The Seiko Credor Phoenix GCBR997 - a little review - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Seiko Credor Phoenix GCBR997 - a little review

I had to find out that there is not really a lot of information about this watch on our forum. Also on the rest of the net there is not that much to find. So please allow me to share some pics and thoughts about my new acquisition. The Phoenix has arrived just yesterday, so I really can't speak for any long term viewing...

To my knowledge the Phoenix was produced around late 90s to early 2000s. According to the serial of mine she/he was number 21 put together at April 2002, meaning that it could have been already somewhere close to the end. Somewhere I read that Seiko planed to get more into the Europaen Market with this kind of watch, if this is true than it didn't work out. They are still unknown outside our Circle. Anyhow here we go.
First impressions: The case with 38mm has a good size for me. Since I am used to wear mostly vintage with around 36mm it is not that big change. The dial is glossy black, the cross hair lines are silver. The hour markers have that nice teeth shape. The second hand has a red arrow end, matching the red there are small red dots accompanying the hour markers just behind. The hour and minute hands look a bit like swords and are not filled complete with lume.



Speaking of lume, it is still glowing. Can't speak for how long, but I will test it out within the next days and let you know.



Since this watches are long out of production now it can be hard to find some spare parts for this watch. Especially spare links for the bracelet are hard to come by. I read about another Phoenix owner who had to sell his watch due not being able to lengthen his bracelet so that it would fit around his arm. On this model it is also not possible to fix a generic band/bracelet. If you look at the lugs you will realize that the middle part up there is part of the case - looking good but also a stop for anything else than the original.



I was lucky in two ways, first the bracelet was already a very good fit, and second the seller sent a spare link with the watch. It was still packed up, I don't know if this is the original packing of the spare part, but here it is - just if anyone should need the article number:



The bracelet itself is a solid one and made very well. It is held together with the pin and collar system. I know Seikos Pin and Collar/Pipe system, but I have never seen this one before. The collar has to be put inside the middle part of the bracelet and not on the outside, shown on this pic, collar not inserted:



Its also just a straight pin, without any thicker end on one side, here is one of the pins and the collar.



I exchanged a small bracelet part with the spare one, which is a bit larger and now the watch is sitting perfect on my wrist and with 136 gram she wears very comfortable. Not to light, and not to heavy.


On the back there is a very nice relief portraying a phoenix. Quite clearly this kind of caseback has its roots in the awesome relief casebacks of the sixties (like the dolphin on the Seikomatic 6216-9000 and others)



The movement is a 8L75, can't show you pics of that since I didn't open her by now. But there is enough info on that out there. The second hand is gliding along very smooth and within the last 36 hours it has lost two seconds. On the crown there is that black stone called Cabochon, but I don't know what material it is made of. Being black it could be onyx but don't take that for granted. I was never a big fan of them, but things change and I think it fits quite well. Btw the crown is to srew down. Going nice and easy.


I don't know what the crystal is made of, but it is lightly domed and has a cyclops - something I really like. I know, most of you would take it off or change the crystal, but it will stay on my Phoenix:-)



So to conclude this rather long review, I am glad I went for this one. It is a beautiful and well made watch. With all that Seiko Craze out there I am wondering how long these pieces will stay hidden;-) If you got any questions just drop me a line perhaps I can answer it for you. If you got this far, than thanks for reading my review!


Last edited by Phil_G; 04-29-2019 at 04:12 AM. Reason: cabochon
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What s terrific review. I know little about these. Please tell us the timekeeping after you wear it for about a week.



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Old 04-28-2019, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Superb Watch, Top of the Pyramid
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Indeed, the Credor line is JDM only so Seiko fans do not often see them. I kinda lusted after the chrono version some years ago but the price was prohibitive then. I do see simpler older models used here in Japan from the 70s and 80s....more old man dress styles so I did not buy them.
Seiko supposedly made the Credor line for the more adventurous generation of the day, as opposed to the conservative GS line. The Grand Seikos were always shown at Basil exhibits, rarely the Credor line.
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think Credor is severely underappreciated. You have a lovely example. I have a quartz Credor Node and am always on the lookout for interesting other models.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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nice review Phil - thanks for taking the time to write it up and post pictures.

- It's a very nice looking watch and simple & elegant in how it looks. Very much a high end piece. Has a little Omega look going on too. A classic design.
- I love case backs and like the detail on this one. Not overly done, and distinctive. Looks like a nice quality bracelet - speaking of which:
- Good call out on those proprietary end links. That could be a deal killer if the bracelet is too short and no spare links to be found. I don't like trap doors like that.
- I like the cyclops - that's a through back to older days IMO - it's a nice detail and worth leaving.

You done well. I'll be interested to hear how it fits in with your other beautiful classics and how it competes for precious wrist time. There's nothing to not like about it.

Congrats on a fine acquisition. :-)
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not really looked into Credor particularly, they do some strange skeletonised watches?
But this one you have is really stand out classic.
Perfect size, dial is superb, it’s a really sweet spot watch with fantastic presence, cool detailed review Phil, thanks!
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's a beautiful piece, Phil. I like everything about it and it's great your concerns over the bracelet were addressed. That pin & collar arrangement is the same set up as the bracelet for my Oris 65 Heritage. Terrific review as well. Wear 'er in good health as they say!
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you Gentlemen for all your kind words. Thanks Russ for the info about the Oris Heritage. Will update occasionally as I find out something new or of interest, like the cabochon...
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I just had to have a look at the movement... Wow is all that I can say. And according to the case back inscription she was serviced two years ago.





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Old 05-01-2019, 12:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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wow.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Just a little update on the timekeeping of the Phoenix. I had this watch on my wrist everyday since I got it on the end of April. If I didn’t wear her the whole day than at least half of the day. The only exceptions with just a few hours wrist time in the evening was during my vacation. My experience is that during the day the watch gains between one to three seconds. The exception is a really hot day, in this occasion she looses around three seconds. Putting her crown up through the night she looses about three seconds, laying her dial up she gains three seconds. So its quite easy to bring her back close to zero throug the way I lay her over night. I had to manually correct the time in the mid of May, as I was on vacation, she had lost about 20 seconds on that instance, I suppose it was due to less wearing time on the beach... Since than I had not to correct anything manually. Right now it’s 06.00.00 am and she is spot on. I think that Seiko did it really well with this one, not without a reason that she has become my everyday companion.
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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so does this change your view of the rest of your collection? any direction change in what you are collecting?

always interesting how a single watch can have an affect on you ....
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The Phoenix helped me to overthink my watch buying habbits. Whenever I want a new one I know that I won’t wear her that much because of the Phoenix. So in most cases I just don’t buy than. I still do buy watches of course, and still to many, but I think that I am buying now more aimed at what I really want, like the 6217 that is incoming. In the long run I would like to add one or two more Phoenix. At least one of the chronographs. Since they are not the cheapest it will take some time:-) And in the long long run, who knows, perhaps it’s just Credor than, time will show.
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Old Today, 04:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_G View Post
I just had to have a look at the movement... Wow is all that I can say. And according to the case back inscription she was serviced two years ago.





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Great review. First time I've seen photos of the movement. Looks incredibly well made.
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