It’s been an exciting year for Zelos. The small Singapore based brand founded by Elshan Tang launched their Mirage Tourbillon in June to great acclaim, and the limited run sold out in a flash. While the Mirage proves that Zelos can court collectors at a higher price point, the brand’s newest releases are true to their value driven roots. The new watches in the Horizons 39mm line are classic Zelos, featuring exotic dials and modern design elements in a package that allows watch lovers to grab something truly unique at an accessible price point. The new watches are slim and conservative in their sizing, but have an adventurous sensibility that ties them to the rest of the Zelos line.
The Horizons 39mm was conceived as a go anywhere, do anything timepiece that could easily slip under a shirt cuff, but stand up to any physical activity thrown at it. To that end, three different varieties of the Horizons 39mm are available: the Diver, GMT, and Field. The Diver variant includes a 120 click unidirectional timing bezel with a stunning sapphire insert for durability and just the right amount of flash. The GMT version uses a 12 hour bezel, making it simple for frequent travelers to keep track of a second time zone without an additional mechanical complication. And the Field has a fixed bezel and a sandwich dial construction, with an emphasis on easy legibility.
We talked to Elshan about the new Horizons 39mm upon its release to get some background on how these watches came to be. Above all, it was important for Zelos to maintain a consistent design language in this new collection. “The design language for our dials, hands and indices translate pretty well to smaller sizes,” Elshan told us. Zelos has produced watches in a variety of genres over the years, but is perhaps best known for chunky divers with extreme levels of water resistance. The dials in particular of the Horizons 39mm line have the same bright color and defined texture as other watches in the Zelos family.
The specific inspiration for the dials in the Horizons 39mm series comes from watches of the past. “These were inspired by timepieces from the 70s which were similarly bold and striking,” according to Elshan. Striking is certainly an appropriate way to describe these dials. The GMT and Diver watches feature dramatic sunburst textures in a range of colors. Hour markers are applied and filled with lume, and those at the 12, 3, and 9 positions are cut in a triangular shape for a bold and aggressive appearance. A date window at 6 is well balanced and unobtrusive, offering additional functionality without a lot of extra clutter.
The Field breaks format slightly with a sandwich dial in of three colorways inspired by the natural world. Each has a texture inspired by granite stone, mossy grass, or a fresh frost. These dials presented certain production challenges for Zelos, and required four versions to get the texture just right. The end result is a stylish take on the classic field watch aesthetic that is completely unique to Zelos.
On a technical level, the Horizons 39mm watches offer a great value. Besides the wearable size that will look great on every wrist, there’s plenty of functionality and bang-per-buck to be found as well. Each watch in this series has a full 200 meters of water resistance and utlilizes a screw-down crown, and the sapphire crystal has been cut in a vintage inspired “box” style, giving users familiar vintage lines but with the all the durability you would expect from a contemporary watch made to the highest standards of quality. The Diver and GMT are powered by a Miyota 9015, with the Field using the date-less Miyota 9039. These are reliable, time tested movements from Miyota’s upper tier of automatic calibers. Finally, Zelos gets all the details right and scores points on presentation: each watch comes in a wooden gift box with an impressive steel warranty card, along with a travel watch roll.
The Horizons 39mm collection is available now from Zelos, with all models priced at $549. For more information, be sure to check out the Zelos website right here.