BACKGROUND Zelos is a Singapore based brand, founded by Elshan Tang, who has been fascinated by mechanical timepieces for many years; building one was the next logical step. He believes that great timepiece designs should not be confined only to luxury brands.
Since the start of Zelos in 2014, they have launched 3 models on Kickstarter with increasing success. Their first model, the HELMSMAN garnered 273% of the targeted funding. The Chroma followed next with 350% and finally the Abyss with an overwhelming 650% of funding.
DIAL The Abyss has a matte black multi-level dial with a circular brushed inner portion and applied rose gold markers and hands. The gold elements of the dial, which also include a couple of lines of text at 6 and the Zelos logo at 12 o'clock create some nice contrast against the black background.
I’m not a huge fan of the red tipped seconds indicator because in my opinion it becomes lost against the dark dial making it quite tricky to point out. I’m also (you guessed it) not such a fan of the white date windows either. However the dial itself and all the rose gold elements are great!
LUME BGW9 SuperLuminova which emits a blue light has been used on the hands, dial markers and bezel’s 12hr marker. The lume is pretty good actually, but I have seen brighter. BGW9 is a personal favorite – I think it was first received notoriety as Rolex choose it for their DEEP SEA. I would rate the lume at good.
MOVEMENT The Abyss is powered by a 24 jewel automatic mechanical movement made by Citizen of Japan. The Miyota 9015 caliber is probably one of the most widely used automatic movements in the micros dive watch sector as it is every bit as reliable as its Swiss counterpart the ETA 2824 but is readily available to all and a little more affordable, too.
CASE The case which has been fabricated from CUSN8 Bronze measures 43mm in diameter with a lug to lug length of 51.5mm. I’m not sure of the exact case thickness but it’s a good 18mm. CUSN8 Bronze is the type the Panerai use. It has a larger copper content so has a lovely reddish tone.
At 9 o’clock on the side of the case is an automatic HEV. The case shape itself is quite unremarkable in that it is of simple design. It has a brushed finish while the edges of the case running along the sides and down the lugs have been beveled and polished adding a touch of elegance.
BEZEL The divers bezel is in black DLC with a matte top and intermittent polished and matte grip on the side. The dive time scale has been engraved while a simple 12hr luminous marker has been flat painted in white. The bezel has a 120-click cycle which while stiff is firm and precise.
CROWN The Abyss has dual crowns – one at 4 o’clock for time-setting and a second at 2 o’clock for operating a second internal timing bezel. The crowns are also in black DLC. Operation of either crowns was not problem, they were both nicely positioned and felt super solid.
CRYSTAL The Abyss boasts a whopping 7mm thick Sapphire crystal with a double domed shape and an inner anti-reflective coating. Remember, while the Abyss is an extreme diver, it is actually rated to just 3000m, so that’s a quite a lot of crystal!
BACK The caseback of the Abyss is in Stainless steel. It has been engraved with a super cool drawing of a deep sea submersible negotiating its way through a deep sea trench. As much as I love the engraving; I personally would have gone for a DLC coating to match the bezel and crowns.
WR The Abyss is water-resistant to 3000 meters. Ten years ago our jaws would have likely hit the floor at such a WR, while these days 3000M has imho become an entry level extreme diver with up to 8000 meters plus on offer. However considering that the Abyss has 2 crowns (considered to be a dive watch’s weakest point) this is very impressive!
STRAP The Abyss comes on a black rubber divers strap with a stunning bronze buckle. The rubber divers strap is of an ISOfrane derived design whilst it looks fantastic and is good and strong; it is quite stiff. I would have preferred something a little softer and suppler.
QUALITY The Abyss is really solid watch - as you’d expect with a 3000M diver. It doesn’t profess to be a competitor of a Swiss deep diver but that is not to say that it hasn’t been nicely put together and finished because it has. Beveled edges, dual layer dial and rose gold applied markers all hint at something special.
If Zelos were to revise the Abyss in the future, I would suggest a better quality rubber strap and perhaps improving details such as the seconds indicator and the simple painted white bezel marker that would have been benefited from being engraved and filled rather painted on flat.
ON the WRIST At 18mm the Abyss naturally sits quite high on the wrist – however it use two important tricks to guarantee sitting well on the wrist: a short lug to lug of 51.5mm and downwardly curved lugs. I just wish the rubber was a little more comfortable.
PRICE The Abyss is priced 820USD and can be ordered online HERE.
CONCLUSION Abyss is name that has been chosen for more than a few dive watches over the years and most of those watches bearing the name Abyss have no business calling themselves that. The Zelos Abyss on the other hand does – it is proper abyssal diver and not just in name! You can see it in action HERE . . .