I review a lot of watches. While I always try and review a watch that I like, or at the very least see the potential in, not every watch blows my skirt up (I don’t wear skirts, but nothing wrong if you do). The RZE Endeavour is a watch that I was very much looking forward to getting in my hands. RZE is a new brand, with only one watch under their belt so far, the Endeavour being their second. The first was the Resolute, a very similar watch, but it lacked a bezel and a bracelet was not available at launch. Now they are gearing up for production of this dive version, which is a hard-coated (UltraHex is what they call it) grade 2 titanium case and bracelet. Available in 4 different colors, this 40.5mm watch is lightweight, easy to read, and takes inspiration from some of my favorite German watches, most notably Sinn and Tutima. With a preorder price of $399, which currently includes a tropic rubber strap as well, this watch is very affordable, and I have a hard time taking it off.
I have an infinity for German watches. Hanhart, Sinn, Tutima, Damasko, etc. So, it makes sense that when I saw the RZE Endeavour posted on Instagram for the first time, I knew I had to review it. When I spoke to the man behind the brand, he confirmed the inspiration and told me that a Sinn U1 was his first big watch purchase as he loves the styling as well. What is great though, it is not a copy of one particular German watch and has some styling all its own. Now, you may be wondering, who is RZE? Well, I was asked not to discuss this, but you can probably find the info online. Or, take a look at the angular case shape, and you should probably figure it out. What you do need to know is that this is not his first rodeo, and he has been designing and producing watches for quite a few years now. His goal with this new company is to mesh his unique design style along with some of his favorite watches and offer something not only attractive but also affordable. I think he hit the nail right on the head.
Taken right from the RZE ( I believe pronounced RISE) Website-
This collection was named after the HMS Endeavour, the naval vessel raised under the command of Captain James Cook on his first voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand.
The Endeavour comes in 4 colors, grey, yellow, white, and blue, and all have a sand textured dial. The white dial is a full lume dial as well, so, if you want the most lume you can get (spoiler alert, this grey dial has fantastic lume), the white is the one to get. The dial is really something special, and I was surprised just how well done it is. Beyond the sand texture, you have a grey colored hour, minute, and second hand, and I love how the baton markers with the two-tone lume paint color are integrated. If you are not familiar with the Seiko NH38 movement, it is an open heart no-date movement of the NH35 series family. What this allows is for a clean aesthetic of the dial, without a date taking up space or removing a marker, and also means no phantom crown position. I am not sure if RZE has any plans to release a version with a date, so for now, you need to look at your phone while wearing this watch if you need to know what date it is.
Something we do not see enough of is a fully indexed bezel. Now, I have never claimed to be a professional diver, but I, like a lot of watch enthusiasts, gravitate towards dive watches. I am never going to dive myself, but I love a fully indexed bezel, it just gives more substance to the bezel, and if you are timing something, while it is not always necessary, especially for timing something related to diving, it is a nice feature to have. The bezel of the RZE Endeavour is extremely easy to grip and rotate, a good sign of a functional dive watch. I also tested it with wet hands and a pair of Northface gloves that I had on hand and was able to use the bezel with no problem. How useful is this? Not sure, but I imagine a bezel that you can operate wet or with gloves should be useful for divers. Weirdly though, this watch does not include a dive extension in the clasp. That’s not the only strange thing about the clasp though.
The watch I have in hand is a prototype, or more specifically the last pre-production sample, and because we are in the preorder phase this has been in a few hands before it got to me. Keep in mind, a hard coating, whether it is Sinn’s tegimented process or this UltraHex, does not mean it is going to be scratch proof. It is harder than steel and will resist scratches, but will not be impervious to all, especially depending on what surface you knock it against. That brings me to the clasp though. The clasp is stainless steel with a titanium coating. I am not sure the reason for this, but you will see rub marks where the claps hit the first link. You can also see scratches on the clasp and the case back. Again, this was not a brand new watch when it arrived at me, nor a production piece, so keep that in mind with the hard coating.
One thing I didn’t realize after six days of wearing this watch was how small this watch actually is. The RZE Endeavour is only 40.5mm, but more importantly for me, is the bracelet taper. I am not sure if it is just how good this watch feels that made me overlook it, but tapering to 16mm at the clasp, is quite small. I never thought I would enjoy wearing a watch this size, but the proportions just seem to work well, and I am not sure if a larger version at 42mm with a 22mm bracelet would be better. I mean, sure, it would sell, but for those that are hesitant as I have been to wear a 40mm watch on a more regular basis, this particular diver makes you forget about size. Two links were removed when the watch arrived to me, and it was ready to go on my 7 1/2 inch wrist. I did take a few links out though so I could see how easy (or difficult) it was to size, and for those that have seen this before and thought it has double screws in the link, don’t fret. Only one screw is removable, the other is a non-removable bar, so it gives it a more utilitarian aestetic but is still very easy to size with one small screwdriver.
I already told you that the RZE Endeavour had great lume, but now I will show you. Two types of lume are used, BGW9 and C3 Superluminova. This is not uncommon these days as many brands have jumped on the dual lume train. What is unique is how they implemented it. No crazy lume cutouts in the middle of the dial or a lumed chapter ring and the majority of the watch lume are the BGW9, with only accents of C3. This is the opposite of what most brands do, but I like subtle green on the dial. As you can see below, if you are someone who loves lume, you will have no qualms with this piece. Just like almost any watch with lume paint, it will not stay this intense all night long, but you’ll be surprised just how long this watch stays illuminated in the dark. I found myself easily able to read the time 7 hours later in complete darkness.
This is truly one of those rare watch reviews where I do not have one complaint. Well, that is not exactly true. My biggest complaint would be these are not ready yet, and as I am finishing up this review, it is reminding me that I have to ship this watch off to someone else shortly and my time with the RZE Endeavour will be over. Unfortunately, I will have a production piece coming to me when they are ready, but that is 3-4 months away. You may be wondering, why is he so excited about a $400 watch with no date and a simple dial? Well, as I said, this takes a lot of inspiration from German watches, and simple and utilitarian is what they strive for. Yes, this is not a Sinn or a Tutima, rather it is much more affordable and gives you the same look and feel without being a ripoff of either brand. I love what they have produced here and will be impatiently waiting for summer when I can wear this watch once again.
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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