Zodiac Watches

Initially founded in 1882, the Zodiac watch brand is today owned by Fossil, Inc. The brand was founded on the concept of creating Swiss watches with a purpose — tool watches. Today it is primarily known for its dive watches and is committed to the conservation of the oceans and sea life. With price ranges from $500 to about $2,000, the brand is known for its  Super Sea Wolf dive watches and its Sea Dragon Chronographs, Grandrally watches, and more.

History of Zodiac

Zodiac Watches was founded in 1882 by Ariste Calame in Le Locle, Switzerland. Zodiac initially focused on creating precision pocket watches. Calame’s ambition was to design the most precise timepiece of his era, a goal that led him to establish a workshop specifically for developing Zodiac watches.

In its early years, Zodiac was recognized for its precision and quality. In the 1920s, under the leadership of Ariste Calame’s son, the company transitioned from pocket watches to wristwatches, capitalizing on the growing trend. This shift was a strategic move that opened up new markets and opportunities for the brand.

The 1930s and 1940s were a period of innovation for Zodiac. They introduced the Autographic, a self-winding watch with a power reserve gauge – a notable advancement at the time. This era also saw the introduction of the Sea Wolf in 1953, one of the world’s first dive watches, which became a flagship model for Zodiac. They were among the first to experiment with electronic watches, launching the Dynotron in 1968, which used electronic movements – a precursor to the quartz revolution.

Today, Zodiac is known for its quality watches and continues to pay homage to its historic models, like the Sea Wolf, while introducing new collections.

One of the First Dive Watches

The Zodiac Sea Wolf holds a special place in watchmaking history as one of the first dive watches. Introduced in 1953, it was designed to meet the demands of underwater exploration, a relatively new frontier at the time. The Sea Wolf featured robust water resistance, a distinctive rotating bezel for tracking dive time, and luminous hands and markers for readability in low light conditions. These features made it an instant favorite among professional divers, spearheading a new genre of timepieces focused on durability and functionality under extreme conditions.

Who Owns Zodiac Watches?

Zodiac Watches is owned by the Fossil Group, an American company that acquired the Swiss brand in 2001. The Fossil Group sees itself as the custodian of this historical company, maintaining its manufacturing in Bienne, Switzerland, and its headquarters in Richardson, Texas.

Fun Fact

In the 1960s, Zodiac’s watches were used to explore the North and South Poles, as well as in various underwater missions, showcasing the brand’s reputation for durability and reliability in extreme conditions. This association with significant exploration endeavors further highlights the brand’s contribution to the world of horology and its enduring appeal among those with a spirit of adventure.