Zelos Abyss2

When Zelos Watches released the Abyss in 2015, it was the biggest, baddest, and most outrageous dive watch they had attempted. That bronze brute had two bezels, two crowns, a radiant multi-layer dial, a helium release valve, and a mind-boggling 3000m depth rating. It was crazy, but a good kind of crazy. Now Zelos is trying to top itself with the Abyss2, a bigger, badder spin on the original recipe. They gave me a green one for this review.

I still have the green Abyss that I reviewed a year ago, so I was able to do a head-to-head comparison. At first glance, you might think they are the same model with different dials, but the new watch contains numerous improvements, the most significant of these is the movement. In place of the original's Miyota 9015, the Abyss2 houses a Swiss Sellita SW200. This 26 jewel, 28.8k bph unit is remarkably similar to its Japanese counterpart in both specifications and performance. In my experience, the only noticeable difference is the sound. The 9015's rotor tends to be much louder than the SW200's, but in these massive cases, I couldn't tell them apart until I held their case backs to my ear. Nonetheless, a significant portion of the watch buying public will find a Swiss movement to be far more desirable.


New and old cases appear remarkably similar, although obviously, my older watch has years worth of unforced patina. Both are 43mm wide and 51.5mm long, but at 19mm the Abyss2 is ever so slightly thicker. Otherwise, they share the same shape and specifications: 7mm domed sapphire crystal, 4mm back plate (decorated with the same submarine image), helium release valve, and of course, that 3000m depth rating.

The 120-click unidirectional timing bezel has the same brushed top and polished, square toothed edge as the original, and also moves with the same positive action. However, on the new version, all of the engraved markers are filled with C3 SuperLuminova, not just the triangle.


The screw down, 5-gasket crowns are similarly improved. The black coating with which I took issue on the original model is gone. Now the crowns match the case. Like the bezel, they are engraved and lume-filled. Unlike the lumed bezel, this feature doesn't make them any more functional, but it sure does make them look cool at night.

I was pleased to see that the dial's stunning emerald green color has not changed. They dropped a layer from the dial, extending the sunray the edge where it meets a lumped, BGW9 lumed ring. The numerals are gone too. These changes open up the dial for a cleaner appearance while leaving the best parts intact, like the semi-skeletonized handset, and the applied markers and logo. The formerly red spear tipped second hand is now a lumed paddle top, which greatly increases its visibility. On the other hand, the gold-on-green 24-hour internal bezel requires a sharp eye. I didn't think about this when I reviewed the old watch but having lived with it, I have come to view that index as almost purely decorative as there is just not enough contrast for my middle-aged eyes to read it comfortably.

Zelos puts together some of the best packages in the business, and the Abyss2 is no exception. The watch arrives in a well constructed, oil-tanned, four pouch watch roll secured with a buckled strap. Inside is the watch on a 22mm signed rubber dive strap and a unique bronze buckle. I noted that the first Abyss's buckle was unpleasantly sharp on the outer edges but this one is nicely finished with no such issues. Also included are a grey canvas strap (which I recognize from my Zelos Hammerhead) and a brown Horween leather strap with minimal stitching and a pronounced pull-up effect. All three accept the supplied buckle. A complementary strap tool completes the set.

I was particularly happy to see the Horween strap even though I wondered that it wasn't rugged enough to carry off the Abyss2's prodigious mass. As it turned out, that wasn't its biggest problem - the buckle was. The edges on the inside absolutely savaged that strap. The picture below shows what happened after it was fastened and unfastened just one time. If you like a beat up, grizzled look then this is for you. If not, then I strongly suggest you set it aside for a different watch or a least a different buckle.

The Abyss2 is an imposing chunk of metal, and indeed that is the very point. A relatively short length makes it wearable even my 6.5" wrist, but it still cuts an imposing figure. Stuff it under a cuff? I think not! This one needs to be free.


Zelos Abyss2s is $949 USD. They are currently in stock, but not for long, as they are going fast. As of today, only the black and blue models remain available, so if you would like one of these fun, capable watches for yourself, you should act now. See ZelosWatches.com for more.


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