Zelos Abyss – Customer Watch Spotlight

The Zelos Abyss watch and our “Huck” burgundy watch strap.

Zelos Abyss and Bas and Lokes "Huck" modified burgundy watch strap

Zelos Abyss and Bas and Lokes “Huck” modified burgundy watch strap

We were thrilled when we recently received these beautiful photos from “J” , one of our raving fans of his handsome Zelos Abyss watch. It’s paired in these photos paired with a slightly customized version of our “Huck” burgundy leather watch strap. He opted for dark brown linen thread instead of the olive thread our “Huck” is originally designed with.

“J” is an avid fan of the crowd funding platform, Kickstarter. He loves that it’s not just a place to find interesting new watches by small watchmakers, but other interesting and innovative products as well. He believes it to be a great place for emerging small businesses “to find a way to connect with people who care about their products and have a real passion for contributing in a more meaningful way that just buying something off a shelf.” Zelos Watches launched its brand on Kickstarter with three highly successful campaigns of three different watch models launched on the crowd funding platform since 2014.

Zelos Abyss Bas and Lokes Huck Burgundy Watch Strap

Zelos Abyss looking ravishing paired with our “Huck” burgundy watch strap.

When “J” saw the Zelos Abyss, he felt that it was a “watch that spoke to him personally on a lot of levels.” He found it to be “well designed and constructed, with an all bronze case and buckle that is a beautiful metal capable of aging and growing with the wearer, it is not a homage to anything other than itself, and it is just a fantastic example of form and function working together. “

Zelos Abyss Bas and Lokes Huck Burgundy Watch Strap

A beautiful bronze patina always looks outstanding paired with burgundy and brown tones.

“It is a true dive watch made with real care by a small microbrand watch maker that loves their art.” He missed out on the original Kickstarter Abyss campaign and therefore kept an eye on the watch stalking it for months until we was able to save for it and buy one.   “I am not a rich person, I work hard for my money and like most people I can’t always afford the things I want but don’t “need”.  But then the same week I got a hard won promotion I had been working on for months, I noticed Zelos put this watch on sale and providence can’t be ignored.  I have loved this watch every day since and honestly I have a hard time taking it off.”

We can see why he has a hard time taking it off his wrist. It’s quite a handsome watch and looks incredibly well made. Thanks so much for sharing your story and exquisite photos, “J”.  Wear your watch and our “Huck” strap in good health!

Zelos Abyss Bas and Lokes Huck Burgundy Watch Strap 4

Stunning backside

A little about the Zelos Abyss watch from the manufacturers site:

“A watch built to withstand 3000m of crushing water resistance and crafted from marine bronze which ages based on your experiences.

The Abyss was conceived to survive the most punishing of depths. Every part of the case was redesigned to resist the intense water pressures which would easily crush metals.

Bronze was the natural choice for the Abyss, closely linked to the sea as it is one of the most corrosion resistant metals available. An oxide layer, called a patina, forms a protective skin over time to protect the metal. This patina individualizes each Abyss, creating completely unique pieces.  What starts out as a shiny rose-gold, ages with the atmosphere into a rustic brown.

Maintaining a water resistance of up to 3000m requires a complex balance of thick metal casings and fine gaskets sealing every possible point of leakage. A double O-ring system seals the hefty 4mm thick stainless steel screwdown caseback.”

Watch Unwind – The Iconic Omega Speedmaster Ref. 3592.50

Omega Speedmaster 3592.50 with Bas and Lokes "Lancelot" black handcrafted padded leather watch strap

Omega Speedmaster with Bas and Lokes “Lancelot” black handcrafted padded leather watch strap

Good watches tell time, great watches tell a story.

As you know, we love watches. We love sitting with a drink and admiring those tiny and intricate ticking mechanical works of art. Once a month or so, we’ll share a story about a watch we find interesting and tell a snippet about that watch’s personal journey. We’ll be kicking off this series with, you guessed it, my beloved Omega Speedmaster. So grab a drink, sit back and join us for a short a read.


Omega Speedmaster paired with our"Wyatt" brown leather padded watch strap.

The Speedy paired here with Bas and Lokes “Wyatt” brown leather padded watch strap.

