Since I bought the first watch with a bronze case (it happened to be Zelos Mako), I knew that I would be friends with this material for longer.
When buying more watches made from that material, apart from the advantages of this alloy in the form of an interesting color and the fact of patination, with time the disadvantages of bronze began to emerge. One of them is the fact that the material is allergenic and that it can stain the hand when it’s patinated, therefore bronze watches are distinguished by the fact that the elements that come into direct contact with the skin (i.e. the caseback) are made of steel or titanium. A bronze bracelet would therefore be very impractical, so none of the manufacturers decided to produce it until then.
But I really wanted to have such a bracelet, I had an idea how to solve this problem. The solution was obvious – the bracelet, as well as the case from the bottom, must have a steel or titanium element. On October 1, 2018, in smartphone paint, I drew a design of a cell in which the steel element is connected to the “bronze cover” by tightly ironed on and sent to Elshan Tang with an explanation. Elshan replied that he would inquire with his component supplier if it was possible.
Then there was a long silence … until in July 2020, Elshan showed prototypes of bracelets made basically 100% according to my idea. Finally, the bronze bracelets for the Swordfish 40mm with this watch went on sale in March 2021. Why was it taking so long? The owner of Zelos had to find a supplier ready to produce such a bracelet, while maintaining a reasonable price, because the current manufacturer did not want to undertake it. This made that Oris was faster than Zelos a bit, in 2020 releasing the Hölstein Edition model with a case and bracelet entirely made of bronze in a very limited number of 250 pieces. The Oris bracelet, however, has disadvantages that I wrote about earlier due to the fact that the entire links, including the bottom, is made of bronze, and it is a completely different price caliber.
I bought the Zelos Swordfish watch in the Dutch SeriousWatches website for 350Euro, the bracelet itself costs an additional 200Euro, so it all cost me about PLN 2,500. Was it worth it? It depends..
Zelos introduced slightly different boxes with this model. Instead of a case with a leather roller for watches inside, we get a slightly smaller case with something like a pencil case inside. The pencil case has several pockets and elastic bands into which you can put watches and other accessories. A cool gadget that may come in handy someday.
The bracelet has a separate box (after all, we buy it separately) and although it does not seem at first glance, this small “earpiece” will definitely be useful to me much more than a pencil case in a wooden box 😊 A small round box is made of eco-leather and fastened with a zipper. It is designed in such a way that it holds one watch and it is placed in it in such a way that the bracelet cannot touch the case or the link between itself. The box is lined with soft foam inside, so the watch in it is protected against shocks.
A great and very handy solution for transporting one watch, especially on a bracelet.
As I decided some time ago, now I only buy watches with a case in the size of 40mm + -1mm. Fortunately for me, the bronze bracelet came out for the model with a case width of 40mm, so I could buy this watch without remorse that I was breaking my own rules 😉. The length of the case from lug to lug is 46mm, so the lugs are not too long.The thickness of the case in this model is 12mm, which I am also very happy about because this parameter is also very important to me.
This is what it looks like on my 18cm wrist.
In my opinion, the watch fits perfectly, although some would say that it is too small .. for me, the most important thing now is wearing comfort and this size guarantees it.
The case has sharp, futuristic features characteristic for this model, and although I usually like watches with more round shapes, everything fits together here. The alloy of the case and the bracelet is CuSn8, but I have the impression that it is a bit different than the bronze watches from the ones I had before, because firstly it has a pinker shade, and secondly it patinates like crazy. I have had a watch for 6 days and almost all of it is covered with a dark patina to such an extent that basically the cuts of the case are not visible anymore and to show them to you I had to remove the patina … This is how the watch looked after 6 days of wearing it! Other bronzes, which I had even after a month, were not so black 😊
The cuts, when seen, do not make a special impression. Virtually the entire watch except the inner part of the lugs, bottom and top of the crown cover and the narrow surface under the bezel is brushed. On the left and right side part, the brushing is vertical and it looks the worst there, I do not know if it’s influenced by the direction of the finish or its quality, but it gives the impression of an unfinished surface. Between the lugs, however, we have a strange combination of polished and brushed surfaces, this polished piece is like an extension of the lugs? It’s hard to say … I have not seen such a solution so far in any watch and I don’t quite like it. The other elements of the case (i.e. the top of the lugs) are finished ok and I have no comments about them.
The screwed crown is logged and is also made of bronze. The milling is quite thick, and the crown itself is large, so there is no problem with setting the time. The watch, as befits a diver, has a WR of 200m, which is a value that is quite sufficient for swimming and even diving with a watch on your hand.
The heart of this watch is the movement of the Japanese manufacturer – Seiko NH35. The classic workhorse is very often assembled from a lower budget shelf, which includes the Swordfish line.
The movementin my copy works very accurately, doing about less than -2 seconds a day.
I rarely buy watches with a white dial, but in this model I was tempted by the fact that the dial is there full lume … it was a bullseye for me, but more about that in a moment.
So the so-called sandwich dial in my version is white, the hourly indices have been cut in it and have the form of very upwardly stretched trapezoids with a black border. The hole in the index is filled with c3x1 superluminova, which is greenish yellow under bright lighting. Minute indices are simply short lines painted in black paint. There are no extra divisions in fractions of a second – pure simplicity and legibility.
Above the 6 o’clock index, partially cutting into the index, there is a date window, the window does not have a frame, but there is a delicate step in the cut, thanks to which it does not look like a regular hole in the dial. All color versions have a date display that matches the color of the dial, i.e. in my case they are black numbers on a white background, but for example, the blue dial has a blue date background and the green, green – is a small detail which, however, is of considerable importance and deserves praise.
Above the date there is a tiny inscription Swordfish, printed in black font, and below the information about 200m water resistance in red.
