The Complete Guide to Zodiac Watches

All you need to know about the historic brand, the Super Sea Wolf dive watch and more.

zodiac watches

The Zodiac Watch Company's catalog stretches back over 100 years, but today you'll mostly find it looking to its mid-20th century heyday. Dive watches are at the modern brand's core, and you'll find them to feature a mix of serious tool watch vibes, bright colors and solid automatic movements. If you're interested in Zodiac, there's a good chance that you're here for its (Super) Sea Wolf which, alongside Rolex and Blancpain, introduced the world's first commercially available dive watches in 1953.

Founded in 1882 in Le Locle, the heart of the Swiss watch industry, Zodiac was established by watchmaker Ariste Calame with a singular focus on timing precision. While this initially manifested itself in the likes of "extra flat" pocket watches, later into the 20th century Zodiac developed technical innovations such as shock-proofing systems, power reserve indications, 8-day movements, superior water resistance, and GMT complications. This continued through the Quartz Revolution in watchmaking as Zodiac launched the first LCD watch to be chronometer certified.

vintage zodiac sea wolf ad
Ad Patina

While the brand has changed ownership over the years, the 2001 acquisition by Fossil Group has kept Calame’s legacy alive into the present era. The Fossil Group also invested in movement technology through its subsidiary STP which supplies other companies as well as Zodiac, allowing the brand to offer Swiss automatic movements at reasonably affordable price points.

Embracing its heritage, nearly every current Zodiac watch traces a direct path to models that debuted in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s. The Super Sea Wolf range, in fact, is so popular that the brand has built its current persona around it almost entirely. Collectors love Zodiac's combination of history, affordability and focus on tool watches that aren't afraid to offer splashes of color. Let’s dive in.

Super Sea Wolf

Billed as the first serious dive watch for the masses, the Super Sea Wolf made its debut in 1953. The current lineup consists of five dive focused models ranging in size, water resistance, and additional functionality. While built to modern specifications, the overall design language is easily traced back to the original that debuted nearly 70 years ago. These watches come in a variety of colorways and can be had on either a rubber strap or five-link steel bracelet. They also include variants with GMT and World Time functionality.


Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Automatic

A modern interpretation of the original, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Automatic carries the torch as a true dive watch for the masses. The existing model lineup has something for everyone with color combinations ranging from classic black and white with a focus on legibility, to splashy teal and orange sure to evoke summer fun. Quick release spring bars and 20mm lug width on this case allow for easy strap changes, something that will make experimenting with color even more fun.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: STP 3-13 automatic
Water Resistance: 200m

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin

The 53 Skin most closely resembles the original Super Sea Wolf released by Zodiac. Offered with both a steel or black dive bezel, the triangular cardinal lume plots provide for excellent visibility whether snorkeling, diving, or topside. The vintage inspired size of this watch makes it perfect for most wrist sizes, and these can be had on either a rubber strap or vintage-styled steel bracelet with the quick-change feature.

Diameter: 39mm
Movement: STP 1-11 automatic
Water Resistance: 200m

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression

The 53 Compression offers a more modern take on vintage Zodiac design language with skeletonized hands and distinct hour indices — but the same name is sometimes confusingly applied to watches that look essentially like the Super Sea Wolf Automatic. No matter, though, as they largely share the same basic platform in most ways anyway and simply offer more variety to the collection with the whimsically colorful to a black-coated steel as shown here.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: STP 3-13
Water Resistance: 200m

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver

The Pro Diver variant of the Super Sea Wolf family earns its title with beefed up specs. Built to be more suited for serious divers, this watch has more heft and deeper water resistance than its non-Pro counterparts. The movement is also COSC chronometer-certified and legibility is emphasized for deep water use, and these watches come with fully lumed bezels. On several versions, even the dials themselves are lumed.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Sellita SW-200 automatic chronometer
Water Resistance: 300m

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation

The Pro-Diver might be a step up from the base collection in seriositude, but the 68 Saturation is the pinnacle of the Super Sea Wolf family. No other watch in the lineup, nor many on the market at this price point for that matter, offers what the 68 Saturation brings to the table. It stands out as Zodiac's largest dive watch, has a unique case shape, some retro looks, a chronometer-certified movement and a depth rating of a full kilometer. That's a lotta watch for its price.

Diameter: 44mm
Movement: STP 3-13 automatic chronometer
Water Resistance: 1,000m


The Grandrally offers classic and more modern interpretations of vintage 1970s chronographs. It easily calls to mind rally racing with barrel-shaped cases, tachymeter scales, two register layouts and a variety of racing-inspired strap options. This collection represents the brand's most affordable range, largely thanks to Swiss quartz movements that offer high functionality at lower cost.

Zodiac Grandrally

Continuing with the sporting theme from Zodiac, the Grandrally collection hearkens back to 1970s motorsports with its barrel shaped case and two-register setup. The Swiss quartz movement allows for tracking chronograph seconds and minutes on demand using the central seconds hand and thirty-minute sub-register at 9 o'clock (a running small seconds sub-register at balances out the dial at 3 o'clock). Several combinations are available with different dial colors and case finishes.

Diameter: 45mm
Movement: Quartz
Water Resistance: 100m


With its unique case shape that seems like it could only be a product of the '70s, the Olympos was among the Zodiac watches of that decade which sometimes featured "floating hands." The modern version doesn't have them, but it's plenty quirky and easily identifiable with a silhouette unlike any other watch, a 2 o'clock crown and a faceted look to its dial. A small collection, there are only a couple of options available.

Zodiac Olympos

The Olympos is Zodiac’s take on a casual/dress watch (we can confidently say it's not a tool watch, at least). The case shape is unique to Zodiac as it is vertically symmetrical, but horizontally asymmetrical, making it visually striking and a style-forward design. With a 37mm case that makes for easy everyday wear, you've got a couple choices of dials and the thin case profile allows the Olympos to slide easily under a shirt cuff. (Serial strap changers: watch out for that odd 19mm lug width.)

Diameter: 37mm
Movement: STP 3-13 automatic
Water Resistance: 50m

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Automatic Watches