Are you curious about the Rze Resolute? In this hands-on review, we’ll share all the details you need to know about this interesting watch.
Based in Singapore and Malaysia, Rze was founded in late 2020 by Travis Tan. Originally a founding member of BOLDR Supply Co, he left for new horizons starting his own brand.
Their first watch, the Resolute, made its debut through Kickstarter. The campaign was a great success, garnering nearly 6 times the project funding goal. Rze have since expanded their collection with a diver and a chronograph.
As stated on their website, Rze’s mission is to produce watches that are durable, versatile, and sustainable.
In line with the company’s sustainability efforts, the watch comes packaged in an upcycled tarpaulin watch case.
It’s lined with a sueded microfiber fabric and secured closed with a water resistant YKK zipper.
The case is awesome and convenient for travel. It’s always appreciated when watch companies include a travel case.
This is an angular watch all around. Composed almost entirely of slanted edges, the machining is nice and satisfyingly crisp.
The lugs, for example, are given a double bevel, with each successive plane smaller than the last. Even the curved surfaces like the bezel are chamfered. In keeping with the “field watch” ethos, the entire case is bead blasted and subdued.
As a whole, the matte finish diffuses light, emphasizes the many angles, and gives the watch a very geometric appearance.
The titanium features Rze’s proprietary ULTRAHex coating, which they boast is eight times stronger than steel (1200Hv on the Vickers scale). While I haven’t scientifically tested this claim, it’s held up nicely over a few weeks of wear.
I’ve bumped the watch on a few surfaces and haven’t noticed any scratches yet. The finish does seem to be prone to smudges from sweat and other substances. Fingerprints can sometimes be a little tedious to wipe away.
The crown features 10 large teeth, making it cog-like in appearance. This design is unique and effective. It’s easy to grip and comfortable to use. On its end is an embossed Rze logo.
The sapphire crystal has been treated with 10-12 anti-reflective coatings on the underside. This cuts down glare significantly and makes the crystal practically disappear when viewed at certain angles.
The caseback is quite minimalistic. Reminiscent of old military field watches, it’s engraved with the watch’s specs and nothing else, giving off a no-frills attitude.
As the watches are produced in editions, each one is designated a unique number below the company logo.
The multifaceted design of the case makes getting an accurate size measurement a little tricky. The official case width on Rze’s website is 40.5mm, but I’ve measured between 39.5mm and 40.9mm (including the crown guards).
It’s safe to say the watch wears a little smaller than that due to its stout lug to lug distance.
- Case width w/crown: 42.2mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Lug to lug: 46mm
- Thickness: 11.6mm
- Weight: 47g (case) 58g (with strap), 92g (on bracelet)
The dial consists of a printed minute track at the perimeter, applied baton indices, and a framed date window at the 3 o’clock. Consistent with the rest of the design, the date window and indices are beveled on both ends, creating octagonal shapes.
The 12 o’clock gets a double baton for quick orientation and legibility. The indices, hands, and date window are all treated to the same matte, satinized finish as the case.
They contrast nicely against the textured dial, giving off a slight metallic sheen as you turn the watch in the light. Besides that, Rze kept it clean with their minimalist logo and two lines of text stating the depth rating and movement type.
I think the date frame chokes up a little tightly around the numerals. Some of the double-digit numbers feel a little claustrophobic in the frame.
In heavy directional light, the window casts a shadow over the date, and the frame itself obscures the numerals from any angle except straight-on. This is a small nitpick but still something that came to mind.
There also seems to be a small QC issue with the alignment of the minute track and indices. The printed 45 and 60 minute numerals are just right of center to the applied batons.
I’m not 100% sure if it’s the minute track or the indices at fault, but something is slightly askew.
The lume application is great. A moment in the sun gives enough charge for the watch to glow distinctly as you enter a room. The combination of Swiss Superluminova C3 and BGW9 lume works together for legibility and looks plain awesome.
