Scurfa Bell Diver
Some of you reading this may already be familiar with the Scurfa Bell Diver and it might seem like this review is a bit late. Yes, Paul from Scurfa came out with this watch over a year ago, and I have just recently got one in hand. For whatever reason, I never reviewed this watch when it originally debuted, and to be honest, I am glad that I didn’t, because now it comes with a solid link bracelet that perfectly matches with this chunky dive watch. Adding the bracelet did not add a crazy price increase either, as this beauty can be purchased for just about $460 USD and that includes the DHL shipping. I review a lot of watches here and I try and stay as objective as possible, but I have to say that Scurfa is definitely one of my favorite microbrands, and with good reason.
Scurfa Bell Diver Specifications:
- Case size 43mm Lug to Lug 51mm and 16mm thickness, 22mm bracelet size
- 8mm screw down crown with three gasket seals
- Working Heliox Escape Valve (tested by myself from 151m of decompression)
- Domed Sapphire Crystal with blue Anti Reflective coating on the underside
- 500m ~ 1640ft
- Grade A Super Luminova SL-BGW9 Blue on the dial, hands and bezel insert
- Ceramic bezel insert with matching Super Luminova SL-BGW9 markings
- Miyota cal. 9015 Automatic movement, beat rate 28,800 BPH, accuracy -10~+30 seconds a day
- Movement protected with a brass cover for the low levels of magnetism experienced offshore
- Matt grey dial with gloss black markers, gloss black hour and minute hands and gloss red second hand
- Raised gloss dial printing for Scurfa Watches and Bell Diver 1 logos
- Stainless steel bracelet with solid end links and a clasp with a ratchet type divers extension
- Fitted genuine rubber strap with the Bell Diver 1 logo also provided
Price $427 USD plus shipping
Yes, I consider Paul to be somewhat of a friend at this point. I interacted with Paul many years ago before the Scurfa Brand was formed on various watch forums. Us forum goers saw some of the initial drawings and ideas of the first Scurfa model, the Diver One, and today he has a full line of new and improved Diver One models that seem to sell out quick and now two new releases of the Bell Diver, the one you see here and also a full DLC versions which also includes the bracelet.
As you can see from the specifications listed above, the Scurfa Bell Diver comes with all the bells and whistles most of us look for these days; hi-beat automatic movement, applied indices, domed sapphire crystal, solid end links and bracelet, screw down crown, high water resistance, etc. Many brands have these features as well, so these are not the things that set the Bell Diver apart. It is more about the design and the overall fit and assembly that matter here. Frankly speaking, if you are not into microbrand watches, or “inexpensive watches”, the Scurfa Bell Diver could convert you and take away all your preconceived notions about microbrands.
The Bell Diver is not a massive watch at 43mm, but it is a little on the chunky side at 16mm. Keep in mind, this is watch is rated to 500m and is manufactured to Pauls exact specifications. While of course at this price Paul is not manufacturing or assembling these watches himself in the UK, he seems to have a great factory that he deals with that not only produces a fantastic watch but seems to get it right when it comes to what he wants. The Bell Diver is not a catalog case or one that is an homage to another design, and while it is not revolutionary in design, hell you could call it even generic if just looking at it like any other dive watch, it is the little details that make it stand out to me.
The biggest standouts here are the grey dial and the choice of the multilink bracelet. Yes, the Scurfa is a damn well put together watch, you can see that in the video above. The grey dial is an interesting choice because it is the only choice. No black dials, no blue dials, no orange etc. Just grey. That has not changed with the latest release that now comes with the bracelets, the only dial color available-grey. That is a bold move and one I appreciate. Now, I may be biased, I LOVE grey dials. While I am not the biggest fan of red when it comes to watches, the red against the grey dial pops, is not overdone and just makes the Scurfa Bell Diver stand out.
On to the bracelet, the other star of the Bell Diver. This new bracelet is fantastic. At a quick glance, some might say it is similar to the 5 link or super engineer style bracelet we have seen on many dive watches such as the Boschett Cave Dweller or many others. It is not though. When you actually look at it instead of dismissing it, you will see it is much more a jubilee style bracelet, but a beefed-up jubilee style bracelet. The jubilee on steroids if you will. The bracelet is long and should fit up to an 8 1/2 inch wrist out of the box and if you need a little more room, the ratchet extension clasp should help with that. Of course, if that is not enough and you have giant wrists, Paul should be able to get you a few more extra links, just ask when ordering. I would say my only real complaint about the bracelet is that it uses friction pins instead of screws. That is something of a personal preference of mine though and easy to overlook when this beauty drapes on the wrist.
7 1/2 inch wrist
As I discuss in the video, the lume was a little bit of a letdown. Now, let me be clear here, the lume on the Scurfa Bell Diver is in no way poor or ill coated or anything like that. It is just not a strong as I was personally hoping for. The markers and hands light up nice and even, it is just not as bright as I would have wanted. It is above average for sure, it is just not a lume torch. Personally, lume is less and less of an importance to me these days, but I report on it here because I know so many others are interested. The lume here will still do the job with ease, just do not expect to read a book by it.
I think it is pretty clear that I am a fan of Scurfa Watches and the Bell Diver is no exception. The addition of the link bracelet takes it to another level and if you want to reduce the weight or are not a bracelet guy, it still comes with the fitted natural rubber strap which will mold to your wrist and feel great. Looking at the pic above, I think I am probably too harsh on the lume, I mean, it’s more than adequate, sometimes I think I am jaded as well and can expect too much. The Scurfa Bell Diver is not only a value but one hell of a dive watch that you should be able to take into the ocean or lake or river with ease. If you are like me, it is great at the desk as well or the occasional rain shower. There is a lot of competition out there these days, but I will always say you can not go wrong with purchasing a Scurfa Watch. I will not tell you to buy one or say you will love it if you did, only that I love it and find it to be not just a great value, but a great watch, period.