The Zelos Thresher GMT, an all-new model from Zelos, a brand that seems to be pumping out new models and new variants this year, despite the pandemic going on. An exciting and intriguing design, the Thresher is a massive hit for good reason. Such a hit, that only the black dial you see in this review is available, all other colors and variants were sold out quickly during the first two weeks. Not only does this microbrand diver have a great design, but houses an ETA 2893 automatic movement, a Swiss GMT movement, and like many Zelos watches these days, a sandwich dial. Without trying to create unnecessary hype, this is easily the best watch from Zelos so far, something I have said quite a few times over the years, but this Singaporean based microbrand keeps pushing the limit to what can be had for under $1000.
Zelos Thresher GMT Specifications:
Diameter : 42mm
Lug to Lug Length: 50mm
22m Lug Width
Movement: Swiss ETA 2893 Elabore with custom rotor
Water Resistance: 500m
Crystal: Front and back Sapphire with inner AR coating
There is a lot to discuss about the Zelos Thresher GMT, and if you have not watched the video above yet, I will tell you right now, I love this watch. The size, the dial, the bracelet, clasp, pretty much everything about it. The design does harken back to previous designs, most notably the Hammerhead, but while similar at a glance, this is an entirely new case design and watch from the 6-year-old watch company. It is crazy to think Zelos has only been operating for 6 years. I have reviewed countless models and some have become so Iconic in the microbrand watch space, and Zelos as a whole is a major dominator in said space, selling out almost every watch and model they put up on their website. There is a good reason for that, one being that they continue to push the limits, create new designs, add new elements to each design, and do so all at a relatively affordable price.
At 42mm wide and 50mm in length, the Zelos Thresher GMT is a very wearable size, with an angled slab case, dual unidirectional rotating bezel, and a very sturdy screw-down crown. Except for the clasp, you will not find any high polished finishes here, it is satin-brushed patterns all around. This watch is all about business, a tool watch, a diver, a world traveler, and an everyday companion. Yeah, that sounds like an ad, but I do feel this watch is a great multi-use piece, though I do not know if I would be grabbing it to wear with a suit, but hey, you do you, fashion is all over the place these days and I am the last to give style advice. Watches I do know, and the case design on the Thresher is very masculine without being over the top. At just over 15mm with the domed sapphire crystal, it has presence and heft, but is still well balanced and does not feel like an anchor on the wrist.
Zelos, Gruppo Gamma, and quite a few other microbrands have adopted the use of a sandwich dial. I have stated many times that a sandwich dial does not always work, and even on a few recent reviews where I think, applied markers would have been a better choice. This dial on the other hand, well, this is how to do a sandwich dial. Zelos could have just done the standard sandwich dial, but decided that wasn’t good enough, and went all out. You will notice the 24-hour center dial has the cutouts as well, and to top it all off, the outer dial has a very eye-catching turbine pattern, which adds to the charm of the Thresher and is not distracting at all. What is a little distracting though, or should I say aggravating, is the use of the skeleton hour and minute hand. Black skeleton hands against a black dial are hard to read, and I think solid hands or a different color would have improved upon this. Other colors and variations are much easier to read.
For those that like the aesthetic of many microbrands but the lesser movements are off-putting, you’ll be glad to know the Zelos Thresher GMT has an ETA 2893 Elabore movement with a custom rose gold Zelos rotor, seen through the exhibition case back, and somehow still retaining 500m of water resistance. Now, keep in mind Zelos does not claim ISO certification and I have never even come close to testing its 500m depth limits unless vigorous scrubbing in the shower counts. I am not saying you can not go into the lake, river, or ocean with the Zelos but I can not verify how much testing these watches do go through.
For us desk divers who like to time an egg with the bezel, the dual-purpose bezel can do that, along with track another time zone as well. Technically you can track 3 time-zones with the Thresher, but keep in mind, this is a one-piece bezel, so use for a time zone or military time, or use the countdown bezel to time how long your wife is getting ready to go out, though not many of us are going out these days, but I am sure you will find a few options, though I bet many will never turn the bezel at all.
Moving on to the solid stainless bracelet, which is the only way to wear this watch in my opinion. Like most of their lineup, The Zelos Thresher GMT comes in a wood box, with travel roll and a tropic rubber strap. I think it is great you have another strap option out of the box, but I do not have any idea why anyone would decide to take off this bracelet. Not only does it complete the look, but take a look at the end links and lug area. Yes, that is a custom design, which functionally doesn’t do a damn thing, but it is unique and just another detail you wont see on a lot of watches, let a lone a under $1000 microbrand. The triple finished clasp is beautiful and very functional though, with a hidden dive extension that is accessed by a push button underneath. This clasp is very similar to one that Christopher Ward uses on some of their premium dive watches, though it is not a nicely decorated as seen on this Zelos.
I do not feel it is an overstatement to say that Zelos is a brand that is not content with what they have done in the past, rather they are contastly looking towards what they can do moving forward. The Thresher GMT is a perefect example of that. As I said, a lot is going on with this watch, and if I did not cover it here, please make sure to watch the video review above, where you can also get a look at every angle of this shark named dive watch. It is easily my favorite watch from the Zelos lineup, not only in terms of its looks and feel, but also in quality, or the “excellent fit and finish”, a saying probably overused these days, but appropriate when discussing watches such as this. I hope to see more varitiaons of this Thresher down the line, as I think some a DLC or even different dial variations would look great, and who knows, maybe they will fix those hands on a future model.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.