It was about a year ago that I first discovered DIRENZO Watches, founded by the Italian architect and designer, Sergio Godoy Di Renzo. Before launching the first model, the DRZ_TYPE_250F, Sergio sent me a prototype to review and now that he’s preparing the launch of his second model on Kickstart, I’m very happy to bring you this hands-on pReview of the DRZ_02.
I call it a pReview because this is again a prototype and even if the production model will have several upgrades (engraved rotor, strap and bracelet options, engraved buckle), it still gives a good idea of what this watch is all about.
As you can see in this picture, the two models are quite different, yet there are a few design clues that link the two together, such as the floating bezel and to a certain degree the layout of the dial, although the dial on the DRZ_02 is way more complex. I really liked the case of the first DRZ, but the DRZ_02 case is a masterpiece. Let’s just disregard the dial for a moment and the rest of the watch and focus purely on the case. It is jawdropping! Seriously, when was the last time that you fell in love with a watch case? Sergio’s inspiration for this unique aerodynamic case came from the Bugattis from the 1930s, but on the wrist, it actually gives the watch a 70s vibe. Most of the surface is brushed with only a few polished details, such as the side of the floating bezel and the edges of the case, all around the ellipse, highlighting the complex architecture of the case.
When it comes to the specs, the case measures 41mm without the crown, 48mm lug to lug and it has an easy to wear 11mm in height (including the curved sapphire crystal). If the first DRZ can easily be labelled as unisex, the DRZ_02 has a lot more testosterone — this is a guy’s watch, but don’t be intimidated, I have a small wrist (17 cm) and it never felt awkward, on the contrary, it could easily become a daily beater.
The sandwich dial! My heart rate goes up just looking at it! Such a beauty! The top layer is concave and on this model, it is a green gradient from dark Brunswick green to dark emerald with a sunray finish – it reminds me of British racing cars. The curved concave shape of the dial is an amazing match to the aerodynamic case and its concave sides. The bottom layer is coated with old radium Super LumiNova, reinforcing the vintage look of this model. The shape of the hands and the cut-out indexes have a modern look and I should not miss mentioning a very interesting detail. It took me some time to realize what it is, why the DRZ_02 is different from other watches… Usually, watch dials are designed to “pop”, the indexes, the hands are rhodium coated or polished to reflect the light and sparkle on the wrist. On the DRZ_02 the hands are mat! Such a simple detail, yet it makes a huge difference and when looking at the entire watch, you realize that everything comes together in harmony.
When the project will be launched on Kickstarter, in addition to this green model, you will have the possibility to chose between several colour combinations: black mat dial with C5 Super LumiNova, blue (sunray finish) with dark blue lume and light grey with dark orange lume. If the date functionality is must for you, you can have with a date at 6 o’clock.
The DRZ_02 proudly wears the Swiss Made badge, not just because of Swiss Sellita SW-200 powering it, but the assembly and quality control too will be done in Switzerland, with a final inspection of every single watch before being shipped by Sergio himself.
The racing style leather strap that came with this watch was hand-made in Germany and you will have the possibility to chose between 5 different colours, metal bracelet or crocodile strap. The packaging is very similar to the first model, and it will also come with a leather watch roll that can come very handy when travelling.
Watches like the DRZ_02 is the reason why I’m a huge fan of microbrands and even among micros, it is very rare to see so much creativity in a single watch. If the debut model of Direnzo was an exciting model, the DRZ_02 is a lot more mature and daring design. Here, I’m going to write it down, the DRZ_02 is one of the best microbrand designs of 2018!
The Kickstarter campaign is scheduled for November 12, 2018, with pre-order prices starting at US$460 and full retail at US$699. To learn more about the DRZ_02 go to www.direnzowatches.com.
Case material: 316L (Stainless steel or PVD)
Crystal: sapphire with anti-reflection coating
Water resistant: 5atm
Diameter without crown: 41mm
Lug to lug: 48mm (22mm strap)
Case back: screw down with sapphire
Movement automatic: Sellita SW-200 (date or no date)
Dial: two-layer sandwich construction with “bowl” shape (top layer)