Despite the various conventions a dive watch must adhere to, the Zelos Mako manages to remain entirely unconventional. And it’s not just the bronze case and bezel that sets the Mako apart; it’s the fine-grain details—some barely legible at arm’s length—which integrate so well with the bronze, especially once it tarnishes.
When I pulled the Mako out of the anti-oxidation pouch it ships in, the watch gleamed like polished gold. It looked disjointed, crammed, and overdone. The level of detail was remarkable—from the spiral engraved anthracite dial to the ultra-fine chapter ring markings and the lume-filled signed crown—but the watch just didn’t cohere.I was further confused by the Mako’s specs. Why ready a glistening 40-millimeter watch I’d consider wearing to a wedding for 500-meters of skull-crushing water depth? Why max out the legibility with green-tinted C3 and BGW9 lume? Why make this fancy thing so rugged that it invites abuse? I just didn’t get it.
Then the Mako tarnished—really fast. Hiking around the enormous marvels at Storm King Sculpture Park in The Hudson Valley on a particularly hot and muggy day, I was drenched in sweat for hours. By 11 AM the bronze had dulled; by 2 PM I was seeing tinges of green, gray, and charcoal black; by the end of the day the Mako’s CUSN8 alloy had aged from Dressy Bronze into BADASS BRONZE.