It was not that long ago that we brought you word of a â€œnewâ€ Kickstarter campaign from SD-09. Â New is in quotes because we first told you about the watch a year prior. Â As you can tell that first campaign wasnâ€™t successful, and this second one appears to be doing better, but it still has not yet crossed the fully-funded threshold. Â We spent some time with a prototype of the SD-09 UFO, and can give you our thoughts.
First up, the SD-09 UFO does not look – or feel – like a sub-$250 watch (thatâ€™s where early bird pricing lands it). Â In terms of the overall design of course, weâ€™ve seen two handers with date and sub-seconds before. Â Letâ€™s focus in on those sub-seconds. Â Rather than giving you an accurate sense of what second youâ€™re on, this is more for a visual indication of the fact that the movement is running. Â Not only that, but with the lumed pips on it, you get a kinetic light show from the disc when itâ€™s dark, which is a fun trick, and does give that UFO look.
Along those lume lines, there is a surprising amount of it on the SD-09 UFO. Â You of course have the main indices, and then the cutouts at the 12 and 9 positions (if it were me, I would have dropped those, and instead made the logo the lumed cutout for the 12 oâ€™clock indicator). Â The hands are lumed as well. Â The surprising bit is on the chapter ring. Â Youâ€™ve got the minutes all with their own pips. Â This looks neat, and when you stop to consider the theyâ€™re showing up on an angled and curved surface (never a good combo for luminous paint), that makes things more interesting.
As far as the visuals of the SD-09 UFO, they keep things interesting there as well. Â Youâ€™ve got all manner of screw heads showing up (bezel, crown guard, inter-lug, lugs), some of which are functional (the bezel ones are, I believe) and others decorative (everything else). Â This is a look weâ€™ve seen on higher-end watches, of course, and will probably be a divisive bit of styling. Â Me, I could probably do without.
The finishing on the case is quite nice. Â For the large, flat bezel, youâ€™ve got a brushed surface, and that brushing continues on for most of the case. Â The exception is angled side of the bezel (and the caseback) – these are in full polish, and Iâ€™m always happy to see a nice bit of flash pop into an otherwise matte finish.
For the crown guard, at least on the prototype SD-09 UFO that we spent time with, that was underwhelming. Â The campaign page shows ones that looks like it opens up (ala Panerai), but is fixed in place just as we have here on this prototype. Â While this did not interfere with moving the crown out for adjusting, it did make things a bit more difficult to wind the movement.
Not that you necessarily have to wind the SD-09 UFO, as itâ€™s powered by the automatic Miyota 8218. Â Miyota movements come (for those not aware) from Citizen, which Victor just had a few different articles about (here). Â These are an inexpensive option for watches of this nature, and do certainly help keep costs controlled.
For the strap, the campaign page does make a lot of noise around the woven leather strap of the SD-09 UFO. Â Itâ€™s an interesting visual look, but itâ€™s only the top surface of the leather strap that is woven. Â Underneath youâ€™ve got a standard, solid backing, which means youâ€™ve got normal cutouts for the tang buckle. Â While I may have like to have seen a fully-woven strap (like as on a perlon) that allows you to get that perfect fit, I will allow that it would make for a much stretchier strap, and perhaps not the kind of stability you may want. Â No matter – with the quick-change spring bars, itâ€™s a simple matter to slip something new in.
As of the time of writing this, the campaign for the SD-09 UFO is sitting at 75%, with things wrapping up onÂ April 27, 2018. Â So, if youâ€™re interested in the watch, youâ€™ll want to get your pledge in pretty soon. Â As for me, I think itâ€™s visually interesting, and certainly – as I mentioned earlier – does not look or feel like a sub-$250 watch. Â In other words, if you like the style, youâ€™re getting a pretty good bang for your buck. Â Hereâ€™s to hoping the campaign is successful, and folks can start seeing them on their own wrists. Â sd-09watches.com
- Brand & Model: SD-09 UFO
- Price: Â $246
- Whoâ€™s it for? You want something a bit different from the standard divers and â€œminimalistâ€ watches, and you like exposed fasteners
- What I would change: Â Drop the 12 and 9 cutouts, and make the logo the cutout on the dial.
- The best thing about it: Picking one detail, itâ€™s all the lume, particularly on the sub-seconds disc
Tech Specs from SD-09
- DIAMETER: Â 42mm (49.91mm – from left case to the crown protection system cover)
- Weight: Â 230g
- MATERIALS: Â All 316L stainless steel, PVD black plating AA grade from Finland materials
- CROWN: Â 3 o-Rings Â waterproof inside
- Front & Back – Swiss Sapphire crystal with AR (Anti-reflective)
- THICKNESS OF GLASS:
- Top: 1.6 mm
- Bottom: 1.3 mm
- WATER-RESISTANCE: Â Waterproof to 10 ATM / 100 metres / 330 feet
- Fine finishing, mechanical, automatic, hand-winding
- CALIBRE: Â Miyota 8218, metal movement, Japan made, under Citizen watch Co., Ltd.
- FUNCTIONS: Â Automatic & manual winding, small second, date calendar, shock-absorber for balance staff
- PRECISION: Â -20/+40 seconds per day
- POWER RESERVE: Â More than 40 hours (measure the running time from full winding – the mainspring becomes fully winded by rotating the ratchet wheel 7.5 times ,turning the crown 40 times)
- AUTOMATIC WINDING STRUCTURE: Â Winding direction : Counter-clockwise (seeing from case back side)
- One hand-braided Italian calf leather strap
- One silicone band Â with PIN buckle
- DIAL: Â Double layer dial, indexs, 12&9 Â Skeleton & sub-indices on inner ring filled Swiss SuperLumiNova C3 light green color
- Diamond cut with C3
- Small second disc made by aluminum with C3