Zodiac, A Legacy Restored
It is said that the longest journeys begin with a single step and it’s certainly a long time since the first step was taken in this particular story.
At Page and Cooper, we’ve been fans of the Zodiac watch brand for many years. I myself have owned a Zodiac Oceanaire for a long time and Mrs P&C, several Sea Dragons, but it was in Switzerland at this year's Baselworld watch exhibition, that I was able to sneak away from the Messeplatz for a previously arranged meeting with the fascinating team responsible for Zodiac watches today.
The Company have a fascinating history which began in 1882 for it was in that year that Ariste Calame founded a workshop in Le Locle, Switzerland, for the production of some very special watches. The workshop which initially bore his name later changed it to Zodiac, and Zodiac it remains to this day. The name of the Company quickly became synonymous with technical innovation. One of the most significant was the Zodiac Sea Wolf, launched in 1953. The Sea Wolf was truly one of the first serious Diver watches manufactured for, and marketed to, the masses. Later in the same decade, Zodiac launched the Super Sea Wolf which had a patented crown/stem system and improved caseback design. Thus the water pressure rating was able to be increased to750m.
But back to our meeting at Baselworld. For me it was just fabulous, this opportunity to sit down with some of Zodiac's passionate and incredibly skilled artisans of today. Within a few minutes, it became apparent to them that I had an in depth knowledge of the brand, and its micro mechanics and vintage pieces were brought out and placed before me to discuss. After a relaxed and fascinating conversation I was given a preview of the forthcoming releases for this year.
Zodiac is now owned by the Fossil Group and using the massive resources of this large parent company, Zodiac is free to create some very extraordinary watches. Limited Editions but at the same time incredible value for money. The design and manufacturing technicians are a very small team who are passionate to share their skills with buyers.
The Zodiac Company is now based at Anita/Biel/Bienne in Switzerland and it is here where the design team, develop, micro engineer and assemble. Everything takes place under one roof. Zodiac have perfected and manufacture their own movements under the STP brand. In 2017 a new STP 3-13 movement was introduced. This is COSC-certifiable and features a swan neck regulation system which is easy to adjust. Movements are decorated with Perlage on base plates and bridges and enjoy a 44 hour power reserve.
I had the chance, and took it, to discuss the authenticity of Zodiac watches today with senior designer Giuseppe Miccio. He also proudly showed me some of this year’s new additions to the range. Each watch design maintains a traditional sense of scale and attention to detail but at the same time takes on board contemporary updates and improved functionality. One should be able to hold an original Zodiac and a contemporary Zodiac side by side and clearly see that they come from the same family.
Page and Cooper will be bringing you fascinating updates and all the exciting new releases. As the exclusive UK for Zodiac watches, we are very excited about the forthcoming Zodiac limited editions and when we say limited editions we are talking just 82 pieces Worldwide and, occasionally, 182 pieces.
Now that is rare in today’s watch world. Join us for many more Zodiac stories very soon.