Off the Cuff: RZE Valour 38

Get them while they’re hot. Earlier this month, RZE launched a new field watch on Kickstarter, crushing their initial goal on the first day. At the time of publication, in fact, they had pledged ten times that amount—proving that, of late, the young brand can seem to do no wrong.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
The RZE Valour 38 @calibre321

Indeed, the Valour 38 is a no-nonsense go-anywhere, do-anything design that is austere and utilitarian in appearance—playing to the watchmaker’s strengths. At only 38mm in diameter (true to its name) and 45mm lug to lug, the watch certainly won’t get in the way of any adventures. In fact, it also comes in at a svelte 11mm in thickness so that it will disappear seamlessly under a jacket cuff when required.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Titanium case weighs only 57g @calibre321

The true magic, of course, is the titanium case which weighs a mere 57g. If you’re not constantly staring at it, you might even forget it’s even there. Like all watches from the brand, the titanium used here is treated with a proprietary Ultra-Hex coating which protects the timepiece from oxidization and scratches. The new case design is an attractive one that mixes brushed planes with polished chamfers and bevels. While it maintains the overall angular appearance of past models, there is a decidedly different swoop to the case sides, reminiscent of other great field watches like the CWC Mellor 72 or even the Hamilton Aviation Pilot Pioneer.

With its screw-down crown and caseback, the Valour 38 offers up 100m of water resistance, as well, making it a perfect companion for all your outdoor adventures.


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RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Powered by the Seiko NH38A @calibre321

RZE have chosen the no date NH38 to power the watch. This means no ghost date on the crown and a clean, well-balanced dial. In fact, the RZE branding is limited to a tiny logo beneath the six position. The lack of clutter, paired with bold painted numerals, makes for a highly legible dial. The flat sapphire crystal helps in this respect, treated as it is with a healthy undercoat of AR. The Valour 38 extends its visibility into the evening hours with an application of Japan SuperLume on the hour markers and the hands.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Easily legible dial @calibre321

I really like the customized NATO the brand has chosen for the Valour 38. It is a modified single pass strap equipped with titanium hardware and colour-matched to the dial (at least in the grey and blue references). In a nice touch of added value, the hardware has also been coated in Ultra-Hex, like the case.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Japan SuperLume @calibre321

Even more impressive is the second HexaFlex strap—a custom carbon rubber band, also with titanium hardware. The HexaFlex comes with quick-release spring bars.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Customized single-pass NATO @calibre321

While the Slate Grey protoype is featured here, the timepiece is also offered in Spruce Green, Vervain Blue, Whistler White, and Arrowleaf Yellow. The colourways have all been chosen in reference to the natural beauty of Canada’s British Columbia—a haven of outdoor adventure in its own right.


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Specs

CaseGrade 2 Titanium /w UltraHex Coating
38mm Diameter
45mm Lug to Lug
11mm Thick
20mm Lug Width
Screw Down Crown & Caseback
100m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalFlat Sapphire Crystal
/w AR Undercoating
Sterile Dial
Painted numerals & Indices
Baton Hands
Japan SuperLume
MovementSII NH38A
21 600bph
24 Jewels
41-Hour Power Reserve
StrapNATO Strap /w Titanium Hardware
HexaFlex Carbon Rubber Strap

RZE Valour 38


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Angular, brushed titanium planes @calibre321

Of Interest

In an effort to minimize its environmental footprint, as an option RZE will ship your Valour 38 in an upcycled tarpaulin pouch. Large enough to house your travel documents, charging cables, and other EDC gear, the Blackcomb pouch–named after Whistler’s Blackcomb Peak–makes for a nice bit of kit. It comes lined with heavy-duty canvas and elastics. Its Velcro exterior is meant to help you customize the pouch with patches and badges gathered during your escapades. 

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Perfectly sized for adventure @calibre321

Quibbles

The Valour 38 is a no frills three-hander. What you see is what you get. And it’s probably all you need.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
Sterile dial @calibre321

Final Thoughts

The nomenclature of the Valour 38 is an interesting choice–drawing as it does on the brand’s sold out Valour Chronograph. Similarities in case shape (minus the pushers, of course) are evident, but that’s about the extent of the comparison. The Valour 38 is a smaller, tidier version of that earlier watch, with what some might consider a slightly more sophisticated finishing. The bezel is sharp, the case robust. And unlike many watches in this price category, the strap options are thoughtful and equally sturdy. The Valour 38 is easily recognizable as an RZE, and yet it manages to feel fresh, at the same time. If RZE hadn’t already hit its stride as a watchmaker before the Valour 38, then it certainly has found its pace now. In the Valour 38 you receive a field watch of elevated styling, a crisp dial, 100m of water resistance, and solid titanium construction. Toss in the workhorse, automatic Japanese movement, and it’s difficult to find fault in the offering. If you’re in the market for a GADA three-hander, the Valour 38 might be the watch for you.

Kickstarter pricing begins at only $219USD. Later, it will retail for $299USD. For more information, please visit the brand website or pledge your support on Kickstarter.

RZE Valour 38 Microbrand Watch Review Kickstarter
The RZE Valour 38 @calibre321

About the author

Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.


Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.

Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.

18 thoughts on “Off the Cuff: RZE Valour 38

  1. Damien

    I think they nailed it with the 38mm case! I have a Timex 40mm field watch and I feel like it should be smaller. Looks incredible!!!

    Like

  2. darrenstollings

    So cool, it is bare bones and straight to the point, and seemingly done well. Field watch options are abundant, but through the simplicity in the dial and crisp, clean lines of the case this one stands out. So nice

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joel McKellar

    The lugs definitely stand out to me on RZE watches, but they are growing on me. Its cool to see small Kickstarter brands try designs you wouldn’t get to see from the big traditional brands.

    Liked by 1 person

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