We first featured the Direnzo DRZ Type 250F a month ago, and we have now had our hands on a review model. Is it worth the $420 asking price?
A Week on the Wrist – Direnzo DRZ Type 250F
The DRZ Type 250F has a design which draws inspiration from the racing cars of the 1940s and 1950s, particularly the Maserati Type 250F, which was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in his famous victory at the 1957 Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. The watch is powered by an automatic Seiko NH35 movement which should give years of trouble-free service.
Our first impressions of the watch were very positive. The watch is supplied in a high-quality black box. Inside is a certificate of authenticity and a beautiful leather wallet which contains the watch, a NATO strap and the warranty card – as well as a Direnzo sew-on patch. The leather wallet is really well made from high-quality leather. It is genuinely one of the best watch travel-rolls we’ve ever handled.
Dial and Hands
The dial is of a design we had never seen, echoing the look of a vintage Speedometer. More knowledgeable watch enthusiasts on Facebook have since pointed us towards the similar-looking Smiths PRS-37 from Timefactors, but if we don’t compare every diver’s watch to a Rolex Submariner it would be unfair to call Direnzo’s design derivative – the fact remains that you see few watches of this dial design and it stands out nicely from the crowd.
The dial is printed with a speedometer-inspired track around the edge, and the watch is very legible. The red second hand looks great as it sweeps smoothly around the dial. The only criticism we have is that the dial is rather two-dimensional and at this price point it would have been nice to have an applied logo, raised dial printing or a chapter ring to add some more “pizzazz”.
Our biggest criticism is the lack of a date function. Many microbrands omit the date wheel as a stylistic choice, but it really does make a difference in daily wear watch. We couldn’t help but think that this watch would look great with a large date display at 6 O’clock in the style of an odometer. The watch needs the crown to be pulled to “position 2” to set the time, which means that the movement has simply had the date wheel removed. We’d have preferred the function to be completely removed in a date wheel-free watch at this price, but it is only a minor criticism. The Direnzo DRZ Type 250F drew a lot of attention and we really liked the dial design.
The case is made of the usual 316L stainless steel with a screw-down shiny caseback that is laser-engraved with the Direnzo logo. A deeper engraving would have been nice at the price point, but we would rather have a closed case-back than a display window showing a plain Seiko movement, so kudos to the designers for avoiding that common temptation. The case design is rather conservative, and the edges, for example where the lugs meet the body, are not as sharply-defined as we’ve seen on some higher-end watches.
The size is 40mm but the watch wears bigger thanks to the large, light-coloured dial. We found that the crown was a little small for our tastes and also quite fiddly to operate – it seemed hard to get it into the time-setting position – but this may be because the watch has been through several reviewers’ hands already.
Strap and Buckle
The strap is made of the same gorgeous leather as the case. It is just the right thickness and feels really supple. The buckle is a little disappointing. Although it is signed with “DIRENZO”, it is rather plain – a seatbelt-buckle deployant would have been a nice touch at this price point.
Having said that, it’s one of the nicest quality straps we’ve seen on a microbrand watch and puts most big-brands to shame. The supplied NATO is acceptable quality but we were not tempted to fit it to the watch as the OEM strap was so good. Overall, this is a very comfortable watch to wear.
What We Liked
- The watch is distinctive-looking and wears extremely well
- The leather wallet is superb and made of high-quality leather
- The strap is equally good – again the leather is top-notch
What We Didn’t Like
- The flat dial could do with some raised print or applied features
- A daily wearer really needs a date function in our opinion
- The strap buckle could be improved
Direnzo DRZ Type 250F – the WRUK Verdict
Overall? We loved the Direnzo watch and were sad to have to package it up and send it to the next reviewer. There are a few minor niggles that we thought should not have been present in a $420 watch, but this is one of the nicest microbrand watches we have worn, and we think that, on balance, it’s worth the asking price. We look forward to seeing what Direnzo come up with next.
Buy a Direnzo DRZ Type 250F
The DRZ_Type_250F, in a choice of four colours, is for sale at Direnzo’s website for $420 (including postage).