The historic watch brand Zodiac has a long and varied history, with some surprising gems on offer in addition to its well known mid-century sport watches. The brand is also going strong today thanks in no small part to rereleases of popular vintage models from its catalog since its acquisition by the Fossil Group.
The Super Seawolf dive watches, the Jetomatic, and even the funky Astrographic, among others, have all made comebacks, and they have helped characterize an image of the company in many watch fans’ eyes as the purveyors of affordable luxury. While remaining true to the Zodiac personality, the below vintage specimens below are each of a totally different style — and each has an unexpected twist that makes it a little more interesting.
Zodiac Chronometer Kingline 36000
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What We Like: This Kingline has a fantastic 1960s look, and although its case width of only 33.5mm might sound small for modern standards, a sporty blue dial and angular case design should help it wear more boldly. What makes it particularly cool, however, is that it’s powered by an uncommon 5Hz (36,000 beats per hour, as implied by its name) automatic movement jointly developed by Doxa, Eberhard, Favre-Leuba, Girard-Perregaux, and Zodiac together.
From the Seller: In pre-owned condition with a clean crystal, this is a truly stunning watch finished to a very high standard.
Zodiac Triple Date Moon Phase
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What We Like: Reaching a bit further back into Zodiac’s well over 100-year history, this circa 1948 triple date watch reflects a relatively complicated feature set which was once much more popular than it is today. Triple date watches have a classical look and truly useful complications (the moon phase being more whimsical), but this isn’t something we would tend to associate with the brand, better-known for its 1960s and 1970s sport watches. Its 33mm steel case packs a lot of horology in with multiple calendar functions via a manually wound movement and a truly elegant look.
From the Seller: With a seventeen-jewel movement that is housed in a stainless steel case, this is a great looking watch with very interesting complications.
Zodiac Dr Pepper Chronograph
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What We Like: Dr Pepper! This is a quite unusual but fun example of a time when watch companies or retailers would, on occasion, make bespoke dials for organizations like makers of fizzy drinks. Rolexes with Domino’s Pizza or Coca Cola logos are fairly well-known. This particular watch not only features the Dr Pepper logo but an offbeat chronograph design typical of the time it was produced, circa 1970. It’s powered by a manually wound calibre 79 (Valjoux 232), and the sporty tonneau-shaped case measures 40mm across.
From the Seller: Watch case and bracelet are stainless steel and in great condition as is the crystal with only minor scratches from normal wear. Movement runs great and keeps good time.
Look on any number of online vintage watch dealers and you’ll see them pop up from time to time: Domino’s Rolexes. So how did one of the world’s foremost watchmakers end up producing a watch for the official pizza of laser-tag parties? Read the Story