Back in my younger watch collecting days, I was a massive fan of Zodiac Watches, as was my father. And we owned A LOT of Zodiacs. These days, Zodiac feels like a very different brand, with a lot fewer models, and of course, in 20 years, the prices have gone way up. That said, most of the watches are much higher-end these days with COSC movements, more classic looks, and just overall a different positioning in the watch world than they were 15-20 years ago. That is great for some and not so great for others. But their latest watch, which is still a take on the Compression 53 series, is a step in the right direction. The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver is all-new, with an all-new case, and is sized at 42mm.
There is a lot to unpack with the new Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver, and I apologize for writing that long name over and over, but I want to make sure it is differentiated from the other Sea Wolf Models, and don’t feel like writing the model number over and over. Speaking of models, this is the black dial with a black ceramic bezel insert and orange accents. Pretty traditional for a diver, which is why I chose it for review, but there are 4 other colors available, none of them are really my cup of coffee, but if I had to choose a second favorite it would be the white dial with orange bezel insert. Oh, about those inserts, only this black dial with black bezel model has a ceramic bezel insert, all the rest are K1 crystals, due to the colors they used. Also, if you want the ultimate lume model, that orange bezel insert version would be the one, as it has a full lume white dial.
The case absolutely takes inspiration from the Compression 53 Sea Wolf Divers, but this is not just the same case sized up. It is a more angular case with harder edges, has crown guards, and an all-new crown (finally!). This new case of the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver is all satin-brushed, with only high polished areas being the bezel and the crown, and of course the new 7 link bracelet, but this does all combine to give this a true “tool watch” vibe. After all, this is a 300m ISO rated, COSC Dive watch, so I think this probably falls into most watch aficionados’ definition of a tool watch. And of course, it is 42mm. Not 40mm or 39, or the trendy new 38mm.
Yes, if you are paying attention to the sizing of watches these days, the trend is toward smaller watches. Heck, I myself am considering a Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT which is 39mm, because I am wanting a perfect every day, go everywhere type of watch. But, Zodiac already offers a 40mm Super Sea Wolf, so it makes sense to upsize to 42mm, but again, sizing is subjective and I have seen many saying they would prefer a 38 or even 36mm. My take on it, once you go under 40mm for dive watches with an external rotating bezel, it makes for a very small dial and starts to look like a women’s watch. Again, only my opinion.
Onto the dial and this version is a black sunray dial, and you know the deal with surnay dials, it will look a little different depending on how much light is hitting it, and black dials can tend to look dark grey at times. Like the case, the dial is still taking inspiration from some of the Compression series (well at least the new refreshed versions). You can see a version of these hands-on the Zodiac Saturation divers, and this is a no-date dial, (though it is a phantom date wheel) but the true star of this dial is the chapter ring with the cutouts for the indices that really adds dimension to the dial, not unlike a Tudor Pelagos. The funny thing is when looking at the pics on the Zodiac website, you can not really see this detail, and the pictures make the dial look very flat, and it is anything but.
The crown guards and new crown are also big standouts to the new Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver, as the Compression series had a much smaller, rounded-off crown that I felt was too small and hard to grip. So, now we have very nice crown guards along with an all-new shaped crown, and I still find it somewhat hard to grip. The problem isn’t really the size, but more the design. The crown looks great, and I am glad they did not just do the same old crown again, but the taper to it combined with the large crown guards is what makes it somewhat difficult to use at times, at least for my hands and fingers, which I would put in the medium-large category.
But the new does not stop there. This Zodiac has an all-new bracelet. I know, you are looking at it and thinking it is very similar to the others you have seen from Zodiac, and you would be correct, but this is a 7 link bracelet, not a 5 link as they have used on the smaller divers. It is very much in the same vein though, with alternating polished and brushed links, and is extremely comfortable as these links just drape so well over your wrist. Links are attached using the pin and collar system, which can be annoying but is very secure, it is also a beautiful bracelet to look at, and I think it matches the case design perfectly.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver on my 7.5-inch wrist
What is not great though is that Zodiac chose a butterfly clasp for this ISO-rated 300m Dive watch, which I just can not wrap my head around. Do I dive? No. Do you? Maybe, but chances are, you don’t. How many divers will even still take an analog watch along with them instead of a dive computer? Maybe as a backup, but I still feel that when a watch has all these components to make it a dive watch, why would it not have a dive-style clasp with some kind of extension to fit over a wet suit? Again, I will never use it, but that extension is not just used for diving, many use the ratcheting style these days to give them a better fit on the wrist. Zodiac’s answer to this with the new Super Sea Wolf? Stretchy links. Yes, the very last link connected to the clasp on each side is spring-loaded and can stretch a few mm, so if it is a day where it is really hot and your wrist has expanded, you should be okay as the bracelet will essentially stretch a little to accommodate. Still not sure how this will help with diving.
But, there is another option if you do not want a stainless steel bracelet. An all-new accordion-style rubber strap. I chose orange to showcase here as it matches up with the orange accents on the dial but is also available in black, blue, or white. You’ll have to pay for it though, as these straps cost an extra $95. Yes, you do not get a choice of straps as they have on previous models. The Zodiac Super Sea Sea Wolf Pro Diver is only available on a bracelet. If you want the new strap, you will have to shell out almost another $100. Why they did not offer a choice (with a price reduction as they have in the past) I do not know, but it is disappointing.
The strap itself is fantastic, very comfortable FKM rubber, but there is one big issue. The buckle. It looks good, seems to be custom and not catalog, but it is sharp on the underside of the buckle, you know the part that sits right against your skin. And yes, you will feel it, and yes it will make you want to put on another strap or change back to the bracelet. Speaking of the bracelet again, with a butterfly clasp and pin and collar links, this is the one time I wish a bracelet had quick-release spring bars, as it would make it a lot easier to remove and attach the bracelet.
The case back is again familiar, but inside the case back, and powering this watch is something new, at least in terms of grade. This is a COSC movement, something not normally offered in the Zodiac dive lineup, but more importantly, this is a Sellita SW200 COSC movement. Why is that such a big deal? Well, it really isn’t, but it is interesting as Zodiac usually uses the Fossil STP line of movements as Fossil is the parent company of Zodiac. So why did they go with the SW200-1? I am not sure, but from the complaints, I have seen about the STP movements, I am sure it is a welcome movement for most.
Lastly, we get to the lume and I have received many questions asking if the lume has been upgraded on this new diver. The answer is YES! Unlike some of the Compression 53 models where the lume was very weak, Zodiac did a pretty good job of a slathering of Grade A SuperLumiNova as they refer to it, and to my eyes looks like C3. It is such a good slathering it seems they went a little overboard when getting macro shots of the dial, as it seems to go outside of the lines if you will, but overall a very marketed improvement to the lume, but I still wouldn’t put it up there with some of the lume champs like Seiko, Lum-Tec, and others.
Zodiac was getting a little stagnant in my opinion, using the Compression 53 Sea Wolf case for a lot of new models like the World Timer and GMT, among others, so I was very glad they introduced an all-new (but familiar) design in a new size as well. Yes, this new Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver still follows that vintage path but I think it slots nicely into the current era of Zodiac and there is a lot to love with this new diver. Honestly, a few nitpicks aside, my biggest gripe is obviously the butterfly clasp and charging extra for the strap, but if you can get past that, this is a bold but classic new dive watch from our friends at Fossil and a much-needed upgrade in my opinion. I look forward to seeing what else Zodiac has up its sleeves for 2022.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro Diver Rubber Strap on 7.5-inch wrist
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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