Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse

Sergio Godoy of Direnzo Watches is easily one of the freshest designers in the microbrand world. With each of his creations, he has looked to the classics and then reimagined them as uniquely beautiful, thoroughly modern timepieces. His latest is the DRZ 03 Eclipse, which also happens to be the brand's first diver. The Kickstarter campaign starts at 5:00 PM GMT today, but I got to try a pair of prototypes back in December. I loved them.

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse gray

Measuring 40mm wide and 48mm long, the Eclipse's stainless steel case is comfortably mid-sized and perfect for my 6.75" wrist. Behind the engraved case back lies a Swiss Sellita SW-200-1, a 26 jewel, 28.8k bph, automatic. Despite having proper gaskets for a 200m water resistance rating it is a svelte 12.5mm thick and blessed with a properly proportioned (signed and screw-down) crown that only protrudes about 3mm. As such, you will have no trouble wearing it wherever you like, be it with your business suit or your wetsuit. The case has circular brushing on the top and longitudinal brushing along the sides, bisected by a slender, polished chamfer. All of those lug-to-lug lines in the profile emphasize the Eclipse's length, making it appear even slimmer. It all adds up to a classic retro-style shape.

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse wrist

While the very traditional case grounds the design, the face brings it roaring into the present. There are two layers at play. The first is a dished fumé dial that curves upwards to form the chapter index, and onto which the hour markers are affixed. A flat, matte-finished disk occupies the center, forming a shadowed moon over a color-fade sky. Voilà! Eclipse. Of course, it does not end there. The markers are a combination of circles, rounded bars, and a 12 o'clock triangle. It is similar to the layout of the DRZ 02, but these are as impressively tall as those of the previous model were deep.

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse blue

Direnzos have always had distinctive handsets and the DRZ 03 shakes it up a bit. The minute hand shares the same shape as was used on the earlier watches, featuring a fat round base that radically tapers to a narrow tip. The hour hand is an all-new arrow shape with a huge head, softened by curved lines in its underside and shaft. As with other elements of this watch, you will easily catch the association with certain vintage divers, but it is unmistakably a modern, Direnzo design. A lollipop second hand with a matching counterweight caps it off. For me, the added bonus is the way the minute hand and the needle tip of the second hand match the length of the markers, and the way the second hand's bubble grazes their lower edge. Very neatly done.

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse

The coin-edged bezel moves smoothly through its 120-click unidirectional rotation with no fuss, wobble, or back play. It sports a comparatively slim sapphire insert so the dial-to-bezel ratio makes the watch appear somewhat larger. Like the dial, it is marked with dots and bars but except for the triangle, their positions are reversed (dots for bars and vice-versa).

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse blue

Initially, there will be only two color schemes in the works: gray with Old Radium SuperLuminova and a black bezel, and blue with BGW9 and a blue bezel. All markers and hands glow brightly. I am particularly intrigued by the red dial stretch goal. I didn't get to see that one, but that Eclipse effect dial in blood red with white lume should be a stunner. 


Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse lume

Both date and no-date versions will be offered. Now, normally, I am strictly a no-date guy, but just as he did on the DRZ 02, Sergio has incorporated the date beautifully as a color-matched disk through a porthole just above the 6 o'clock marker. It is almost too good to pass up, although the date is the only function that uses a number.

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse bracelet

Direnzo offers a variety of 20mm straps with the watch purchase. First up, is an Oyster style link bracelet with fitted solid end links and a signed, flip-lock extension clasp. Second, a Marine Nationale type elastic nylon strap. Finally, if the stretch goal is met, backers will also get a rubber Tropic style two-piece. If you are still looking for another strap, you can add an optional a vegetable tanned, minimally stitched leather strap for $30 (this was not yet available when I did my review).

The bracelet is essential and very well executed. The other straps are perfectly fine although, I'll admit that I am probably the only watch fan on earth who does not love a Marine Nationale. Personally, I'd want the bracelet and the leather.

Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse

The watches will start at 489 CHF or about $500 US, which is excellent for a piece with these specifications and movement. If you have a fondness for vintage divers but want something that is more contemporary than derivative, then check out the Direnzo DRZ 03 Kickstarter page now. I suspect a watch this good will sell out fast.⬩


Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse clasp
Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse case back
Direnzo DRZ 03 Eclipse










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