In 2021, it’s pretty easy to understand why Zodiac is best known for their Sea Wolf dive watches. Their iconic design with roots dating back to the early ‘50s, they have the timeless style of vintage with a modern flair for color that few other brands can match. Over the last few years, between new versions, including GMTs, and limited editions, they have taken the spotlight. But, the Sea Wolf isn’t the only watch the brand is known for, and I dare say, the Olympos line is actually more unique.
Featuring an exotic case shape, the modern Olympos’ are typically dressier pieces, coming in at 37.5mm and flaunting elegant dial textures and applied markers. A few years ago, however, Zodiac brought out a limited edition called the Olympos Military. Based on a prototype, this version was beefed up to 40mm at its widest point, 38mm from 12 to 6, and featured a lumed, numerical hour index, and was limited to 182 pieces. Well, today, we’re excited to say that the Olympos Military is coming back in two new colors, first available through the Windup Watch Shop as a special Worn & Wound edition.
If you’re not familiar with the Oympos, the case will likely catch you off guard. Called the “manta ray,” given its passing similarity to the fish, it’s asymmetrical, vertically. The lugs on top transition with a concave curve to an apex around 10 and 2, which then flips to a convex curve down to a more robust set of bottom lugs. The crown then nestles in at 2pm and screws down, helping secure a 200m water resistance. The case is fully brushed, save polished bevels along the lugs, emphasizing its unique curves.
The dial of the Olympos Military has a classic style that puts legibility in focus. The textured surface features large, lumed numerals for all 12 hours. Big and bold, you can’t miss them, and there is no date to interrupt them. Around the edge of the dial is a simple railroad index, indicating the minutes and seconds. At 12 is the Zodiac logo featuring an applied symbol and printed word mark. Just above six is the word “automatic” in an appealing script. The hour and minute hands are roman swords with copious lume fill, while the seconds is a simple stick.
For the new versions of the Olympos Military, the dials have been given a little bit of color in the form of dark gradients. There are two versions, the first in a navy blue that turns to black. Cool, and classic, it’s a subtle change from the original all-black. This version also features C3 lume providing a green tone for the numerals.
The second version is a brown sunburst, starting a faded, pale tone at the center, transitioning to a dark tobacco brown at the edge. This version is paired with khaki-lume building off of the warmth of the brown. This model is a bit more vintage in its style.
For the Zodiac Olympos Military Worn & Wound edition, both watches are being supplied with a custom duo of US-made straps: a Model 2 Premium and an ADPT Single Pass. For the blue version, we stuck with cool tones. The Model 2 Premium is a dark blue Latigo leather from Horween, complemented with light gray stitch. The ADPT Single Pass is Admiralty Gray with a Sage keeper.
The brown version is paired with a Model 2 Premium in Whiskey Predator* from Horween, which has a matte, oily finish (*the strap in the photos is not the exact leather). The ADPT Single Pass is in Forest green with a Coyote brown keeper. Both added to the more rugged, outdoorsy look of the brown dial.
Measuring 40mm (38mm at the bezel) x 46.5mm x 12.5mm, the Olympos Military wears well and has a satisfyingly sturdy feel. By mixing a case with unusual curves and a distinct style with a more classic dial layout, the resulting watch is uniquely stylish. Robust and rugged with just enough vintage detailing, it’s a great choice for a day to day casual watch.
The Zodiac Olympos Military Worn & Wound Edition is available now to preorder for $895. This version of the Olympos Military, with two straps and “Worn & Wound Edition” on the back, is limited to 150 per color. Watches will ship at the end of November, though a small handful will be available today at the Windup Watch Fair.