My sick and twisted love affair all started with the Breitling Seawolf Avenger aka the watch RESPONSABLE for my obsession with dive watches. Big, heavy, thick dive watches. We all have that “sweet spot” in our preferred size. Right? Mine is not one size per say but a rather a range which is 43-47mm. I know the current trend is going to smaller diameter watches and those guys and gals who’s sweet spot is 43mm and under range have every right to experience watches to. I can’t be selfish. I have said it before, when it really comes down to it, the diameter of a watch really doesn’t matter. It is the design, quality and execution that truly makes a watch special.
Zelos has listened and given those with the smaller diameter preferences something to consider with their new Mako watch. The watch comes in at 40mm Diameter, 20mm Lug width, 46mm Lug to Lug Length, 13.5mm thickness without crystal. It is very comfortable on the wrist and you almost forget that you are wearing a watch. That comfort was carried throughout my wearing of this piece from the work environment to my outdoors play environment. The Mako never became an uncomfortable hindrance at all. I will talk about it’s wrist presence later on in this review.
CUSN8 bronze case which arrived shiny and glowing, just begging for use to start the patina process. A detail I absolutely love about bronze watches because it is always constantly changing with your personal use. That personal use then becomes individualized during the patina process. I think it is awesome when you wear a bronze watch for awhile, then place it in your watch box for awhile as you work through your rotation. When you go back to wear that bronze piece again it’s like it is a whole new watch because of that ever changing patina.
I am going to first start with the two areas of improvement on the case of the Mako because there is a lot more that I think Zelos got right to discuss. The two areas of improvement are the bezel that doesn’t align perfectly with the dial and the crown that the diameter/size makes it difficult to grip and operate. Those with even bigger fingers than mine are really going to have a difficult time operating this crown. The crown does look awesome from a design standpoint with the signed Z and the machine gear edges. They look even more impressive once patina starts forming in the ‘nooks and crannies.’ Don’t worry about the lack of crown guard protection either, by locating the crown at the 4 o’clock position, Zelos used the case itself as the protection service. The bottom lug and the gradual jetting out of the side of the case is the crown protection service I am talking about. The bezel looks amazing as well from the patina around the edges to the “Batman” style ceramic inlay. The 120 individual clicks of the bezel are crisp, and there is absolutely no extra play. I went absolutely goo-goo when I ran my fingers across the domed sapphire crystal and it didn’t stop there. The crystal has the vintage box style which is raised from the case/bezel itself adding to the beauty of the Mako’s profile.
Speaking of added beauty, the detailing on the Mako’s lugs are a work of horological beautiful art. Art, specifically beautiful art, can be used to describe the stainless steel case back on the Mako. “The Mako Shark: the fastest shark in the world. Smaller and streamlined, it was an ideal image for our latest diver’s watch compared to our previous ‘Hammerhead’ model.” I believe this case back is perfectly executed is every way. The pic below really shows this off in my opinion.
I have seen plenty of watches with beautiful designed cases like the Mako, that missed the mark when it came to carrying that beauty over to the dial. Fortunately Zelos did not make that mistake here. The textured grey backdrop creates the perfect ‘canvas’ for this dial. The texture of this dial comes and goes depending upon the lighting and the angle in which you are looking at it. Texturing of this dial also adds depth, then Zelos added the applied markers creating a degree of even more depth. I appreciate the unique use of both the circular and triangular applied markers on the Mako. At night this dial really glows with unique beauty. See if you can spot the other unique detail about this dial from the picture below. Zelos nailed the hands on the Mako in my opinion, they remain consistent with the overall design of this piece in terms of size, appearance and overall execution.
The second hand is my preferred length because it extends to the chapter ring which makes timing things easier and more precise. Even in dark situations the lume on this dial glows like flashlight and with all the markers on this dial, chapter ring and bezel makes is easy not only to see the time, but also to use it for timing. I would like the Mako to have a no date option but that being said, Zelos did some things that I like with the date window. I like that it is at the 6 o’clock position on the dial and I like that it is a black date wheel with white numerals. The Mako’s date window is only 10% intrussive to the overall flow of the dial.
I mentioned earlier about the comfort and wearability of the Mako. Well both of the included straps add the the comfort of this watch. A tropic rubber strap and a vintage waxed leather strap are included. For this review I used the rubber strap as one would expect with the location of my photo shoot. The short lugs, lower profile and shorted lug to lug distance all play a key role into the comfort and wearability. The main point though that I found intriguing is that despite this being a smaller watch, it still retains that Zelos wrist pressence that their much larger pieces possess. So people who have the same sweet spot with their prefeffed size of watch as I do, will find the Mako surprisingly nice in terms of it’s overall wrist pressence. Those people who have begged for a watch that is more in their preferred size will be happy to finally experience that Zelos quality and execution in a smaller piece. I do think that too much emphasis is placed on a size of a watch. If I like the overall design of a watch and it is executed with quality, then the size of the case does not make a difference to me whatsoever.
The Mako is a nice watch overall with some nice design features. It has a few areas of improvement that I pointed out earlier, but I would not consider them deal breakers. The overall package is very nice with two quality straps, a strap tool, wooden box and leather watch roll. The Mako comes in at just under $800. I definitely recommend this watch to those who want to experience a Zelos dive watch who prefer a smaller case. I also recommend this piece to those who prefer larger cases as this piece is rather refreshing and every collection needs a bronze watch or a few, and watches in all sizes. It’s always nice to have options in all shapes and sizes.
Thank you all for reading and as always your questions and comments are definitely welcome below.
Thank you so much to Zelos!
Case : 40mm Diameter, 20mm Lug width, 46mm Lug to Lug Length, 13.5mm thickness without crystal
Water Resistance : 500m
Crystal : Sapphire, 2.5mm thick vintage style ‘Box’ crystal
Bezel insert : 120 Clicks, Bronze or Ceramic insert with 2000 Vickers hardness, brushed and fully lumed.
Movement : Swiss Sellita SW200
Material : CUSN8 Bronze
Dial : Textured with C3 and BGW9 lume
Crown : Signed crown with lume