Many of you have seen countless photos of my Speedy all over our social media and website. Let’s face it, I absolutely love that thing. It’s such an iconic watch, after all, it was famously worn on the moon. I remember seeing a photo of a customer’s vintage Speedmaster on one of our new watch straps at the time and was captivated with how exquisite it looked. I’ve obviously seen this watch thousands of times before, but something about it this time was different. I suddenly felt a strong urge to own one and embarked on a quest to find the perfect one.


Omega Speedmaster 3592.50 with Bas and Lokes Wyatt strap

Looking spectacular with our “Wyatt” brown padded strap.

Like many of you who cherish the thrill of the hunt for the perfect watch, I started saving for it and stalked the Speedmaster online for weeks looking at thousands of photos of various references from different dealers before deciding on the right one.  I definitely wanted a vintage model as I’ve always been a fan of watches with a bit of history and a story of their own.


The reference 3592.50 is all the business with our "Wyatt" brown padded watch strap

Having a drink with the Speedmaster and “Wyatt” strap.

After weeks of searching, I asked a few of our customers for referrals to dealers of vintage Omegas. I was introduced to a gentleman online who is a collector, sells vintage models and loves to match up people with the perfect watch. I described what I wanted and was quickly shown a handful of watches that matched my criteria. When I saw his first offering I knew I found the one. The 3592.50. I took one look at its exquisite display back and was captivated with what I saw; an elegant and intricate, decorated gold-gilt movement. It was love at first sight. Needlesstosay, it was on my wrist within a few short days. That was two and a half years ago. I’m still in very much in love.
Omega Speedmaster with "Lancelot" black padded leather watch strap

The Speedmaster dressed to kill with our “Lancelot” black padded watch strap.

Omega Speedmaster 3592.50 with "Jordan" padded watch strap.

The versatile “Speedy” Pro strikingly paired with our “Jordan” caramel padded watch strap

Sadly, I don’t know anything about this watch’s life. However, I really enjoy pondering its history and what its life may have been like with its previous owner. Had she/he saved for a long time for it? Was it an impulse buy or perhaps a gift? What parts of the world has it seen? What kinds of emotions might it have felt through the owners wrist? Love? Tenderness? Curiosity? Side splitting laughter? Eureka moments? What made the owner give it up in the first place? Things like that.


In the short time I’ve owned it, I’ve added my own bit of adventure, emotions and history to its life.  Last year, I wore it on the day I went to meet my biological father for the first time where I learned that he too has a love of vintage watches. A few months ago it was strapped to my wrist when I signed the papers to purchase my first home. It was on my wrist back in August when I celebrated my 40th birthday in New York City while happily surrounded with family that I hadn’t seen in years.


This watch experienced a severe panic attack with me a few months back while traveling on a flight from San Francisco to Sydney. We were two hours out of San Fran when the pilot announced that there was some kind of computer problem that indicated that both engines had potential for failure. I remember how calm he sounded. Whatever the problem, it scared the hell out of me and I remember staring down at my watch thinking those next two hours back to the airport were going to be the longest and scariest hours of my life.


Mostly the moments and memories I associate with this watch are happy. I truly believe that wonderfully crafted timepieces inspire us, I know this watch inspires me to create and innovate every day.


Speedmaster and Bas and Lokes "Bronte" suede padded watch strap

Classic elegance. All dressed up with our “Bronte” tan handmade suede padded strap.

There is a ton of technical information out there about this watch and I certainly don’t need to go over that here, but I can tell you a few things about this watch model in particular that really stands out and makes it incredibly attractive to me.


 -It has developed an attractive light yellow patina on the plots. I’m quite the fan of patina.


-This handsome fella has an exquisite display back. Powered by a visually stunning gold gilt 863 movement, I find that I sometimes stare at it far more than the dial and wish I could wear the watch in reverse so I could see its beautiful movement in action.


-The Speedmaster is incredibly versatile and looks ravishing with a variety of different dress situations. And as we are makers of handcrafted leather watch straps, we LOVE that this watch is such a great model. It looks great in nearly anything.


-This model has a hesalite crystal which I much more prefer with this watch vs the Sapphire crystal. I’m just fanatical about the hesalite on this watch. It has quite a pronounced dome and rounded corners. To me, it gives it quite an authentic feel like the one worn on the moon.


