Seiko Bacardi SDGC017 - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Seiko Bacardi SDGC017

I've been wanting to try a multi-hand Seiko since I first learned about the 6R2x movement (4Hz Seiko for under $1K? Yes please!) and came incredibly close to buying a SARW009. Once I discovered the SDGC017 though, none of the others would cut it. Unfortunately Seiko only made 500 of them world wide, and they aren't exactly easy to find. I finally tracked one down on Yahoo auctions JP, and grabbed it.

For whatever reason mine came in an SDGC019 box and with that watch's strap. No idea why. Since I don't care about either, this wasn't a problem. The strap is very nice, but I really don't like alligator straps even if it had been the right color. I also definitely wanted to wear it on my black Chris Ward strap. The bracelet is an oyster style, and it's "fine." Definitely nothing to write home about. Solid end links as you would expect, all brushed with polished edges. No beveling or anything fancy like that, and it's pin-in-collar which is a bit disappointing at this price level. Milled clasp, no micro-adjustment holes. You get a half-link and that's it. I don't wear bracelets, so I took it off immediately.

The case finishing is excellent, about the same level of something like the SDGM Grand Cocktails or the SARX033/35. The bracelet is definitely not up to what you get with those watches however. The sides are vertically brushed with a really interesting and unique kind of scalloped edge on the lugs that I think only the SDGC001-019 have. I don't recall seeing something like that on other Seiko cases. There are polished beveled edges on both the top and bottom. The top of the lugs are brushed with a polished inner bevel similar to the Grand Cocktails. Finally it's topped off with a polished bezel and flat sapphire crystal. I'm definitely glad that Seiko opted for sapphire with these over hardlex, because my example was clearly worn regularly and not babied, and the hardlex would've shown that I'm sure.

The dial is stunning, with a gorgeous brown/bronze radial sunburst. The high polished applied markers and sunken day, date, and power reserve sub-dials also give the dial tons of depth. It really grabs your attention in a way that something like the recent Aqua Terras do. I also really like that the minute track is part of the dial itself, and not on a plastic chapter ring, which is a major pet peeve of mine with Seiko dress watches.

The movement is the 6R21A, which is a 4Hz, multi-hand variant of the 6R15. The rotor is very quiet, and what noise it does make is inoffensive, not at all like that obnoxious scraping sound that you get with the STP 1-11. It's also bi-directional of course, so it won't free-spin like a 9015. One movement related bummer though - mine has scratches on the ratchet wheel very similar to what I've seen other folks complain about even with brand new watches, so I don't think this is a case of some crappy watchmaker doing a hack-job service. I'm not entirely sure when these were released, but I would guess it was probably somewhere around when the Star Wars based SDGC models came out, which was 2012. That would put it at 6 years old at the most, and it seems unlikely that the owner(s) would bother to have it serviced within that time frame; this isn't exactly a Rolex 3135 in here. I'll keep an eye on it, but assuming it's been running well for the last 5+ years, I probably won't bother to have somebody open it up.

All in all, (other than the scratched ratchet wheel) I'm pleased as punch. This is a hell of a lot of watch for the money, there's really nothing else out there like it. The current 4R57 powered cocktail times are fat bastards (a dress watch pushing 15mm? Really Seiko?) and they are 3Hz just like the 4R35 based models. Their cases are also nowhere near as nice, though to be fair they don't cost as much. The regular production SDGC models both in this style and the later SDGC021+ style are readily available on eBay, but the Bacardi models will be tough to get if you want one. And the Star Wars ones.....good luck
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Last edited by Davekaye90; 05-31-2018 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Never seen it before, thanks for the post, it's a nice modern dress watch!
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice dial color. ������
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