When talking about titanium watches, you usually think of high-end $1,000+ pieces. Indeed, it's easy to forget that Seiko used to sell super affordable titanium watches.
For instance, the Seiko SGG705/707/709 is a sub-$150 timepiece that offers a sharp finish, a reliable quartz movement, and titanium case & bracelet.
Unfortunately, this affordable titanium watch has been discontinued for a few years. In this article, you'll learn every important things to look for if you plan on buying a pre-owned SGG705/707/709.
The Seiko SGG705/707/709 is a small unisex watch. Indeed, I bought my SGG709 from a woman, but I'm very comfortable wearing it as a man. However, I must say that I have pretty small wrists (≈ 6.5'') so it might not be suited for big-wristed folks.
Although the lugs are a bit elongated, the finish of the case is very smooth, which makes for a comfortable wearing experience. You can also see that the case is astonishingly thin (8,00mm), which makes it a breeze to slide under your cuffs.
Usually, I don't talk too much about the weight of the watches I review. However, the Seiko SGG's light weight is probably its best selling point.
Coming in at only 64g (bracelet included), the SGG705/707/709 is truly a watch that you'll forget you're wearing within a few minutes.
Also, the titanium case is 3x stronger than stainless steel. This sounds good on paper, but has no real-life benefit, except for maybe avoiding a few chips if you're really harsh with your watches.
50m / 5 bar
What allows the Seiko SGG705/707/709 to be so slim is its 7N43 quartz caliber. This is an extremely basic quartz movement that will also be quite reliable.
The 7N43's accuracy is comparable to any other basic quartz movement (+-15 sec/month). The only "special feature" I can think of is the "energy depletion forewarning", which means that the seconds hand will tick every 2 seconds to let you know that the battery's running out.
Speaking of which, Seiko's OEM battery only lasted for 2,5 years before I had to change it out. This is a bit disappointing for such a basic 3-hand movement.
Like most entry-level Seiko watches, the SGG705/707/709 sports a Hardlex crystal (hardened mineral). This surface will undoubtedly collect a few scratches within a couple years of ownership. Additionally, the titanium case & bracelet are also easy to scratch.
This means that the Seiko SGG can be a scratch-magnet if you're not careful. For this reason, I think the Seiko Titanium is best used as a weekend watch rather than an everyday beater watch.
With its 50m water resistance rating, you can take your SGG705/707/709 for a swim. However, I think it's a bit reckless to swim with an unguarded push-pull crown like the one on this watch (easy to accidentally pull underwater).
Not only is the case fully made of titanium, but so is the bracelet. This sounds great on paper, but I find this bracelet to be a bit disappointing.
Indeed, Seiko uses cost-cutting methods such as folded links, hollow end-links, thin stamped clasp, etc... This makes the bracelet a bit rattly and cheap. I would've loved to see solid links or at least a thicker clasp.
Finally, the Seiko SGG's hands & hour pips are coated with Seiko's Lumibrite formula. As you can see above, this lume is functional, but it's nothing to write home about.
The Seiko SGG705/707/709 is truly a beautiful timepiece that is also quite versatile. For example, the SGG will fit seamlessly in a formal outfit if you pair it with the right leather band.
On the other hand, you could dress it down using a nylon strap (or the OEM bracelet), and wear it in a casual outfit like a t-shirt with jeans.
As you can see above, the SGG705/707/709's dial has a heavy sunburst effect. On the SGG709, this translates to a near-black shade in a darker setting, to a purplish hue under the right lighting.
For the rest of the dial, you get Seiko's habitual attention to detail. For instance, the applied baton indices are well-finished and complex. As you can see above, they have a nice polish and beveled edges.
This also goes for the day-date display, which has a thick frame and heavy beveling. I'm usually not a fan of negative day-date displays, but the Seiko SGG709 pulls it off. The blue dial and black background of the display have a strong contrast, which helps legibility.
The Seiko SGG705/707/709's hands are super basic and a bit bland in my opinion. I would've preferred to see a pair of dauphine or alpha hands. However, I'm aware that you have to make concessions when buying a watch at this price point, and I can live with a set of simple of hands.
The titanium case of the Seiko SGG is brushed almost everywhere, except for the area between the lugs, which is beads-blasted. Also, the plain screw-down case back is beads-blasted and engraved with Seiko's logo.
The Seiko SGG705 is the plain white dial version of the lineup. It's the best option if you're looking for something a little more dressy. However, I personally think that this SGG705 is a bit uneventful and borderline boring.
The Seiko SGG707 is the black-dialed version of the Titanium lineup. In my opinion, this one is the most versatile of the bunch. Its black dial makes it easy to pair with any outfit you can think of. However, the day-date display will be a bit harder to read due to the black-on-black configuration
The Seiko SGG709 is my favorite watch of the collection. Indeed, its blue dial is the one that makes the most of the heavy sunburst effect. This watch will be a true light show under the right circumstances.
In conclusion, I think the Seiko SGG705/707/709 might be the best bang-for-the-buck titanium watch on the market. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued for a few years, so you'll have to browse the pre-owned market to find one.
If you're lucky like me, you'll be able to find a decent example for around the $100 mark.