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Signs of Zodiac

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The retro-inspired Super Seawolf puts true Swiss dive watch heritage on your wrist.

The Summer of Love, the Moon landing, the Bicentennial, the Beatles and iconic dive watches. For most people that list of 1960s and 1970s milestones wouldn’t include that last one. But for a watch guy, particularly a dive-watch guy, it is equally important. Well, almost as important as the Summer of Love. 

They are unmistakable when you see them. The retro-cushion case with the hidden lugs that reduces snagging on dive gear, the dials with bright colors (for their time) in Safety Orange and Caution Yellow. The mind’s eye recalls images in magazines of a silhouette of a diver in the deep, sunlight breaking dimly overhead, spear gun in hand, plumbing the depths in search of adventure.

One of those masterful creations of that time and place turns fifty this year – The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf. And, of course, Zodiac has decided to celebrate the momentous anniversary with an exceptional commemorative edition of the original Super Sea Wolf.
The updated version is true enough to the original to not be mistaken for anything else, but with some nice, new touches and technical updates that bring it into the future without losing its retro roots.

Cult of Devotees
The Swiss brand has been around since 1882 and has a loyal, you might say, cult following. The original Zodiac Super Seawolf remains one of the most sought-after vintage dive watches.
The original Sea Wolf from 1953 and the Super Sea Wolf of the 1970s are arguably two of the most iconic dive watches ever built, and were even more impressive in that era as the Super Sea Wolf increased water resistance from 20atm (200 meters) to an unprecedented 75atm (750 meters). This was good enough to put it on the radar of the U.S. Navy Seals, who took it on as their preferred timepiece in the 1970s.  

Value and Heritage
There are other, more traditional-looking dive watches in this collection as well, but the retro cushion of the Zodiac Super Seawolf is the standout of the group. Coming in at under $2,000 (or just a bit more for the bronze version), this is a lot of watch for the money and puts true Swiss heritage on your wrist.
It’s not for everyone, to be sure, but for those who long for the early days when diving was a true adventure and not the easy-access hobby it has become today, it’s a welcome throwback.
The case is 44mm x 49mm, so right in the sweet spot for today’s standard sizes. The caseback displays the wolf cartoon character mascot of the original Super, while the topside features a locking bezel.
Technical Assistance
Zodiac, which has been part of the Fossil group since 2001, benefits from having movement manufacture STP (Swiss Technology Production) as part of the Fossil family. While the Super Seawolf 68 Saturation series uses the Swiss made automatic winding STP 1-11, the new limited edition series uses the STP 3-13, which is upgraded with a swan neck regulator, additional finishing (including blued screws) and is a certified COSC chronometer. Both movements run at a frequency of 28,800 vph, have a power reserve of 44 hours, and both have a “hack” or stop seconds feature for setting the exact time.
The watch comes in a leather roll pack with three total straps – textile, “tropic”-style rubber and an adjustable mesh bracelet. Zodiac is keeping production on these very low so if you can find one for sale, don’t wait around too long to pick up yours.