DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F

Named for the fabled 1950's Maserati racing car, the DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F is a sleek watch incorporating some clever styling cues that set it apart from the crowd. It won't be available to order until September 2017, but I was able to try out a pair of prototypes for this review. You might want to keep an eye for that Kickstarter debut because the 250F is rather appealing. 

DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F black

An architect by profession, Sergio Godoy Di Renzo designed the watch in tribute to the historic Formula One racing while avoiding obvious automotive clich├ęs. You won't find racing stripes or steering wheels on this one, just a hint of instrument panel in a handsome, mid-sized package. Seiko provides the engine, the stalwart NH35 automatic (24 jewels, 21.6k bph, hacking, and hand winding). Note that although the company is based in Geneva, the 250F is obviously not "Swiss Made" as defined by law, nor does it claim to be, but the watches will be assembled in a Swiss facility. 

Longtime readers know I almost never comment about boxes or packaging, but I will take note if a brand does something especially different or useful. DiRenzo did exactly this by supplying a fabulous leather case made of soft, distressed leather with two pockets behind a book cover embossed with the company logo and secured with a broad elastic strap. It is the sort of quality extra that makes you feel as if you got a real bonus with your purchase.

DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F black, yellow, in leather case

Conceived as a dress/sports watch, the 250F has a 40mm polished stainless steel case that is just a touch over 10mm thick. It is a straight cylinder without curves, but a tidy wedge shaped channel below the bezel creates a pronounced break in the otherwise unadorned sides, making the watch appear even thinner. Slim, angular lugs are mounted low on the case and reach just slightly below the case back. They extend the length to just 48mm, giving the watch the ideal proportions for my 6.5" wrist. I found it to be right in the sweet spot for both work and casual wear. 

DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F yellow wrist shot

Both of the prototypes' leather straps were nicely constructed in the minimal stitch style. They taper from 20mm to an 18mm signed buckle. The black strap is the dressier of the two, while the brown has a pleasant pull-up effect that gives it some time-worn charm. 

The 250F has a double domed and anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal, andits is rated for 50m water resistance. You certainly wouldn't take this watch diving or subject it to other outdoor abuse, but it has more than adequate protection for everyday wear without worry. 

DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F black wrist shot

The dial is clean and well executed, offering just a hint of classic race car instrumentation in its open railroad track index, long baton hands, and bright red needle of a second hand. Small triangular hour markers are incorporated into the index. Arabic numerals mark the four primary hours, with "00" at 12 o'clock, highlighted by the absence of an index on either side. There is no date and will not be an option. The fine lined and broadly spaced letters of the brand name at the top of the dial is balanced by a simple and effective rounded logo at the bottom. It is clean, legible, and highly attractive.

DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F black wrist shot

Only two colors will be offered: black on yellow and yellow on black. To my eye, the black dial is the clear winner as it presents the highest contrast and most pleasing pop of color. The other dial has its charms, but I suspect its pale "Post-It Note" yellow might be an acquired taste. My only gripe is that neither dial has any illumination. True dress watches typically don't, but sport watches do. I am of the opinion that a little lume is a welcome addition to any watch. I like the 250F as is, but replacing the yellow printing with a creamy natural color SuperLuminova and offering a full-lume dial would have put it over the top. 


DiRenzo DRZ Type 250F black, yellow, in leather case

Of course, like most armchair watch designers, I have the luxury of ignoring the cost of my hypothetical improvements, and the cost is another where the DiRenzo excels. Pricing should be $420 retail and $270 for Kickstarter early birds, which makes the 250F a tempting proposition. For more information and to sign up for notifications, visit DiRenzoWatches.com. ⬩




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