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Author Topic: Sea Skate / Wolf  (Read 540 times)

Offline Cobber

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Sea Skate / Wolf
« on: November 06, 2020, 10:22:20 am »
I've been wearing this little beauty all week and it occurred to me I don't think I've ever posted any photos of it.

I got it back months ago from UV for an overhaul after sitting on it for a few non-functioning years after fishing it out of the 'bay.

First, my impressions; I'm not a big fan of the black dial Wolfs and much more prefer the white dial and this is especially so when the acrylic bezels are in play.  That being said, for the Supreme (two tone w/gold bezel) and other metal bezel Wolfs the black dials don't strike me as out of place.  However, overall I still prefer the white dials.  With this watch I'm especially enamored. 

No date, veinless hands, unmarked/polished bezel, this strikes me as the purest interpretation of the Sea Wolf design and having the white dial, really puts it over the top in my opinion.

Now for the curious aspect.   How sure are we that these never left the factory with Sea Wolf dials?  Over the years I've seen a good percentage of "Sea Skates" with Sea Wolf dials.  The Sea Skate is a fairly rare model in relation to the Sea Wolf and for a very long time and still counting, not as valuable.  Why would someone take a valuable dial and put it in a less valuable watch making it less valuable (I know Butch can answer this question)?  The dial on this thing is absolute perfection when it comes to early Sea Wolf dials.  I guess it could have been and was done (if it was done) very early on before people were concerned with the value.  That being said the age of the dial in relation to the age of the hands is very simpatico and totally in sync.  Meaning, if this dial said Sea Skate on it, no one would question if the dial had ever been replaced. 

I had a brief conversation with UV before the overhaul began and the feeling I came away with was it is possible some Skates left as Wolfs.  I haven't spoken with him since completion but I am curious if he feels strongly or less so that this particular example did or did not come with this dial.

Either way, I wouldn't dream of replacing the dial it looks so damn good and pretty happy with how it presents itself on this repro. Forstner bracelet.

Enough talking;

Offline Butch

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Re: Sea Skate / Wolf
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2020, 01:52:38 pm »
While anything is POSSIBLE, I don't think so. I have a SW dial on mine as that is all I could find to replace a TERRIBLE redial. Due to quality control I don't think it would have left the factory when new like that.

Now, many years later, if sent in for a factory service and all they had were SW dials....
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Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Sea Skate / Wolf
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 07:28:30 pm »
Admittedly I am still up in the air on this.  I believe it is possible, as they never ever let any parts go unused, but that is not based on any proof beyond what I have seen through collecting and repair.  Without actually having any actual company records (which we know aren't around) or verbal confirmation from actual Zodiac authorized dealers at the time (most of those guys are not around still unfortunately either) it is just a belief that I have with no concrete fact behind it


In addition, that is an amazing looking watch IMHO  :twothumbsup

Offline Cobber

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Re: Sea Skate / Wolf
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2020, 08:02:37 pm »
Thanks for the opinions!
Butch brings up a really good possibility. 
I don’t see harvesting a pristine dial from a mucked up Sea Wolf.  Likely the dial would have some form of degradation as well.  But, perhaps an A.D. or possibly the Zodiac service center in N.Y.C. or the factory replaced it.  When I bought the watch it was missing the original bracelet but had a period correct JB Champion that showed an equal amount of wear on it.  The watch was definitely worn but for a watch close to sixty years old! was in promising condition.

UV did a great job on this thing.  The movement feels silky smooth when winding.  AS really had their act together when they built these movements.  Nothing I own new or old, has the same feel when winding as these old Zodiacs after a visit to the spa.

Offline Grossisten

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Re: Sea Skate / Wolf
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 10:32:31 am »
I'm no expert like the other guys - but one thing often strikes me in discussions like these - parts could have been replaced at anytime during the lifetime of a watch. Say you bought a watch in the early sixties, replaced it sometime in the seventies and left it in a drawer -and then decided to repair your first one (or the next owner did) in the early 80'ies. Your local watchmaker may not have had access to the correct parts anymore - but perhaps he had a spare dial that worked just as well. And whoever owned the watch may not have been fussy about it as collecting mechanical watches was not yet really a thing. At the point when spare parts starting to become scarce many such scenarios would have been realistic. I recently discussed the price of a Super Sea Wolf with a guy. It needed a new crystal and he found it in a box of watches in a second hand store. Given that story I wasn't prepared to pay the amount he expected and he then had a non-original crystal fitted and put it on the market at a (in my opinion) very high price. But potential buyers would have no way of telling unless they are Zodiac experts. Anyway - your watch is ultra cool and the band underlines its strong statement - I love it.

Offline Cobber

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Re: Sea Skate / Wolf
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2020, 09:14:54 pm »
Thanks Grossi...,
I agree, the the angled end links run damn near parallel to the curve of the case and compliment the triangle markers at the same time.  Really lends to a period correct and synergistic vibe.


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