November 11, 2022
by Tom Roth
In the pantheon of great documentaries, 2012’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi is required viewing. David Gelb, creator of Netflix’s hit show Chef’s Table, goes inside Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat sushi restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza district regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the world. The film tells the tale of Jiro Ono, the 85-year old sushi master whose commitment to his craft is a relentless pursuit of perfection at all costs. In one scene, a food critic tells how it’s not uncommon for apprentices to slice fish for 10 years before getting promoted to making eggs. In another, a young apprentice tells a story of making over 200 tamagoyaki (egg sushi) before one was finally accepted as “good enough.”
To an outsider, such repetition seems like madness. To artisans, it’s an indication of serious artisanship. And in the world of watchmaking, it’s a badge of honor. For Zodiac’s part, it may have perfected the art of dive watches simply by churning out hundreds of iterations of its flagship Super Sea Wolf. At this point, it would seem the Super Sea Wolf has almost exhausted every permutation of bezel colors, index styles, and strap materials, leaving very little territory uncharted. From full lume builds to world timers to saturation divers, it’s a wonder that there’s any room left for the endless parade of special and limited editions, yet, focused on its craft, Zodiac somehow finds space for even more versions.
Sure enough, Zodiac has found new ways to interpret the Super Sea Wolf. Announced in October, the newest variant offers a ceramic case, opening up new territory for future versions. A unique material (especially at this price point) ceramic offers a near scratch-proof experience that’s lightweight, hypoallergenic, and resistant to discoloration. Its origins as a next-generation material developed for use in the aerospace industry means watchmakers that choose to work with ceramic typically occupy the upper echelons of horology – Omega, IWC, Hublot, Audemars Piguet, etcetera. Rado, of course, has leaned all the way into ceramic case-making and this year’s Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch is housed in “bioceramic,” a hybrid material. But when it comes to sub-$2,000 ceramic divers, the field quickly thins out.
Chronometer certified, the new ceramic Super Sea Wolf features a three-hand Swiss-made STP1-11 movement and is rated to 20ATM. Bright Super-LumiNova on the hands and hour markers stand in bright contrast to the midnight blue radiant sunburst dial ringed by the Super Sea Wolf’s signature minute track. A unidirectional click bezel rounds out the diver styling, color-matched to the rest of the dark ceramic case. One element that’s certainly unique: the vanilla-scented rubber strap. Yes, Zodiac has chosen to infuse the straight-end pin-buckled black strap. File that under things that make you go “hmmm….”
Tastiest of all, the Super Sea Wolf sizes in at 40mm. Built in celebration of Zodiac’s 140th anniversary, the new ceramic offering ushers in a new era for one of the most iconic divers ever built. Surely, we haven’t yet seen everything the Super Sea Wolf has to offer.
The Super Sea Wolf Ceramic (reference ZO9595) is available now and priced at $1,695 USD. For more information, visit Zodiac’s website.