September 26, 2009
by Ariel Adams
I didn’t speak very fondly of the last Zodiac watch I reviewed a while ago. That was the Zodiac ZMX 03, which just had too many design problems in my opinion. The situation is different with this Automatic Titanium watch (ZMX-04 ZO8510). The design here is well thought out, and all the pieces are in the right places. Best of all, the Zodiac designers figured out an effective solution to one of the biggest design problems I’ve been seeing on modern watches.
Like most modern Zodiac watches, the design of this watch is a combination of a diver’s watch and a pilots watch. The numerals, coloring, crown, and contrasting dial colors all scream pilot watch. While the case, strap, and hands all yell diver watch. Suffice it to say this watch is a combination of the two. The case is large at 48mm wide, and probably pretty thick – though with the titanium case and rubber strap that watch is more than likely to be extremely light.
The hands on this watch really speak to me. They are big, but not necessarily too big for the face. I like how the hour hand and minute hand are different. That helps when reading the time quickly. Further, only the ends of the hands are white colored, while the rest of the hands blend in with the face. This creates the illusion that the hands are smaller than they are. You’ll recognize the dial styling from a few Hamilton Khaki watches that share the font and different sized numerals.
My favorite part of this Zodiac watches is the date window. You might have heard me complain about the trend of extending the size of date windows. This makes it possible to see a few dates at a time which annoys me. It is does to give the date window a curved shape that is more harmonious with other parts of the watch. Here Zodiac was able to create a rounded (well a bit more angular here, but the theme can be translated easily into a more curved design) date window that still presented only today’s date! They did this this by creating a plate with two screws and a circular porthole window for the date in the middle. Nicely done. I hope that other designers take notice of this.
The Zodiac Automatic Titanium watch can easily be thrown around and submerged like any other diver’s watch with its 100 meters of water resistance. Inside is a Sellita SW 200 automatic mechanical movement. This movement is a direct analog to an ETA 2824-2 movement. Look out for this nice Zodiac timepiece if you love it. Price is about $800 – $900 stateside.
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