Zodiac were once a very big deal in the US watch market, selling thousands of models a year back in the 60s and 70s. They were quartz watch pioneers and the original Sea Wolf was a much admired dive watch which was launched back in the early 50s and got better as the 60s arrived. It had adepth rating of 20ATM, or 200 metres.
Fast forward to 2020 and the revival Super Sea Wolf GMT also has the same 200m rating and let’s be honest, that isn’t great value at nearly $1800 retail. There are watches that can offer more depth resistance for less money, although they may not have the Swiss Made cachet, but how Swiss is Zodiac, I mean really deep down ski lodge and fondue set Swiss?
Nowadays, Zodiac is part of the Fossil watch brand empire and Zodiac’s Super Sea Wolf is powrered by a Soprod engine, with Soprod owned ultimately by Citizen. There’s nothing wrong with Citizen movements of course, but most of us expect to pay about 300-500 quid for a Citizen automatic watch, not over £1200.
The Zodiac name carries some kudos of course, you can’t beat Switzerland when it comes to prestige. With a 40mm case and beautifully finished details this is a handsome undersea devil, with a two-tone bracelet offering that dress watch touch which makes it a versatile all-rounder.
But for all its retro cool style, I have a big problem when it comes to spending money with a brand that owns Michael Kors, Skagen or Armani. These are rubbish watches for the money, all fur coat and no knickers as we say up North. It’s hard to believe that the same company that produces fashion watches with run-of-the-mill Miyota quartz movements inside and then asks over 500 quid for them, is putting its heart and soul into reviving the pioneering culture that underpinned Zodiac for over 60 years.
Nice try, but no thanks. If you love Zodiac’s slightly quirky designs then buy an original as a collectable investment. It’s bound to be worth more than the modern homage in the long run.