I previously reviewed Coup De Coeur’s debut watch effort, the SGC Classic, here. While the watch offered great specifications for the price, the design is decidedly more on the conservative side. This Elan however, certainly has a more refreshing design. Is it any good? Let’s find out!
Coup De Coeur – the Brand
I’ve previously covered Coup De Coeur as a brand in my previous review of their SGC Classic. For more information on the brand, as well as my detailed thoughts on their debut model, do read my review of the SGC Classic here!
Coup De Coeur Elan – Build Quality
Like the SGC Classic, the Elan provides great specifications for the price.
Firstly, the Elan utilises a flat sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to their inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. In addition, the WR rating for the Elan is 100M, meaning that you can safely take this watch out for everyday activities (except swimming/diving) without worry.
Secondly, the Elan is powered by the workhorse Seiko NH35 movement, a movement that I have covered countless times on this website previously. Some quick specs: the movement beats at 21600 vibrations per hour, has 42 hours of power reserve, contains 24 jewels, and is hacking. I’m a fan of the Seiko NH35 movement, and greatly prefer it to the Miyota 8 series movement (which is the alternative movement commonly seen at this price point). This is due to the fact that unlike the NH35, the Miyota 8 series movements are non-hacking, suffer from a stuttering second hand (some models), and in my own experience with the Miyota movements, are also more prone to accuracy problems. Given the reliable reputation of the Seiko NH35 (I have multiple NH35 watches and none have given me any problems), I think it is the perfect affordable movement for an affordable watch such as the Elan!
Like on the SGC Classic, one gets a variety of different coloured strap options to choose from – one can opt for vibrant colours such as this watermelon red strap pictured above, or interesting ones such as a denim strap. I would say that the leather quality of the straps is pretty decent given the fact that this is a sub $300 SGD watch, but the icing on the cake is definitely the sheer amount of strap options available. Also, unlike on the SGC Classic, the strap on the Elan uses standard spring bars, instead of screw bars. I personally prefer spring bars – I’m simply used to it, and it takes me less than a minute to swap straps using a simple spring bar remover!
For some inexplicable reason, the second hand of the Elan is lumed. That’s right – there’s no lume on the indices or primary hands of the watch, just the second hand. Quite an oddity, if you ask me. Not quite sure what they were thinking here!
Overall, I think the Coup De Coeur Elan presents terrific value for the price. For under $300 SGD, one gets sapphire crystal, 100M WR, a workhorse Seiko NH35 automatic movement, and the choice between a plethora of intriguing strap options. In fact, I’ll say that the Elan probably has one of the best build quality of a sub-$300 SGD watch that I’ve reviewed till date!
Coup De Coeur Elan – Design
Often, watches in this ultra affordable price range feature unoriginal designs. I’m glad to report that isn’t the case here!
I love the dial of the Elan. Despite its low price tag, the dial is packed with depth and contrast. Applied indices are present on the watch, and the minute track is printed on the rehaut of the watch, which increases the perception of depth on the watch. To top it off, the logo is (in my opinion) tastefully done on a raised section at 6 o’clock. This is no one-dimensional watch! In addition, I like the contrast in texture that’s also present. In the centre, one gets a guilloche “waffle” dial, which plays beautifully with the light and catches the eye instantly. I also appreciate the brand’s decision to skeletonise the hands of the watch – it adds an edge to the design of the dial. My only critique would be the oddly lumed ball-end second hand that’s present here. In my opinion, the Submariner-esque second hand feels out of place with the otherwise Art Deco vibe of the dial.
Why do I say that the Elan is chock-full of Art Deco styling? Let me explain. Firstly, the Elan plays with the idea of geometric shapes, which I love. There’s the unusual tonneau shaped case and dial, which is rare in modern watches, certainly amongst microbrands. I think the idea of a round, guilloche center (a circle in square design concept) is smart here, and overall it’s executed well. Secondly, bold lines are also present in the design of the watch. One sees boldly curved lines -which traces the curvature of the dial- engraved in the case, as well as a striking line that cuts through each of the applied indices on the dial. Thirdly, the watch also heavily features metallic finishes. The hands, indices, and the front portion of the case are all fashioned out of the same brushed stainless steel. Ever been to Parkview Square, perhaps to enjoy a drink at the critically acclaimed Atlas Bar? The Elan reminds me of Singapore’s “Gotham Building”. If I have just one knock on the dial, it would be the date wheel. Personally, I feel that a black date wheel would feel much more at home with the Art Deco design of the watch – the current white date wheel looks a tad bit out of place on the dial.
