The Helmsman by Zelos Watches


Keeping up with new watches released on Kickstarter or Indiegogo is becoming quite the task. We have recently looked at a batch of current campaigns as well as conducted a follow up to several funding projects we have featured in the past. Since then more hopefuls have gotten things under way, hoping to get their project off the ground. Among them is The Helmsman by Zelos Watches.

Zelos, Greek for zeal, is founded by Elshan Tang, who has long had a passion for watches. From childhood to adult age, Elshan has been drawn to watches via the mechanical aspect of the movements and the details of their design. After collecting for a decade he felt there was a space for a quality made watch that held a price not inflated by a brand name. Putting his Mechanical Engineering degree to work he set out to design his first watch which resulted in The Helmsman.


The goal was to design The Helmsman as a modern sports watch with a functional design and a versatile look. Given the name, which means “a person who steers a ship or boat” one would expect there to be elements familiar to dive watches. The 43mm case will be available in two CuSn8 bronze models, one with, and one without, a black DLC coated bezel, or 316L stainless steel case. Each case has areas that are sand blasted, brushed and polished to add highlights and depth to the design. That seems to be a fair bit of contrast to add to the case at once so it will be interesting to see how well it is pulled off, especially how the different areas patina on the bronze model.

The bezel itself is unadorned opting instead for an internal rotating bezel. It is designed like many diving bezels with hashmarks every minute from 1 to 15 and then markers every 5 minutes from there. There is no mention of which crown operates the internal bezel, but given expectations the 2 o’clock crown is the most likely suspect. The crown for setting the time screws down, aiding in the 100M water resistance rating, while the bezel for the inner crown does not.


To ensure legibility the dial markers and hands will have C3 Superluminova coating, which should give it enough lume to satisfy most owners. The dial has a tiered design giving it three layers of depth. The markings are minimal with just a logo at 12 and “Automatic” above 6. The dial color can be chosen by the purchaser from black, brown, grey and green. Between the three case types and four dial colors there are a lot of design options that will provide a total of 500 watches made available to potential backers. The Helmsman will use a sapphire crystal for both the dial and the display back of the watch, which will show off the ever popular Citizen Miyota 9015 movement Elshan chose to power the watch. The watch will come in its own leather travel pouch along with three straps: vintage brown leather, a smooth black leatehr and a NATO. Participants will be able to chose their dial color and serial number at the Zelos Watches website.

The Zelos Helmsman Kickstarter campaign runs until March 30, 2014 and will cost backers from $380 CAD (approximately $341 USD) to $590 CAD (approximately $529) depending on which package is chosen. Does the Helmsman float your boat? Does it do enough to set it apart from other crownfunding projects? Let us know in the comments.

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Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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