Duzu F35 Review

Duzu F35 review

Following on from the cool-looking Ningaloo Reef Diver, the Duzu F35 is the latest watch from the Australian brand – this time it is an aviation-themed watch.

Duzu F35 Review

The Duzu F35 arrived in a cool leather watch roll. At the time of writing, I don’t know whether this is part of the Kickstarter package, but I certainly hope so – it is well-made and versatile. The watch itself looks at first glance to be a standard aviation watch, but on closer inspection, it is actually very different. Let’s take a tour of the watch.

Duzu F35 watch review

Case

The Duzu F35 has a 42mm case, although its thick bezel makes the dial appear smaller.  It’s brushed finish makes it look sleek and modern, and the case is suitably chunky – perhaps a little too chunky for my tastes, as the slab sides makes it appear quite tall on the wrist despite only being 12.5mm thick. Around the back is an etched diagram which looks great but could do to be engraved more deeply as it is quite hard to make out. A slightly-domed sapphire crystal tops it off.

I really liked the look of the orange-topped crown although it felt a bit gritty as it screwed down and adjusted the hands of the Miyota 9022 movement. That is a good movement, and in this instance it has a pusher at 2 O’clock to adjust the month subdial. I found the pusher was easy to accidentally press while pulled my sleeve, although it rarely was pressed enough to actually alter the position of the dial. I found the bezel a little plain, it could have done with some kind of decoration or perhaps radial brushing.

Dial and Hands

The orange lumed numbers on the Duzu F35 are its distinguishing feature and I really enjoyed the bold look of orange on black. Unusually, the hands are semi-skeletonised with just the tips finished in orange. This means it is always possible to read the day and month subdials (although as those dials bear no markings it is not so clear which month or day you are actually on).

The downside of the design is that the dial can blur into orange blobs and it’s not always clear at a glance whether the blob is a hand or an hour marker, particularly in low-light conditions. I found the subdials more of a novelty than a genuinely useful feature, and the watch exhibits my pet hate – where the date position is not perfectly located between two markers due to the use of the stock date wheel – in this case it sits at about 4.20. On the plus side, the dial exhibits a great sense of depth with an angled chapter ring blending well into the case sides.

Strap and Buckle

The canvas strap is backed with leather, in a matching orange to the dial. This looks good and also makes the strap comfortable to wear – canvas can dig into the wrist a bit without a proper backing. It is a decent length and at 22mm it looks and feels substantial.

I really liked the shape of the buckle – it isn’t a factory buckle with laser etching as we often see in microbrands but a special design which looks great.

Duzu F35 Video Review

https://youtu.be/dPf37CH1b8Y

What I Liked

  • The bold orange colour is very striking
  • The design is very original, even down to the buckle
  • A day/month function is not often seen in microbrands

What I Didn’t Like

  • The watch looks a bit thick due to its slab sides
  • The semi-skeleton hands are a bit small to easily read at a glance
  • The beautiful case back design could do with deeper engraving

Duzu F35 – The WRUK Verdict

Overall, I think the Duzu F35 will prove popular even at the relatively high RRP of $545. It is not really to my taste – it looks a bit tall for me and I would find the day and month function more irritating than beneficial. However, despite its conservative looks, the case is well-made and the watch feels solid enough. If the design speaks to you it is worth a look, but personally I preferred Duzu’s Ningaloo Reef Diver to this model.

Buy a Duzu F35

The Duzu F35 is coming to Kickstarter today, with early bird pricing starting from $329. To find out more head over to the Duzu website: https://www.duzuwatches.com/

 

Author: Mike Richmond

Usually found skulking around eBay or the International Watch League forum, Mike writes for a living and spends what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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