The Zelos Skyraider watch, the latest offering from the Zelos brand, is a highly legible Flieger watch inspired by the Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a propeller plane used by the U.S. Air Force in World War II, beloved for its long-standing service. The Zelos Skyraider merges old and new, with contemporary design options such as skeletonized or meteorite dials, along with a classic manual wind movement, designed with the intent of allowing the wearer to truly engage with the watch.
Zelos Skyraider Case
The Zelos Skyraider comes in a 42.5mm-wide case that is 13mm thick, with a 50mm lug-to-lug length. The watch is available in either CUSN8 bronze or GR5 titanium. These are materials that represent the watch’s identity, but also elicit different feelings, from the warm patina of the bronze to the contemporary, lightweight feel of the titanium.
The Skyraider is water-resistant to 50m, with a sapphire crystal on the dial and exhibition caseback. The prominent, easy-to-handle crown is deliberately not screw-down for easy winding.
Zelos Skyraider Dial
Both the bronze and titanium cases each have three dial options: “atmosphere blue,” meteorite, and skeletonized. The atmosphere blue dial is done in a vivid blue turbine pattern that gradients to black at the edges of the dial, with the intention of mimicking the effect of the sky fading to black from a high altitude. The bronze version has hands, indices, and other dial features trimmed in a matching bronze color, while the titanium version does the same in its own silver color scheme.
The meteorite dial is done in authentic Muonionalusta meteorite (that crash-landed one million years ago into what is now Sweden). Each of these dials is unique, as no two parts of the meteorite will be identical. The grayish meteorite dial Skyraider model has blue finishes on the titanium case, while the bronze case has matching bronze dial finishes.
The Zelos Skyraider is also available with a skeletonized dial. The dial and movement components are cut, revealing the inner workings of the watch, and the ETA 6498 movement (more on that below) like the pallet fork and escapement. Skeletonized watches are often difficult to read, but legibility is maintained here and, as with all Zelos Skyraider watches, there is a mix of BGW9 and C3 Super-LumiNova on the hands, indices, and minutes track on the dial.
Zelos Skyraider Movement
The Zelos Skyraider runs on the manual-wind ETA 6498 movement, which began its life as a Unitas pocket watch movement. The manual-wind movement allows for a pleasing tactile experience. Visible through the exhibition caseback, the movement is well-finished with a Côtes de Genève pattern on the mainplate, turbine engraving on the ratchet wheel, and a circular pattern on the crown wheel. The ETA 6498 operates at 18,800 vph and has a power reserve of 44 hours.
The Zelos Skyraider watch arrives in a wooden gift box with leather travel roll, as well as two straps (brown leather and gray canvas with Horween backing). The atmosphere blue model is priced at $699; the meteorite dial is $899, and the skeletonized version is $1,399. All are available in bronze or titanium. Visit zeloswatches.com to learn more.