Casio GC-7 Cosmo Flight

Casio GC-7 Cosmo Flight

Casio game watches are too expensive! There, I said it.

Before 2010 you could buy a Casio game watch on eBay, in nice full-working condition, for around USD100. But then the vintage digital watch collecting landscape changed and nowadays seeing them listed for $750+ is not unusual. Not that they sell for that price, but if you want a nice one you must *really* want one!

A few years ago an Italian bloke, who went by the user name Super Hectorus, found the holy grail — a shop that still had practically the whole collection of NOS Casio game watches from the 1980s, all perfect and untouched. Along with original early G-Shocks and plenty of other amazing pieces. Well people went nuts for these (not that he sold them IIRC) and started bumping up the prices on eBay dramatically.

I’m far too miserable to spend that much hence why I don’t go chasing them. Until now I’ve only had Scramble Fighter that was buried in a lot of pretty well toasted watches from India that everyone else ignored, and now this one – GC-7 Cosmo Flight.

This was USD75 and had a number of problems. Screen bleed, missing segments, no sound, faulty buttons – but at least the circuitboard worked!

When it arrived, from Egypt, in pretty reasonable time — only a couple of weeks which is unusual these days — the seller had described it very accurately,

I disassembled it, expecting a cracked LCD (which is about the most common cause of missing segments) but it was intact. That was only slightly better than being cracked, though, as the LCD had started delaminating so the glass contacts were no longer conductive.

I repainted the tracks on the LCD with conductive silver and, miracle of miracles, all the segments in the clock were now working. This really is something, since LCDs are notoriously fragile and don’t often respond to any kind of repair work. There are still a couple of segments missing in the game, but it is easily playable as long as you keep your eyes on where the ships appear, knowing one will vanish then appear right on top of you if you aren’t aware. Ideally I’ll replace this with a new LCD, but finding one will be a long and possibly fruitless task.

I gave the circuitboard and case a good clean which sorted the front buttons, and lubricated the side buttons which also freed them up a bit.

The sound I thought would be an easy fix since the alarm spring had been cut or replaced with a too-small version, but sadly the piezo had perished too over the years. A new speaker and spring, along with some adjustment to get it just right, and the game was good to go. I replaced the strap with a better fitting one — not Casio, but at least it looks like it belongs to the watch.

Aside from the game, the watch has time, alarm and hourly time signal. You really need the sound to be working since it adds way more to the game.

Gameplay is straightforward but very challenging all the same. You are basically dodging oncoming ships, while also keeping an eye on the changing landscape. The game speeds up and slows down too, so you are constantly on alert.

If an oncoming ship hits you, or you hit the side of the environment, you lose a life. And, like many of Casio’s games, you have four lives — unlike the 3-life system we’ve gotten used to since the advent of arcade games.

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