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Author Topic: Comments on my Seawolf please.......  (Read 7006 times)

Offline lastofthebrownies

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Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« on: January 08, 2014, 04:36:19 AM »
Hi all..
This is my first post and I wondered if you would all be kind enough to comment on my Seawolf that I bought maybe a year ago or more?
I have only this one Zodiac at the minute but intend to change that soon!  This is such a small gem of a watch.
From what I have read here I presume that the dial has been relumed, since the numerals do not look quite big enough to be original, and the lume on the hands is different?
Also, I would like to know if the triangle at '12' should be black or white?  I see a lot of white ones around in the various pictures but as you see, mine is/was painted black
Unfortunately I have no story to tell about this watch.
All comments will be much appreciated, thanks.
Steve

Offline Butch

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 07:18:11 AM »
I think the triangles are original, or a damn good replacement. They hands are often relummed. The triangle at 12 normally has lum in it that eventually falls out.

All in all you have a nice specimen there.
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Offline lastofthebrownies

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 08:32:26 AM »
Thanks for that.
Could I ask if it is 50s or 60s or 70s issue?  Cheers

Offline Butch

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 08:51:50 AM »
What issue? Oh, "issued"? It was most likely made in the 1960's though there were some made in the 70's.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 09:19:08 AM by Butch »
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Offline jmh86325

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 12:09:14 PM »
a little OT....i have a question for Butch and the others of this forum

I noticed this has a "swiss" dial?

...is it true that

SWISS = Radium

SWISS T < 25 = Tritium less than 25 mC.

And...have you been able to date the dials by either designation on the dial bottom....?


Offline Butch

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 02:53:08 PM »
Don't get old man. Early on in my collecting I read something about a transition from SWISS to SWISS MADE and then later there was the Tritium info meaning that it contained less 25 whatever the hell it was. I am pretty sure this was the order, over the years, that it happened in.

I think the first two were a Swiss law for watchmaking, the latter you see on other brands besides Zodiacs so it probably was law as well. It's just real fuzzy now.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 02:54:49 PM by Butch »
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Offline jon p

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 04:23:52 PM »
 :welc :woohoo;  you  have a nice example of a late 60s black dial without date. to my eyes i agree with your observation about the triangles, i looked at mine that i bought new in may of 1968 in the PX at ft benning georgia while in the army. i remember the date because it was my birthday. oops, got off track, my original numbers "fill up" the triangles more, it looks like a very close redial as per butches comment. did you buy it new? it originally came with the JB champion "jubilee" style stainless steel bracelet. the "12" triangle on the bezel was a light faint mint green. most fell out real fast, mine did! i painted the hole black, and i have seen other colors also. i just had my watch restored about 2 years ago and they replaced the mint green lume. if your watch hasnt been serviced, it needs to be, get with butch and find out about BWG. welcome to the wonderful world of zodiac! enjoy the website and the fantastic vast amount of info here.

Offline lastofthebrownies

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 08:45:25 AM »
I bought it privately  from a guy in Eat Hampton NY after he advertised it on another forum website.  It had apparently just been serviced at a place specialising in Zodiacs (no idea where) and it certainly feels like it has - a pleasure to wind and listen to.
Interestingly he had another white faced Seawolf with no numbers at all in the triangles (pics attached).
Also I have attached a picture of my black faced one with its Kreisler strap, but its a bit on the small side for my wrist.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 12:06:22 PM by lastofthebrownies »

Offline Butch

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 09:47:32 AM »
Last, while I love the participation of such a new member please review the forum rules and make sure you have the owner's permission to post HIS pictures. Otherwise please remove them.

Having said that, this is clearly a case of the lum being more important to a previous owner than the numerals were.
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Offline jon p

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 03:04:34 PM »
just remember, back in the 1960s the sea wolf was considered a LARGE watch! i remember when i got out of basic training in aug of 68 i started wearing my black dial when i went to school at ft lee, VA. guys would say"why do you want to wear such a big ugly watch!! if they had only known!

Offline dmh

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 03:28:43 PM »
just remember, back in the 1960s the sea wolf was considered a LARGE watch! i remember when i got out of basic training in aug of 68 i started wearing my black dial when i went to school at ft lee, VA. guys would say"why do you want to wear such a big ugly watch!! if they had only known!

