In the less than two years since the fashion brand’s first co-branded watch with Seiko, Rowing Blazers has established itself as one of the hottest collaboration partners in watchmaking. Both series of Rowing Blazers x Seiko designs have become some of the most sought-after references in the Seiko 5 hierarchy by enthusiasts, and for its first release in 2023 the brand turns its attention to Zodiac. This new partnership between Zodiac and Rowing Blazers allows the fashion house to take its “psychedelic prep” aesthetic to a slightly more upscale level, and Zodiac delivers on this front with a relaxed and playful diver inspired by one of the most famous bars in Paris. Harry’s New York Bar has been a Parisian institution since 1911, and has played host to regulars ranging from Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, and George Gershwin, to Daft Punk and James Bond. In addition, Harry’s Bar claims to be the birthplace of such classic cocktails as the Bloody Mary, the Sidecar, and the French 75. The new limited edition Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf captures the relaxed, globetrotting spirit of Harry’s Bar with vibrant and playful touches while keeping the solid fundamentals of the Super Sea Wolf line intact.

The 40mm-wide, 13.4mm-thick stainless steel case of the Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf should feel familiar to fans of the brand. This case is more or less carried over verbatim from the standard production Super Sea Wolf, and elements like the simple angular lugs and unguarded domed crown form a clean, no-nonsense basis for the design. The fully brushed finishing and tightly packaged vertical case sides may be on the simple side, but Zodiac does add a visual highlight to this formula with the glossy black 12-hour bezel insert. Featuring open, airy numerals and a subtly rounded surface, this piano black insert adds a touch of traveling panache to the skin-diver platform while serving as a subtle reminder that “it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.” Around back, Zodiac finishes the case with a solid caseback featuring an embedded Rowing Blazers zigzag logo. Like the standard production Super Sea Wolf, this model pays tribute to its dive watch roots with a robust 200 meters of water resistance.

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Without a doubt, the real focal point of the Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf is its dial. Right off the bat, there’s the color. While there’s been a wave of green dials throughout the industry over the past few years, this is a different beast entirely from the standard olive or forest green offering. The rich emerald hue and the moderately grained sunburst finishing combine to stand out dramatically on the wrist, with a more vibrant and forceful punch than most green colorways used in watchmaking. Like previous Rowing Blazers releases, however, much of what makes this dial work is the judicious use of complementary and contrasting colors. The short counterweights of the partially skeletonized shovel handset are painted in muted oxblood red, helping these slender elements stand out more firmly against the backdrop of the dial. The 12 o’clock Zodiac crosshair logo is printed in rich mustard yellow here, both softening the potentially distracting highlight of an applied logo and reintroducing some visual warmth to the layout. Of course, the most dramatic use of color here is the intricate Harry’s Bar cartoon logo at 6 o’clock. This classic “bar fly” emblem has been synonymous with Harry’s Bar and its International Bar Flies fraternal organization for years, and the sky blue, vibrant red, white, and yellow of this design all harmonize remarkably well with the green base hue. The visual balance of the dial also deserves special mention here – it’s incredibly difficult to keep the layout of a triple-signed dial clean and well-proportioned, but the Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf offers a solid sense of weight distribution across its dial. Lastly, the base Super Sea Wolf dial layout itself offers some intriguingly nuanced touches, from the way the tapering lume plots at each hour flow directly into faceted applied indices. Likewise, the 3 o’clock date window is handsomely detailed, with a tapering surround that continues the outline of the hour marker it bisects. While some may decry the mismatched date wheel or the use of a date display at all, this shows commendable attention to detail for this often-overlooked segment of dial design.

Like the rest of the series, the Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf is equipped with the STP 1-11 automatic movement. Manufactured by Zodiac’s parent company Fossil Group, the STP 1-11 has become the backbone of the brand’s lineup in recent years, offering solid competition to the “usual suspects” from ETA and Sellita with a 44 hour power reserve and a 28,800 bph beat rate. Performance was decent throughout our review period, with our sample watch averaging +8 seconds per day in accuracy. Zodiac pairs the watch with its familiar five-link jubilee-style bracelet in stainless steel, but also includes a unique two-piece recycled ocean plastic material strap by reclaimed ocean plastic expert #tide. This relaxed, funky #tide fabric strap fits the character of the tie-in remarkably well, with a raised central stripe in red stitching and a comfortable, infinitely adjustable fit courtesy of a hook-and-loop closure system. Like the NATO straps included in previous Rowing Blazers collaboration releases, this strap resonates well with the colorway of the dial, adding even more character to the finished product and reinforcing the casual bent of the design.

While Rowing Blazers seems to be riding a wave of enthusiast hype across the watch industry at the moment, the decision to pivot to a new brand with a new price point is an undeniably difficult one. There’s no guarantee that this laid-back, loud twist on classic prep aesthetics will translate to this new segment of the market, but the limited edition Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf is a largely successful foray into this new territory with an eye-catching colorway and playful tributes to one of the world’s most famous bars. Only 282 examples of the Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf will be made, and the watch will be available through both Zodiac’s and Rowing Blazers’ e-commerce platforms and select authorized dealers at 8:00 AM Pacific time on January 19. MSRP for the Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf stands at $1,595 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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Necessary Data
>Brand: Zodiac
>Model: Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf
>Price$1,595 USD
>Size: 40mm-wide, 13.4mm-thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: When mixing cocktails for a party, or as a second “fun watch” while traveling.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Mixology buffs or frequent travelers looking for a way to share their passions on the wrist.
>Best characteristic of watch: Playful, eye-catching dial colorway and graphics; solid bracelet and strap options.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Simple, straightforward case design and finishing; pricing places it in very competitive territory.

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