Through the sheer determination and creative efforts of owner and designer Elshan Tang, Zelos Watches have enjoyed a sharp rise from their 2014 origins. From their first hits like the Hammerhead and the Swordfish, Zelos are still focused on value-driven tool and diver’s watches, but now come close to tipping the scales from microbrand to small manufacturer (well, in my book they’ve done it already). With a solid back catalogue of over 20 different models, Zelos is a mainstay on the scene, and last year stepped up their game with the Mirage. This was something quite different, riffing on previous skeletonized models like the Skyraider, and do you know what? It had a Swiss-made tourbillon movement. Now Zelos has fitted an eight-day hand-wound movement from La Joux Perret in the 42mm case of the Mirage 2. The result is a pilot’s watch, but not as we know it.
The Mirage 2 is a twin register pilot’s watch with a skeletonized dial and an enigmatic case celebrating metallurgy and the art of sword-making. Confused and dazzled? You should be. Catch a slight reflection, and the the Mirage 2 case will draw you in, with an eclectic wood grain structure, shimmering while creating unique organic patterns that seem quite otherworldly. The bronze-yellow tinged metal is like nothing else I’ve seen, and it’s based on a technique akin to the ancient art of forging swords.
Zelos was the first manufacturer to feature a watch case made from titanium damascus, a labour-intensive process resulting in every case being a unique metallurgical piece of art. Zirconium and titanium layers are laser welded, then repeatedly folded to obtain the wave-like wood-grain pattern. And perfectly juxtaposed to the sweeping patterns of the case, the dark, twin-barreled movement is visible through a sapphire dial with applied lume-filled classic Arabic numerals, and a bold sword-shaped hand-set.
There’s a dark edge to the Mirage dial with vertically opposed registers for power reserve and running seconds almost out-scored by the turbine designs of the twin barrels within. With an angular font for the indices, Elshan underlines the futuristic pilot’s watch vibe, as if re-imagined for a new age. The movement’s bridges are made of brushed black PVD with discernible striations. A gold-filled Zelos logo at 3.30 pops deliciously, and there’s a red crescent marking the last day of the eight day power reserve. As a pinnacle of the Zelos vision, the limited run of 25 or 50 pieces per colour might even go rather quickly, and the Mirage 2 does represent a big step for the company while offering exemplary value for what is a unique calibre within the skeletonized pilot’s watch. The future of the pilot’s watch is from Singapore and it’s forged from titanium damascus.
The Zelos Watches Mirage 2, price and availability:
The Zelos Watches Mirage 2 is priced at $3,900 for the Titanium model, $ 4,900 for Zirconium / Titanium Damascus or Tantalum models, and $8,900 for a sapphire cased version
For more details, visit Zelos Watches right here.
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