INTRODUCING: The Zelos Watches Blacktip 200m is one of the best-value divers aroundThor Svaboe
Zelos Watches stand out for their well-honed design vision and obsession with details that puts them firmly on the microbrand podium. Elshan Tang, the owner and designer, releases a steady stream of new stock on their website, ranging from chunky bronze divers to dress watches with elaborate ETA movements. But whatever Zelos offer, it’s quickly snapped up, a fate that is inevitably set to befall their new Blacktip 200m Diver that offers superb value at just $429 USD.
This watch sees them enter the highly competitive market for vintage-inspired skin divers. Refreshingly, they’ve done so retaining a clear Zelos language that’s devoid of homage touches. This is easier said than done, but Elshan manages to infuse the models with a distinctive identity that is instantly recognisable.
The Blacktip 200m Diver’s 41mm case offers a strong medium build with a good fit on the wrist thanks to its short 47.5mm lug-to-lug measurement. The ergonomics are strong, particularly when combined with the wrist-hugging slim case that’s just 11.5mm thick. The case offers a sweeping ’60s skin diver shape with a delicate sweep and a thin bevel accentuating the strong line, ending in short downturned lugs and that classic straight lug opening.
The dials are genuinely eye-catching. Two of them offer a distinct grained texture combined with a degrade effect that imbues them with that feeling of depth you won’t find in a matte black tool watch dial. This adds real interest without taking away legibility. Large, blocky applied indices are sized in proportion to the hands, all with strong lume and bevelled edges, befitting a watch that’s far more demanding on your wallet.
The Miyota 9015 movement comes with close to COSC accuracy if you’re lucky, and has a date that sits at the classic 6 o’clock position. This lurks beneath an engraved, closed caseback which, together with the large screw-in crown, ensures a tough and dive-ready 200m depth rating.
Zelos’ design ethos really kicks into overdrive when the lights go out. I’m not a betting man, but you won’t find many sub $500 USD watches with the intricate light play found in the delicious green and blue lume of the dial. This is deftly capped off by the actual crown being engraved and lume-filled, making this a veritable candy store of popping lights.
The 60-minute diver’s bezel comes in a brushed steel or ceramic insert depending on the model, from the calm tones of the Desert Sand model, to classic Vintage Black or a handsome blue sunburst-finished dial with white lume. But whichever iteration you choose, Zelos seriously impresses at this price point making it a microbrand to watch for 2021.
Zelos Watches Blacktip 200m price and availability:
The Zelos Watches Blacktip 200m is $429 USD and is available from Zelos Watches.