The RZE Aspirare launches the brand into yet unexplored watersFergus Nash
I’ve often sung RZE’s praises as one of the few microbrands to have kept their prices as low as possible while providing fantastic specifications, and not giving in to the temptation of price gouging or corner-cutting. After they released the bang-for-buck Valour 38 to compete for field supremacy, and brought the best-selling Endeavour case to the Ascentus GMT, RZE have finally released another brand-new model with intense dimension and beefy looks to match in the RZE Aspirare.
Up until now, RZE have been quite conscious of their case sizes pleasing the majority of modern collectors who prefer conservative diameters. Their largest watch was the now-discontinued RZE Valour Chronograph at 42mm, with the sold-out Fortitude coming in second at 41mm. The new RZE Aspirare is bullish with its 44mm diameter, and untamed with a 53mm lug-to-lug that will absolutely demand some bravery to wear if you don’t have large wrists. Although the RZE philosophy has catered to the adventurous, the Aspirare is designed to be their most rugged project yet.
Filling out the proportions is RZE’s signature style of harsh edges and large bevels, creating a blocky appearance with a slick, industrial vibe. Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of the case is actually the interchangeable bezels, which gives some design versatility with either a black or titanium insert and also easier deep-cleaning. It may be a monster on the wrist, but the wearability is helped out by the lightness of the bead-blasted titanium that keeps the weight down, as well as a total thickness of 13mm. Protecting the softer surface from scratches is RZE’s proprietary UltraHex coating, further demonstrating their incredible value and features.
All of RZE’s dials look like they mean business, but the RZE Aspirare’s could not be any more deathly serious. The applied marker at 12 o’clock is even coffin shaped, intensifying the boldness whether intentionally or not. The hands are quite thick and the seconds hand has a generous trapezoidal pip of lume, helping the Super-LumiNova be easily visible in the dark. Below the text which boasts 300m of water resistance and automatic winding is a trapezoidal date window with a black background.
The two standard models come in either Diamond White or Basalt Black with a roughed-up texture, making the black-surrounded markers and hands on the Diamond White model even more crisp. Whimsical colours don’t quite match up to the watch’s stern style, however there is a limited edition of 100 pieces in Midnight Meteorite. The crystalline pattern of the metallic surface has been given a blue treatment along with a matching blue bezel, and showcasing RZE’s attention to detail is the blue background on the date window.
Adapting to the Aspirare’s 22mm lug width and intense aesthetic, RZE have developed a new bracelet which could affect all of their future models. The ‘Ultra-Link’ design uses a mix of brushed and blasted surfaces, providing a nice sense of depth and contrast without the need for polished areas that will scratch easily in the wild. The design almost makes it look integrated with the case, and certainly carries the style all the way down to the clasp. That clasp also introduces an on-the-fly adjustment system, accommodating the expansion and contraction of your wrist in different temperatures and during exercise.
Powering the RZE Aspirare is the Japanese Miyota calibre 9015. This is one of Miyota’s premium movements, with better specifications than the 8000 series which is much more common in affordable watches. It has a smooth 4Hz beat rate that gives it a little taste of luxury, and a 42-hour power reserve with automatic winding. It’s also got the features which you would expect from a modern mechanical watch, such as hacking seconds and hand-winding ability. It’s not an exceedingly attractive movement, however, but it has been hidden behind a solid titanium caseback.
The RZE Aspirare pricing and availability:
The RZE Aspirare will be available for pre-order from June 14th, 2023, with the Midnight Meteorite version limited to 100 pieces. Price: US$639
|44mmm x 53mm x 13mm
|Black, white, or blue meteorite
|Available for pre-order soon, with the Midnight Meteorite version limited to 100 pieces