Zelos Abyss II
Even though the bronze fad is over (sarcasm), the Zelos Abyss II is one of the latest models from the brainchild of Elshan Tang. There are a few differences from the first version, but overall it retains its look. Different chapter ring, the dual crowns are now bronze and not PVD and possibly the biggest change, the movement. The Abyss II houses the Sellita SW200 Swiss Movement instead of the Miyota 9015 from the previous version. There is also a single crown version with a turbine sub-dial, but I will be concentrating on the dual crown version, as that is the one I have in hand. What I can say right out of the gate is there are a few microbrands that not only keep improving with every release, but are really putting out a grade A product consistently. Zelos is one of those brands.
Zelos Abyss II Specifications:
- 43mm Diameter Case in CUSN8 Bronze.
- 51.5mm lug to lug length makes it extremely wearable.
- 19mm thick
- Sellita SW200 Swiss Movement
- 7mm thick Sapphire crystal: Double Domed with AR coating
- Water Resistance of 3000m
- C3/BGW9 Superluminova on hands and markers
- 1 Year international warranty
There are many standouts on the Zelos Abyss II, but I feel the biggest one is that dial. It is without a doubt one of the nicest sun-ray dials out there and a beautiful blue color. When you zoom in, you can see how precise the applied markers and hands are. This is truly a dial you can find yourself staring at and still not knowing the time. Zelos kept the dial clean as well, just the applied cutout logo, model name and the water resistance, and the last two are done small and tastefully, not plastered on the dial so you can see it from the other side of the room. That inner rotating bezel? That is for a second time zone and operated via the 2 clock crown.
The case of the Zelos Abyss II is obviously made of bronze. Deep circular brush lines are noticeable on the bezel and match the brushed dial. This machine brushing is not rough or irregular. It adds to the style and overall appearance of the Abyss. Everything on this watch is overdone to an extent, and in this case, that’s not a bad thing. The case thickness is 19mm. That is crazy considering it is only 43mm in width. This is done not only for aesthetic but also the 3000 meters of water resistance. This watch is made to go in the water. I imagine only a select few will actually be doing that, but if you like a chunky bronze watch, this is probably in your wheelhouse.
The crowns of the Zelos Abyss II make the watch feel wider than the stated 43mm, mostly because there are two of them. It just looks and wears like a 45mm watch. This is a big boy all around. While it has the look, the Abyss is a fully functioning dive watch as well. This watch is not just show, but made for go. Crown and bezel action are crisp, though the bezel on my example is a little hard to turn, this can ease up over time though. This is a solid beast of watch, and you notice it when it is on the wrist. Many guys like that in a watch though and if you are looking for svelte or subtle, this one is definitively not it. Zelos will be releasing some future models soon that will fit into those categories a little better.
Stainless steel or titanium case backs are usually on bronze or brass watches as it is not good to have bronze sitting against your skin like that, as it can lead to breakouts or reactions from the metal. The Zelos Abyss II went with stainless steel, and rather than show off the SW-200 movement, they went with a badass engraved case back. I’m sure many reading know I am a sucker for a nicely done case back such as this. It shows they put some thought into instead of just slapping a sapphire crystal over the movement.
Because one strap is just not good enough, Zelos included 3. Very much like the Ventus Mori I just reviewed, there is a rubber strap, a leather and this time a leather/canvas strap. All 3 straps are of high quality and you can switch out the the bronze CNC buckle between them. I would say my favorite of the bunch is probably the rubber; it is super comfortable and I love the large keepers.
As usual, Zelos does not disappoint with the lume. Multi-colored superluminova is used on the dial, and the bezel as well as both crowns are done with C3 Superluminova. While full bezel lume and lume on the crowns add no functionality at all, I will admit that it looks cool and is fun to photograph, even if gimmicky.
I have stated many times that bronze watches are not my go to. Neither are large or chunky divers, at least not for everyday wear. It would just not be my personal choice. With that said, are there any things that I do not like about the Zelos Abyss II? Not really. While it definitely is on the upper end of the price for most bronze microbrand watches, I would say it is probably worth it. When you really look at cost, and compare things, as we all do these days, you can break it down into 3 possibilities. Something is priced lower because it is of inferior quality, something is priced lower because they do not seek a profit to keep the company going, or it is just plain overpriced. I never tell anyone to buy a watch here, and I hope all know that whether I love, hate or am somewhere in the middle of any watch I review, that it is just one mans opinion. I will say that the Zelos Abyss II is beautiful, extremely well made and comes with a lot, even for its price tag. If it is not worth it to you, I get it. I feel that way with many products. But this is not the run of the mill microbrand. Zelos builds a hell of a watch, and they are only getting started…