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We’re excited to tell you about this Zodiac chronograph for two reasons. First, just look at it...it’s gorgeous. Second, it tells the story of how the watch business worked back in the day.
If you’re a Heuer fanatic like we are, you’ve already realized that this watch looks an awful lot like the Heuer Carrera 12 Dato, and that’s no coincidence. With nearly identical cases, dial, bezels, dials and hands, these two watches (along with one or two others) are all basically the same watch. This was not a case of Zodiac ripping off a Heuer design, rather a prime example of how most of the best Swiss brands relied on the same component suppliers to build their watches throughout most of the industry’s history.
Today, many brands have moved production of these parts in-house, and invested heavily in creating manufacture movements, but this is a thoroughly modern trend and often more a marketing ploy than anything else.
The venerable Valjoux 72c (“c” for calendar) movement powers the Zodiac chronograph, just as it does the Heuer, and as one of the best manually wound chronograph calibers ever created, the Zodiac shrugs off its title as a “Poor Man’s Heuer” with it’s obvious quality. The triple calendar version of the Valjoux movement displays the day, date and month, in addition to a 12-hour chronograph with central seconds counter. The reverse-panda dial is one of our favorite chronograph designs and contrasts perfectly with the subtle blue accents of the outer calendar ring and red-tipped date hand.
Like all of the “Poor Mans Heuers”, the Zodiac presents an incredible value proposition compared with watches bearing more prestigious branding. Although, this is quickly changing, thanks to enthusiast blogs, forums and social media accounts - it seems the secret is out and collectors have taken notice.
It is a crime that this watch is only valued at roughly a third of what a Heuer Reference 2547 is, but with all the attention this breed of watches is receiving, it can’t stay this way for long.
But let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture here: at the end of the day, this is one damn good-looking watch!
Stainless Steel Case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Valjoux 72C/723 Manual Winding Chronograph Movement.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition over all, showing only light signs of wear from normal age and use. Original dial is in great condition with a light even patina, retaining crisp printing and showing no major blemishes. Original hands. Original case back and unsigned crown.
Includes one grey leather strap and two 19mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.