Looks distinctly unique to marine divers and fliegers standards. Maybe it’s bigger. The design or function of an ear. Perhaps, instead of the traditional cell phone, it uses a disc to tell the time. If you put all these bits together, the different thing is the Zelos universe.
Zelos worn & wound is no stranger. Successful Kickstarter activities have a lot of brands, which no regrets helmsman and abyss divers, as well as minimalist concentration. Likewise, the universe was brought to life by raising money through the movement as early as 2015. Regardless of the Zelos magic formula, it means the continued success of getting the money needed to turn each concept into reality.
The Cosmos is in many ways the successor to the aforementioned Chroma. From the case to the dial, the foundation is all there. And by building on what has come before, it is safe to say that the Cosmos is Zelos’ most ambitious design both in terms of aesthetics and manufacturing capablity.
Undeniably, Cosmos is a big watch. Although the design of the earless design usually makes the watch feel small, 45mm in diameter and 14.5mm in height (3mm thick sapphire crystal!), Cosmos is like an ice hockey wrist. Not necessarily a bad thing, because the watch is clearly designed for such an effect, people will think that aesthetic.
The case sides are concave, curving inwards. The sides are then accented with three deep-cut grooves and a black ring that give the case a layered look. This is similar to what Zelos did with the Chroma, though that model featured a smaller case. Aside from being visually interesting, this detailing also helps break the case profile quite a bit so it does not feel too slab-sided.
From the top down, Cosmos became very interesting. From these photos may not be obvious, but the dial actually consists of several layers of different materials made of rings. Hour tracking, for example, made of sapphire glass and is a four-screw. Another sapphire laser engraved on the stack represents minutes to track numbers. This layer is located on a steel base with concentric brush features added texture.
Then, three thin, stacked sheets of painted metal make up the rotating discs that are the hands. At the center top is a disc engraved with the Zelos logo and it represents the running seconds. The next disc is a spoked wheel with 12 hands, one of which is marked in a darker color to indicate the minute hand. Both of these discs feature a cutout pattern that give them the appearance of a steering wheel. The third disc, representing the hour, sits below these three and is a solid disc with a small skeletonized triangle pointer.
Minutes and hours of the hour hand color contrasts significantly with the rest of the light tone dialing. Each of the 12 hands on the minute dial is skeletonized so they allow the hour hand and etched minute markers to be visible underneath. With that said, the minute track is rather hard to read on the fly. It is, of course, useful when setting the time, but for actually reading time I found it easier to go on the relative distance of the minute hand from each hour marker. It’s not a deal breaker for me–plenty of other dials forgo minute markers altogether–but it is worth noting.
As mentioned earlier, the crystal sat on sapphire, which is the internal AR double dome with groove and features. Double arched sapphire crystals, especially so thick, are very expensive to produce, but the benefits of extra miles have superior optical form. There will be minimal distortion of the dial, even at extreme angles. Flip table, followed by an open circuit in the same pattern as the disc, with a sapphire-covered opening exposed inside the caliber.
And that segues us to the movement. The Cosmos was originally slated to come equipped with a Miyota 9015 automatic caliber, a solid Japanese workhorse. After the conclusion of the initial Kickstarter campaign, Zelos announced that the final product would come equipped with an ETA 2824 at no extra charge to backers, with the one caveat being that delivery times might be delayed due to necessary component tweaks. Both are solid movements either way, though a Swiss caliber does help raise the perceived value of the Cosmos.
The Cosmos on the wrist sit big, although it is a comfortable casual watch. It may not fit in all shirt cuffs, but those with a little extra leeway should not be a problem. The provided strap is a decent enough stitched leather two-piece with a stamped faux gator print paired with a signed Zelos buckle. It is a bit stiff on the wrist but it should break in over time. Of course, the Cosmos would look just as good, if not better, with some more casual alternatives.
Most people praise Zelos for the past, and for good reason. Although the design may not be suitable for everyone, it is difficult to deny that Zelos is composed of a cohesive, attention to detail aesthetic. This should not be taken for granted because these multi-layer designs require a lot of tools and foresight. In short, from the brand, which is a solid effort to continue the first track laying the helmsman.
The Cosmos retails for $849, but is currently being offered for $649.