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Authored by b-Andersen

G-Shock DW-6900RE-1J1 - Real Black/Red Eye? Review

Catalog shot of model DW-6900RE-1J1.

I?d always wanted a ?Real Black? G-Shock, and got my chance this spring when Casio released the Real Black Red Eye series. The Japanese computer company doesn?t offer a ?Real Black? watch in its? standard line?they?re always limited editions made for the Japanese market and they sell out quickly. Although a few Japanese vendors still carry them, I?ve heard that Casio is now sold out.

Always a quick seller, I ordered my Real Black
immediately when the watch debuted this spring.

Casio released three Real Black models in this series?all dedicated to ?hip? musical genres: a version of the DW-5600 (R & B), the DW-5700 (Hip Hop), and the DW-6900 (Reggae). It was the latter that I purchased, for several reasons.

Photo courtesy of Seiya Kobayashi used with permission.

First and foremost, I?m a big fan of model DW-6900s. I find the watch to be just the right size?not too big or clunky (as some G-Shocks are), nor too small and wimpy (admittedly rarely a problem with G?s [img] ).

Photo: Seiya Kobayashi.

It has a flat case back and with the contour of the strap meeting the case, it makes the watch ride very well on the wrist. And you will gasp the first time you try one on and feel how surprisingly light it is for it?s size. At least, I did.

Photo from Yahoo! Japan Actions: risa0881.

First released in 1994, model DW-6900 combines no-nonsense functions: time/day/date?one alarm that can be set to sound each day, or for a specific date only/hourly chime?23 hour 99 minute countdown timer that shows current time in the top right corner of the display screen?stopwatch that records up to 23 hours 99 minutes and that also shows current time in top right corner.

The stopwatch is also interesting because it records to 1/100ths of a second for the first hour, and after records to 1/10th of a second. Neat! I really like the computer chip in this watch, Module 1289! I also like design of the face layout, with the three chronograph subdials that are always rolling, filling, and emptying.

Real Black wrist shot.

After observing G-Shock sales on Yahoo! Japan Auctions for many years, it is my belief that the DW-6900 may come in more varieties and special limited editions than any other model. This brings up an interesting point about G-Shocks.

It really matters what colors and accents a certain model come in. I suppose it is similar with automobiles, for example, with Ford Mustangs [img] . I love a red one, but a lime green one is not my cup of tea.

The color scheme of the DW-6900 Real Black Red Eye I like a lot. Being the Reggae-inspired model, it comes in red, green, and gold. These are the colors of the national flag of Ethiopia, which is an important country in the Rastafarian religion. **"Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world that has no history of colonization. Upon their independence, many African countries adopted the colors of the Ethiopian flag - green, yellow and red - that became known as the Pan-African colors."

Caseback art.

The caseback art features an ostrich* with dreadlocks and wearing sandals with a big spliff in his beak (hence the designation ?Red Eye?).

Another noteworthy thing about this watch is the three stainless steel strap holding rings. This is actually a very interesting aspect of the design, and shows that something special that Casio designers have.

Three stainless steel rings hold the strap down when worn. Photo: Seiya Kobayashi.

Silver jewelry is super-popular with young people in Japan right now?from chains and necklaces, to rings, to body-piercing accessories.




The trend is towards Gothic jewelry of the kind Ozzy Osborne or Keith Richards might wear.

***Photos from recent Japanese magazine. Poor Keith, U2 will
reportedly set a new record for a concert tour this summer
with a projected $300,000,000 rolling in from the gate--
but not to worry, the 'Glimmer Twins' tour is expected to
surpass even that in the fall!


So the three strap holding rings on the watch are very fashionable. I wasn?t sure if I?d like them at first, but if find they are comfortable and serve their purpose well. Since they are part of the overall design of this particular watch, I decided after receiving this watch to keep them on the strap instead of trading them off for a rubber strap holder. After several months of use, I like them and think they add to the appeal of this limited edition.

Interestingly, the strap on this DW-6900 is not the stiffer one usually found on this model but is the softer one used on models DW-5600 & 5700. I think many will prefer this as it makes this one especially comfortable to wear.

Softer strap used on DW-5600 &
5700 also used on DW-6900RE-1J1.

Back to where I started off with this review, I bought this watch because it is a made-in-Japan Real Black model (reverse display). When viewed from many angles the dial appears to be all black. Very cool!

Picture of my watch taken today.

I find the watch quite legible and easy to read in the daytime in both outdoor light and indoor lighting?much more so than some analog watches I?ve owned with domed crystals. I find this not to be an issue.

In very low light condition, however, you do have to activate the night-light to read the time. Again, not a problem for me. Last night at twilight driving in my car the time was easily visible. It's similar to an analog watch without luminous hands in this regard, except, just hitting the "G" button at 6 o'clock will activate the backlight on this digital watch.

The quality of these Casio watches, at this price point, is astounding. While I have owned several Seiko and Citizen watches that sold at near or above the price of this one (about $100) that had quality control issues?I?ve never, ever, had a qc issue with a G-Shock.

I?m completely satisfied with this watch, which I have been using for several months now. It has seen more wrist time this season than any of my watches and is my main go-to-watch this summer for fun and playtime.

Photo of my watch taken when it first arrived from Seiya in April.

Thanks for reading my review of my Real Black Red Eye. Any comments or questions welcome.

Bryan Andersen

*?A very large swift-footed bird of Africa? source: The Merriam Webster Dictionary?Les, I thought they lived only in Oz!


***Photo of Keith Richards from a special issue of ?Mono? magazine
subtitled ?Men in their 40?s = '70's People.?
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