Hello, and welcome to another Singaporean review! This week, I’m reviewing the SGC Classic from Coup De Coeur.
The SGC Classic is billed as a value-for-money mechanical timepiece, coming in at under $300 SGD. Let’s see if it is any good!
Coup De Coeur – the Brand
Coup De Coeur is a Singapore-based microbrand founded in 2015 by Cody Chua. At Coup De Coeur, the brand believes that “a timepiece is a personal accessory of self-expression”. In addition to offering “durable and rugged watches [that] can stand up to the most active lifestyles, while adding a classy aesthetic to your boardroom presentation”, Coup De Coeur also offers a multitude of coloured straps for their customers to showcase their personality. In an interview with Gracious Watch, Cody stated that “Coup De Coeur’s inspiration started with a passion of colours. Colours induce us smile and creativity…. Colours can mean different things to different people and that is what we want our timepiece to feel, different on everyone’s wrist.”
I personally like the brand positioning of Coup De Coeur. Clearly, their price point and colourful straps are aimed towards a younger demographic, but unlike other brands gunning for the same target segment (MVMT, DW, Filippo Loreti, etc), there’s no marketing fluff here. There’s no elaborate history conjured up, or pictures of their watches being worn on luxury yachts on their Instagram page. Instead, their positioning statement is simple – Coup De Coeur offers classy, yet robust watches at affordable prices, with a whole host of colourful straps options for you to spice up your wrist game. If that appeals to you, read on!
Coup de Coeur SGC Classic – Build Quality
At under $300 SGD, the Coup De Coeur SGC ticks a lot of boxes!
Firstly, the SGC Classic utilizes 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. Due to the utilization of sapphire crystal here, one can bang this piece around without worry, making it a viable option as an everyday watch. Unfortunately, the sapphire crystal does not seem to have AR coating applied to it, which results in inconvenient reflections sometimes. In addition, the WR rating for the SGC Classic is 100M, meaning that you can safely take this watch out for everyday activities (except swimming/diving) without worry. If I were to nitpick however, I wish that the WR rating was slightly higher, perhaps at 200M. Given the dive watch aesthetics of the SGC Classic, as well as the presence of a rotational bezel, it would have been great if the WR rating of the SGC Classic was sufficient enough for actual diving activities.
The SGC Classic is powered by the ubiquitous 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 workhorse 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 everyday watch such as the SGC Classic!
As aforementioned, Coup De Coeur prides itself in offering a wide variety of strap options, allowing one to customise their watches to their whims and fancy. Currently, Coup De Coeur offers you the choice between 16 different straps that you can have your SGC Classic paired with – these include leather, rubber, as well as a limited edition denim strap.
Coup De Coeur’s leather straps are soft and supple on the wrist. Instead of spring bars, the SGC Classic uses screw bars – meaning you have to unscrew (don’t worry, they provide the tool) the bars to change the strap. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I personally prefer spring bars/quick-release straps – while theoretically more secure, screw bars (in my own experience) take quite some time to change the straps.
The lining of the leather is comfortable, definitely a step up from those cardboard-like linings found in cheaper straps. Unfortunately, the strap loops are glued, not stitched, thus decreasing their durability. In addition, the leather strap itself is only of genuine leather quality. For the uninitiated, leather generally comes in 3 quality tier – full-grain leather being the most premium, followed by top-grain leather, and finally genuine leather (what the bulk of leather products are fashioned out of). Overall, from a quality standpoint, I would say that the leather straps of Coup De Coeur is par for the course at this price point.
What the Coup De Coeur leather straps have going for them is their bold colours. I’m not quite sure where else you can find such strikingly coloured straps on a sub-$300 SGD watch. From a fashion standpoint, the exotic coloured straps really heightens up one’s wrist game, and is a breath of new air for those (like me) who are sick of traditional black/brown leather straps.
If I had to pick though, I would definitely pair the SGC Classic with the denim strap. I think it makes for such a unique look – denim straps (Omega aside) are few and far between. As compared to its leather counterparts, the denim strap also felt slightly more supple and comfortable on the wrist (the leather straps felt a tad stiff in the beginning, and took a while to break in) right from the get go.
In addition, the denim strap comes with stitched strap loops! What’s not to like?
For a budget desk diver, the lume on the SGC Classic is surprisingly decent. It’s no Superluminova – when prompted, Coup De Coeur says “normal lume” is used here – but it’s alright. Unfortunately, the bezel markings of the SGC Classic is devoid of any lume.
Coup De Coeur SGC Classic – Design
The design of the Coup De Coeur Classic is just that – classic.
