The Singaporean brand Zelos really needs no introduction. In a few short years, founder Elshan Tang has made the brand one of the most recognizable microbrands on the market. With about 4,000 watches sold worldwide per year, it’s also one of the largest and most successful microbrands.
When I ordered the Great White Bronze from The Microbrand Store, I picked the meteorite option because, quite frankly, it’s a phenomenal deal to get a meteorite dial and a Swiss auto movement anywhere south of $1,000. That’s something Zelos has always brought to the table – while I wouldn’t consider them an “affordable” or “cheap” microbrand, they have always managed to bring a solid value proposition to the table. You won’t find Zelos on liquidation channels and most models sell out quickly. So, value holds up really well on the secondary market – no small feat for a microbrand.
So, let’s get on to this watch. At 44mm wide sans crown and 16.5mm thick, the Great White is not for small watch fans. It’s essentially a supersized version of the popular Mako diver, which is offered at 40mm diameter. Of course, the size and thickness of the Great White does serve one practical purpose: it makes a depth rating of 1,000 meters possible. That puts the Great White in the category of serious tool watch. However, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a diving kind of guy. I’m more of a once-a-year-casual-swimmer-because-I’ve-got-kids kinda guy. I just happen to find tool watches to fit best with my casual lifestyle. (Can you imagine if The Dude of The Big Lebowski wore nothing but dress watches???) But I digress. The specs of a tough watch are much like features on a muscle car: You likely won’t need all the horsepower, but it’s just cool to know it’s there. It’s also reassuring to know if I ever fall off a cruise ship, my watch will be A-OK.
The Case: I’ve always been impressed with the heft and quality of Zelos’ case construction. I’ve previously owned the Abyss 2, another beast of a watch with similar quality. The bezel clicks solidly and is nicely finished with a ceramic insert and generous application of lume. The case is finished with contrasting satin brushing and polished surfaces – which make it really stand out. This is a solidly constructed bronze case with a stainless caseback featuring a deep-pressed impression of a great white shark. The aforementioned diameter and height do make this a rather heavy watch, especially with the bronze used. So, you may want to do a few extra reps on your watch arm to prep for this bad boy.
The dial: This is the star of this big show. Featuring a gorgeous, shiny meteorite dial that glistens and changes with lighting, you’ll get lots of looks. People in your life are going to notice this thing – so far, I’ve been complimented by a gas attendant and what I’m pretty sure was an off-duty stripper. (It’s important to have life goals!!!!) The hour markers are big, applied and have heaping piles of lume that will light up your face when fully charged. Zelos has always knocked it out of the park with lume application. I was a little on-the-fence about the shark teeth markers at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 – but they have grown on me and add to the piece’s charm and character. Two lines of text won’t distract and the big Z logo looks well placed. Overall, just a very attractive dial despite the many elements for a three-hand design. Elshan has done something very difficult – he’s created an over-arching vision for his timepieces. With the hands, markers and overall presence, Zelos design language has become very familiar and defining.
Reference: Zelos Great White 1000M Bronze Meteorite.
Color Scheme: Black meteorite, with bronze case, white markers, and black bezel.
Limited Edition Size: 100 individually numbered timepieces.
Water Resistance: 100 ATM / 1,000 meters / 1KM / 3,280 feet.
Diameter: 44mm, excluding crown.
Lug-to-Lug Length: 50mm.
Lug Width: 22mm.
Case: CuSn8 marine grade bronze with lumed crown.
Case Back: 316L marine grade stainless steel.
Dial Type: Black meteorite with applied indices.
Dial Glass: Scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
Bezel: 120 click unidirectional fully lumed black ceramic bezel with a brushed finish.
Lume: Swiss Super-Luminova C3 and BGW9 lume.
Straps Included: 1x 22mm set of black tropic rubber straps with bronze hardware.
Movement: 26 jewel Swiss Sellita SW200 automatic movement.
Oscillation: High beat 28,800 BPH, (8 ticks per second.)
Hand Winds: Yes.
Automatic Winding: Yes.
Power Reserve: Up to 38 hours.
Manufacturer’s Warranty: 1 year.
Final words: I’m really enjoying my Great White. I bought this from The Microbrand Store. (Full disclosure: The Microbrand Store is a current sponsor at the WATCHA Facebook group). The Microbrand Store is a great bet, with great customer service and quick shipping. I’ve also ordered directly from Zelos and Customer Service was super there as well. Whether you buy from a retailer or from the brand directly, you’ll have the full 1-year warranty from Zelos.
I should mention that I also had the first version of the Mako. That watch is probably more wearable for most people and the newest version features a larger crown and some new dial options. Definitely worth checking out if you like this style, but need a smaller watch because you are weak and underdeveloped. (Just kidding).
Final note: The watch does come with a better-than-average tropical rubber strap. I’ve had some crappy tropical straps that felt like they might break with a swift bend. This is nice and soft and a very nice accessory for this watch. I just happen to prefer leather on a strap monster like this. I fitted the great white with a strap from Corrigia Straps. Yum.