RZE Watches has really hit the ground running. Their first watch, the Resolute was very well received, but the Endeavour that I reviewed really took off, with all the preorders selling out before expected delivery. Now, their third watch, the RZE Valour Chronograph is about to hit the scene. Unlike their first two offerings, based on the same case design, the Valour is more vintage-inspired, uses a meca-quartz chronograph movement, and only comes in 3 options, a GT Black, a Salmon dial, and one dubbed Crusader White. You can see all colors in the picture below. These watches will not go up for preorder, nor will there be a month-long Kickstarter campaign. No, on July 31st, these watches are going to be available for immediate shipment. That’s surprising in itself, considering how most microbrands do preorders or KS these days, and considering the past year we have all had, it seems RZE is pretty confident these watches will be a hit. At $369 at launch, they are definitely a budget-minded piece but read on to see how they stack up.
When you read through the specifications, you can see, there is a lot happening with this piece, especially for under $400. Yes, this is not automatic, it is a meca-quartz, an SII V64 meca-quartz, a popular option for microbrands for doing a chronograph on the cheap. Some have an issue with this movement because even though you get a mechanic feel to the pushers and a flyback style Chrono hand, there are no running seconds most of the time. (No pun intended). It is available with running seconds at the 6 o’clock sub-dial, but for some reason, many brands choose to delete that and go for a two-eye Chrono instead. I think it is an aesthetic choice and nothing more and if I am being honest, I am not a big fan of a running second sub-dial, so I think I prefer to do without.
Looking past the movement, the RZE Valour Chronograph does offer a lot, with a grade 2 titanium case, in this instance, Black PVD coated with an UltraHex coating on top of it. What is UltraHex you ask? Well, it is a hard coating, meant to reduce wear and ability to scratch, but like many other hard coatings, this will wear off over time, and remember, NOTHING IS SCRATCHPROOF, there is always a surface or substance that can scratch a coating. The vintage-esque case has a case shape that could be called a cushion case, but the lugs drop-down severely, giving a sharp-angled appearance that is pleasing to the eye, but also comfortable to wear. You will notice drilled lugs as well, but the VKM rubber strap is quite nice on the wrist, but not everyone likes rubber, so at least you can easily switch it out.
Chronograph pushers are integrated into the case, and for all those that love watches such as this, but are usually let down by no screw-down crown-fret not, as RZE has given the Valour 200m of water resistance, and yes, the crown does screw down. The R Logo is very prominent and still reminds me of the DC Superhero Robin, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The watch you see here in the photos and video was a sample sent to me back in April, but even this sample felt like a production piece and the crown and pushers had a great solid feel and action to them. More and more these days, watches that are relatively cheap continue to surprise me for the quality that is achieved.
As I mentioned, the dial of the RZE Valour Chronograph is a two-eye chronograph, and with that, you get a somewhat cleaner dial than you would with a standard Chrono. All dials look to be easy to read the time, even this black and orange dial, but the salmon dial seems to have the most contrast. As is with sub-dials this small, they are hard to read at a glance, and as I am getting older these days, I probably wouldn’t use this to time anything myself, but if you do, this is a 60 minute Chrono only, and then you have your military time as well, and the standard tachymeter around the bezel. My favorite aspect of the dial? That would be the date at 6 o’clock, but if you are a fan of Watchreport, you already knew that.
On my 7 1/2 inch wrist, the Valour is quite comfortable. The case shape just lends itself to draping nicely on the wrist and as I said, the rubber strap is smooth and comfortable, has some venting ridges on the back and it does use quick-release spring bars-not my favorite, but that does seem to be the trend these days, and I need to get it over it I guess. The buckle may not look super custom, it is a good-looking buckle, and at least it is not one of those $10 cent thumbnail buckles some brands use.
This is the type of watch that I wouldn’t look to for stellar lume, and even though the RZE Valour Chronograph does have a pretty decent lume application, this is not a dive watch, so do not expect to read the time 5 hours later in the pitch-black dark. That said, it does look nice and bright when fully charged, as you can see below.
Twenty years ago, getting a watch such as this, for under $400, was not a norm whatsoever. These days, it is a lot more common. The RZE Valour Chronograph does feel like it takes things a notch up, especially with a titanium hard coated case. We have seen similar style cases, even from other microbrands, but there are some custom touches here, and overall I feel this watch does punch above its price. Is it the watch for me? Sadly, no. Not every watch can be. I do really enjoy the look, and I love the case, but the chronograph is just not my favorite, at least with this setup and I would much rather a three-hand dial put into this case. But, if you love a chronograph, or you just love this case design and colors used, I can understand your want to purchase. With vintage styling all the rage, I have a feeling this one is going to sell very well. If you are in love with it, or just want to check out more, make sure to sign up to be notified when it goes live HERE.
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.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.