RZE is a brand that manages to impress me with every release. While not every one of the brand’s models might be right up my alley in terms of looks, there is no denying that RZE offers spectacular value for money. My favorite models from the brand are the Resolute Pro, Endeavor, and Fortitude. In particular, the Fortitude immediately stood out for me. The Cruiser White version looked good, especially with its full-lume dial. A little over two years later, RZE brings back the Fortitude, this time as a GMT. I had a chance to go hands-on and can already reveal that great got even better.

Those who follow RZE know that the brand is all about titanium watches. I like titanium watches a lot. Unlike many people, I do not have a hard stance on preferring stainless steel over titanium or vice versa. It’s purely about the watch and how the material fits the look and the functionality. But with RZE, you know that is never a question. All of the brand’s timepieces are made of titanium and feature a scratch-resistant UltraHex coating. I love it when a brand has a design philosophy like this and does everything possible to fulfill its ideals. RZE has done a great job at that.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk

Discovering the RZE Fortitude GMT

As mentioned, out of all the RZE models, the Fortitude is undoubtedly my favorite. While I liked the Resolute Pro, I missed that unique character twist that I enjoy so much about the Fortitude. Its character-packed design stands out immediately in the collection. Dave reviewed the regular Fortitude that came out in 2021. He enjoyed that a lot, making me curious about the model line. But I soon discovered that my favorite Cruiser White version sold out quickly. Hopefully, we will see them come back soon, and I’ll keep my eyes on what will come.

But in the meantime, the brand will release the Fortitude GMT, something that is right up my alley as it combines my favorite model with my favorite complication. The result is a modern pilot’s watch that has transformed into a stunning traveler’s watch. The added GMT function makes the Fortitude even better. This watch features a 41mm satin-finished Grade 2 titanium case with a 12mm thickness, 47mm lug-to-lug length, 20mm lug spacing, and a 100m water resistance rating. Like all RZE watches, the Fortitude GMT also has the UltraHex coating with a hardness rating of 1,200 Vickers. As Dave explained in the review of the Fortitude, that is eight times harder than 316L stainless steel.

The Fortitude GMT has plenty of soul

The round-shaped case is paired with a knurled bezel. Usually, I am not the biggest fan of those, but it fits Fortitude well. Some people think that it makes the watch look like the Oris ProPilot, but after having worn both for extensive periods, I can say that the watches are nothing alike. Each has a distinct character, and the one shared element does not make them similar in style. I like the RZE Fortitude’s style a lot better. It’s warmer and friendlier, and it has more soul. A big part of that soul comes from all the nice details that stand out once you start wearing the watch.

A nice detail about the oversized crown is that if you unscrew it and pull it out, you will see the red crown tube. It’s a visual indicator showing that the crown is not screwed down completely. Dave explained that it is a subtle nod to the classic “Remove Before Flight” tags, so it fits this pilot’s watch perfectly. Another great detail is the design of the faceted lugs. They gracefully curve downward, but the different facets give them a modern feel.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk bezel and bracelet

The details make the Fortitude GMT stand out immediately

The same goes for the super comfortable three-row bracelet with screwed links. At first, I questioned the design as I am not the biggest fan of the look of the outer links. But once I put the watch on my wrist, I found that the nicely tapered bracelet was a joy to wear. The flexibility and overall comfort made me fall in love with it, making the design much easier to appreciate. As I said, it’s all about the details.

And that continues with the black sandwich dial of this NightHawk variant. It is one of three variations that RZE will launch, with the Turbo Teal and Crimson Red being the other two models. There will also be a blacked-out Workbench 50-piece limited edition, but let’s get back to the NightHawk’s dial.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk lume

It features a nice, grainy texture that fits the overall functional feel of the watch well. The recessed white hour markers are filled with Super-LumiNova that lights up blue in the dark. A refined minute/seconds track sits between the markers, and working inward, you will find additional numeric markers at every five-minute interval.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk dial

A busy dial that makes sense

The dial also features a crosshair in the middle that ends at the logo on the upper half and at the date window at 6 o’clock. I love that it frames the date window with a thin white line. The date is printed in yellow on a black disc, in line with other yellow details like the “GMT” text on the dial, the GMT hand, and the 24-hour marker of the GMT scale on the rehaut.

