In my recent review of the Zodiac Aquamarine Dream watch, I concluded that I really enjoyed that version of the Super Sea Wolf due to its fun use of color. I stated that Zodiac Watch has become an increasingly desirable brand, largely due to its combination of attractive elements from its rich past as well as modern enhancements.
The Super Sea Wolf name covers a variety of vintage-inspired dive watches with a variety of different looks. Because I enjoyed wearing the Aquamarine Dream so much, I decided to give a more subtle variant a try.
The Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin looks even closer to a vintage watch than my first Zodiac. It lacks the exciting bright colors of other versions, but I expected it to be more versatile. I was excited to find out if I would enjoy wearing it just as much.
The Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin might not have a brightly colored dial, but it does still have a unique character. Large, triangular markers at the quarter hours resemble teeth and recall vintage Zodiac divers.
A unique seconds hands with a bright orange, hollow triangle, and pointed hands give everything a coherent look. This model also eschews a date window, which was the right call given the way that the hour markers are laid out.
The bezel insert is also attractive, with a matte black finish that matches the slightly textured dial. The orange-painted triangle provides an additional pop of color. Like with the Aquamarine Dream, this version has only the 30-minute numerals on the bezel. A throwback to past Zodiacs, this gives the bezel a cleaner look, while providing a visual reference point.
Wearing the Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin
The 53 Skin's case dimensions are decidedly vintage (and slightly smaller than the standard SSW). The result is that it wears quite well. At 39mm in diameter and 12.5mm thick, it's fairly compact for a 200m dive watch. Zodiac watches tend to have longer lugs, but its 47.5mm height will still fit most wrists just fine.
Using the bezel on the 53 Skin is a joy. The clicks are distinct and have a high-quality, damped feel. Additionally, the bezel is easy to grip, as it overhangs the case slightly.
As mentioned, the Skin's dial features an attractive texture, almost like full-grain leather, providing a nice contrast against the polished hour markers and brand logo. It is more interesting than a plain matte dial but keeps the tool look that would have been lost with a sunburst dial.
The caseback has minimal branding - a nice aesthetic appropriate for a vintage-styled tool watch.
All Zodiac watches use SuperLumiNova, but in the case of this model, it glows orange. Orange lume looks very cool, but in my experience, it never glows very brightly and doesn't last as long as green lume. The 53 Skin is no exception. The lume is functional, but not as bright as I'd prefer. On the plus side, a hidden feature that I was delighted to find is that the bezel markings are also fully lumed!
The 53 Skin included a very appropriate vintage-style black rubber strap with large vent holes in it. The machined buckle uses a wide tang. It features a strong vanilla scent and does not use quick-release spring bars.
The silver steel bezel version of the SSW 53 Skin comes with a stainless steel bracelet. Like the Aquamarine Dream, it uses quick-release spring bars but does not have the expanding clasp.
One of my favorite StrapHabit straps to wear on it has been the Tropical Style Straps as I feel they match the Skin Diver style. Keep reading at the end of the article to see a number of different looks for the 53 Skin.
The Super Sea Wolf Skin 53 is powered by the STP1-11 movement. This is one of Zodiac's parent company Fossil's in-house calibers.
Compared to the STP 3-13 in the Aquamarine Dream, the 1-11 in the SSW 53 Skin does not have a swan neck regulator and is not chronometer-rated. It does still feature the upgraded power reserve of 44 hours over the ETA2824 on which it's based. As in the Aquamarine dream, the 53 Skin's movement has the date mechanism removed (with no phantom date position).
The Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin is an attractive option for someone who enjoys the classic skin diver aesthetic. Its dial is funky enough to make it fun to wear, but this model is more subdued and versatile than some of the brand's other models.
The Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin is also priced at about $200 to $400 less than other Super Sea Wolf models. While it doesn't use the higher-end 3-13 movement, it still offers good finishing and specs for the money.
Zodiac's current lineup sits in a good spot as a value proposition. I expect that parent company Fossil might help to provide it with economies of scale, but the result is that buyers get nice watches for the money. The 53 Skin is a great value proposition.
Name: Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin Automatic Black Rubber Watch
Reference Number: ZO9212
Lug Width: 20mm
Movement: STP 1-11
Power Reserve: 44 hours
Water Resistance: 200m
Crystal: Sapphire - domed
Bezel: Unidirectional, 120 clicks
Strap: Black rubber (vanilla scented)
Shop Other Straps for the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin:
Tropical FKM Rubber:
Ridge FKM Rubber:
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