Swiss Made Zodiac watches recently introduced two limited-edition “Pro” versions of its Super Sea Wolf watches that are really worth a look. Today, I review the reference ZO3550 Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium Limited Edition. What I appreciate most about this product is how literal this design exercise is for Zodiac watches. The brand’s popular Super Sea Wolf collection is inspired by the brand’s historic 1950 and 1960s diver’s watches. They are modern in their execution and fully capable of most swimming, snorkeling, and diving duties. But according to some authorities, a diver’s watch cannot be fully professional unless it satisfies the challenging ISO 6425 certification designation. This Super Sea Wolf Pro watch is that “certified” professional diver’s wristwatch. And according to Zodiac, the process was such a pain in the ass that they probably don’t want to do it again.
The brand’s fun exercise is your gain as a watch lover because the Super Sea Wolf Pro is a very good timepiece at a price that is pretty decent given what you are getting. Note that as of this review, Zodiac has released two versions of the limited-edition SSW (Super Sea Wolf) Pro watches, including this titanium version and one steel model — the reference ZO3552 that has a black dial and bezel. The titanium model costs $800 more, which is fine if you prefer the lighter construction but both are going to offer excellent build quality and performance.
The ISO 6425 gamut of tests is designed to make sure that a diver’s watch is legible, durable, reliable, and accurate. It requires brands to do a lot of complex stuff like ensure that dial markers are extremely well-secured to the face, as well as to make sure that dials are coated with the proper volume of luminant. The small hint on the watch that allows you to understand the pride felt by the Zodiac team by accomplishing this project is the “diver’s” statement on the dial. While this statement sounds innocuous, only ISO-certified watches are technically capable of carrying this designation.
On paper, the performance specs of the Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver don’t seem that uncommon, but overall, it is important to explain that this isn’t just a tool watch; by most accounts, it is a “super tool watch.” The case is water resistant to 300 meters with a domed and AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial. The unidirectional bezel operation is superior to that of the standard Super Sea Wolf model and the overall fit and finish also feels better.
In titanium, case quality is very good – and that includes the matching 7-link titanium bracelet. The case is all the same brushed finishing, and slightly more dark in gray color as compared to steel. The titanium is about 30% lighter than steel and is also rather tough. That said, titanium can scratch more easily than steel, so it is best to baby them a bit more. But the light weight makes them a lot more pleasant in the long run to wear on your wrist. Case dimensions are larger than the standard 40mm-wide size of the regular Super Sea Wolf collection of watches. Zodiac wanted to make a slightly larger size for a different watch audience, so they made the Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver 42mm-wide, which suits me just fine. The case is about 14mm-thick (but doesn’t feel too thick on the wrist) and has a roughly 50mm lug-to-lug distance.
Little things like the quality of the crown to the deep engraving on the titanium caseback help mark the Pro versions of the Super Sea Wolf watch when compared to the still very nice but less expensive core Zodiac Super Sea Wolf watch collection. Zodiac really just did say, “Let’s make an even more professional version of the Super Sea Wolf,” and the Pro is the result. That is, honestly, very refreshing in a world where so many products (especially those not intended for actual professional use) have the term “Pro” appended to their name. In any event, regardless of whether professional divers or lay people wear one of these watches, you know that the product specs do stand behind the “Pro” part of the watch’s title.
The dial design is functional and handsome but not what I would call beautiful. It is, however, very cool with a highly detailed dial construction including a slanted chapter ring and very good quality. This version includes a galvanic black center color, aquamarine-colored luminant for the hour markers and hands (not to mention the bezel), and orange color accents on the dial ring as well as the minute hand. Speaking of luminant, the entire bezel is lumed and is the brightest part of the watch in the dark when the face has been charged with light. Given the popularity of bright colors, I do feel that people will really like this color combination, even if it is a bit avant-garde.
Inside the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver watch is a Fossil Group-owned Swiss Made STP automatic movement. I believe the movement is the STP3-13 automatic, which operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve. This is a top-grade version of the movement, and it has also been sent to COSC for Swiss Chronometer certification (for watch movement accuracy). Note that Zodiac decided to make the Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver watch a “no date” timepiece with a dial that sacrifices the functionality of a date window for the added elegance of a more symmetrical dial.
While the steel version of the Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver watch only comes with the matching steel bracelet, this titanium version also comes with a black and orange fabric strap. The bracelet in titanium is excellent, in my opinion. Yes, there are some sharp edges along the lugs of the case, but the bracelet is lightweight and very comfortable. A great feature is the small spring-loaded micro-adjusters in the butterfly-style deployant clasp. These features are actually quite easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them. Once again, there are two segments of the bracelet ends that attach to the deployant, which are connected with springs. When tugged, they give a bit, offering some comfort expansion for the bracelet. This is not the first Zodiac Super Sea Wolf to offer this feature, but it is great to see it brought over to the Pro collection and this titanium bracelet design.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf watches are so much fun to wear because for the roughly $1,000 – $1,500 price, you get a great package, design, and value proposition. The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver is very much a more serious and high-end watch. It is based on the popular Super Sea Wolf personality and theme but is a different type of product that is designed to match the specifications and requirements of an ISO 6425 certified diver’s watch. I dig it, but I also realize that this isn’t a product for everyone. I assume Zodiac will produce the Pros they had intended to and then probably move on to more commercial products in future years. So, I am guessing these will be interesting collector’s watches before long. This Zodiac reference ZO3550 is a limited edition of 282 pieces, and the Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium has a retail price of $2,495 USD. Learn more at the Zodiac watches website here.
>Model: Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver Titanium reference ZO3550
>Price: $2,495 USD
>Size: 42mm-wide, ~14mm-thick, ~50mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As a serious diver’s watch or as a daily wear. It’s as versatile as any classic, serious diving wrist watch given its wearability, legibility, and durability.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who likes modern professional-grade wrist watches that have an uncommon design and a great price value.
>Best characteristic of watch: Easy-to-understand concept where Zodiac successfully takes their design DNA and uses it to create an ISO-certified diver’s watch. Comfortable, high quality, utilitarian.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Poor story-telling about the product on the Zodiac website. Sharp lug edges. No quick-release for the bracelet ends.