Iwas amazed to find out I had won the January watch giveaway, and what a watch to win! But first, I needed to make the difficult choice between the marine bronze-cased Zelos Hammerhead, or a 316L stainless steel model with a Damascus-style steel bezel. Both looked incredible and the bronze was definitely eye-catching, but in the end, the contemporary looks of the stainless steel model won. The timing happened to coincide with my marriage and subsequent honeymoon. Whilst I didn’t wear the watch on my wedding day (that was reserved for a lovely 1940s Rolex Oyster belonging to my grandfather), I did take the watch on my honeymoon where it had plenty of wrist action. The setting, a Caribbean island, was ideal for this unusual diver. And whilst I never got the chance to test out its 1000m water resistance, it did get wet plenty of times when snorkeling and swimming. This watch would not be reserved for desk diving only!
The watch arrived in a nice wooden box and a canvas ‘tool roll’ which contained a choice of straps (leather, canvas, and steel) and a strap removal tool. The quality of these was good and I thought this was an excellent and impressive way to present the watch, especially considering the price bracket the watch falls into.
The first thing that struck me about the watch itself was its ruggedness. At first, I was worried that it would be too large for my rather skinny wrist, but at 49mm lug to lug, the fit was great. The height of the watch is responsible for the weight and boldness of its appearance. With an impressive water resistance rating of 1000m, the robustness of this watch is wholly justified. The watch casing is impressively well machined. Some may find the edges sharp, but I think this highlights the high precision of the machining as opposed to an under-finished case. The bezel stands high and on this special edition version it is inset with Damascus steel, more commonly used to produce high-quality knives due to its legendary hardness.
The bezel pattern provides further intrigue and uniqueness to the watch. Whilst this feature is beautiful, it might perhaps put off the buyer with a more classical taste or, if such a person does exist, one who wishes to use it as a functional dive watch. The double-domed sapphire adds further weight to this timepiece. The doming looks great but does still result in some reflection, especially in full sunlight. The face of the watch is still very legible and easy to read, mostly thanks to its beautiful simplicity and raised/angled markers. The crown is comfortably seated at the 4 o’clock position.
Turning the watch over presents a lovely etched caseback depicting two hammerhead sharks, the watch’s namesake. I was lucky to receive a special edition watch which was numbered 03/50. I wonder who got 1 & 2? Internally the watch, which is powered by the well renowned Seiko NH35 automatic movement, has ticked along smoothly. The movement has kept good time and the claimed 48 hour power reserve has proved accurate and more than enough.
A solid and reliable diver, the Zelos Hammerhead is an attractive and sensibly priced watch. While I was first concerned about the watch’s size, it fits very well on my wrist, is legible, and keeps great time. What I can’t wait to do now is to seriously test out its water resistance. zeloswatches.com