A name can tell you a lot about an item, a location, an event or an adventure. When something is named, the intention is often to associate it with something, invoke a feeling, embody a characteristic, or connect it to something greater. Naming a collection or a colorway of a watch isn’t something we do lightly at RZE; at HQ, we’re perseverating over every detail in our attempt to embody the spirit of adventure on your wrist.Our newest collection, the Valour 38, which we recently debuted on Kickstarter is something we’ve been working on since our launch of the Resolute. Finally, when we were satisfied with every aspect of the Valour 38, from the tip to tail of the custom strap and every gram of titanium in between, we decided to reflect on our creative and planning process to name our colorways.
Upon the release of the Blackcomb Pouch, which borrows its namesake from the infamous Blackcomb Peak in Whistler, British Columbia, we revealed where we had drawn some of our inspiration. Launched in five colours, and a final colorway revealed after smashing our goal in under ten minutes, each colorway shares their name with various things we hope you’ll someday encounter on your own adventures in British Columbia.
The Valour 38 is a clean, classic field watch, putting legibility at the forefront, and ready for anything you throw at it. At RZE we know not every one of your adventures is going to test its rugged technical specifications, like the sapphire crystal or UltraHex coating, but we hope that the sum of its characteristics will encourage and inspire you to strap it on daily. In sharing our inspiration in the names, we hope to provide you more insight into our adventure and offer a deeper connection to the collection.
Despite debuting on Kickstarter with the namesake of RZE’s now iconic colour, the Medallion Yellow Valour 38 was actually named Arrowleaf Yellow after the arrowleaf balsamroot flower. Native to British Columbia and other areas of western North America, arrowleaf balsamroot grows in various habitats from the grasslands to mountain forests. Being incredibly resilient, drought tolerant, and capable of growing in a wide range of conditions are characteristics of the arrowleaf balsamroot that we were inspired by.
Vervain Blue might be the most unusual naming choice, particularly because it would be unlikely for someone to say the dial colour matched blue vervain (verbena hastata). Blue vervain is found native to British Columbia and has the ability to do well and seed itself liberally in a variety of soil types and growing conditions; this makes it a prime choice for naturalisation purposes. Its ability to thrive and play a key role in naturalising areas across Canada, without becoming a negative impact on its growing companions or being considered an invasive, is a powerful characteristic. Its ability to self-seed liberally allows this flower to often be found in urban settings growing between cracks of concrete, simply “popping” up and thriving. This type of resilience is a characteristic we strive to embody in the Valour 38, despite the dial being not quite vervain.
The Spruce Green obviously references the variety of spruce trees native to British Columbia, however the Sitka spruce in particular inspired the colorway. Aligning with RZE’s choice of titanium for its strength-to-weight ratio, Sitka spruce is favoured for its wood in the aircraft and shipbuilding industry due to its high strength to weight ratio. It also happens to be the largest of the spruce trees and is valued highly for its light, soft, relatively strong and flexible wood. The Sitka spruce is common along the coastal fog belt and on river and stream floodplains, uniquely adapting to tolerate the high sodium content in the soil on the Pacific coast.
For a few members of Team RZE, Whistler, British Columbia is a place of inspiration. Just 121 km, or an hour and a half drive from Vancouver, and your adventures and challenges switch from concrete jungle to Rocky Mountains. It’s obvious that Whistler White shares its name with Whistler, British Columbia and alludes to the pristine, white, snow-capped mountain peaks, but the adventures that await you in Whistler inspire the naming choice. In Whistler, an adventurer can explore or push themselves as far as their comfort zone allows. Whether you end up adventuring by foot, or on a gondola, it's rare to have such a variety of options to descend the Rockies on including snowboards, skis or mountain bikes. As an adventurer, the ultimate decision is always how far do you want to push it?
While one might guess that Slate Grey may be a nod to a copious amount of slate in British Columbia but in actuality, it’s a reference to the Slate Range of the Canadian Rockies. Uniquely formed from slate, rather than the sandstones, siltstones and limestones which form other ranges in the Rockies, this Slate Range range is the dramatic collection of mountains that include Lake Louise and the beautiful region along the border between Alberta and British Columbia. The Indigenous people of the region, particularly the Stoney Nakoda First Nation have been living in this area since time immemorial. Referencing the Slate Range in our naming process for us is representative of a variety of things including the convergence of past and present, the formation of a metamorphic rock from a soft shale, and a region where man and nature meet.
Finally, the last colorway revealed was the Limited Obsidian Black. While obsidian can be rare in British Columbia, high quality obsidian, formed in large deposits can be found in the Spectrum Range of mountains in Northwestern British Columbia, an area only accessible by foot or helicopter. A nod to the volcanic glass used to make tools since prehistoric times, the blackout Valour 38 is sure to be a rare, reliable piece for ages.
Assembled for adventure, each RZE watch is built to outlast and prepared for any challenge you throw at it.The Valour 38 is no exception, regardless of colorway, we’ve considered every detail to make it a reliable adventure companion, down to a name that we hope inspires you. We hope that each time you glance at the time, you consider your colorway and the conversations that we’ve had at HQ.
Team RZE wants to know about our adventures and experiences in the Canadian Rockies or anywhere else in the world. We’re truly passionate about our watches and inspiring you to take them on adventure. Be safe out there! Just because our watches might not have a scratch on them after, you’ll need to come out unscathed to tell us about it.