-For a vintage watch, its not tiny. At 42mm, it’s not too big, not too small. Just the right size to make a statement.


Bas and Lokes "Camden" English tan handcrafted padded leather watch strap.

The “Speedy” looks great in anything. Seen here with our “Camden” English tan padded leather watch strap.

So how about you? What’s the story behind your watch? We’d really really love to hear about it. Email us your story with some pics and we may feature it in a future article. 🙂


Cheers to that!
Bas and Lokes and the team

The Beauty of Natural Vegetable Tanned Leather and Developing Patina

Natural vegetable tanned leather goods

“Judas” iPhone Sleeve and “Dante” notebook sleeve


Ahhh, natural vegetable tanned leather. It looks so beautiful when its brand new and just like a human traversing through life, it truly becomes more beautiful and filled with character as it evolves and ages. It’s called patina. No two veg tan pieces are alike. And no two pieces will ever age the exact same way.
Photo 2-07-2013 7 59 54 am

Natural veg tan starting to develop patina

Natural vegetable tanned leather is like a blank canvas. It’s beauty will start to materialise as soon as you move through life with it. As soon as you start to use veg tan leather products they will start to darken or caramelise in color. There is no stopping this from occurring. At all.  How it darkens depends on what you expose it to, the environment in which it lives, the amount of light it’s exposed to, whether it’s exposed to water, dirt, the oils of your skin, the indigo of your denim or the application of leather conditioner. All of which will affect your leather in a very different way. The bottom line is the more you use and handle it, the darker it will become. Some are scared of it. Don’t be. Like ageing, it all just looks more and more interesting. Natural vegetable tanned leather starts off looking a range of different tones. It can look light beige, light tan, a slight bit pink or a very very light caramel. You will notice is turning various shades until it darkens. Its a fascinating process. Some people find they absolutely love helping their veg tan along in the ageing patina process by handling the leather a lot with their hands, applying conditioner, sitting it in the sun to tan like our skin does.
"Nathan" wallet with six months of patina

“Nathan” wallet with six months of patina

The first time your leather gets an accidental splash of water or oil on it, might distress some, but we promise you it will all just blend in and you eventually end up with a beautifully patinated piece of leather that will be as unique as you. We think it really looks better with age.
Matching accessories

Veg tan accessories with about a one month patina

For most people, veg tan leather will always keep a caramel look to it if they limit the amount of light it receives and if they manage to keep it fairly clean. Not everyone is this neat. The majority of people will manage to get it a darker caramel color.

Tips for assisting your veg tan leather with the patina process

Expose it to the sun
Sitting it on a very sunny spot will darken your leather. It will tan just like skin does. It will go from its natural color and start to first develop a pink tone and gradually it will get more of a red tone
Bas and Lokes handmade leather leash wth beautiful before and after patina

Veg tan dog leash with three months patina

Apply leather conditioner
Certain conditioners and oils will darken leather in different ways. We use a range of products but our two favorites are Neatsfoot oil and Obenaufs. Neatsfoot comes in an oil form and you applying it lightly over the leather. Don’t apply too much as over application can over saturate your leather which can cause it to rot. Neatsfoot tends to give natural veg tan leather more of a golden caramel color. Obenaufs comes is solid and you rub that into the leather lightly being careful not to get any in between the stitching as this will be hard to remove and also doesnt look very good. Obenaufs tends to give help your leather darken in more of a reddish tone.
vegetable tanned leather wallets comparison

“Nathan” long wallet with 1 year patina and lots of use and “Keryn” short wallet with six months patina with minimal exposure to light.

Expose it to life
Don’t be afraid to get your product dirty. Handle it, oil it, leave it sitting in the sun, drop if a few times, put it in your denim pockets, don’t freak out when a little splash of water falls on it or when you see some dirt on it from your hands. The culmination of all these stains over time will all blend in together and start to look a beautiful dark caramel and even a dark brown in extreme situations. Have fun with it.
Vegetable tanned leather with two years of heavy use

Vegetable tanned leather with two years of heavy use

Got any of our natural vegetable tanned leather products? Send us some photos. We’d love to see how they are coming along and developing their own patina.
Bas and Lokes