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Authored by b-andersen

G-Shock GW-900BJ-4JF "Black Spots" World Time LE (review)

Thought I'd write a little review on my other G-Shock Limited Edition "Black Spots" model today. It's a World Time and was released late this past winter (2004), in February, I believe. I picked up mine in March and have been using it almost everyday since.

Catalog shot of G-Shock World Time
LE "Black Spots" model: GW-900BJ-4JF.

(The plate on the dial where it says "ALM," "SIG," and "SNZ" is really highly polished copper-colored metal.)

It is a solid and heavy watch, yet it rides very comfortably. It measures 48mm across and is 15mm in height. It has a very thick steel case back that has a sandblasted finish and is attached with four screws, similar to other "The G" models. It retails for 26,000 JPY. It is made in and can only be purchased in Japan.

I first became interested in this watch because of the color. It is copper-colored and looks slightly darker than the scan above. I believe this is the first time Casio has ever made a G-Shock this color. After picking one up for a friend in Los Angeles who often wears print shirts in desert browns, I was so impressed with the functions that I got one for myself. It goes well with khaki chinos, which are what I wear to work most days.

It has very clean lines and a simple design.

Another thing I liked right away was the dial. The numbers on the display are very large, almost twice as large as the readout on a Frogman, I'd say. It has seven thin horizontal lines that appear to be behind the numbers as well, sort of like a ruled piece of paper (see the catalog shot above; the digital display in the picture below seems a bit blurry but in real life it is extremely clear and sharp). And there appears to be five different levels deep. Impossible to photograph, I think. Like how the script on the dial at 12 o'clock and at 6 is written in the same copper-color as the plastic case, and how "G-Shock" and "Shock Resistant" is written in black on the plastic.

Because it's a "Black Spots," it has either stainless steel parts that have been coated with a very shiny black material of some kind, or, it could be plastic. I think it's a coating on steel, though. The bezel where it says: "Wave Ceptor" and "Time Memo" and "Receive" and "Tough Solar," etc., is a "Black Spot."

If you look at this part of the watch where the words "Time Memo" are written, you can see a gap in the plastic case near the letter "T." I think you can also make out how on the other side of the bezel there is a ring of brushed, blackened stainless steel. This makes for a neat effect. In low light the "Black Spot" inner bezel ring and the brushed burnished ring look like one piece. Under better light, they are clearly two separate pieces that contrast well. This is an example of the fine detailing.

Okay. Now, down to the goodies. This is an amazing watch.

It is solar powered, water resistant to 200 meters, and is a "Wave Ceptor" model that catches atomic clock signals of both 40 and 60 kHz. Mine catches the radio wave at 3, 4, and 5 a.m. every morning.

As for modes, it has a time mode, world time mode for every time zone in the world, including zones that differ by just 1/2 hour, a time memo (more in a minute), four alarms, a snooze function, and a hourly chime, and a stop watch. One thing I like about the functions is that it shows current time in a small display on all screens.

Regarding the main time mode, you can't change the numbers manually. You can only choose a city that is in your time zone. If you live in the USA, you can activate the automatic daylight savings time feature and the watch will change to daylight savings time and back again on the proper day by receiving this information from the atomic radio signal. By the way, you can set the watch to catch the radio wave automatically every morning, or get the signal manually by disengaging the automatic function anytime.

The watch "goes to sleep" by itself between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. every evening if not in a lighted place. Simply turn on a light or hit a button, and it comes back to life. In addition, if you choose the alarm mode screen and leave it there it will return to the main time mode by itself after about a minute.

The time memo feature is something I've never used, other than to play around a bit. I suppose it might be useful in some instances. Just press the button on the top right for one second and that moment (date and time) is "saved" in the time memo mode. You can store up to 50 "memos."

I bought the watch because I liked the looks and wanted a "wave ceptor." In addition, I like being able to check what time it is in Chicago, or Berlin, or Athens, or Hong Kong, etc., anytime. It will be useful during the upcoming Summer Games.

Although this watch is a "limited edition," I doubt if it will ever be collectible. But, It's just a great watch. It comes in dark green, gray, and black versions as well. I believe the World Time model will be a standard issue, and just the Black Spots models are LE's.

I kind of hesitate to post about this watch, because the catalog shot and the photo don't really capture the high quality of this amazing little wrist computer. Think of the quality of a fine camera and I think you're on the right track.
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