And since it was Stainless Steel, it was considered CHEAP. Fake gold watches were all the rage. Funny how styles and tastes change.
Best to all,
dmh

Offline lastofthebrownies

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 06:32:44 PM »
Personally I'm a mid-size watch man, and the size of the Seawolfs suit me just fine.  But I was still surprised when I first took it out of the parcel how small it was 'in the flesh' - It really is to my eyes quite slim and fine.
Much of my collection consists of 1950s to 1970s watches and of all of them, the Zodiac is the most steamline.
Strange to think many viewed it as large....

I have an elderly friend who had a junk load of spares left over from 60 plus years of watch repairing (he worked in R.E.M.E. in Portsmouth, Uk), and about four years ago I actually sold a black-dialled Seawolf (non runner and minus a bezel) along with a bag full of other watches for him on ebay. No wonder the bag of stuff sold well! That was the first time I ever came across a Zodiac watch - would have kept it if I'd have known what it was.

Offline JDS (Ohio)

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 05:47:51 AM »
Nice Sea Wolf Steve, congratulations.  And welcome to the forum. 

I think you are right on the redial/relume, the arabics on original dials usually seem to almost touch the inside edges of the triangles.   But that said, it looks like a real good job, most wouldn't ever notice it unless they were either specifically checking for that, or had it sitting side by side with an original.

BTW, the edge brassing on the bezel, is pretty much universal.
John

Offline lastofthebrownies

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 03:21:56 AM »
Thanks for your comments.
Could I finally ask how the 1960s automatic Seawolf movement compared with other automatics of the day such as the Seikos or Omegas, etc?  This I have often wondered about, not personally being a watch repairer.

Offline rdenney

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Re: Comments on my Seawolf please.......
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 10:39:23 AM »
Thanks for your comments.
Could I finally ask how the 1960s automatic Seawolf movement compared with other automatics of the day such as the Seikos or Omegas, etc?  This I have often wondered about, not personally being a watch repairer.

The Zodiac Seawolfs of the 60's (at least) used the Caliber 70-72, as I recall. The base ebauche is an A. Schild 1687, and the 1687 or 1688 was the base ebauche for the Zodiac calibers 61, 68, 70-72, 76, 86, and 88.

This movement was also used as the base for Girard-Perregaux calibers 30 through 43 (which includes many variations), the Favre-Leuba 11xx series (particularly the popular 1152), and the Ebel 213, 214, 313, and 314. It was also used by Eberhard and Doxa, though I don't recall those caliber numbers. Other companies probably used it as well.

Thus, the movement in the Sea Wolf was used by many good-quality etablisseurs back in the day. The manufactures of that time made their own. The patent on the ball-bearinig rotor lapsed in the late 60's--Eterna had patented it in 1948--and so only Eterna and ETA (which was closely associated with Eterna) used that design when this AS movement was popular. The ball-bearing rotor is in many ways a superior design, and pretty much everyone (except Rolex, except in the 4130 used in the Daytona) uses it now. That's one reason these movements didn't survive the Quartz Crisis.

Longines is a brand at a similar price point to the companies above (well, maybe a bit more than Zodiac, but similar to GP and Ebel, at least) that made their own movements, and their automatics of the 60's (such as the cal. 345) are held in a little higher regard than the AS movement used by Zodiac. But that's probably not based on anything other than brand awareness in the modern era--Zodiac's brand peaked with the Sea Wolf of the 60's and early 70's, while Longines is still well-known. Also, the high-end brands of the day had their own automatics as well, often using micro-rotors, such as the Piaget 12P and the Universal Geneve Polerouter. Zenith, for example, had their 2500-series autos based on movement designs that came with their 1958 acquisition of Martel, and these are probably of similar fundamental quality to the AS movement in the Zodiac, though they may have been finished a little more expensively. Those watches were "fancy" while the Zodiacs were "good".

The Zodiac was therefore a working-man's quality watch, which is why so many of them came into circulation via military base exchanges during the Vietnam War. I would compare it to toolish watches with ETA movements today (such as the recent Clebar models, and many small-brand dive watches). It was a "good" watch that could last a lifetime at a time when many mechanical watches were not designed to be serviced and kept in good repair. The Sea Wolf, in particular, was half the price of a Rolex and an alternative for those who didn't have the money for a Submariner. Where the Zodiac really shined was in regulation accuracy--many were guaranteed to be accurate to within a minute a month. Both my Zodiacs have hacking seconds (an option on the AS movement) and Triovis micro-regulators. I think the push-to-set quick-date feature was unique to Zodiac, too.

My Aerospace GMT, which is in a similar case to the Sea Wolf, is the kind of watch I would have loved to own when it was new--technical enough to show off to buddies, and implemented for accuracy.

Rick "recalling the time when something could be good quality without being fancy" Denney

 

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