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Watch Freek
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WATCH REVIEW

WATCH NAME - Zelos Blacktip, Timekeeper Forged Carbon Dial

Welcome to my unpaid and un-sponsored review of the limited addition Zelos Blacktip Timekeeper, with a Forged Carbon Dial

I had been dithering for a while about buying a Zelos Blacktip. There was a launch special price, but I missed it, and then put the thought to one side. Maybe my imagination, but every other YouTube video and forum post was talking about it. For me, the design, specification, and size looked perfect, then this limited edition version became available on eBay. It wasn’t cheap, but I negotiated a price I believed was reasonable, and pressed the button. So, is the Zelos Blacktip as good as everyone says, and could it be the perfect dive watch, well, let’s see.

SPECIFICATIONS –
case 41mm, lug width 20mm, lug to lug 47mm, depth 12.5mm, and weight for my 6 7/8” wrist is 150 grams. This size hits my sweet spot, so I am delighted how it fits.

PRESENTATION – I would be surprised if any of you haven’t seen this packaging. It is premium, and the watch rolls can be quite handy.

`PRICE – As previously mentioned, there was a launch special and these were $425. In January at some point they went up to $499, and I believe the only colour option left at the moment is the black sands. The watch I am reviewing today is the forged carbon, which was only available to the facebook members group for $499. Of course, getting the watch to the UK and the taxes and duty this involves, equates the watch to becoming around £500 mark, so the price I paid from a third party seller is only what I would have paid anyway, or damn close to it. This is quite a lot of money for a watch produced in Asia (well China), but in my belief it is every bit as good, probably better, than a Swiss or German watch that retails around this price.

MOVEMENT & CROWN – The movement inside this watch is the Miyota 9015, running at 28,800 bph, it hacks and hand winds. It has a uni directional rota that some people complain about. Yes, it is a little noisy if held to the ear, but from personal experience I have never heard it in normal wear. These are extremely reliable, and if regulated correctly, are consistent and accurate. According to my timegrapher, dial up this is running at 0spd, a beat error of zero, and a good amplitude. I don’t care what movement you put in a watch, it doesn’t get better than that.

The crown is both signed and lumed. It’s about 6mm and well knurled, so it’s easy to grip and use. The action is a little gritty, but nothing to complain about, it engages well, and is obviously of the screw in variety. Zelos have described this as a vintage type diver, so there are no crown guards.

CASE, CRYSTAL & FINISH – As usual for Zelos, the case is well finished, and the brushing is superb. It’s a fully brushed case, with exception to the transition between the side and the top. The sides are horizontally brushed, and the top is circular. Perhaps not quite as well done as my new Chris Ward Super Compressor, but not a mile off either. The lugs are drilled, and this of course makes strap changes a lot easier. The back as you would expect is screw down for it’s 200m water resistance, and has a shark embossed on it. The crystal is sapphire with a blue AR coating.

BRACELET/STRAP & CLASP – Zelos always give you a nice bracelet and clasp, and whilst they may not be the best on the market, you will find it hard to find better for the price. The bracelet has H links, and the tolerances between the links is excellent, as is the fit to the case. It articulates beautifully, the end links are of course solid, and these are the female design. It is extremely comfortable, and as an added bonus they are connected by screw pins, and the spring bars are quick release. If you have large wrists don’t panic, this bracelet was long enough to fit around my waste. The clasp is pretty much a direct copy of the Christopher Ward clasp, but not quite as well engineered. It has an on the fly adjustment, which works well, and is far better than having to fiddle around wit the traditional micro adjust system. The Zelos emblem is embossed the clasp for good measure.

BEZEL – A note for all watch manufacturers, and that includes high end ones as well, this is how a bezel should be manufactured. The resistance is perfect, the action is perfect, there is no back play, and it is easy to grip. The insert is forged carbon. And the marker at 12.00 is lumed. There is little more to say than, well done Zelos, perfect!

DIAL & LUME – I actually like every option this came in, but this probably the nicest, well in my opinion anyway. The forged carbon looks beautiful. There is a minute track, and the indices are applied. There is a date window at 6.00 which is framed, although I think it sits a fraction to the right. I love the orange second hand, although I am not particularly keen on the chunky minute and hour hand. I believe this is a trade-off in order Zelos can fill the hands with plenty of lume, which by the way is pretty impressive. The lume is a combination of both C3 and BGW9. Lume is always one of Zelos’s strong points, and blows most of the competition away.

WATER RESISTANCE – Zelos market the Blacktip as a skin diver, and this rated as 200m. I believe it isn’t ISO rated, but I wouldn’t hesitate to swim and shallow dive with this watch.

VALUE FOR MONEY – To be honest, whilst not particularly cheap, you will be hard pushed to find a watch with a better specification and finish than this. Obris Morgan, Borealis. and RLG can probably get close, but I believe there are certain factors that make this watch worth the extra.

QC ISSUES – The only QC issue I could find was the slightly misaligned date window.

Dislikes – I would possibly have liked different hands, but it certainly isn’t a deal breaker. I am not the greatest fan of the emblem, but I don’t find it offensive either. Whilst the dial is stunning, it is slightly understated, and unless the light is good, it just looks plain black.

Likes – Well, where do I start. The dial is amazing in the right light, the lume is incredible, the movement is running like a quartz, the bezel is as good as it gets, the bracelet & clasp are excellent, and the case finishing is superb.

SUMMARY – So, is this the perfect diver, of course it’s not, there isn’t such a thing. That said, it’s got pretty close. Zelos have smashed it out of the park with the Blacktip, and in my belief it’s the best watch they have produced so far. Well done Zelos, once again you have made another winner.
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Aspiring Expert
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1,927 Posts


Why Mrs. Wiggles what lovely wrists you have! jk...

I really love the watch, It reminds me of a Swiss Accutron Astronaut!

 

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Super Moderator
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You know a watch is impressive when there is hardly anything to
find wrong, or complain about right Mrs. Wiggles?! 😮(y)From
😎this side of the screen the watch does actually look like the perfect
diver. 😎😄Seriously, and you can't even notice any of the negatives
either from here sir. Honestly the date window looks fine, and so
does every other square millimeter of this L.E. !

Oh, and the hands actually seem so neat to me because they are
mirroring the look of the markers in the nicest way. Even the dial
is wonderful to me because of the controlled aggression of it.
On the one hand, it's so different, and dynamic, but it's done in
such a nice subtle way, that it keeps it classy, not cheesy. 😉
Wow, another stunner, along with super review MW !

Thank YOU !!!
 
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