Speaking of bracelets, the Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Compression certainly has a strange one given today’s competitive market place of dive watches. In true vintage theme, the steel bracelet does not have a folding deployant clasp. Instead, the two ends of the bracelet connect like a strap using a small clasp in a way that some jewelry bracelets connect. You can still find some watches produced today with bracelets like this, but they are rare – and almost totally absent from sport watches.
The reason for that is that they aren’t technically “safety” clasps because, if they open, you can lose the watch right off your wrist. I don’t know how common that actually is, but it is one major reason why you won’t find bracelets like this on modern dive watches. So why did Zodiac do it? Well, I am not sure, but they have added a special little feature that I like a lot. It isn’t totally unique, but it is hard to find on watches at this price point. The clasp has a small spring system which allows the bracelet to expand a bit on your wrist making for a very comfortable fit. So whatever you lose in ease of putting the bracelet on and taking it off, as well as “safety,” you gain in comfort and some style with this bracelet choice.
When I first saw the colors of this particular limited edition Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Compression version of the Zodiac Sea Wolf, I wasn’t totally in love with it, but it has grown on me. A silver dial mixed with black hands and a baby blue rotating diver’s bezel? Not exactly tradition, but I have come to like it a lot. It goes great with jeans and is a fantastic “summer” color. Zodiac actually produces two distinct dial styles of the Zodiac Sea Wolf that have different hour markers and hand sets. This one is perhaps the most iconic, even if the other dial style looks a bit more “dive watch retro.” In black, the hands are wonderfully high-contrast for easy reading, and I don’t even mind that they are partially skeletonized. There is luminant on the hands as well as all of the hour markers. Four of the hour markers have, of course, a lot more lume. Dial detailing on the Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Compression is very good, and I like the mixture of functional utility with a bit of “lifestyle sparkle.”
Again, if this particular Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Compression dial and color combination do not suit you, I think you’ll be surprised with the other models, as they make the watch look extremely different. This version further has a mineral crystal-topped bezel (the main crystal is sapphire). That gives the watch an even more unique look compared to some of the other Zodiac Sea Wolf models that have solid steel bezels. Don’t miss the Zodiac Sea Wolf with the black dial and red bezel or the same model with a green bezel (and matching hands).
Sized with versatility in mind, the Zodiac Sea Wolf very much retains a lot of that “practical” feeling people enjoy from the design of true vintage watches. This is, however, a totally modern watch in construction, which means you can easily rely on it for a long time. I think the smartest consumers who actually want to wear their watches opt for newer timepieces even when they like that vintage look. There is really no shortage of “new” vintage-inspired timepieces, and many of them, like the Zodiac Sea Wolf, are just so easy to enjoy right away.
What’s more impressive is the nice price point that these watches are available at. This Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Compression is a limited edition of just 82 pieces (which is cool for me because 1982 is my birth year). Zodiac seems to like choosing one or two versions from larger collections to produce as limited editions, and they often do not charge any extra for limited edition watches (which I think consumers will really appreciate). If you are looking for a comfortable and cool daily-wear dive watch, then the Zodiac Sea Wolf, as well as other Zodiac Heritage models should certainly be something you check out. Price for the Zodiac Sea Wolf 53 Compression and indeed all Zodiac Sea Wolf watches on a strap is $1,095 and on this bracelet is $1,295. zodiacwatches.com
>Model: Sea Wolf 53 Compression ZO9254
>Price: $1,295 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Lover of vintage-style sport watches but wants something modern and new without mechanical or quality hassles.
>Best characteristic of watch: Great fit and finishing for the price along with a collection that is just as appealing to the masses as it is seasoned watch lovers.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Confusing choice of bracelet clasp even though it works well.