The Frogman (what a great name for a watch, eh?), since its introduction (at that time the DW-6300, as the most sophisticated of the G-Shock line and the most expensive) over twenty years ago; now, several iterations removed continues to be touted as the premium diving watch – perhaps even the quintessential divers watch.
The diver watch category is a little mixed up though, and goes down two tracks.
(but not limited to any particular type of movement) usually distinguished by screw down crown, and generally have a chunkiness reminiscent of the Seiko Monsters (the godfather of oversized diver fashion watches) and Rolex Submariner (aka, the “archetype of the diver’s watch”), and typically have some variation of functional rotating bezel ring, a sportier band, black dial, and, of course, a better than average water resistance and huge blobs of dial lume.
But the G-Shock Frogman is neither – and divers don’t use it for diving. Period. Weird. For Those Intrepid Collectors
The new JF (designation = Japan only distribution – Japanese language instruction manual and packaging) is not being released in the US. Since the Yen is in the toilet, the price of 68,000 ¥ is a bargain if you go to the trouble to get one of these watches from Japan. And why should you go through all the bother? Well, the frogman, since introduction, has enjoyed some special respect given it by the g-shock-heads.
Maybe it’s because it remains the paterfamilias of the popular Master of G family of extra sporty, extra tough trendsetting products. Or perhaps it is because, since its introduction, it has steadfastly retained its distinctly wonky non-symmetrical dreadnaught case to band configuration.
Going back half a century, diver’s watches have captured the hearts and minds of both watch fans and collectors. It is a good hobby, generally profitable, and if you stay away from the water, it’s fairly safe.
but again I digress..
(note to self – stay on track – this is about G-Shocks, dammit)
This model, being a special colorway edition will be collectible. And the intrepid G-Shock collectors are ready to strike once again.
Casio, Japan (translated) describes this new watch drop:
“From the series continue functional evolution intended for use under harsh conditions, (Men In Black)” appeared theme color model of the military.
“Adopted based on the color navy blue used in military hardware, such as a deck or jacket flight jacket. [continues the translation from Japanese] I treat the metal parts part of the dial and part fill color of the bezel, the accent color of red and white in the motif to represent the class and your activity to “patch” was the color scheme of bright tricolor. The base model, adopted (GWF-1000) FROGMAN / frogman with a diving performance of the only ISO standard compliant. Same theme series is made up MUDMAN / Madman to support its activities in the harsh land Master of G in the latest equipped with Triple Sensor, RANGEMAN / Renjiman and (GW-9400NV) in (GW-9300NV) of Master of G to continue to pursue the functional evolution and toughness among the G-SHOCK, it is the appearance of special color model full military. -6 multi-band to receive radio signals six stations of the World (2 stations in Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany), automatically corrects the time – Tough Solar · ISO compliant 200m waterproofing function tidal information of the area was and set Tide graph seen Moon data to understand the age of the area was set-” As you can see, they are also talking about the other models in the MEN IN NAVY release, so I have included a picture of each of the others here.”
Also available in good supply (probably for a while to come, too) is the standard model GWF-1000-1 which is all black except for some red dial markings and some subtle white details on the bezel and face. You can get one on eBay or Amazon usually for around $500 – $600, but beware the counterfeits – buy American.(see below)
Master of G – Investable editions
Currently in the US, the last Frogman model to be active in the official on-line G-Shock catalog was the GWFT1030e-9, about which Casio.com said:
“The GWFT1030E-9 30th Anniversary FROGMAN from the Master of G line is a dive specialist watch; featuring ISO Certified 200M Water Resistance, titanium case wrapped in a tough resin, a screw-lock case back and Tough Solar Power for long lasting performance. The model also features a Full Auto EL Backlight, Tide/Moon Graphs, Data Memory up to 10 logs, and comes equipped with 48-city World Time+UTC, 1/100th Second Stopwatch, Countdown Timer and 12/24 Hour time formats. The asymmetric design of the FROGMAN with its offset case and larger band provides superior fit against the skin or over a wetsuit, and allows for maximum range of movement whether paddling, bodysurfing, free or deep-water diving. For the ultimate in precision, the GWFT1030E-9 FROGMAN incorporates G-SHOCK’s unique Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping technology for radio-controlled automatic time/date updating based on the wearer’s home city setting from up to 6 transmission stations around the world. LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT SELECT RETAILERS.”
And in truth, this model is out of production and was all collected up (only 333 of them were made and numbered). At the time of this writing, there was one of these available on eBay for $3,500. With free shipping from JPS Trading, ltd. in Kowloon.
Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping (US, UK, Germany, Japan, China)
Receives time calibration radio signals which keep the displayed time accurate
Auto receive function up to 6 times per day (up to 5 times per day for China)
Manual receive function
Signal: US WWVB, UK MSF, Germany DCF77, Japan JJY40/JJY60, China BPC
Frequency: US 60kHz, UK 60kHz, Germany 77.5kHz, Japan 40/60kHz, China BPC 68.5kHz
Tough Solar Power
ISO 200M Water Resistant
Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow
31 times zones (48 cities + UTC), city code display, daylight saving on/off
Moon Data (moon age of the specific data, moon phase graph)
Tide Graph (tide level for specific date and time)
Dive time and surface interval measurement function
Dive time: 1 second increments, up to 23:59’59
Surface interval: 1 minute increments, up to 47:59’59
Memory capacity: One set of data (dive time, dive start time and surface interval)
1/100 second stopwatch
Measuring capacity: 23:59’59.99″
Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
Measuring unit: 1 second
Input range: 1 minute to 24 hours (1-minute increments and 1-hour increments)
4 Daily alarms and 1 Snooze Alarm
Hourly time signal
Battery power indicator
Power saving function
Button Operation Tone on/off
Full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099)
12/24 hour formats
Accuracy: +/- 15 seconds per month
Storage battery: Solar rechargeable battery
Approx. battery life: 8 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)
Size of case / total weight
58.3 x 52.8 x 18.0mm / 115g”
Clearly, since it has the same movement, you are paying the extra $1,100 for it’s rareness and anticipated collectibility.
As is their regular way of propping up their limited edition offerings, Casio is also introducing two more watches in the “Men in Navy” colorway which are both from the Master of G collection. Featurewise, these two watches, the MUDMAN GW-9300NV-2JF, “One Mean Mudder,” and the RANGEMAN GW-9400J-2JF, promotionally tagged, “Master of the Elements, The Ultimate Survival Watch,” are similar. For the difference in price, this RANGEMAN being about $125 more, the wearer enjoys cosmetically chunkier more knurled-knobby machine-like case styling with six-buttons, an exceptionally easy-to-read LED backlight “super illuminator” display, triple sensor (rather than twin-sensor: just temperature and orientation) and rather sophisticated computerized memory and control. (shown above)
For those who would like to explore the ABC operations, this video by fwupow is a very thorough tutorial.
Lucky Collectors and “I-told-you-so’s”
So it’s a crapshoot on these collectibles in the plastic watch industry. Observed on eBay April 2014 we have a couple surprises in the “oh, shit, I wish I saw that one coming!” category. Some time ago, this blogger reviewed the Ruby Frogman on YouTube and recommended it as a strong “buy and sit on it” piece since it is unique in its having had precious rubies factory installed where two face screws usually would go – Casio does not make jewelry G-Shocks which makes this particular watch unique. The one pictured below is one of 200 that were produced (2011) and is currently valued at $8,200.
Another example of “oh, jeez, I could have grabbed one of them for cheap” is the Mastermind Frogman, GWF-1000MM-1JR, which is in the $4,000 range now (and they don’t come up too often, so they go fast),
This unboxing video gives us a good look at it.
but was originally considered very pricey then at around $1,200 street price (in 2010).
It is the skull and crossbones that lights up in the display that distinguishes it, because otherwise it has the color and finish of a pair of well worn umpire sneakers.
And for all you froggies out there, a couple more..
You probably wouldn’t have bought this one (picture below) even if you knew it was going to appreciate so much, since it is such a hideous drecky looking bizarro-watch. Kermit, Shrek, or the Hulk might have gotten one and probably some tree-hugger types grok the geek-green colorway, but from this bloggers standpoint, if there is an ugly watch contest someday, I’m putting my money on this one to win.
The description in its eBay listing said, again using automatic translater:
“CASIO G-SHOCK GW-200F-3JR FROGMAN, Love The Sea And The Earth, that gave green gloss coating that makes frog motif, In the back lid, it is a stamp as for the symbol that project “kurkku” that thought about the environment designed. The tough solar driven because of environment friendly sunlight is installed.” In addition to the expected Frogman features, the listing claimed that it has “ID function: C CARD, PASSPORT, BLOOD TYPE (Rh expression / ABO expression) a memory for the results.”
To all of which I say, “WTF?” adding that I especially can’t imagine this watch on the wrist of a diver in the water. If I ran into one, perhaps being silly, I’d commend him for the prudent use of the safety color to avoid the possibility of collisions with passing submarines and whales. But more likely, I’d have to tell him that by wearing it, he’s squandering its “as new” value for the sake of vanity (keep it new, lock it up!). Originally valued at around $450 – and it’s price-to-go now? $1,850
For the new collector
Here’s one to avoid. It is ubiquitous throughout the Orient. There are numerous colorways and some people think it is an actual authentic older model. It isn’t.
Note: a few of the above products pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them. Use your back button to return to this page.
Frogman G-Shock, Casio, 2014, collectible, limited special edition, 30th anniversary, mastermind, rolex, frogmen, GWF-1000, gwf-1000nv-2, gwft1000bs-1jr, gw-200f-3jr
This blog can’t get enough of this stuff. Another special edition with I.C.E.R.C., International Dolphin – Whale Education Research Center, EARTHWATCH, and Flipper’s Store has dropped, hit the ground running, and has already begun to go up in price. Like most of the I.C.E.R.C. releases, the watch was only available in Japan – evidently, the entire batch being scooped up by local resellers. It has an older movement (no solar or multiband) and basic package (no tin) to keep the price down and (I suspect) to keep the margins up. Below, find a fairly informative unboxing video..