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Seiko "Grand Cocktail" SDGM001 003


Nigelp
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I think these have only been touched on once on the forum and even so only very briefly and some years ago. 

Basically I was looking for something after I stupidly sold my Sarb033 and despite a run of vintage incomings i was unmoved (i think my enthusiasm for old watches is gone).

I came across a video on youtube which compared 3 seiko watches.

Sarb033 v SDGM v SARX

I had watched it when I had my Sarb, and thought next to these the sarb looked like a 5.

So with £500 burning a hole in my pocket from the sale of the ks i was in a position to get any of these.

The amazing thing is that all the hype around the sarb meant it was as expensive almost as the others in 2021!

So I narrowed the choice down to either a sarx or a sdgm. The sarx was the one that would have been easiest to buy as if you glance its a mirror image of a better sarb.

But...watching the videos the discontinued cindrella the overlooked Brightz seemed a lot nicer a lot more little details. 

A bit of back ground. The SDGM retailed at 90,000 yen in 2014 and was made from 2013 to 2018. So about twice price of the sarb33 and 35. About £700 in todays gbp.

One thing that makes the sdgm a bit special are the dials they are cocktail dials, but the script for Automatic etc is taken from the GS font and looks great modern and a lot nicer than the scrawl on the sarb.

(I will post a separate link explaining the coctail time origins)

The watch has earned itself the nickname of "Grand Coctail". Due to the virtual GS case and bracelet quality and design. 

The movement is the same as sarb a 6r15, ok not as exotic as a gs movement, but it is the basis and a good in house solid reliable one that wont cost a fortune to service. And to be honest when I had the 28800bph of the ks I struggled to notice a great deal of smoother sweep over the 21,800. Maybe just my eyes.

The watch arrived this week and the quality for the price took me aback. The sarb was good but the sdgm makes the sarb feel like a 5

The case is sharp and zaratsu polished on the edges.

The bracelet is light years above the sarb, comes with half links and is very comfortable and with much better drape.

The sapphire crystal has AR inside and out. Which prevents 90% of refractions. It feels like you can touch the dial.

The dial is a lacqured sunburst in a champagne colour.

There is no lume and even under a loop the polished steel batons are perfect.

The dauphine hands are mirror polished and sharp.

The lugs are drilled...

Size wise its a 40mm by 48mm lug to lug so a nice modern size really.

WR is 10 bar.

On the wrist and in the flesh, its the best made watch ive had so far and by a long long way. The only one that was about the same was the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon...but that was £1800.

Some pictures there is only one way to go up from this really and thats GS if i am to stick with Seiko that is. If not And i go back Swiss I would imagine a newer Rolex DJ or Omega AT would also be the next step up a fair few rungs maybe? But Im thinking either way there im going to be the wrong side of 3 grand...which 1 i cant afford for a watch and 2 i dont want to spend anyway.

This will do me fine...though i still might need another sarb033 aswell ;)

Some pictures.

Mines the sdgm001 and a 2014 never worn full set with hang tags. 

 

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The seconds hand has a is blued with a gloss. One detail you will either love or hate is the onyx in the crown. Its one of the things i liked, signed crowns kick off my ocd...im forever lining them up. 

On the wrist even my 6 inch flat wrist, it feels fine. I had thought it would feel large, but that is tempered by the fact my 36mm ks felt too small. 

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The clasp is a world apart from the sarb...smooth and flush.

 

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The lugs are nicely curved and the case back nice and shallow so it hugs the wrist.

In conclusion one of the members on WUS commented that when side by side with his entry level GS a 9f quartz Grand Seiko. That the SDGM felt better. And went on that even against his higher GS ranged Automatic, he had "reached the point of dimishing returns".

Whether thats true or not or just subjective? Then I will let you know when a salesman finally persuades me to part with the cash....

Oh one more thing the diashield coating on the 316L is said to be 3 times harder than steel. Something the GS doesnt always have....its a bit like the old days if rivalry between Daini and Suwa and the ks and gs...it looks like a relatively expensive seiko, might have 'done a seiko' on its bigger sisters over at GS at least in lower range.

....The sdgm was quietly dropped in 2018 as it was apparantly "canabalising sales" 

One thing i have not worked out is why they hid it in the jdm Brightz range? Seems odd that. 

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