Zelos Horizon GMT
If you follow this website and our Youtube channel, it is very apparent that I have a lot of love for Zelos Watches. The always evolving microbrand just seems to get it right more often than not and with the Zelos Horizon GMT, they definitely got it right. This new model is in a competitive market, especially with the Halios Seaforth being so popular, and while there is no doubt the Halios is a fantastic watch, the Horizon is more attractive in my opinion and will definitely be a watch many enthusiasts will gravitate towards. Right now it only comes in the 40mm size-a popular choice these days, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a larger version down the road.
Zelos Horizon GMT Specifications:
- Case: 40mm Diameter, 20mm Lug width, 45mm Lug to Lug Length, 12mm thickness without crystal
- Water Resistance: 200m
- Crystal: Sapphire, thick vintage style ‘Box’ crystal. See-through Sapphire Caseback
- Bezel Insert: Bi-directional 60 Clicks mounted on ball bearings, Sapphire or Ceramic insert depending on model
- Movement: Swiss ETA 2893 Elaboré with custom rotor
- Material: 316L SS Case
- Dial: Textured with C3 X1 Swiss Superluminova
- Crown: Signed Crown, Screwdown
- Leather Watch Roll
- Tropic Rubber Strap
- Horween Leather strap
- Wooden Gift Box
Price as shown $849.00 USD
As I sit here and type this review of the Zelos Horizon GMT, I looked on the website to make sure I had correct information of a few things. Something I did not realize and was not told to me when arranging the review is that a stainless bracelet will be coming soon. The website lists 2-3 months; this model has been out for about a month or so at the time of this writing, so I would guess at least another 2 months before the bracelet will be available. It states it will be only for the stainless models (there are bronze versions as well) and will have a diver extension clasp. I assume the bracelets were delayed or maybe were decided on well into production of the Horizon, so the watch was released first with two straps. Whatever the case, if you like this watch and the lack of a stainless bracelet was holding you back, know you can purchase one down the line. Unfortunately, I do not know if the watches will still be in stock at that time or if another run will be produced, as a few models are already sold out.
The Horizon is a very attractive watch to me and ticks a lot of boxes. Simple, clean case lines, and uncluttered dial, an easily readable dark orange GMT hand and a dual color sapphire bezel inset. Speaking of the bezel, it is one of my favorite aspects of this watch. I just love the aesthetic of it and how high it sits up from the case and as far as function, no complaints either. It is easy to grab and move and satisfying to do so. This version of the Horizon has the sapphire bezel, some models will have a ceramic bezel insert. Both versions do not have the numbers lumed, only the triangle pip. While it is water resistant to 200m, it is not technically a dive watch, so I understand why they did not bother luming the entire bezel.
I love the great contrast of the beautiful satin brushing and the touches of high polish, just enough to give the case some pop. Looking at all sides and angles of this watch, it is hard to believe the brand has only been around since 2014. Yes, it is true, they are not a manufacturer, they have the watches made to their specifications like most microbrands and have to deal with a factory, but it is obvious that Zelos chose a good one and has made sure their watches are made with great attention to detail. It is easy to see this when looking at the dial as well, especially the applied hour markers and the cutouts to fit them from the chapter ring. Everything is centered and very crisp and precise, at least on my example. Also, yes, that is the date at the 6 o’clock position, my first choice for a date placement.
The movement choice was kind of an easy one for this GMT, at this price I expected the ETA 2893. What I did not expect was an Elabore grade, and the nice custom rotor, although with Zelos I guess I should not be so shocked. On average, most of their watches look and feel more expensive than they actually are. Keep in mind, these watches originally were $649 or so, because that was the launch special price. That is one thing that some fans of brand love and others hate. If you pay attention and are signed up to the brands’ newsletter and social media, you know when new products will be dropping. If you are someone that cannot be checking their promotional emails every day and just are too busy to keep an eye on the countless brands out there, you miss out sometimes and have to pay considerably more for your watch.
There have been times over the years I may have referred to lume as a gimmick because I think sometimes it really isn’t that important. Truth be told, I am probably the biggest lume freak out there, I just don’t always admit it to myself. Why? Who knows. What does that have to do with the Zelos Horizon GMT? Its got some lume, some damn good lume actually. And I love it. I will point out though, that the triangle on the sapphire bezel insert really does not light up at all, not like the hands and markers anyways.
When it comes to wearability and straps, the Horizon falls a little short, pun intended. The case feels great on the wrist, no sharp edges or unsanded lugs or anything, but the straps are the problem. Included with this watch are two straps, a Horween Leather and a Tropic Rubber, which has become pretty commonplace for Zelos these days. Both straps are of nice quality, but they are very short in my opinion and with a lug to lug of only 46mm, that makes this watch difficult to wear for anyone with a wrist barely larger than me, at least out of the box. Sure, you can easily replace the 20mm strap or you could wait for the stainless bracelet, but 120/70mm on a watch with a short length is just plain too small.
Strap length aside, there really is not anything negative I can say about this latest release from Zelos. Halios watches are extremely hard to get a hold of and sell for crazy amounts on the secondary market and I think this Horizon GMT fills a gap for many wanting a classic, good liking dive style GMT. The quality is definitely there in my opinion and for those wanting something larger, speak up to Zelos, maybe they will follow the same path they did with the Mako Diver, and release a 42 or 44mm. In the meantime, If you are wanting one of these blue ones shown here, do not wait too long. That is not a sales pitch, I do not do that here, it is just a simple matter of Zelos catching up in popularity and the watches going fast. It is easy to see why that is the case, especially with this model, it is just a damn nice watch.