An eclectic GMT from a brand with real history...
Zodiac watches are one of many brands that in the past 10 years have re-entered the watchmaking scene slowly but surely gaining loyal traction as they go. The world of vintage watches is the place to go if you want to see some of the most unique watches you could think of and Zodiac were one of the most prominent to be involved with this.Brands like Zodiac really pushed the boundaries of creative freedom and perfectly encapsulated what decades of evolutionary design looks like. From mystery dials, gorgeous uses of bold colour and exaggerated features, Zodiac have some crazy watches to their name. But fortunately for us and many watch collectors around the world, modern-day Zodiac are determined to ensure those designs are not forgotten and continue to remain available for anyone who wants to experience them.
The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT - What it does
Today we have the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT and although both the Sea Wolf name and a GMT evolution was first on the scene in the 60s, this re-birth creation is a first in modern times that the model has been available for regular production.
Previously GMT Sea Wolf models were reserved for limited editions due to the ETA movements used and the universal lack of availability of their movements. A change of movement later and boom, it’s available for all. This model in two tone is available in the full steel coloured case version as well so if you’d rather fly a little under the radar, Zodiac have you covered.
A sizing sweet spot has been found as this GMT is 40mm wide with a 13.6mm thickness and a lug to lug of just 47.8mm. Those are impressive stats on paper and on the wrist it's a familiar story. ‘If it's ain't broke don’t fix it’ was the mentality of Zodiac when deciding on the case for this watch as it is almost identical to the original Sea Wolf models.
The case is brushed for the most part with a lovely chamfered polished edge. Zodiac adds some welcomed detail by actually flaring the polished finish and chamfer as it works its way down the lugs, a brilliant touch that adds another dimension to quite a simplistic case.
In their own words, the Super Sea Wolf GMT dial is a semi-gloss black, a hard one to hate especially when it matches that two-tone finish. This is where we find lots of clues that this watch has a history to it including the short vertically brushed hour and minute hands in gold steel, a calligraphy typeface for ‘GMT Automatic’ as well as compact square hour markers with polished edges and brushing either side.
One of the stand out features of the dial is of course the fact it's a GMT, which is displayed with a short, simple red GMT hand. For a watch that is essentially mainly made up of steel and gold colour, the red does a great job at surprisingly blending into the design.
Powering this watch is the Soprod C125 GMT movement. As mentioned previously, Zodiac had favoured the ETA 2893-2 in limited edition models but had to pivot to the Soprod movement. This is a solid choice with a power reverse of 42 hours and 28,800 vph to guarantee a smooth seconds hand sweep. In fact, this movement can also be found in a recently reviewed watch here.
For a two-tone steel and gold GMT on a matching bracelet, this watch is remarkably subdued in its appearance. This was rather surprising actually as you’d naturally assume it would scream at everyone who looks at your wrist, but in reality, it's the opposite.
Spending a few weeks with this watch reminded me of the gorgeous Oris Sixty Five in Steel and Bronze. That watch similarly quietly flexed its desirable appearance in an endearing way. With the Zodiac, the brushed finish to the gold steel and lots of the details including the hands, indices and bezel plays a huge part here.
The Super Sea Wolf GMT is one of those watches that offers an eclectic style to ensure the piece does not cross any wires in your watch box.As I hinted at earlier, the proportions of this watch are brilliant, I’d even go as far as to say spot on. The watch isn't too small to get lost on the wrist, but also not too large to get in the way of life.
I’ll be honest though, for me those hands did occasionally get lost in the overall strong appearance of this watch. Sure, they do offer that original character and charm but for me, they were a tad too short with the minute hand barely kissing the inside edge of the hour markers.
Watch straps for the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT
The Zodiac arrived with us on their two-tone metal bracelet which I found to be a brilliant match for the watch both stylistically and in its construction. The buckle has a fold-over safely which integrates the zodiac logo and the edge of the bracelet includes some visual cues that it would have faux rivets, but in fact, it's a simple smooth oyster; the best of both worlds.
Let's see if we can transform this watch via a few watch straps.
ZULUDIVER Vintage Tropical Style FKM Rubber Watch Strap in Black
Let's start with an option that to me was an instant combo as soon as I saw the Zodiac. The steel, gold and black dial were all begging for a black strap to give the watch that mean, aggressive look. We went with the Tropic Rubber here instead of leather due to the watch’s past and its practical capabilities. Check out the strap for yourself here.
Suede Simple Handmade Leather Watch Strap in Chocolate BrownThe Zodiac has quite a unique subdued look to it for a two-tone watch and this is something we didn't want to ignore. This is why we’ve gone down the Suede Simple Handmade in Chocolate Brown route. Brown was always going to work well on this watch as it brings out the history, however, by combining it with the suede material the end result is a perfect, comfortable match. A combination for those looking for a lovely daily option!
Henwick Single Pass NATO Strap in Black / Beige
Last but not least is the Henwick Single Pass NATO which is a winning option for the Zodiac. By extending the black and gold details to the strap not only does the whole coherence of the piece increase, but also details such as the red GMT hand are actually lifted and now made more prominent! This NATO is also adjustable meaning it should fit wrists between 6 inches to 9 inches (15.25cm to 22.86cm).
If I could change anything on this watch it would be the bezel and hands. The bezel is tough to turn and almost impossible when wearing the watch. For my taste, the hands are just a little too short. It’s funny how little details like the length of the hands can have such an impact. They didn't quite do it for me but that doesn’t mean they won't for you though. Stylistically they're both great, encapsulating that playful, enjoyable charm that Zodiac offers.Both proportionally and in execution, the Super Sea Wolf GMT in two-tone is surprisingly wearable. It’s comfortable thanks to its lovely size and due to its softer appearance, it is remarkably versatile. I get that two-tone isn’t everyone, as does Zodiac as the all-steel option is there for you.
Thanks to Zodiac’s conscious decision making, they have enabled this jewel born during eras past to still be readily available for as many wrists around the world.
The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT is now available for an RRP of £1,499. We’d like to thank Zodiac for sending this watch in on loan, to find out more be sure to check out their website here.
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