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RUF500 Diver

RUF500 Diver

Manufacturer: RUF Watches | Price: €595 EUR ($660 USD, £515 GBP approx)

I reached out to RUF Watches a few weeks ago after seeing what looked like a render of their RUF500 Diver. I thought the proposed specs and design looked fantastic for the price that they listed it for on their website. Around 500 quid for a Swiss Made 500m diver on bracelet and for what looks like on paper, a total bargain! Let’s find out if it’s any good.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: Case Diameter – 43.6mm, Thickness – 13.4mm, Lug to Lug – 52.2mm, Lug Width – 22mm
  • Movement: Swiss ETA 2824-2 Automatic, 28,800vph (4Hz), 38hr Power Reserve, Date Complication
  • Case Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel with Polished Chamfered Edges
  • Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel, Solid End Links, Pin & Collar, Milled Clasp, Half Links, 3x Microadjust
  • Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Multiple Anti-Reflective Coatings (Inner)
  • Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional, 60 Minute Ceramic Insert
  • Water Resistance: 50ATM / 500m / 1640ft
  • Lume: Swiss Super Luminova® C3
  • Crown: Screw Down   Caseback: Exhibition Display
  • Warranty: 5 Years    Where to Buy: RUFWatches.com
  • Options: Colour: Black, Blue, Green, PVD

RUF Watches - The Company

‘RUF’ is an abbreviation of Reuss Uhren Fabrik. RUF Watches has been pushing the rugged aesthetic since 1999 when it was founded in Lucerne, Switzerland. In 2008, the brand made this look its signature style, with an emphasis on robust sports watches at affordable prices. Since then, the brand has combined Swiss made quality with sporty design. RUF Watches are crafted from the finest raw materials and assembled with scrupulous attention to detail. Every component is designed, developed and produced in Switzerland to the most exacting standards.

Case & Crown

The case of the RUF500 is 43.6mm. The lug to lug is 52.2mm and the overall thickness, including the sapphire crystal I measured at 13.4mm. The entire case, caseback, bezel, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel. The finish of the case is brushed, with just chamfered edges polished. The crown isn’t signed though, which is a bit of an oversight by RUF.

The RUF500 has a water resistance rating of 500m / 50 ATM, thanks to the screw-down caseback & crown. The proportions of the watch, in my opinion, actually work well considering the watch dimensions and my 7″ wrist. With the lug to lug length of 52.2mm I thought this thing was going to look like a friggin’ dinner plate on my wrist, however I was really surprised when I tried it on for the first time as it actually fits on my wrist really well and doesn’t look too big at all. The crown is also superb with absolutely zero wobble when the crown is at its fully extended position. You can also see in the image below that the RUF500 is equipped with a helium escape valve. Is it necessary? Not really…

Bracelet

The bracelet that is fitted to the RUF500 is to put it simply, decent, although to be honest, it’s not perfect. It does have solid end links, but the pin and collar system used for resizing and adjusting is a total ball-ache! There is a milled clasp with three micro-adjustment holes to make sure you get the optimum fit although the clasp isn’t signed, which is another oversight. The bracelet itself tapers from 22mm at the watch head down to 20mm and back up to 22mm at the clasp. There are also half links incorporated into the bracelet so in conjunction with the micro-adjustment holes it’ll fit perfectly.

Movement

The chosen movement for the RUF500 is the Swiss movement of choice, the ETA 2824-2. A fantastic workhorse that is a 28,800vph, 4Hz, 25 jewel movement with a 38hr power reserve, self winding and of course hacking. Checking the accuracy after running the RUF500 for over a couple of weeks, mainly on my wrist and occasionally in my Barrington Watch Winder, I thought the accuracy was exceptional, with it showing an average of just +3.1 spd. Great stuff!

Dial, Bezel & Lume

The RUF500 has a 120 click unidirectional bezel with a ceramic insert. It is of excellent quality and everything lines up 100% perfectly. The bezel action oozes quality and has absolutely zero backplay. The action and feel reminds me of the bezel on my NTH Odin and believe me, that’s definitely a compliment. The blue dial version that I have here matches the blue ceramic insert very well. The text on the dial is nicely printed and is very legible. The choice of font too is fantastic, showing the word automatic in block letters with the depth rating of 500m/1640ft and the words helium release valve underneath. I really wish companies wouldn’t bother writing that on the dial though, it’s just so unnecessary and clutters up the dial with too much text. On the RUF500 just automatic and the depth rating would have been plenty and give the dial a much cleaner aesthetic. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention there are also the words Swiss Made at the 6 o’clock position.

As you can see in the image above, the hour and minute hands are of a sword style and very nice they are too, pumped full of lume. The seconds hand is great too, with its lumed lollipop marker which matches the applied hour markers on the dial. The lume used on the RUF500 is, I believe, Super Luminova® C3 as there is nothing listed on the RUF Watches website for me to take reference from. Either way, I do think RUF Watches could get the application better as it is stronger on the hands than it is on the hour markers as you can see in the image below.

Conclusion

The RUF500 Diver really is a fantastic watch and great value for money. If you’re thinking, “oh, who?… never heard of them, I’ll pass!” Well guys ‘n’ girls, put your brand snobbery to one side, give yourself a slap and give the RUF500 some serious consideration. It’s extremely well put together, has a brilliant spec and of course, it’s fantastic value for money!

As you can probably guess, the RUF500 is not perfect… the lume could be better applied and I would love to see a signed crown and clasp being implemented by RUF Watches. The watch might have “RUF” in its branding, but in my opinion its the total opposite of “rough”. See what I did there? (FFS, yup, I know… I drink too much coffee)!

RUF Watches – A truly excellent dive watch. Fix the small niggles I mentioned above and it’d be a higher score for sure.

Design
7/10
Quality
9/10
Value
10/10
TOTAL
8/10
A huge thanks to Christian at RUF Watches for sending out the RUF500 Diver so quickly for review.
 
To view the RUF Watches website, or join their mailing list to be informed of new models etc, visit RUF Watches.
 
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