This year has had it’s ups and downs already. The down part though had a silver lining, it has brought me back to art after a 10 year hiatus. So I have decided to start a new series for 2018 “Art Inspired By Watches”. Each watch I review I am creating an art piece that was inspired by the watch. This is my 4th review in which I have had the honor to create an art piece for. It has been very therapeutic and I am really enjoying doing these. It also gave me some more insight in what it must be like to create a watch. Knowing that not everyone is going to appreciate the “subject”, knowing not everyone is going to like the “style”, but you create it anyway because you are passionate about what you believe in and what your vision is. I admire that about watch makers. Today’s subject is the Zelos Abyss II. I have seen Zelos watches quite a bit and I am excited to finally get a true experience with one.
The bronze case on the Abyss II is hefty and has that came from the depths of the sea feel. I was instantly imagining how this piece will look with patina on it. The bronze right out of the box is quite shiny like it was perfectly preserved inside an old treasure chest, but it is ready to join you on your adventure begging to get dirty. That’s the appealing part of a bronze case to me, the case begs to get dirty, and it’s not afraid of getting scratched, and when it does get scratched it is proud to show them off. Bronze case never stop building character, it starts at day one and will continue for the entire life of the watch itself. I never baby my watches, but bronze especially has that instant “don’t baby me” feel. I respect that completely and admire it.
The case is a nice combination of brushed and polished finishes which both come together in horological harmony. There is just enough of polished finish accent that adds depth to the Abyss’ case. The thick and wide bezel creates a nice border for the dial and also lends protection to the domed sapphire crystal. I personally like the wide spaces between the edges of the bezel which allows ease of grip and operation when rotating the bezel. Located on the non crown side of the case is a automatic release valve. I must applaud Zelos for not going with the current trend of putting this obvious information on the rehaut. In my opinion is that detail looks tacky and only belongs on one watch.
Instead of going tacky, Zelos went functional with a inner rotating chapter ring which is operated by the top screw down crown. I have to say that Zelos took this a step further by making you pull pressure on the crown to rotate the chapter ring. I reviewed watches in the past that when you try to screw the crown back down it rotated the inner chapter ring as well which drove my OCD tendencies crazy because the top position would take forever to try to line up. Well done Zelos! Both crowns are very easy to grip and operate thanks to their size and edges. I also like how they protrude further out from the case, because I hate when a watch design makes you feel like you are trying to pull out a splinter when gripping the crown.
Both crowns have a bit more detail than just being signed with Zelos ‘Z’, they also have received lume treatment just as the markers on the bezel. The crowns served as my inspiration for the artwork above. The Abyss II looks badass in both light and dark environments. The stainless steel case back is screw down style and features some engraving. I am a sucker for solid case backs that are engraved. Unfortunately the Abyss II engraving is a bit generic and lacks depth of detail. This is more a personal disappointment and is certainly not a deal breaker by any means.
The dial on the Abyss II is definitely a highlight for me. The blue backdrop creates a visually stimulating detail/design for the dial itself. The blue color reminds of the sea and just like the sea, the dial color changes depending on the lighting. The blue also allows the hands on the Abyss to really take center stage. The hands in my opinion are the ideal width, length, and shape that are so complementary to the dial and overall design of this watch. While I was admiring the hands on this watch, it came to me that the Abyss reminds me of the watch that Captaine Nemo would wear. The properly proportioned hands also allow for a generous amount of lume treatment, from the hour/minute hands right down to the seconds hand.
The dial on the Abyss is crisp and precise, with a definite planned out design. It is clean in terms of layout and details with exactly what is needed and nothing added that creates clutter. The minimal text and logo match the hands and colors found throughout this watch even the applied markers border. The only detail that somewhat interrupts the dial flow is the date window at 3, which date windows come down to personal preference, so those who like date windows will be extremely happy with the execution on the Abyss. Speaking of happy, fans of strap options and change will be very happy with the nice assortment of straps that Zelos has included with the Abyss.
Ticking away inside the Abyss II is the Swiss movement which was timed at -8 seconds per day during my review process. The Abyss II is packed full of details and is extremely well executed. Some of my favorite details on this watch are the 7mm double domed sapphire crystal, the circular brushed dial and the case itself. The Abyss comes in at just under $1000 USD. It’s a hefty watch, designed to handle some extreme water pressure. This watch certainly proved itself in handling what I put it through during my review process from being dropped on the frozen river to the case and crystal being banged against rocks/frozen dirt.
Despite the large case, the Abyss wears great on the wrist, it even fit under my dress shirt sleeve. Had to use the second button but regardless it fit. My first real experience with Zelos has been a very positive one, and with that being said, I absolutely have no issues recommending this watch both on a personal level and a professional level. The Abyss II is almost sold out on Zelos’s website, so act fast if you want to experience a killer bronze watch.
I want personally thank you all for reading and I would also like to thank Elshan from Zelos.
43mm Diameter Case in CUSN8 Bronze.
51.5mm lug to lug length makes it extremely wearable. 19mm thickness for the water resistance
Brushed case with polished edges and Bronze crowns
Sellita SW200 Swiss Movement
7mm thick Sapphire crystal: scratched only by diamond. Double domed in shape and inner coated with anti reflective coating.
Water Resistance of 3000m
External divers bezel: 120 click, unidirectional. Lumed triangle and full lumed markers
Internal 12 Hour bezel for separate timezone tracking
Engraved logo as well on crown, buckle
Multi Level Dial with circular brushed inner dial
C3/BGW9 Superluminova on hands and markers