As you can see, there’s quite a bit going on here, but all the elements fall nicely into place. The white hour and minute hands are the same as the ones from the regular Fortitude model. However, this GMT version gets an additional yellow sword-style GMT hand that seems to float thanks to the black base that blends in with the dial. The hour and minute hands on the final production model will have the same blue-glowing white lume as the hour markers. The prototype we had for review did not have that yet. As you can see, the GMT hand also has white Super-LumiNova, but it glows green.

Inside the titanium case, RZE uses the Miyota caliber 9075. This flyer-style GMT movement is quickly becoming a favorite for affordable GMTs. It allows you to independently move the 12-hour hand in one-hour increments to set the local time. The movement operates at 28,800vph and offers 42 hours of power reserve. In terms of accuracy, Miyota rates it between -10/+30 seconds per day. That is nothing spectacular, but the big plus is that it’s a flyer-style movement instead of the caller-style calibers we often find in watches under €1,000.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk pocket shot

Wearing the RZE Fortitude GMT

When I first saw the Fortitude GMT while Morgan was taking these pictures, it immediately stood out visually to me. But I truly fell in love with it once I put it on my wrist. It is lightweight but still provides that feeling of wearing a qualitative, substantial watch. Additionally, the bracelet wraps itself nicely around the wrist. In my opinion, the material, the taper, and the overall comfort are unmatched in the sub-€1,000 price bracket.

The on-the-fly micro-adjustable clasp from the Resolute Pro will also be used for the Fortitude GMT

The prototype we had for review still had the same clasp as the regular Fortitude model. However, the production version will come with the new clasp from the Resolute Pro that I reviewed. The fully machined clasp has an easy-to-use toolless micro-adjustment mechanism with four positions. It is a great improvement compared to the previous clasp and is easy to use. And when it comes to operating the watch, that is easy as well. The oversized crown makes it a pleasure to adjust the date, local time, and home time. It feels solid and improves the wearing experience too.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk on wrist

Final thoughts on the RZE Fortitude GMT

Overall, I only have great things to say about the RZE Fortitude GMT. It simply is a brilliant watch that I loved wearing for a good two weeks. Even with some heavy hitters passing through the office for review, I enjoyed wearing this watch more than many others that were 10 times the price. The best part is that the RZE Fortitude GMT will go on sale on February 29th for a pre-sale price of US$649 (€599). That is truly mindblowing. After the pre-sale, the price will go up to US$699 (€645), which is still a steal.

RZE Fortitude GMT NightHawk

For that money, you will get a full-titanium flyer-style GMT that looks great and wears like a charm. Sure, you can debate the style, just as you can with any watch. But if you are a fan of the look of this modern pilot’s watch, there is no going wrong. In my opinion, the RZE Fortitude GMT is not just a nice surprise but will also be one of this year’s standout releases. And considering that the year is not even two months old, that says something about how impressed I was with the brilliant Fortitude GMT. Now the only challenge is deciding what color to go for when the watch is released…

Visit the official RZE website to sign up for notifications about the upcoming launch. Also, make sure to let us know your thoughts on this modern traveler’s watch in the comments.

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Watch specifications

Fortitude GMT NightHawk
Black sandwich dial with grained texture and GMT scale on the rehaut
Case Material
Satin-finished Grade 2 titanium with UltraHex coating
Case Dimensions
41mm (diameter) × 47mm (lug-to-lug) × 12mm (thickness)
Sapphire with inner antireflective coating
Case Back
Grade 2 titanium (screw-in) with Viton gasket
Miyota 9075: flyer-style GMT, automatic with hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, 24 jewels
Water Resistance
100m (10 ATM)
Grade 2 titanium three-row bracelet (20/16mm) with folding clasp and toolless micro-adjustment
Time (independently adjustable hour hand, minutes, seconds), date, 24-hour GMT
US$649 (pre-sale) / US$699 (retail)