The design aesthetics of the SGC Classic is clean and simple. The matte black dial is sleek, and the usage of applied indices adds a level of depth to the dial. The date window is also well-integrated into the dial. The dial clearly draws inspiration from iconic timepieces such as the Rolex Submariner, but is different enough to not be derided as an homage. In particular, I find the trapezoidal markers at 12, 6, and 9 interesting. Additionally, Coup De Coeur elected to print the minute track on the rehaut of the dial, therefore increasing the depth present in the dial. Overall, I find the dial clean and well-balanced, if a tad uninspiring. If I were to nitpick, I would probably have broadened the hands slightly to give them more presence on the dial.
The case on this version of the SGC Classic is IP-coated black, though there are stainless steel variants available. The case itself is a simple matte one – no fancy finishing here! Elsewhere, the 120 click unirotational bezel is made of aluminium, and actually rotates rather well, giving satisfying clicks with minimal play. Honestly, the bezel is really quite impressive, especially for a desk diver of this price range – I found myself fiddling with it from time to time.
The caseback is spartan, to say the least. Other than the URL to their website (www.watch.sg), there’s literally nothing inscribed on the caseback. The same goes for the Seiko NH35 movement, which is bare bones and not decorated. Coup De Coeur had to cut corners somewhere to price this below $300 SGD, and the caseback is an obvious victim. That being said, I do like that they at least opted for an exhibition caseback, so that one can see the mechanical movement housed within.
Lastly, we also get a signed crown – rare for watches in this price category! The crown is proportionately sized, making it an ease to wind the SGC Classic.
With its 40mm case size and short lugs, the SGC Classic wears small on the wrist. Coup De Coeur stated that they designed this watch to be unisex, and I can certainly confirm that. With divers seemingly getting bigger and bigger nowadays, it’s refreshing to wear a smaller sized one! A budget Tudor Black Bay 58, perhaps?
Overall, I find the design of the SGC Classic clean and classic, though there’s nothing particularly interesting or striking about the aesthetics. However, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing – I see the understated nature of the watch as a platform for the bold, striking straps to shine. In addition, the muted aesthetics of the SGC Classic makes it versatile as an everyday watch – suitable for both work, as well as the weekend!
Shootout: Coup De SGC Classic vs Trigalux T-Diver
I recently reviewed another budget diver, the Trigalux T-Diver. In my review, I declared the Trigalux T-Diver to be the best dive watch under $300 SGD – let’s see if that is still true!
In terms of build quality, I would say that both watches are quite evenly matched. They both use sapphire crystals and the Seiko NH35A movement. However, the T-Diver possesses stronger C3 Superluminova lume (base $299 SGD version), as well as a higher 200M WR rating. In the SGC Classic’s defence, the watch comes on a leather/denim strap of your choice (as compared to NATO/rubber for the T-Diver), as well as a much better rotational bezel.
From an aesthetics point of view, I honestly think that’s subjective. If you’re into vintage styling, the design of the Trigalux T-Diver (with its cushion case and vintage inspired markers) would likely appeal to you more. On the other hand, the design of the SGC Classic is more modern and contemporary, and perhaps slightly more versatile as a result. What is undeniable however, is that the SGC Classic comes with a host of different coloured strap options, allowing you an opportunity to customise the watch to match your personality/needs. As a result of Coup De Coeur offering a myraid of exotic strap colours for you to choose from, I would give the SGC Classic an edge when it comes to the looks department.
In terms of price, both watches are evenly matched – the SGC Classic would be $269 SGD, while the Trigalux T-Diver would be $299 SGD after the “WAHSOSHIOK” promo code. As such, which watch is better for you probably comes down to your personal preference. If you’re a fan of divers, and like the aesthetics of the Seiko SKX/Tuna/etc, the Trigalux T-Diver will probably be more of your cup of tea. However, if you have no particular love for dive watches, and simply want a versatile, everyday watch that you can accessorise, the Coup De Coeur SGC Classic will be your best bet under $300 SGD!
Conclusion – so the Coup De Coeur SGC Classic “shiok” anot?
For the price, definitely. Along with the aforementioned Trigalux T-Diver, I think that it is one of the best bang-for-buck watches out there. The full black version of the SGC Classic will run you $269 SGD (after promo code below). However, the Silver and Black stainless steel variants of the SGC Classic are priced at just $224 SGD/ ~$163 USD! That is insane value for a watch that comes on a decent strap, uses sapphire crystal, houses a workhorse Seiko NH35 movement, and possesses lume to boot. Between all variants, I will probably go for the Silver – I think it looks the best, and is an unbeatable value proposition.
For those interesting in snapping up a bargain, simply use the code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off Coup De Coeur’s full range of products. The code is applicable for both their watches, as well as their extensive offerings of straps. I honestly believe that their watches represents great value – I’ll suggest pulling the trigger before the price increases!
Model : SGC Classic Full Black Automatic Watch by Coup De Coeur Watches Singapore
Watch Case(front) : 40mm 316L grade stainless steel with black coated finish
Watch Case(back) : Clear back design
Watch Dial : Polished 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