Zelos Watches is a recent Singaporean brand founded in 2014 by watch enthusiast Elshan Tang. More than twenty models have been produced in this short time, including over 100 different colourways. The brand has a surprising amount of innovations and industry firsts, such as the use of Timascus (lightweight, non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant titanium alloy) and meteorite watch bezels. The Zelos Mirage 2 Eight-Day Skeleton, a follow-up to a limited edition tourbillon series, features exotic case materials and a custom Swiss movement from La Joux-Perret. And prices are reasonable to boot.
Case dimensions are 42mm in diameter and 13mm in height (48mm lug-to-lug), and water-resistance is rated at 50 metres. There’s a bit of a turbine theme that starts with angled knurling on the tapered crown. All models have sapphire crystals front and back with interior anti-reflective coatings. The dial itself is also sapphire, creating a floating effect with the hands, indices and sub-dials (hence the name, Mirage). It reminds me a bit of the Dietrich SD-1 Skin Diver. The applied Arabic numerals and indices have Super-LumiNova inserts along with the partially openworked hour and minute hands. A sub-dial at 12 o’clock displays the power reserve, and the small seconds are at 6 o’clock. That power reserve indicator shows a full eight days, made possible by twin barrels visible at 1 and 9 o’clock. The barrels are also designed to resembled turbines, continuing the theme. The four case materials, however, are what really steal the show.
Case Options for the Zelos Mirage 2
Titanium with brushed and sandblasted surfaces, including a matching five-link titanium bracelet. The metal has been hardened to 1,200 Vickers for superior scratch resistance – that’s five times harder than regular titanium – and has a natural titanium colour.
Zirc/Ti Damascus is made by combining titanium and zirconium to form unique patterns. The metals are repeatedly folded together and forged to create a wood grain-type pattern, not unlike those on traditional Samurai swords (from Damascus steel). Additional hand-torching brings out unique colours. Patterns included blue Zirc/Ti with blue titanium and black zirconium, creating an almost iridescent aesthetic, and yellow Zirc/Ti with streaks of dark grey zirconium and natural titanium. Zelos is the first to use this for watch cases.
Tantalum is a dense, rare metal commonly used for medical applications and capacitors. It’s hypoallergenic and very corrosion resistant with a blue/grey hue. However, the metal is rarely used for watch cases as it’s expensive and difficult to machine (photo not yet available).
Sapphire is rarely used for entire cases, and Zelos is one of only a handful of brands to attempt it. The skeletonized movement in the Mirage 2 is on full display from all angles, and diamond-tipped cutters and painstaking polishing are required for this tricky production (photo not yet available).
A powerful Swiss movement
The hand-wound skeletonized movement is supplied by La Joux-Perret and based on the LJP7500 calibre. It has simple yet eye-catching finishings with curved graining and black PVD mainplates. La Joux-Perret was founded in the 1990s in La Chaux-de-Fonds and manufactures high-end movements with advanced complications and tourbillons (recently became a subsidiary of Citizen Group in Japan). The calibre in the Mirage 2 has 33 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz), with a sizable eight-day power reserve. Functions include central hours and minutes, small seconds and power reserve indicator.
Availability & Price
The Zelos Mirage 2 series is limited to either 25 or 50 watches (depending on the material) and will be available from the 10th of June at www.zeloswatches.com. Orders start at 11pm Singapore time (4pm in London and 11am in New York) and may sell out quickly. Prices are accessible for such a unique collection – USD 3,900 for titanium, USD 4,900 for Zirc/Ti Damascus and Tantalum, and USD 8,900 for all sapphire. For more information, visit the Zelos website.
Sponsored Post: This article has been made in partnership with Zelos. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.