Sunday, May 24, 2015

G-Shock #22: Coca Cola

Sometimes you find G-Shocks with prints, where you can't find any info on. This is one of them. I bought this watch a very long time ago. The only reason I bought it was because it was a Coca Cola bottle printed on it. It made me pretty curious. It was on auction on eBay in the US and I think I was the only bidder. There was also an auction around that time of an white G-Shock with an Evian (mineral water) print, but I was sadly outbid in the last minutes. I think the Evian G-Shock changed owner for about $30, about the same price I think I paid for this Coca Cola model. Remember Casio G-Shock and G-Shock collecting wasn't very popular in the early ‘00s.
Besides the small Coke bottle print, there is actually nothing special on this model. The base model is the DW-003-4, released in March 1997 in Japan. Not much later this model was released worldwide, together with other DW-003 models, in different color schemes. As there are only a few of this Coca Cola models known, there were probably only made a hand full of them. It is of course a wild guess, but I think this model (and probably also the Evian model) were prices in a contest organized by the Coca Cola company. Of course most curious is, who made the print. Was it done by Casio USA, or was it custom done by Coca Cola. The print quality looks good, though I'm of course not going to test it. I must have been very happy, when I got this G-Shock. Before 2003 I drunk a lot of Coca Cola, sometimes more than a bottle a day. In 2003 I stope drinking it. The result was stunning. Without doing something special, I lost 10 kg in weight in a few weeks. Still on rare occasions, I treat myself with this calorie bomb.
Do I need to write about Coca Cola? As sold in almost every country in the world (except North Korea and Cuba) it's by far the most popular carbonized soft-drink in the world. Coca Cola was invented by John Pemberton. In 1885 he made French Wine Coca as an alternative medicine for his morphine addiction. It was inspired by the French Vin Mariani, a extract of coca leafs in Bordeaux wine. Due to the prohibition of alcohol in1886, Pemberton made a non-alcoholic syrup variant. Combined with carbonated water it became Coca-Cola, named after the two main ingredients, coca leafs and kola beans. According Pemberton, it was a good medicine to cure many diseases like morphine addiction, nerve diseases, headache and impotence. In those days Coca-Cola contained cocaine from the coca leafs and caffeine from the kola nuts, which explained the effects. Nowadays Coca-Cola uses coca leafs where the cocaine has been removed by extraction. The cocaine produced by this process is used in the pharmaceutical industry.
The bottle, which is printed on the strap, was designed in 1915 by the The Root Glass Company, winning the contest to make a bottle for Coca-Cola. The bottle had to recognizable at all time, including in the dark. Fun fact is that the design team wanted to use the shapes of the coca leaf and kola nut. As there was no internet, or even wikipedia in those days, so Encyclopedia Britannica was consulted. Earl R. Dean, chief designer, was inspired by a sketch of a cacao plant pod, which became the base of the shape of the now iconic Coca-Cola bottle.
The DW-001, DW-002 and DW-003 models, were also known as the Nexax models. Outside Japan also known as the Capsule Tough models, as it looks like the watch is wrapped into a capsule. Actually I do not understand why the Nexax name is not assigned to the DW-004 model, as it has a similar construction with an extra back protector, with a big G in it and a mall cut out to show the module and model number. The module number, which is the electronic movement inside the case, is 1597.
The functions found on this watch are pretty simple. Of course there is Time Keeping mode. If you are in Time Setting mode (in Time Keeping mode, press the ADJUST button), you can toggle between 12-hour and 24-hour Time Keeping by pressing the light button. The Alarm mode has one Alarm, which can be set to a Daily Alarm, but also as a Date Alarm. When leaving one of digits blanc, you can create a 1-Day Alarm, which only chimes on the right time if the day in the month has the corresponding number, or a 1-Month Alarm if you only set the Month. Further more you find a Countdown Alarm mode. It can be set up to 24 hours and has an Auto Repeat function. When you are setting the Count Down time, you can press the light button and AUTO will appear on the bottom of the display, indicating Auto Repeat is toggled on. The last mode on this module is the Stopwatch mode, which is a plain 24 hour Stopwatch function.
Although it is not sure how to date this G-Shock, it is highly probably released in Spring 1998, as the base model DW-003-4V was advertised in the G-Shock Catalog “Hard Body”. The retail price of this model was only $89.- in the US. Coca Cola probably did not went for the cheap price of this model, but rather for the typical red color, which is almost the same their red. As you can see on the pictures, you can see the G-Shock is a little paler. Due to the wrist rests and the comfortable back protector, it is always a pleasure to wear this type of DW-003. I bought this watch very cheap in my early days of collecting and it is hard to put price tag on it, specially because Coca Cola items are also pretty collectible, but I think if one in mint condition pops up for sale, you might expect prices around $150 for this watch.