However, the Elan is more than just a pretty dial. It also features one of the best finishing that I’ve seen at this price point. The front of the case (including the lugs) is brushed finished, while the sides are polished to a gleam. In addition, bevelled edges run along the sides of the case. It’s no DWISS RC-1, but it’s certainly much better than average for a watch costing less than S$300!
We also get a nicely signed crown that’s stepped for some depth and detail. Not all watches in this price category features a signed crown, so I’m glad that Coup De Coeur went the extra mile here! The crown is adequately sized as well, making hand-winding the watch an ease.
The only instance where the Elan’s low price tag reveals itself is when you flip the watch over. The screwed down exhibition caseback of the Elan is rather simplistic, adorned only with the brand name and -unusually- their website’s URL. Also, the caseback is polished, making it a scratch magnet. Lastly, the Seiko NH35 movement that powers the Elan comes undecorated, without even a signed rotor. Clearly, this was the main area where Coup De Coeur cut corners in to bring the price down to below $300 SGD.
On the wrist, the Elan wears smaller than its 44mm specifications suggests. Its tonneau case, as well as the short lugs, makes the watch extremely wearable on the wrist. The Elan should sit well on a variety of wrist sizes!
Overall, I’m very impressed with the refreshing design of the Elan. It’s clear that Coup De Coeur poured a ton of effort in the design of the watch, and it shows in its details.
Shootout: Coup De Coeur SGC Classic vs Coup De Coeur Elan
Both watches from Coup De Coeur are great value propositions under $300 SGD – it felt only fitting to pit them together!
In terms of specifications, both watches are near identical. Both Coup De Coeur watches uses sapphire crystal to protect the watch, is powered by the workhorse Seiko NH35 movement, and comes with a variety of strap options. However, the SGC Classic does feature lume, which the Elan (mostly) does not.
In terms of design however, the Elan takes the cake for me. The design of the SGC Classic is unoffensive, but it isn’t exactly original or different. In contrast, the Elan is chock-full of details, from the depth present in the dial to the texture contrasts in its Art Deco inspired design. One gets the feeling that Coup De Coeur perhaps played it safe in their debut model, but went guns blazing in their sophomore watch. While fans of dive watches may find the design of the SGC Classic more appealing, the aesthetics of the Elan is, without a doubt, the more striking one.
In terms of price, both watches come in at under $300 SGD and present terrific value propositions. That being said, the price of the Elan is substantially (~$60 SGD) more than the SGC Classic despite having largely the same specs and missing lume. Nevertheless, I think the price premium is well justified given the more intriguing design. As such, the Elan is the winner of this shootout for me, though the SGC Classic does pack a lot of watch for very little money!
Conclusion – so the Coup De Coeur Elan “shiok” or not?
Without a doubt. Honestly, I think that this watch is underpriced. It boasts impressive specifications (sapphire crystal, Seiko NH35, interesting strap options) for its price, and has one of the most detailed designs I’ve seen in a sub-$300 SGD watch. In fact, I’ll say this – in my opinion, the Coup De Coeur Elan is the best watch money can buy in the sub-S$300 price category. To put things in perspective, the Elan is cheaper than a standard Daniel Wellington (S$309 MSRP) watch! One of the best value propositions that I’ve had the opportunity to come across till date.
For those interested in purchasing the Elan, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will entitle you to 10% off all Coup De Coeur products! After the discount, the Elan can be had for just S$287, which I think is an absolute steal considering its design and specifications. One of the best bang-for-buck watches that I’ve reviewed thus far, best get it now before the brand (invariably) increase the price!
View Coup De Coeur’s full selection of products here.
Model : Élan by Coup De Coeur Watches Singapore
Watch Case(front) : 44mm 316L grade stainless steel with matte finish
Watch Case(back) : Clear back design
Watch Dial : Matte black surface with embedded dials
Watch Glass : Sapphire crystals
Movements : Japan automatic movement with 24 Jewels, 3-hands with date function
Resistance : 100m water resistance
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!