RZE is a brand that immediately got my attention and respect. That is partly due to the owner being the former co-owner of Boldr, but also the very cool specs you get for the price.
After reviewing the RZE Resolute, I had even higher hopes for their next watches, and boy did they deliver. The Valour retains that unique RZE feel that runs through all their watches but sets itself apart nonetheless.
This review is in collaboration with Watchbandit, a European online retailer of RZE watches and many more microbrands. They are a trusted webshop that I highly recommend, and you should check them out ASAP!
I present to you, the RZE Valour.
The watch comes in a cool water resilient leather casing, with room for one watch and accessories. This is always nice to have if you travel with 2 watches.
RZE keeps its designs consistent across their watches, and the Valour is no exception to this rule. The matt textured titanium is not only found on the case and crown but on the hands and indices, giving this watch a strong personality.
The angular case shape is kept from previous designs, with a few modifications, like a beveled edge and a wider profile.
The dial is not only nicely contrasted but has great depth to it thanks to the tall hour indices and the sunken sub-registers and date aperture. Perfect symmetry is also present thanks to the 6 o’clock date aperture double sub-registers.
The pink salmon color of this model is spot on, and the slightly grained texture does not only match the matt finish of the titanium around it but plays super well with any amount of light it encounters.
Omitting the continuous second’s hand is quite lovely and you almost forget that it is a quartz module powering the time functions. The downside is you are not sure if the watch is running, but you can always try the chronograph or live with the fact that it will only let you down once every 3 years.
Overall, a great design that echoes the brand and remains unique, without being too “avant-garde” or crazy. It’s a joy to look at, and a design that is comfortable to wear as well.
The case, crown, and bezel
All the exterior meta parts are well finished, with sharp angles that still remain slightly dull to the touch and comfortable to brush over with your fingers. The titanium makes it very light on the wrist and the Ultra-Hex coating gives it a soft grainy look and feel to it, like sandblasted metal.
The crown has a great engraved grip pattern that does the job perfectly, and the RZE logo is protruding well enough to be felt under your fingertips.
The chrono-pushers has a little bit of play in them, but nothing I wouldn’t except for this price range, and certainly not enough to displace them visually. It takes a bit of a hard push to start the chronograph, and they lack feedback on the stop and start functions, but the reset function clicks very satisfyingly.
The bezel features crisp black printing that sits in small engraved cavities. This means you won’t easily scratch off that printing with everyday wear and tear.
The dial and hands
Alignment on dials is usually what grins my gears the most, but on the RZE Valour, everything is perfectly aligned! The date sits right in the middle of the aperture, with a small sunken flank around it for added effect. The chronograph hand is right in the center of the two 12 o’clock indices, parallel to the seconds counter hand, making this a watch with ZERO alignment flaws.
The white-on-black date disc matches perfectly with the 2 black sub-registers. Both the date wheel and the registers have ultra-crisp printing that looks good even under a loupe.
The pink salmon base dial is stunning, with the same grainy texture as the rest of the watch, but with a lovely color that enhances it and makes it pop!
The raised indices also feature the same grainy texture, with sharp angles and zero traces of machining to the naked eye.
The white painted hands do have some traces of machining or paint lumps, but you really have to squint your eyes to look for them.
The central hour and minute hands really well-executed, with a sharp angle running down the middle of them, making them more visible in different angles. Even under a loupe, there is little to suggest that these hands weren’t meant for a new Omega watch.
The BGW9 lume is applied in abundance on the indices and central hands. It’s perfectly flat and white, with no grainy textures or flaws.
This is a great example of how to apply lume successfully, and it shows in the dark with a consistent light across the dial that lasts for a long time.
The rubber strap is probably the best rubber strap i have had my hands on in this price range!
It is extremely soft and flexible, with a texture that doesn’t grip the skin, even when wet. The underside features grooves for breathability and comfort, and the first holder loop is fixed in places by 4 notches. I could accept this kind of quality on my Breitling rubber straps!
The buckle is custom and features the same Ultra-Hex treatment as the rest of the watch (and surely is the part that needs it the most). A deeply engraved logo sits on the side because it was simply too cool to be in the middle like everyone else does.
As i write this, i have yet to receive the metal bracelet, but i will update this review once i have my hands on it!
The RZE Valour is running thanks to a Seiko-produced SII VK64 mecaquartz movement. It’s a hybrid movement that uses a quartz module for the main functions of the watch and a mechanical module for the chronograph. This creates a smoother secondhand motion, around 3 or 4 ticks a second, and gives you a bit more mechanical feel when using it.
The battery will last around 3 years with normal use and it’s accuracy is around -+ 20 seconds a month. Read more about the VK64 Seiko movement here.
On the wrist
On the wrist, the watch is extremely comfortable thanks to the quality rubber strap, the downward-facing lugs, and the light titanium case. The size is moderate, meaning it will fit most small to big wrists.
On my 17cm wrists, the watch sits perfectly without being too big, yet holds a good wrist presence and a modern size.
RZE once again shows us how many cool specs and unique details you can get for your money, without having to defy the common notion of how a watch should look like.
The RZE Valour is tough, charming, colorful yet understated, and much more comfortable than those sharp angles would lead you to believe.
Definitely worth the money and the wrist-time! RZE has become a brand that I can now recommend full-heartedly.