Recently, the talk of Zelos Watches has been centered around their upcoming Abyss Diver, but their second model, the Chroma is still relatively new and recently I was able to take it for a spin, and give my opinions of it.
The Zelos Chroma comes in two different versions, a standard 3 hand with a solid dial and a skeleton dial. This review will be on the solid dial version. The first thing that stands out, is the lugless stacked case design and the very minimalist dial. Its a cross between a sporty and dress style watch, and for those that have smaller wrists, or just prefer a smaller watch, the Zelos Chroma comes in at 42mm, but wears more like a 40mm due to its design.
Please take a look at my video review below and my first impressions.
Zelos Chroma Full Specifications:
- Case: 42mm diameter without the crown
- Crystal: Sapphire front and see through caseback
- Strap: 20mm, made from crazy horse leather
- Material: 316L Stainless steel for both case and buckle. PVD coating on black editions
- Movement: Miyota 8215/8N24 automatic movement. Custom PVD plated rose gold rotor
- Water Resistance: 50m
- Engraved logo on crown and buckle
- 1 Year International Warranty
- Price $299 USD
Like Zelos’s first offering, the try and provide an attractive packaging. Their first model, the Helmsman, which was reviewed here on Watchreport as well, came with a higher grade wood box and watch roll, but it was also $120 more in price. Still, at $299, you get a branded wood box and a small leather watch pouch, that can store the watch and at least one extra strap.
The design here is definitely minimalist. The black dial has a slight gloss to it, while the rehuat has a brushed texture, giving a nice contrast. Chrome hour, minute and second hand to offset the black dial. Only the Zelos logo and hour/minute markers are on the dial, no date, no writing, no other logos to clutter it up. The dial reminds me of the Movado Museum dial, simplistic beauty. The rehaut and the way it is designed, gives the dial a stadium effect, allowing for some depth. Atop the dial is a genuine sapphire crystal for better scratch resistance. I remember the days when you almost never saw a sapphire crystal on a watch for less than $5-$600, let alone front and back crystals both being sapphire.
The milled case creates a nice design and texture. Had the case been standard brushed or polished steel, it might have looked a little too plain, so the mill work is appreciated, it makes the Zelos Chroma stand out a little. It also will help to hide scratches that will most likely appear eventually as the case sides have a polished finish.
The screw down crown is signed with the Zelos logo, and even though only 50m water resistant, I was surprised to see that it was a screw down, and not your standard push pull. I always prefer a screw down crown, no matter what style of watch, just gives that extra bit of security knowing your crown can not come out by putting your hand into your pocket or getting it caught on something.
The case back is perfectly flat, and is secured with 4 standard screws. A nice touch is that the outer section of the case back is brushed, while the section that outlines the exhibition back is frosted/blasted finish. While I am normally not a fan of exhibition case backs for Miyota movements, as they are rather plain, Zelos plated the rotor in rose gold and engraved it, giving it that something extra and making it a little more attractive. The Miyota 8215 is what is powering the Zelos Chroma, and is a nice example of the movement, at least on my review model. The stuttering second hand that I have encountered numerous times with this movement, is not apparent here, and is keeping time within about 15 seconds a day. (15 seconds slow).
On my 7.5 inch wrist, it wears nicely. With its lugless design, low profile at only 11mm thick, this would be a great dress or office watch, to fit under the cuff. The black crazy horse leather strap is pliable and will only get better the more you wear it, and has a nice sueded texture to it. Another nice touch is the skeletonized machined buckle of the Zelos Chroma. There are so many brands at much higher price points that will have a wonderfully finished watch with all the bells and whistles and a top notch leather or rubber strap, only to have a plain stamped buckle that looks like they just took it out of a drawer and popped it on. I like that more and more micro brands are stepping it up and giving attention to all parts of the watch. After all, while in the watch world, $300 is not a lot of money to spend on a watch, in the real world it is to most, and having such features as this makes it stand out from the standard mall watch.
Zelos has done a good job with their second model the Chroma, and with their third model in the works, they seem to have a good game plan going. This is their most affordable model to date, and if you are on a budget, or have been looking for a more subdued watch with an automatic movement and quality components such as sapphire crystal and leather strap, this might be worth the look.
Thank you to Zelos Watches for providing the Chroma for review, and you can see more at their website HERE . As always, make sure to check out the WatchReport forum, and subscribe to us on our Youtube channel.