For the past few years, there has been a trend in the watch world, specifically the microbrand watch world, with smaller diameter watches. Why? Who knows? How do these trends start anyway? Whatever the reason, many microwatches released these days are under 40mm. And that is fine, as it seems there are many who do prefer a more compact watch. But what if you don’t, what if you are begging and waiting for a watch that has a diameter of the ones from yesteryear? Well, the RZE Aspirare is a watch that is bucking the trend, with a 44mm x 53mm grade 2 titanium diver. This newest release is the largest watch the young Singaporean microbrand has made to date, and not only is it large in size, but it has a lot of great features as well, with 300m of water resistance, interchangeable titanium bezels, sapphire crystal, and a Miyota 9015 movement.
The RZE Aspirare comes in two dial colors currently, white, and this black one I have here, and there was a limited blue meteorite but that one is all sold out. I imagine if this model sells well, there will probably be more colorways in the future, but both dials have a grain-like texture, like black sand, or a gravel road. It’s a deep black and plays well with the applied indices, the 12 o’clock which looks like a coffin, and the steel surrounds. It’s somewhat basic, but has a nice stark contrast and makes it very easy to read. The R logo is still here, and it still reminds me of the Robin logo, but I kind of like that, and the rest of the text is kept to the bare minimum. A date at 6 o’clock finishes it off, and it’s nicely integrated and color-matched to the dial.
Beyond the 44mm size, another selling point of the RZE Aspirare is the interchangeable bezels. This model comes with 2 titanium bezels, one all-titanium with painted SuperLuminova markers, and one with a DLC black insert. As far as the look and functionality of the bezels, I love them. They definitely remind one of Sinn, and the grip is fantastic and the 120-click bezel has a great feel with just the tiniest amount of backplay. Now swapping the bezels isn’t as easy as I would have hoped. The actual process is pretty straightforward, three screws hold the bezel in place, and once you remove them, you can lift off the bezel, then line up the other one and screw back down. The issue here is the screws are so tiny, so very, very tiny, that it makes this a time-consuming project. You’ll want a magnetic screw diver if you have one, and get a good pair of watch tweezers, because even with my medium-sized hands, picking up one of these tiny screws and trying to insert it into the bezel hole is almost impossible.
Now, I probably over-exaggerated this issue in the Youtube video, as again, this is a complex operation, it’s just 3 screws. But with these screws being so tiny, the possibility of one flying out of the bezel or bouncing off your table when removing one is high. Fortunately, 3 others are included in the box, but I just wonder about the longevity of this screw system. A head getting marred by a screw diver, and the screw getting stripped, are possible, as well as scratching the bezel while removing or installing. I would have preferred if both bezels had the spring and internals in them, so you could just use a knife to pop off the bezel and switch them out that way. All that said, it is nice to have the choice of bezels, but I wouldn’t plan on swapping them out weekly.
As with all titanium models from RZE, this grade 2 titanium case of the RZE Aspirare has a hard coating, that RZE refers to as Ultra-Hex. Like any hard coating, this will help prevent light scratches, but of course, if you were to scratch it with something very hard, drop it on pavement, etc., expect scratches. The case finishing on this model is unique, with the majority of the case being bead blasted, but the sides of the case have a fine vertical brushing, which not only looks beautiful but makes it stand out from just another blasted titanium case. You’ll also notice drilled lugs, which is a little odd, only because the bracelet has quick-release pins. I assume the drilled lugs are there to either make removal with the pins easier or for if you plan on switching them out to regular pins.
Speaking of the bracelet, this is a new bracelet for the brand, and I for one love it. Instead of an H link, I would call this the upside-down U link, or maybe a horseshoe link if you will. Like the case, the bracelet is not all blasted, the U part of the links is brushed, creating a nice contrast. Screws are used to hold it all together, so sizing is fairly easy, and then we get to the clasp, another upgrade for RZE. We have seen this clasp on a few other brands, but that doesn’t take away from its function. A button underneath allows you to slide out or push in a link, so if you find yourself with the bracelet being too tight or too loose, you can adjust this on the fly with this clasp. Keep in mind, this isn’t really a divers extension, so if you plan to use this over a wetsuit, you may want to think about a rubber strap instead.
Now with this RZE Resolute being 44mm, there is going to be some pushback from the watch community, just like the guys who love the bigger watches complain when a brand comes out with a 38mm watch. All of us have to remember, that not everyone enjoys the same things or has the same-sized wrist, so it only makes sense for brands to produce multiple sizes. If you have a small wrist or don’t like big watches, well this one isn’t for you. Fortunately, there are other watches from RZE and many other brands, that are 40mm or under.
For me, on my 7 1/2 inch (19.05cm) wrist, it fits perfectly, and I don’t fit this to be an oversized watch at all. Actually, it is very comfortable due to the lug’s shape and the fact that this is all titanium. If this watch were steel, I may find it a little cumbersome.
And then we have the lume, which as usual from RZE, is bright and long-lasting, and is also dual colored lume, again, something that RZE does on most of their watches. Both bezels are lumed as well, and though I prefer the black bezel, both look great in the dark.
I find this RZE Aspirare to be a great-looking new model, and even though the price is a little higher than past offerings, this one does up the specs as well. I think it was smart of RZE to go with a larger diver, it should definitely expand there audience to guys who have been shying away due to the smaller-sized offerings, and even though this is a larger watch, I don’t feel it is oversized, everything seems to be well proportioned, and this is not a very thick watch as well, so it is still very wearable for multiple occasions. Of course, I would like a simplified bezel exchange, but then again, I imagine most will just put one bezel on and leave it that way, if you do plan on swapping occasionally to change up the look, just be patient and take your time.
I hope they do offer more versions of this watch in the future, with some different dial colors and textures, and I would love to see some all-black variants, yes, for those who like a smaller watch, maybe they can scale it down to 40mm, as this is an attractive watch that many will probably want to wear.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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