November 23, 2015
by Ariel Adams
Historically, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf was the more robust version of the Sea Wolf dive watch. As Zodiac continues to flesh out its vintage-inspired “Heritage collection,” the newest entrant as of 2015 is the new Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 which joins the also-new Sea Wolf. Note that while each of these watches is based on the design of actual historic Zodiac watches and each matches their original looks very closely, the Sea Wolf and Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 actually look very different, and pretty much only share in common the fact that they are both dive watches and have similar names.
While the contemporary Sea Wolf is meant to be a fashionable dive watch for sport or casual purposes, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 (this is reference ZO9501) is more of a traditional sport watch that could easily be taken diving. While the Sea Wolf watches are water resistant to 200 meters, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 is water resistant to 1000 meters, making it a much more durable model. I also want to add that despite the fact the case is water resistant to 1000 meters, it does wear with a relatively slim profile given the case design.
The 44mm-wide tonneau-shaped case is something you’ll see from many other 1970s-era sport watches and shows up again today in many modern divers. It’s a very functional and distinctive look that, for me, says “submersible” much more than dive watches that have more traditional round cases with lugs. Part of the case’s thin profile appearance comes from the fact that the case tapers on the rear with a bubble-style back. This means that while you can’t feel it on the wrist, the caseback extends back the lugs at least a few millimeters.
Like other Zodiac Heritage collection timepieces, the case finishing and construction is extremely good for the price. It is something that feels “mass produced” (versus hand-finished), but in the best way possible, with very precise polishes and details. Much of the case is actually satin-finished with polished elements around the dial and bezel – as well as the caseback.
Some of the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68’s most interesting case design elements are actually around the bezel and dial. Look, for instance, at the actual screwed down bezel (that has an outer rotating bezel). It doesn’t even line up with the dial elements which shows that it is a very real, screwed-down element. This might irritate some of our more OCD-inclined watch lover friends, but for me, it is both unique and cool. More so, the way this bezel is designed, I wouldn’t be surprised if some owners took a while to even notice it.
Zodiac designed the rotating bezel with a mineral crystal overlay over a printed black background. The bezel looks nice and also has a “safety” system to prevent it from accidentally turning. To turn the uni-directional bezel, you need to press down on it and then turn it to feel those solid 60 clicks.
Over the dial is a sapphire crystal, which looks down into the deeply set dial. In order to minimize the visual depth of the dial, Zodiac designed a floating chapter ring which is actually in light blue on this model. The blue looks a lot more prominent in Zodiac’s marketing pictures than it does on the actual watch. Further down, you have a nicely polished black dial and applied hour markers with polished edges and lume filling.
Being a serious dive watch, you also have the orange colored minute hand. I usually don’t like orange minute hands on dive watches, but here I like the added color as I think it is done well given the overall composition of colors and finishes. Just take a look at all the various dial details so that you can appreciate the meticulous attention to getting it right that I feel Zodiac put into the dials of the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 collection watches. You might not like the designs, but I hope that everyone can appreciate the detailing is very good – certainly stellar for the price.