In the 1960s, watch brand Zodiac pioneered the accessible diving watch just as the sports of scuba and skin-diving were growing in popularity. Expanding air travel from the mid 1950s onward quickly began to shrink the globe, meaning more and more people had access to the luxury of foreign vacations. The Sea Wolf had been launched in 1953 at the same Basel Watch fair as that behemoth of the dive watch world, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms.
Yet while Blancpain lived in the milspec space, Zodiac was for the people. A ’50s ad for the Sea Wolf showed a snorkeling couple alongside he-and-she-sized dive watches. As time went on, Zodiac would experiment with the design. In the late ’60 and early ’70s, a distinctive lugless version emerged, but Zodiac played most effectively with funky colored bezels or chapter rings in orange, aqua blue, and cream.
The past few years have seen Zodiac, spurred on by a passionate fan base, find renewed interest in its own back catalog and return to some of its classic watches of that golden era.