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Zodiac is an old brand that's enjoying new life under new ownership. Fossil, its current owners, understand the tremendous staying power of classic designs such as the Sea Wolf. As far as the genuine article is concerned, vintage collectors are now seeing the value of these stunning and sporty watches.
With roots going back to the late 19th century, the brand that would come to be known as Zodiac distinguished itself from its earliest days with some impressive technical feats. They produced flat pocket watches in the 1920s, some of the industry's earliest automatic watches in the 1930s, and power-reserve complications in the 1940s. As Calame’s intention when setting up his shop was to specialize in the production of complicated movements, it’s no surprise that the lineage of technical expertise would live on throughout the brand’s history.
Zodiac is perhaps best-known in today's vintage market for their chronographs, often referred to as "Poor Man's Heuers" due to the fact that Heuer often manufactured these watches and gave them to Zodiac for rebranding. Another popular watch from this period is the Sea Wolf, known for its slim case (unusual for a diver) and rotating bezel. What happens when a chronograph and a dive watch are combined, you may ask?
You get this watch, the Sea Chron.
Since legibility is crucial, many manufacturers of dive watches chose to keep the dial as uncluttered as possible. The rotating bezel of this watch features hash marks and triangles on the bezel from 0 (or 12 o'clock) to 20 minutes, to let the diver know how much air is left in his tank. The dial is rich with lume, still puffy, and now green with age.
At the heart beats the Valjoux 72, which has powered generations of chronographs from Rolex to Heuer and beyond.
With its bulky case and rotating bezel, it shares design DNA with many chronographs of this type, and the white-on-black "reverse panda" dial layout gives it a sporty flair.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Valjoux Calibre 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph movement.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with signs of light but careful polishing. Case does have some signs of wear consistent with age and use. White rotating friction bezel is in good condition with some signs of age. Black "reverse panda" dial is in very good condition with no signs of major discoloration or hand drag. Luminescent hour plots and hands are puffy and have darkened with age. Unsigned crown. Zodiac case back has some scratches but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm dark brown leather strap with white stitching. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle