Watch Review: Scurfa Diver One D1-500 ND713RD

Diver One D1-500 ND713RD

Divers working in the North Sea are made up in teams of three and on any working dive you have a diver 1, diver 2 and the bellman, diver 1 controls the dive and this is where the name for the watches come from, diver 2 is there to make his job easier, the bellman tends the divers from the diving bell and the divers work in the water for a maximum six hours, a normal saturation diving system will house four teams of three divers covering the full twenty four hours of the working day stopping only for bad weather or crew changes, the work period for the divers is 28 days including decompression.

Paul took the already tough Diver One design and made it into the classy ND713RD. Like the previously reviewed Diver One, the ND713RD comes in a 40mm case. With a 500m depth rating, the ND713RD features a 1mm case back gasket which ensures it’s water tightness in diving conditions. The “classy” D1 features a black PVD coated 316L surgical grade stainless steel case. The case includes everything I expect a functioning dive watch to have. It has a screw down crown, rotating bezel with a lume pip, thick domed sapphire crystal and a gas release valve.

The gold details weren’t just reserved for the details on the dial, but also on the Ronda 713SM movement. The movement is a gold plated 5 jewel Swiss made movement, with a long battery life and features a EOL indicator. I love that the movement is a clean non date movement, as opposed to a movement which date window takes away from the overall flow of a dial. The generously sized sword style hands allow for great legibility even when conditions are not optimal. I wasn’t worried about the legibility of this watch since Paul tests his watches himself in the murky, dark waters of the North Sea. The gilt hands and printed markers are set beautifully against the gloss black dial. The dial is kept minimalistic as well with the limited amount of printed text. The text was kept to the Scurfa name logo under the 12 o’clock position and Diver One just about the 6 o’clock position.

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The 40mm by 47.7 by 14.4mm case is equipped with a Heliox escape valve which was built into the watch case located at the 9 o’clock side. The escape valve has been tested by Paul Scurfa himself at different depths and gas mixtures, with the deepest decompression being 154 metres to the surface. This is why I love Paul’s watches. People ask me why I review his watches since they aren’t a style a typically go for. They also know how I am bored with the watch industry as a whole and extremely tired of rehashed designs. It’s the extreme amount of testing that Paul puts into his watches that draws me to them. They are affordable, they are tough and they are packed full of tested features. Paul personally tests his watches in the harsh conditions of the North Sea.

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The dial in daylight has an old style radium look that adds a nice vintage feel to this watch. At night the lume on this watch glows like a green flashlight thanks to the grade A C3 Super Luminova treatment. The lume is generously coated on the hands and the markers. Paul has a deep appreciation for vintage Rolex and Tudor watches. His watches aren’t the “only out for the money” by riding the coattails of Rolex or Tudor either. Paul takes his deep love and appreciation for the designs of the past and incorporates that into his watches. He also includes his “trialed and tested” in the field DNA into each of his watches.

The watch comes equipped with a 20mm rubber strap that is based on the Italian style straps that are often found on vintage diving watches. The strap is made of extremely durable rubber that not only holds up against abuse but is also extremely comfortable on the wrist. I am personally a huge fan of custom made straps and this watch will definitely look amazing on a custom made leather strap. One detail that I have come to prefer on my watches is having drilled lugs. It makes for an easier strap change with minimal risk to scratching the lugs. If I could get Paul to include screw style bars instead of spring loaded ones, I would be even happier. I personally prefer the added security of the screw in style.Everything on this watch is purpose driven, with function in the field as it’s driving force.

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In my opinion Paul has just about perfected the affordable “daily beater”. $228 gets you a truly trialed and tested watch that is packed full of ideal details. The best part of these details? The fact that they aren’t just details. Each detail was added with purpose and each detail functions with out fail. The signed D1 crown is easily gripped and has smooth operation. It unscrews without any issues and screwing it back down is free of any accidental cross threading like some poorly made watches experience. The unidirectional bezel is also easy to grip, but more importantly it doesn’t have that cheap extra play feel to it. This bezel not only sits tightly against the case but it also has that nice tight mechanical “click” that you can put into position and it will stay in position until you physically move it again. That’s a critical detail especially when life is dependent upon timing.

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There are only a couple of changes that I would make to this watch not because Paul made a mistake but rather to make this watch more perfect for me. The first is the size, it wears smaller than I prefer. I know that we all have our personal size preference, but I would love to see something from Scurfa in the 45mm-47mm. A big, rugged beast would be a welcome addition to the watch lineup. The other change which I mentioned earlier was to add screw style lug bars. This detail would add a bit more security to the watch. Paul’s watches are also purpose driven with the main focus being functionality in the field. Yes in this day and age dive computers are relied upon more often than watches, but if your “field” isn’t underwater, you can rest knowing that the D1 isn’t going to fail you. If you do use watches when you dive then you know damn well Paul already put any of your watch concerns to rest. He saw to that personally.

Thank you Paul for allowing me to take a look at another one of you tough watches. I also want to thank you all for reading. For more information on Scurfa Watches just follow this link: