Divers are a mainstay of the watchmaking world, a subset of timepieces in which pretty much every watch brand, big or small have dabbled in at one point or another. Hell, if you take a glance at the number of microbrands leaning heavily on water resistant designs it seems like there’s an insatiable thirst for tool pieces designed for depths.
Yet where most fall down is that they’re designed by… well, watch designers. I’m not saying a horologist can’t create a fantastic dive watch, it’s just that there’s a bit more gravitas to a watch created by an actual professional diver – and Paul Scurfield is about as professional as it gets.
Forget diving for pleasure; Paul spends up to four weeks at a time living at the bottom of the ocean, saturation diving. It’s dark, dangerous and not for the faint of heart. Horrific for those of us not used to the deep, but the perfect proving grounds for Scurfield’s own semi-eponymous brand, Scurfa.
Since 2013, Scurfa has been offering a cool array of no-nonsense quartz timepieces with an emphasis on survivability. They’ve done well, with the Diver One leading the way as an accessible, utilitarian watch.
It’s worth noting however that Paul himself is a huge collector of vintage Tudor and Rolex, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Revolution’s Ross Povey and with a preposterous array of pristine vintage pieces squirrelled away. He’s been collecting about as long as he’s been saturation diving, and someone with that level of appreciation for fine watches was never going to stick with quartz alone. So now, like many a brand before them, Scurfa have graduated to mechanical with the Treasure Seeker.
The Treasure Seeker isn’t strictly Scurfa’s first automatic piece. A short run of the Diver One and the blacked-out Bell Diver 1 both offered mechanical movements in a limited capacity. It’s just that the Treasure Seeker is upscaling that into a fully-fledged collection of seriously lovely – yet still accessible – watches.
The focal point of the Treasure Seeker is the dial, which is a fantastic honeycomb of embossed hexagons. It’s subtler on the wrist than you might expect, even in the professionally bright orange and yellow variants. It’s the white however that’s become the frontrunner for the collection. Complete with large, applied indexes, it’s sleek, incredibly readable and equally cool.
Around that dial is built an otherwise pretty straightforward diver. The 41mm stainless steel bumper bar case is solid enough to survive the rigours of the ocean – with a few sharp rocks thrown in – while the five-link bracelet sits comfortable on the wrist with Rolex undertones. It’s also water resistant to 300m, so well suited to professional diving.
It’s a workhorse case and is therefore fittingly paired with the Miyota 9015 calibre automatic movement, solid if relatively unfinished. Not that you’d notice; the Treasure Seeker’s solid caseback has plenty to look at without any sapphire crystal. The rear engraving of a working saturation diver was created by Jock Patterson, himself a diver and award-winning artist.
Paul still hasn’t given up his day job. Despite running a successful watch brand, he still spends a solid month every now and then living underwater. If there’s one watch though that’s set to ensure he needs to surface a damn sight more often, it’s the Treasure Seeker – especially when the lens of accessibility is applied.
Despite serious specs, an intriguing dial and an automatic movement, the Treasure Seeker will set you back just £442. Though you might be in for a wait if you’re after the white version. Apparently, it’s not just our favourite.
More details at Scurfa Watches.