While Zelos is probably best known for its value-packed divers and sports models, the Nova is the brand’s dedicated lineup of dress watches that pair slender cases with elegant dials and manual-wind movements. Just like the rest of its models, the Nova gets refined and improved with each iteration, and for its latest release of 2024, Zelos has launched a new generation of its signature dress watch. Featuring updated proportions and a redesigned dial, the new Zelos Nova 37mm makes its debut in five different configurations, including a 50-piece limited edition with a case crafted from tantalum.

At the time of launch, the new Zelos Nova 37mm series consists of four standard-catalog watches that have stainless steel cases, along with a limited-edition version that swaps out steel for tantalum. Among the four stainless steel variants, Zelos offers two different guilloché pattern dials in either salmon or teal colorways, a blue aventurine dial, and a two-tone mosaic mother-of-pearl dial, which is the version featured here. Meanwhile, the limited-edition tantalum model is fitted with a bi-material dial that uses blue aventurine for its center with meteorite for the surrounding outer section. While the overall design of the dials is consistent across the five Zelos Nova 37mm watches, the different colors, patterns, and materials that are showcased throughout them give each model its own distinct appearance.

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Offering slightly updated proportions compared to the previous generation, the case of the new Zelos Nova measures 37mm in diameter by 7mm thick, with a lug width of 20mm and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 43.5mm. Once you factor in the box-shaped sapphire crystal (with anti-reflective treatment) that sits above the dial, the total height of the Zelos Nova comes in at 9.2mm, and fitted to the reverse side of the watch is a screw-down caseback with a flat sapphire display window that offers a view of its internal movement. A signed push/pull-style crown sits at the 3 o’clock location, water resistance comes in at 50 meters to protect against daily contact, and on the quartet of standard-production stainless steel models, the entirety of their case components are given a high-polished mirror finish.

The bezel and lugs on the Zelos Nova 37mm both feature a stepped design, and along with creating a more dynamic appearance, the stepped structure also minimizes the visual profile of the watch. Additionally, while the caseback is completely flat, the lugs feature a pronounced downward curvature, and this geometry works together with the stepped edges on the case to create a compact overall package that sits incredibly flat and flush against the wrist. In terms of weight, the stainless steel Zelos Nova 37mm models come in at approximately 41.5 grams (or 58.5 grams if you factor in the included leather strap), and while I am not able to comment on the exact weight of the limited-edition tantalum version, I would imagine that it is almost certainly a bit heavier, simply due to the greater density of its case material.

The dials fitted to the new Zelos Nova 37mm watches represent a fairly significant aesthetic departure compared to what can be found among the previous generation, and they feature what could best be described as a sector dial layout, with a time-only display and a small seconds hand at the 6 o’clock location. Applied to the surface of the dial are polished Arabic numeral hour markers, along with a polished frame that segments its sector-style layout, and instead of having the Zelos logo appear below the 12 o’clock marker like on the previous generation, the new Nova 37mm has the brand’s “Z’ emblem subtly occupying the place of the 6 o’clock index, directly below the running seconds register at the very bottom of the dial.

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Similar to the dial, the Zelos Nova 37mm’s handset has also received a fairly significant aesthetic update, and displaying the time are three alpha-style hands with a polished finish to match the hour markers and framework on the dial. To further lean into its dress watch concept, the Nova’s hands and hour markers are now entirely devoid of luminous material, and on the mosaic mother-of-pearl dial featured here, two different colors of mother-of-pearl are used, with classic white-colored pieces fitted to the center sections, while the pieces used for the outer portion appear in a pale blue color. Personally, I rarely gravitate towards mother-of-pearl dials, although a mosaic mother-of-pearl dial is an entirely more special creation, and the dial fitted to the new Zelos Nova 37mm offers a truly striking and visually captivating appearance.

Internally, very little has changed with this latest generation of the Nova, and powering the new Zelos Nova 37mm is the Swiss ETA/Peseux Caliber 7001 manual-wind movement. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz), the 17-jewel ETA 7001 is very much a proven design, and it is based upon an architecture that has been around since the early 1970s. While ETA acquired Peseux in the mid-1980s, the Cal. 7001 remained in production, and it still serves as one of the industry’s go-to options for manually-wound mechanical movements. Offering a power reserve of approximately 42 hours (you will sometimes see up to 46 hours listed), the ETA/Peseux 7001 can be found inside countless watches from a variety of different brands, and the version fitted to the Nova 37mm is decorated with blued screws, Geneva stripes, and a gold-finished engraving of the Zelos “Z” logo.

Fitted to the lugs of the Zelos Nova 37mm is a black two-piece Horween leather strap that tapers from 20mm at the case down to 18mm where it connects to a chunky tang-style buckle. Featuring integrated quick-release springbars and small vintage-style contrast stitches near the ends, the premium Horween leather used for the strap makes it incredibly soft and comfortable right out of the box, and it immediately conforms to the shape of the wrist with zero break-in period required. My only minor quibble with that strap is that its buckle feels a bit too large and beefy relative to the fairly compact and refined profile of the case; however, this is a truly minor nitpick, and I would ultimately much rather have a buckle that feels excessively substantial, versus have one that risks being thin, flimsy, or just plain generic.

Zelos consistently excels at providing premium features at an accessible price, and its latest generation of dress watches serves as a perfect example of how the brand remains committed to delivering strong value for a reasonable amount of money. Prices for the new Zelos Nova 37mm series start out at $750 USD for the standard-production models with stainless steel cases, and the collection tops out at $1,999 USD for the 50-piece tantalum limited edition with its aventurine and meteorite dial. In today’s world where entry-level Prospex divers are rapidly approaching a four-figure price point and million-dollar watches have become commonplace within the industry, the Zelos Nova 37mm delivers an incredibly compelling overall package that can still be purchased for a matter of hundreds (rather than thousands) of dollars. For more information on the Zelos Nova collection, please visit the brand’s website.

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