to members of the squadron and staff in and around the airbase (I don't know what the significance of 450 is, if any). To find one for sale on Yahoo Japan I found very odd but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get something I'd probably never see again.
The box this came in is incredibly well built and looks superb. It's a triangular box with the lid and base being separated by a diagonal line, not symmetrical. The thick card is covered by cloth or linen to give it a luxurious feel and the shiny thread on the lid adds a touch of extra something to it (as well as making it very difficult to photo due to how shiny and reflective it is. Another nice touch is the pattern on the inside of the box, it's the squadrons tail insignia.
The watch has a few bits of customisation on the front; the text Black Knights above the three eyes where you would usually find Casio; the text One Five Four at the bottom of the glass and a large BKR on the bezel under the G button. BKR stands Black Knights Rule which is one of their motto's. Finally the case back has custom engraving of their insignia (which I think has changed since), more custom engraving with the text "LAST TOMCAT CRUISE 2003 VF-154" and finally the limited edition numbering (mine is 0431). All in all, a really well done limited edition with a fair bit of thought put into it (and no Casio lettering on the front).