As the dial is completely covered with a luma, its entire outer surface is covered with a clear varnish – it is necessary for the luma to stick to the dial, as a result, the index frames and inscriptions in the magnification appear slightly blurred, the effect cannot be seen live with the naked eye.
The minute and hour hands are thick, rose gold in color and in the middle, like the indices, are filled with C3x1 superluminova. The second hand is thin, with a slight thickening on the counterweight, and has an elongated rhombus of its length with a filled luma. The tip of the second hand is painted red.
So there is a lot of luma on the dial, in addition, it is not just any luma, because the dial is covered with Superluminova BGW9, which shines blue, and the indices of the C3x1 luma – considered the strongest currently available luma – shines in green. Effect? It knocks you off your feet … without any doubts I can say that this is a new record holder when it comes to the quality of luma in watches I have had contact with so far, – the luma in this watch is some crazy, just go into the shade from the sun to make the indices green and when we enter a darkened room we see such a view
The effect lasts for a very long time, I have never had a watch in my collection that would shine so bright for so long. You do not need to illuminate it with a flashlight at all, after a few hours from sunset, the dial is still as readable as during the day, the effect of the Timex Indiglo, but the watch is not battery operated and you do not need to press a button. It just shines like this all the time! We read the hour without any problem until the morning and even longer. This is the biggest surprise that has happened to me in the case of this model … the luma in Zelos has always been decent, but here we are dealing with a completely different level that everyone could follow as an example.
Attention! I do not recommend wearing the watch to the cinema or to play hide and seek with it😉
The watch is closed from the top with a flat sapphire glass with an internal, colorless anti-reflection.
When choosing the color version of this watch, one of the conditions that had to be met was a bezel with a bronze insert .. I just figured it out that if it should be all bronze, let it be all 😊
Looking at the bezel from the side, we notice that the insert is flat – it does not stick out above the bezel or fall down in any direction. The bezel cuts are wide, which is in line with the technical nature of the entire watch. It’s nice that the bezel fits tightly to the case – the gap between these elements is minimal, which has a positive effect on the visual reception. As I mentioned before, the bezel inlay is made of bronze. It is marked with numbers every 10 minutes and dashes every 5. The first 15 minutes are marked every minute with much shorter dashes.
At 12 o’clock there is a red triangle with a white dot in the center. All markings except the red triangle are filled with the C3x1 luma, which is the strongest luma available on the market. I wrote about how it shines when discussing the dial … there is power!
Zelos has been consistently sticking to the design of its case backs from the very beginning – it is an engraved fish in the middle, with data about the watch around. In this model, the swordfish is polished and the background is satin. For some reason, the subtitles are very poorly visible and you have to struggle to read them.
So let’s move on to the main attraction of today’s review – bronze bracelets.
The bracelet is 20mm wide by the lugs and narrows to 18mm by the clasp.
Its links are short and most of the top surface is made of bronze. The cells are about 3mm thick and the steel soffit from the bottom is less than 1mm, so it is practically imperceptible in everyday use. I will say more, the color of steel goes very well with bronze and it looks even more interesting than if the links were all bronze.
The connection of bronze with steel is practically imperceptible, the gaps between the metals are really minimal, it can be safely said that in this respect the bracelet was made perfectly.
The bracelet, unfortunately, has some disadvantages, and not small ones at all. The screws that connect the links twist over time, and I’m not talking about the issue of months and years… during a week of wearing the watch, I had to tighten 3 screws in the bracelet, one of which was already so screwed out that a little more and the bracelet would open and watch will fall down.So, having this watch, it’s better to have a tiny screwdriver with which we will be able to tighten these screws in such a situation – just taking the bracelet to a watchmaker to shorten it on our wrist does not guarantee the end of our adventure with screws.
The second problem is the clasp that at the beginning of use doesn’t want to close properly – it opens by itself, even when it seems that everything is OK. This problem passes after a few days, when the clasp is a little bit old, but that’s not the end of the disadvantages. The clasp is made in such a way that the last link of the bracelet, which is fastened to it, cannot bend, which in practice as if extends the clasp on both sides by a few millimeters and causes the second link to bend more than the others. It spoils the aesthetics of the bracelet a bit.
The clasp itself is made similar to the bracelet – the upper part, which does not come into contact with the skin, is made of bronze and the mechanism is made of steel with a rose gold PVD coating. The clasp has 6 micro-adjustment eyelets, which allows for precise adjustment to your wrist.
The bracelet itself is very comfortable, so far I do not feel any differences between this bracelet and a steel bracelet when it comes to comfort or some kind of coloring of the wrist – nothing like that happens. We will see how it will be in summer when the hand will sweat more.
If, like me, you are a fan of bronze watches, this model is for you.
For a relatively affordable price, we get something that has not been given to us by any watch manufacturer in this budget before – a watch entirely made of bronze, including the bracelet, additionally not causing allergies and not staining the hand when worn.
However, if I were to look at the quality itself, then at the price of PLN 2,500, the watch is quite pale.
Apart from the brilliant lume, we will not find anything above average in quality here. This is due to the fact that the Swordfish line is generally the cheapest of the manufacturer’s line of models – these watches have always been cheap and at a price of around $ 300 would have been rated very differently. You have to take into account that in this case we pay half the price for the material of the watch and the bracelet itself. I am very pleased with my watch, luma and instantly patinated bronze make me a lot of joy in everyday wear, and the cons do not bother me so much as to spoil this pleasure. It should also not be forgotten that the Zelos designs are completely innovative, the design of these watches is not a copy of anything else that is not so obvious in the case of watch microbrands.
Important note, currently the bronze bracelets have endlinks that fit only this model, but soon there will be straight endlinks for sale that match this bracelet, so that it can be attached to other bronze watches with an ear spacing of 20mm.