By Jovan Krstevski
I just recently became aware of the new brand Zelos when it’s owner reached out to let me know about his new ambition. If you are looking for a neat, sleek and sporty watch, the Helmsman on Kickstarter campaign (project page) may be the one to have in mind when you will buy your next watch.
Many micro brands start off with Japanese movements, as they’re the easiest to source and helps keep things more affordable. Many times, those movements will be simple three-handers, perhaps with a date function. Zelos has upped their entry a bit, and are offering a case in several versions, driven by the nice 24 Jewel Automatic Movement Miyota 9015.
The Zelos Helmsman comes in a 43mm surgical grade stainless steel, bronze CuSn8 case or a DLC coated bezel, it also offers a 100m water resistance rating, which is enough for most wet occasions. With any new brand, movements and functionality aren’t all there is to the picture. We must absolutely consider the styling they’ve utilized. While they could have opted for a simple flat dial, Zelos has instead gone with something that has a nice bit of layering and depth to it. The indices and numerals are raised, and the internal divers bezel is a nice addition. This gives some nice visual variety to the dial, breaking up what otherwise could have been a flat and boring dial. The Helmsman features a sapphire crystal and exhibition case back with signed rotor.
An internal diving bezel was chosen instead of the traditional rotating bezel to keep the design sleek and clean. The two knurled cylindrical crowns at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock operates the bezel and hands. Cutouts on the sides of the case were also used to give the watch a modern style.
The minute and hour hands are baton shaped and semi skeletonized, which is a sort of cross between other styles of hands I’ve seen, and gives it a modern take on what we are more commonly to see. They also have a nice surface for the lume to be applied. One thing that’s not quite as great is the date wheel. It looks just fine with the black, brown, grey, but its white background stands out a bit too much on the green dialed models. Hopefully future iterations will see a color-matched wheel entering the mix. Then again, things like date wheel color are relatively minor concerns. The Helmsman will come with three straps: vintage brown leather, smooth black leather, and a black NATO for active use.
Coming in at a pre-order price of around $340 USD, they’ve very much positioned themselves as an affordable alternative to what else there may be on the market. Only 50 pieces will be produced in each dial/case/bezel combination. Overall, the design itself is very neat, it does seem nicely executed, in my opinion. And opinion is one place you can actually help out this new company on Kickstarter. The production run will start next month and is expected to be shipped out to customers in May. Let us know here in the comments what you think of the watches they have on offer. Kickstarter Capaign Project Page
Jovan Krstevski – Founder, Proprietor & Executive Editor
Watch collector, aficionado and a Event profile in the Swedish nightlife. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches. ’ His passion jump started in his early teens, when he was given his first mid-range wristwatch which was an Omega Seamaster. Since then he has always been in love with wristwatches!