In an interesting (OK, maybe not that interesting) coincidence, I happened to be wearing my Zelos Helmsman when I received an update from company on the Zelos Chroma, their second watch project, which was going live that afternoon on Kickstarter. The Zelos Chroma is being billed as a minimalist automatic, which may actually sell the project a little short.I think the minimalist tag comes from the simple description: a lugless 3 hand automatic. No date, no crazy water resistance (the watch’s 50 meters is just fine for this design), no exotic materials… But I think the design takes a minimalist aesthetic and adds visual interest in a novel way. The outer hour markings (on the non-skeleton version) in the chapter ring are incut into the internal bezel, so that you get both the white markings and a little slit in the bezel.
With the skeleton version, the white markings are dispensed with, and all that is left are just the notches in the bezel. I really like the look. Also, instead of a traditional wide open skeleton, the Zelos has a fan blade pattern offering a peek-a-boo view of the movement, showing it off, without making it too busy. The skeleton also adds an exhibition case back with skeleton rotor, a very nice view into the Miyota 8215 movement with a rose gold plated rotor. Even the strap get a little skeleton movement, with cut outs on the buckle similar to those on the Helmsman.
The rewards start at $199 for the the first 100 bakers of the base model, and then jump to $249. The earlybird backers of the skeleton model can claim one for $239 (sold out), which jumps to $299 after the first 100. I was a backer of the Helmsman, and though the project was delayed a little bit, Zelos did a great job in keeping the backers informed of the delays and added a lot of nice stretch goals during the project. The packaging and extras I received with my watch just added to the initial value. zelos-watches
- Brand & Model: Zelos Chroma
- Price: $199 – 299, depending on options and timing
- Who we think it might be for: Anyone looking for a “minimalist” dress automatic.
- Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?: Yes, I have the helmsman, and I like the dial for the skeleton.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The crown looks too small.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Peek-a-boo skeleton.
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