Zelos is microbrand that’s been making waves (pun intended) in the watch industry since 2014 with their hugely popular and well-loved dive watch offerings. This year, they’ve released yet another absolute corker in the form of the Swordfish 40 Bronze.
I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on one for a long-term review and here’s where I stand after 2 months of wrist time.
The first thing we HAVE to talk about is that dial! It is the reason I was so drawn to this watch in the first place and I’m still incredibly in awe of it. While blue has been done by a million brands and can easily be “just another boring blue watch” Zelos have managed to nail it. It’s the perfect shade of teal, the sunburst texture is beautifully done and really catches the eye (I regularly find myself staring at it instead of where I’m walking!). The darker edges of the dial also give it depth and blends really nicely into the black ceramic bezel. The small date window at 6 o’clock will keep those with symmetry OCD happy and the branding thankfully remains subtle (I’m looking at you Rolex; the dial is for the time – not the specification!).
Ever since I started this crazy, never ending horological hobby, I’ve been obsessed with vintage watches – the ageing and patina process brings so much character and history with it. Which moves me on to the second reason I was drawn to this reference. Elshan Tang, the Zelos founder, is known for playing with unusual materials (carbon fibre, meteorite, ti-damascus, titanium) and the SF40 Bronze is no exception, giving us this (as the name would suggest!) bronze number. It’s a case material I didn’t have much experience with so I was intrigued to see what it would be like in the metal and how it would age.
When the Swordfish initially started to tarnish I felt it looked dirty and a little dull. As this was my first bronze encounter it wasn’t quite what I expected. Two months in however I’m pleased to say I love the way it looks! Y’know when you first get your hair cut and you’re not sure you made the right decision; but when it starts to grow out you love it? It was just like that! I was also a little worried that the blue dial might look too bold and new compared to the case, but the bronze hands and bezel bring it together really nicely, making it less of a contrast. Zelos even paired the bronze watch with a bronze buckle which I thought was a fantastic little touch!
As a woman with little wrists, 40mm can look a little chunky on me, especially with a dive bezel. However, I’m very pleased to say it wears incredibly well for its size (yes, it’s a cliche but it’s true!) The case side profiles curves neatly in line with the bezel and the lugs are short and turn down which really help it sit down well on the wrist. Add in the cool, supple tropic rubber strap and it’s one of the most comfortable watches I’ve worn. Oh and just for a little extra pizazz, they’ve popped a swordfish on the caseback to make it a little more fun. I’m all for that! In my morning routine – the watch choice comes first (that’s normal, right?!). Luckily, the SF40 Bronze is up to most of my daily adventures. It’s playful and sporty, but not so much so that I can’t wear it with my office wear. And It’s definitely rugged enough for muddy walks with the doggos! It is a lovely sunburst of colour throughout my day.
It’s coming into spring/summer now I can see this being one of my favourite daily wearers. It’s practical with 200m WR which is great for holidays/pool days/adventures. It’s comfortable and great to look at – I get multiple compliments from enthusiasts and non-watch enthusiasts alike! It is also incredibly reasonably priced. I would be bold enough to say the quality rivals that of some watches twice the price of the Swordfish. Overall I’m really impressed, if you couldn’t already tell. I’m looking forward to watching it patina and matching my outfit choices as it develops. It might be time for a bigger wardrobe…! If you’re looking for a fun, eye catching daily wearer that won’t break the bank but also won’t bore you, this is a perfect option.
Find out more at – https://zeloswatches.com/
And watch and listen to Lucy and the team on their TIme of The Week show, out weekly on YouTube here (plus where you can find past episodes) – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCreEJXb0E_2N0xE7JEu2mwg