Zelos ZX Chronograph
With so many new microbrands these days, you would think some older brands such as Zelos would get lost in the shuffle. Taking a look at this Zelos ZX Chronograph and how many of them have already sold out, you can see that is not the case. Zelos and its owner Elshan has continued to push forward and he keeps coming out with new designs and believe it or not, this is actually their first chronograph but hopefully not the last. The version I have in hand has the meteorite dial and is the Valjoux 7750 Automatic version, but there are many non-meteorite versions and Mecha-Quartz options as well.
Zelos ZX Chronograph Specifications:
Size: 43mm Diameter. 16mm Height. 49mm Lug to Lug 22MM Lugs
Water Resistance: 100m.
Watch case: CUSN8 Marine Bronze or Titanium Case – Mirror polished edges and Brushed Sides.
Ceramic Bezel (Selected models only): Zirconium Oxide 1500 Vickers hardness.
Movement: Swiss ETA 7750 Elabore Grade or Seiko VK67 Mechaquartz.
Crystal: Domed Sapphire Crystal with inner AR coating. Sapphire crystal case back.
Dial: Multi-Layered filled with BGW9 lume.
Strap: Horween Leather
Warranty: 1 Year.
Price $1,099 USD (Meteorite Automatic as shown)
Zelos really went all out with their first chronograph-titanium or bronze case, multiple dial options, including a piece of the SR-71 Blackbird (now sold out), meteorite as pictured here and sunray dial options as well. This version has blued hands and applied markers, and very unique crown and pushers. The great thing about Zelos is that most of their watches never really resemble another brand. They are constantly working on new designs and while you can always find similarities between watches, this ZX chronograph is in no way an homage.
When looking around the titanium case you can see just how well finished this watch really is. Not only are there multiple finishes as play here with the high polished and brushed titanium, but you can see and feel how beautiful this is. The grain on the satin finish is thin and tight and all around the entire case, I could not find one sharp edge. The crown operates as it should, it is just a tad hard to grasp due to the shape, but it is large enough that is not a real issue, at least not one to really gripe about. The pushers, on the other hand, are a little spongey. You have to give a hard push on them before they will click and activate or stop/reset the chronograph. That is really my one and only issue with the ZX Chronograph. I just wish the pushers had more of an instant click.
Meteorite dials used to be very rare, these days, I think too many brands are offering them, and it definitely makes them less unique. That said, it does look great on this watch and this example has some great striations and texture to it. Zelos was also smart to keep this dial as clean as possible. Chronographs are already busy and loading up on dial text would just take away from the beauty of the meteorite, so you will not find a date, and only the Zelos logo and brand text on the dial. Keeping with the theme of this watch, the hands are rocket shaped, which is a nice little touch.
The automatic versions of the Zelos ZX Chronograph use an Elabore Valjoux 7750 movement, and you can see this through the exhibition case back. Not only are you getting better than a standard grade movement, but Zelos has gone ahead and added a custom rotor as well, something that is common these days, but unlike so many did not decide to call it a modified movement or give it its own special caliber number. It is what it is, an Elabore 7750. I always feel that is misleading when companies do that, they word it in a way to make it seem like it is a special or in house movement when all they did was put on a different rotor.
Because of the short lug to lug, the ZX Chronograph wears really nice on the wrist, despite being 16mm thick. Two straps are included, one brown horween and one black leather, the latter being more of a traditional pilot style strap, minus the rivets. This watch would probably look great on many different types of straps, and I would love to see how it looks on a dark grey or blue canvas. Check it out below on my 7 1/2 inch wrist.
Zelos has never been one to be weak in the lume category and this model uses BGW9 Superluminova. Unlike some models they have done in the past, this one does not have dual color lume, but it is still nice and bright, though I would like to see the hour and minute hand have a wider track for more lume to be applied to, though that might have really messed with the design. Still, you will not have any issues seeing this watch in the dark. Don’t worry, the crown is lumed also, something Zelos has become quite known for in recent models and while it does nothing to help read the time in the dark, it does have a “cool” factor about it.
The ZX Chronograph is another winner from Zelos and that does not surprise me. I had no doubt from when I first saw it in photos it would be a killer watch, and getting it in hand has only confirmed that for me. I love how they designed this pilot watch using an actual plane as a reference and also how it is offered in so many different configurations. Not only do all the versions look different, they are at different prices as well, giving the consumer the ability to get the exact same case and dial but at a much lower price if they chose the Mecha-Quartz options. Zelos also continues to strive to offer many different styles of watches, pilot, diver, dress watches and even ones that are a little funky and I am not sure what category to put them into. As usual, I am not here to sell you a watch but I will say if you are interested in one of these models, act fast. Zelos watches tend not to stay on their website very long, much like Halios Watches. They have a rabid following and it is easy to see why.