The minute track is punctuated with lume pips at each index, save for the Arabic numerals at 15, 30, 45, and 60. All of these spots have been coated with BGW9.
In addition, the 12, 6, and 9 indices are subdivided and filled with blue lume. The BGW9 doesn’t glow quite as brightly as the Superluminova, especially on the printed areas of the minute track. Understandable, as there’s much more area to fill within the indices.
The leather-backed canvas strap feels sturdy on the wrist. It was incredibly stiff out of the box, but it has softened up with a week or two of wear. I recommend bending it and working it into shape before you try it on for the first time.
The holes of the strap are reinforced with extra stitching to prevent fraying, and my favorite detail has to be the signed titanium buckle coordinated to match the watch case.
The thin H-link styling of the bracelet reminds me of Casio’s iconic digital watches, and I mean that in a good way. While those bracelets are cheap folded steel (sometimes infamous for pulling hairs), this one is quality made, deceptively lightweight, and comfortable on the wrist.
It tapers from 20mm down to about 16mm at the clasp. The clasp itself, also quite slim, is about 18mm wide.
It houses four micro-adjustment positions. Right off the bat, I was happy to see solid endlinks, screwed pins for sizing, and a fully machined clasp. There’s an abundance of links included, maxing out at almost 9 inches in circumference.
They’ve also done a great job matching the metals. The bracelet links are of the same blasted titanium finish as the case, while the clasp and screw pins are stainless steel.
I can see why, the more durable steel will hold up better on sensitive moving components. Since the bracelet is so slim and light, I thought the watch would feel top heavy. However, the weight of the clasp offsets the weight of the case for a fairly balanced feel.
The machining tolerances are pretty good, especially on the endlinks where I see no noticeable play between them and the lugs. The links have a slight flex to them, and the bracelet as a whole is moderately jangly if worn loose.
The bracelet retails for $109, which I think is a fair price considering the build quality and materials.
My personal preference is to wear the watch on straps. Since the case and bracelet are entirely matte, I feel like the case “pops” more on a contrasting strap.
I think it’s a little bit more visually dynamic, but this is just my personal taste. If you enjoy the aesthetic of one uniform matte finish, the build quality of the bracelet is worth the cost.
Rze opted to use a Seiko NH35. This workhorse movement is dependable, affordable, and easy to service. It’s got hacking, handwinding, and a 41 hour power reserve.
They state that there’s an abundance of spare parts to easily service these movements, which is absolutely true. The NH35 is one of the most common automatic movements on the market.
I had an interesting, if not slightly alarming experience with the movement the first time I got it up and running. After about two hours of use, the movement halted suddenly.
I moved the hands around, reset the time, then screwed the crown back in. The movement started up again like normal. This has not happened a second time, and I assume it was a weird hitch as the movement was breaking in.
Final Thoughts: This Is an Awesome Watch for the Price
This little guy is a spec monster, and it packs everything you could ask for in a field watch. A sapphire crystal, AR coating, a screw down crown, 100m of water resistance, drilled lugs for easy strap changes, great lume.
It’s difficult to find any faults with the watch other than my small nitpicks. Nothing feels unintentional, and every detail seems thought out by the designers.
Overall, I appreciate that Rze is trying to give their watches a unique identity. The Resolute is not derivative of an existing luxury watch like so many watches out there.
In terms of aesthetics and specifications, it’s a very contemporary watch. While they do offer a Tropic style rubber strap, I’d like to see Rze develop a custom fitted rubber strap with a modern design to match the geometry of their case designs.
The inclusion of applied indices also adds a touch of refinement you don’t usually get with field watches. I’d even argue that this could be a do-it-all “one watch collection” contender.
It’s tough enough to wear on the trail, at the gym, and in the water. But throw on a leather strap, and you could easily dress this one up for dinner and night out. For what it aims to do, the Resolute is executed near perfectly.