The F-35 specification is as follows:
Titanium alloy with brushed finish
42mm (excluding crown) CASE LENGTH: 51.5mm
12.5mm (case), 14.5mm (including crystal + lugs)
8mm screwed down custom crown with lume
Single domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Custom dial with lumed markers and numbers
Custom titanium alloy caseback with deep etched logo and watch specification
Superluminova lume to markers, hour/min.hands and dial. Available in BGW-9, C3 and Dark Orange
100m / 300 feet
Japan made automatic Miyota 9122, 26 jewels
Cordura with leather internal lining and custom titanium buckle
The F-35 is the sophomore release for Australian brand Duzu which is headed by the passionate Wayne McCay. Wayne was nice enough to send me the F-35 prototype so that I can take it for a spin, actually for a flight. Just like Wayne’s dive watch, the F-35 definitely impressed me. The solid piece of titanium that makes up 75% of the case is executed with precision. I love the simplicity of this case and it’s no unnecessary added bullshit attitude. The only area that didn’t impress me on the case is the button pusher that changes the month sub dial. I would have preferred a subset button that required a special tool to change the month. This would have added even more of a clean/simplistic look to the case. Making this change would also allow for a larger crown thus making it that much easier to grip and operate.
The dial is a modern take on the classic pilot watch dial and it absolutely works brilliantly. This dial is extremely legible with the white accents that are set against the matte black dial. The contrast makes the dial the extremely easy to read even with the quickest of glances. The large, semi skeletonized hands are my personal favorite detail on the F-35 dial.(the 12,6 are a close second) The utilitarian hands are my ideal width and length and by this I mean that the width of the hands don’t allow the hands to get lost amongst the dial and by length the hands reach to the hour, minute, and seconds markers.
Despite the amount of detail on this dial, it is still simplistic. The two sub dials are dedicated to the date, the dial at the 3 o’clock position is for the month, the dial at the 9 o’clock position is for the 7 days of the week and then the small circular date window is located between the 4/5 o’clock position. The added detail of the date dials being subset lower that the dial itself adds a nice amount of depth to the F-35 dial without that overcrowding too busy feel. Duzu kept consistency on the dial as evidenced by the Duzu logo also being subset. These little details actually become much larger details overall because it shows commitment to delivering a product that even the smallest of details were intentionally thought out/executed.
Speaking of details, the caseback is packed full of cool details, details about the watch itself and details through art. As you can see by the pictures, it has that badass military look/feel to it which is consistent to the entire watch itself. Even the strap itself retains that consistent level of badassery. The tough cordura is double stitched with matching blue-gray stitching which is attached to a closely matching blue-gray leather lining. The strap has a titanium pin style buckle which is signed with the Duzu logo.
The F-35 is a stunning beauty which is made with quality and more importantly attention to detail. When Wayne told me of his plans to create a pilot watch as a follow up to his diver, I have to be honest I wasn’t very excited. When he sent me the renderings, then my excitement began to take root. I was filled with more excitement when I saw the prototype pictures and then the more important step happened. I received the prototype and my excitement was confirmed. Everything functions with absolute precision and it looks damn good while it functions.
The watch wears extremely comfortably on the wrist thanks to the lightness of titanium and because of the case size itself. The F-35 is an excellent example of where size doesn’t matter. I personally prefer that 45mm-47mm case size but when a watch is extremely well designed I don’t pay attention to the size of a case. It becomes about the watch itself and it’s design details coming together in consistent harmony! This watch is exactly that, a watch that makes you forget what case size you prefer and what style of watch you prefer. Hell of a deal especially if you get in on the $329 super early bird.
I will be doing a follow up review to this when I have a chance to experience an actual production piece. Thanks Wayne for this honor and opportunity for allowing me to spend time with the F-35 prototype.
Thank you all for reading!