Quick Take

During the 1950s and '60s Zodiac emerged as a powerhouse manufacturer in the Swiss watch industry. It seemed like there wasn't a category of watches that they didn't have an answer for. With the proliferation of GMT watches, Zodiac responded with the Aerospace GMT model, which, like most of Zodiac's watches at the time, was a huge hit. The watch was born from the success of the Sea Wolf; Zodiac created a design that followed the Sea Wolf's design language closely, and added a 24-hour hand and bi-directional GMT bezel in a 35mm case.*
The 2019 Aerospace GMT is a modern re-edition of that very watch. The original Aerospace GMT has enjoyed a cult following since its release, but this new edition will open the watch up to new wrists with a 40mm case and modern reliability. There's also a totally new colorway that leans hard into the funky tones from the '70s. Not to mention the fact that this is a GMT watch, on a bracelet, that's offered at $1,695.*
Initial Thoughts

So back to the Sea Wolf, Zodiac's wildly successful diver. While the most collectible early vintage models feature a metal bezel, later models got a little groovy with bakelite bezel inserts in hues that could only be described as LOUD. Think highlighter orange and flat grey. Zodiac recently updated the Sea Wolf in a color scheme that fits in with the original vibes of the watch. They released a funk-tastic diver that's reminiscent of the originals. What they're doing with these re-releases is sort of like writing an alternative history narrative for the brand. The watch never came like that, but it totally could have and maybe should have.*
That's exactly what's going on with the Aerospace GMT now. It was about time that Zodiac created an alternative historical narrative for this fan favorite. Now it comes in a baby blue and burnt orange scheme. Again, it never came that way, but this is exactly something that could have come out back in the day, except now you're getting something in a wearable size. For the purists, there's a black and grey version that stays very true to the original. The grey in the original has more a green hue to it, while the new watch is pretty much monochrome aside from the GMT hand and the 12 marker on the bezel.*
At $1,695 this one corners the category. You're getting the same functionality you'll get out of more expensive GMT options, but you're also getting bona fide history with Zodiac. Remember, they used to be cranking out hits left and right in the '50s through the '70s. This watch makes it clear that they're still all about the funky stuff, which is a breath of fresh air in a market where manufacturers are relatively restrained when it comes to putting out something new. This watch isn't designed with mass appeal in mind. In that way it feels like the Aerospace GMT was made for the fans that have been with Zodiac all along. They kept us waiting, but between the 2018 Sea Wolf and this Aerospace GMT, it seems like they've found their stride. They say the funk died, but if anyone is bringing it back, it's Zodiac. Who else put out a baby blue and burnt orange watch this year? *
The Basics

Brand: Zodiac
Model: Aerospace GMT Limited Edition
Reference Number: ZO9400, ZO9401
Diameter: 40mm
Thickness: 13mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Dial Color: Black
Indexes: Applied batons
Lume: Yes, on hands and hour markers
Water Resistance: 200m
Strap/Bracelet: Three-link steel bracelet
The Movement

Caliber: ETA 2893-2
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, date
Diameter: 25.6mm
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Jewels: 21
Pricing & Availability

Price: $1,695
Availability: Beginning in March
Limited Edition: 182 of each color, each with a numbered caseback
For more click here.


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