Singaporean micro brand Zelos utilizes unique materials such as bronze, meteorite, and Damascus steel — to create watches that really stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, part of their formula for success seems to be the ability to create small limited series of watches, with a wide variety of styles.
The Zelos Skyraider with Damascus steel case, like all the rest of the versions in the collection, including bronze, titanium, and so forth, is based loosely on the Flieger pilot’s watches. The Skyraider collection comes in a 42.5 mm x 13 mm case that is 50 mm lug-to-lug.
What ties it to vintage aviation watches are the large hour markers and hands, and the highly legible dial, the pilot style brown leather strap, and the relatively large crown designed so that can be operated even with gloves on. That’s where the retro tie-ins end.
The styling itself – from the spaceship-looking hands with skeletonized cutouts, to the “Atmosphere Blue” dial with a stamped turbine pattern and a gradient color pattern that darkens towards the edge, and of course the crazy Damascus steel case – is equal parts futuristic.
Driving the time-only Zelos Skyraider collection is a hand-wound ETA 6498-1 with a 2.5Hz (18,000 vph) beat rate, 17 jewels, and 44-hours of power reserve. As you may know, this movement is widely used across the industry and can come with a variety of finishes.
Zelos decorated these movements with a circular Côtes de Genève engraving on the bridges, the ratchet wheel has a “turbine” engraving, the crown wheel features a circular pattern, and all screws are blued. Each movement has been engraved with the Zelos logo as well, and the non-skeleton versions are engraved “1 of 200” to denote that this is a limited series.
The applied hour markers, hands, and even the crown received a generous application of lume. The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters and has a screw-down crown. Each Skyraider comes with a wooden gift box, leather travel roll, a dark brown Horween Chromexcel leather strap, and a military gray canvas strap with Horween backing.
The retail price for the Zelos collection starts at $899, although unfortunately the watches shown (which were photographed at Windup Watchfair NYC 2018 this past November), and most of the collection, are sold out.