Although Zodiac, a company whose beginnings can be traced back into the 19th century when the watchmaker Jacob Calame settled in La Chaux-de-Fonds, is steeped in Swiss watchmaking history, it is anything but antiquated.
The influence of the American company Fossil, which acquired Zodiac in fall 2002, is obvious and visible in the new design of the products and the image of the “old” Swiss brand. Fossil stands for innovation in design, for highly fashionable collections and a lifestyle-oriented marketing. The Zodiac brand, which is presenting itself in a conspicuously fresh style in 2004, should also benefit from this recipe.
A new look
Zodiac thereby falls back on its Swiss tradition and combines it with new modern fashion aspects: a combination unique in this form. The new look is young, fresh, sexy and sporting. The collection, which was introduced at Baselworld 2004, has a modern, sporting look and is very fashion-orientated with striking dials, large, conspicuous housings, combinations of materials and radiant colours.
The Zodiac logo has changed and been further developed – presented in the classic colours red, white and black and now provides a clear reference to its Swiss tradition. It is to be found on every dial, in addition it is on display material and press folders and provides the brand with a uniform and contemporary appearance, which matches with the new collections.
Not only the optics, but the prices are also almost revolutionary for a Swiss traditional brand: most of the watches cost between 150 and 350 Euros, only for specific models does the price extend up to 750 Euros. With this price range, the watches are introductory models customized to the new target group: people aged between 18 and 35, who are keen on fashion and sports, self-confident, educated, stylish and sophisticated.
The new collections
The collection is subdivided into three lines. 50 per cent of the new models belong to the “Sports” line. They have striking straps made of soft rubber, fine leather or solid stainless steel bracelets. The dials are also eye-catching: they are extra large, in some cases, two-coloured or in dynamic, fluorescent colours such as radiant blue and bright orange.
Warm colours and material combinations characterize the “Casual” line. A highlight is the model ZO7001 with a strap made of a linen-leather mix with a contrasting seam, in light shades of sand and beige, with oversize stainless steel case and a large map of the world with which one can determine the different time zones.
Last but not least, there is the “Classic” line with models for men and distinctive models for women. The “Classic” models are all characterized by their classically simple design with an air of avant-garde. A prime example is the model ZO3400 with a striking, long drawn-out case which nestles optimally on the wrist, and hour hands that are reminiscent of sunbeams. The quality of the leather straps deserves a special mention: they have extra padding but are nevertheless very supple and fit snugly.
All models, of which many are regarded as unisex models, display a great attention to detail. The Zodiac logo is embossed on the crown and on screwed caseback as well as being reproduced as a relief on the clasp. The second hands are longer than usual and extend to the indices. All models have quartz movements.
Photo: ZO3400 Men's watch equipped with a Ronda 705 quartz movement. Date indications at 6h. Oversized steel case. Screwed crown. Mineral glass. Screwed back. Water resistant to 5 ATM. Leather strap.
ZO7001 Men's watch equipped with a Ronda 515 quartz movement. 24 hours indication.Day/Date indications at 6h. Oversized steel case. Screwed crown. Mineral glass. Screwed back. Time zones. Water resistant to 10 ATM. Fabric strap.