If the new Zodiac Sea Wolf looks like a vintage watch, it should. One of the original dive watches that debuted in the early 1950s, it stood apart from the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Rolex Submariner by being the first with a rotating bezel and a 100-meter rating.
Over time, those upmarket brands became renowned as luxury timepieces more suited for fashion than real work. The Sea Wolf, meanwhile, stayed true to its tool watch heritage until the 70s—when the quartz crisis all but doomed the brand. (Association with the infamous San Francisco serial killer of the same name surely didn’t help .)
After being bought and sold several times, Zodiac was purchased by Fossil in 2001. Today, the company has successfully resurrected the Swiss-made brand by re-imagining its iconic products. Today, the Super Sea Wolf is at the lead of a new crop of heritage-inspired dive watches that are so hip these days. Best of all, for collectors and enthusiasts it’s one of the only ones that’s got any actual history behind it. Think of it as an elegant tool watch—a classic timepiece that you’ll want to pass down.
The Super Sea Wolf (above, $1,395) has a stainless steel case and uni-directional mineral crystal topring, orange and silver sunray dial. It also sports a stainless-steel five-link bracelet, SuperLuminova hands and indexes, and a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Wide, rounded lugs make it classy but sturdy. The slim design, light weight, and automatic movement keep it true to its reputation as an underwater workhorse. The Super Sea Wolf Two Tone Stainless Steel Watch (top, also $1,395) is identical, save for a black and white dial with gold accents.
There are several other versions available, such as the Super Sea Wolf Compression ($1,595), with its mesh or rubber sport band, the smaller Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation (above, from $1,095), and the base model Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin. The prices are relatively comparable; the differences, mainly cosmetic. The entire Zodiac Super Sea Wolf line is covered by a two-year international warranty.