The DUFA Regulator – A modern take on a classic watch

By Frederik Drost
The DUFA Regulator – A modern take on a classic watch

4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

This is my second watch from DUFA and i have already reviewed on of their satisfying quartz models, but i am stepping it up a notch with this watch. This is the first watch i have given above 4 stars (so far) and hopefully you will continue to read this review to find out why, or simply skip to the conclusion if you are too lazy or busy.

I will be taking a look at the DUFA Regulator DF-9017-05 which is the version with the white dial, light brown leather strap and silver colored case. It goes for 430 euros and comes in 4 variations as you can see here.

Before i begin i think it’s worth talking about regulator watches because it’s not something we see that often on peoples wrist.

What is a regulator watch?

Regulator watches was once exclusively used by watchmakers to set all their other timepieces. Some refer to it as a master clock and it was designed specifically for that function. The hour and minute hands are situated on different axes, making the watch the perfect timepieces for taking a quick and accurate readout. This is because on a regular watch, those 2 hands sit on top of each other every hours.

Most of the regulator watches you can find today are very vintage inspired, with roman numerals and vintage inspired markers. But DUFA has chosen to go for a more modern and minimalistic look, making this timepiece one of a kind! BUT it is worth noting that regulator wathes have a 12 hours dial, not 24. But i actually like that it shows 24 hours, because it really represents the entire day in one circle. You have to get used to reading the time on this watch, but i never back down from an honest challenge 🙂

My first impressions

I have allready mentionned the packaging DUFA uses in my other review, and it is nothing special. But i have to give them credit for using what seems to be eco-friendly packaging. But for the price range, the packaging and watch box is irrelevant to me.

When first holding the watch, i was immediately struck by its size! Not the size of the dial, which on another note is perfect, but the size of the case. At this price range i would expect a thicker and bulkier automatic watch. Because of the lack of date complication they can make it slimmer, and it really makes the watch feel and look more luxurious!

The two other things that struck me was the case back and the mineral glass. The case back looks great with its rounded shape and screws, and the mineral glass has very little reflection.

What i like

The dial

Apart from from being graced with an original design, the dial has some other characteristics that i really enjoy.

The color of the dial is kind of “creamy white”, like it has some sort of texture. Just like porcelaine!

The markers are very crisp and i love how they printed the numbers using grey paint instead of the same black as the markers. It creates a good balance on the dial. I also love the font they used for the “regulator” print, which looks very crisp and helps fill out the dial.

I love how the logo potrudes from the dial and braks the “flat” design. It really catches the eye and give the watch a luxurious touch.

The dial also has a rounded beveled edge, which you don’t notice immediately, but gives the dial’s flat design the depth it needs.

The size

The size of this watch is jsut perfect! I usually complain about smaller watches, even though i don’t have big wrist. Maybe it’s just a matter of personal taste, but i love bigger watches.
I think this watch will satisfy people on both ends of the spectrum. Not too big, not too small.. Just perfect!

The minute hand

As i mentionned before, the dial slopes down into the watch at the edges, just like the mineral glass does. DUFA has bent the minute hand at the tip, allowing it to extend all the way to the edge of the dial, without compromising on the other design features. This feature looks really cool, especially when looking at the time from a slight angle.
The fact that the minute hands extend all the way to the edge also helps “complete” the proportions of the dial.
The blued hands is a nod to the vintage inspiration that DUFA discreetly infuses into their designs, and it always looks good on a white dial.

The case back

This is the first time i mention the case back to this extent in a watch review, and there is a good reason for that. It really looks great!
The movement and oscillating weight are not particularly beautiful, but the case surrounding them is well put together. I don’t know if it’s the 4 screws or the fact that it rounded, but it really completes the watch and satisfies the eyes.

The strap

The strap is very thin, thus continuing the slim profile of the watch case. It’s very supple and doesn’t need any wear to feel great around the wrist. The light brown suits the white dial, and give the whole watch a ligth and discreet tone, while making the watch hands stand out.

The strap buckle

I have already mentionned the strap buckle in my last DUFA review, and this watch has the same one. The mix of brushed and polished finish, combined with the potruding 3D logo, makes this buckle a great buckle for dress watches.

What i don’t like

The “made in germany” printing

The “made in germany” inscription is very hard to read, and some letters seems to be thicker than others. From a distance it’s not really a problem since most of these smaller inscriptions are hard to read. I just think it’s a shame since the rest of the dial is so crisp. Perhaps removing it completely would be suit the watch even better? Let me know in the comments what you think.

The crown

I mentionned this in my last DUFA review, and i still stand by my remark. The crown seems to be missing something. I see the same type of basic crown on fashion watches like Daniel Wellington (which i do not recommend) and it’s a shame to see it here again. I would love for DUFA to create an original crown for all their timepieces, instead of this generic looking one. Perhaps a bigger crown or one with a rounded tip would make it stand out more. At least it does have the logo inscribed on it…

The movement

The DUFA Regulator uses a Miyota movement, and i have only had good experiences with these movements. They are not very precise, and this watch loses between 10 to 20 seconds a day, but they keep running for a long time and are easy and cheap to get serviced.

What this movement is missing is a hack function. When you adjust the time, the second hand keeps ticking, making it hard to adjust it to the exact time. It’s especially a shame because this watch is a regulator watch, and they are supposed to be precise.

The price

This is a fair price

Many cheaper watches has Miyota movements, but here you are paying for an original design, a slimmer profile and a great build. I feel like you get what you pay for.


Overall, you get a great automatic dress watch for your money! If you are into minimalsitic design, but also original watches, this is the watch for you. If your budget is limited but you are looking for an original automatic dress watch, this is the watch for you. People have taken my wrist in wonder many times when i wear this timepiece, and they are usually surprised when i tell them the price. If you are looking for a more classic watch in this price range, take a look at DUFA’s other watches. I can only assume they hold the same quality standard as this one.

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