When kicking off a new collaboration project, the question of what to do is naturally the first hurdle. What is our inspiration? Is it the history of the watch? A color palette or texture? Something from outside of the industry? Once this cornerstone is found, the rest falls into place rather quickly. When the idea of collaborating with Zodiac came about, what called out first was simply how the brand uses color. From the Watermelon to the Sherbet, Zodiac is able to create watches with some of the most vivid colors. And those colors aren’t limited to just a word or a hand, rather the bezel insert, applied markers, chapter rings… seemingly every element on their watches can be colorized. We knew our design would have to take advantage of this.
Please note the Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Limited Edition will be available for purchase at 12pm EDT, May 25th, only at windupwatchshop.com
Of course, using color with no concept won’t lead to a good result, so there was still a missing piece. And then, one day it just sort of hit us: sneakers. Well, not just any sneakers, rather, ones with a modern outdoors/hiking aesthetic. Ones that speak to a resurgence of ‘90s fashion and design by mixing together bold, clashing colors, and textures. Splattered midsoles, layered high-contrast colors, fabrics, leathers, nylons, and more, all combined into surprisingly stylish and fun compositions. This naturally led us down a road of bags and gear that draw upon the same inspirations, and our direction was set.
With the Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Limited Edition, we wanted to apply this sensibility to a wristwatch, and see how far we could go within the format. The Super Sea Wolf was an ideal canvas for this experiment, not just for the easy coloring capability laid out earlier, but because it’s a solid basis for a general, outdoors sports watch. At 40mm with 200m of water resistance, it’s robust, capable, and well-sized. Neither too big, nor vintage-sized, it’s just right for something you’d want to wear on a long hike and will fit many different wrists. Ours is fully brushed too, as polished surfaces are just asking for scratches when you’re on a trail.
As for the design, well, we tried to see how far we could push Zodiac before they told us we were crazy, but much to our surprise, they were game for whatever we threw at them. For the overall palette, we stuck with a gray base, to allow for lots of contrast, and utilized bright yellows, teals, and more to add plenty of pops of color. If there was a rule about the number of colors you can use on a dial, we broke it; tastefully.
Starting with the dial, you’ll find the center surface is charcoal gray with a light, raised grid. A subtle texture that’s a nod to rip-stop nylon, it’s always slightly visible, becoming clearer in direct light. Surrounding this is the chapter ring in sunflower yellow with black lines. A vibrant, shock of color, it looks like the dial is exploding outwards with beams of light.
On top of the gray center are applied markers in a deep anodized orange. Their metallic glint brings an unexpected element that speaks to the look of carabiners, zipper pulls, knife handles, and other gear. The signature blocky hands are then coated in delicious gloss tones, with sky blue for the hours, fresh coral for the minutes, and rich mustard yellow for the seconds. Lastly, we did not match the date wheel, rather we printed it in teal with gray numerals to jump out from the gray surrounds. It sounds like a lot, but it comes together.
For the bezel, our goal was to bring something akin to that great midsole splatter effect to the party. Conveniently, the inserts on the Super Sea Wolf are printed allowing for more creative flexibility than a solid material. Once again, the base of the insert is gray, but features flecks of off-white in a seemingly random spray. To take our watch a step away from the brand’s main line of divers, we opted for a 12-hr index, a first for a Sea Wolf, to our knowledge, and great for travel. The numerals of which are a mix of mustard yellow and bright teal, tying it together with the dial.
For the strap, we wanted something that would not just live up to the excitement of the dial and bezel, but also make sense with the outdoors aesthetic. So instead of a bracelet or rubber strap, we went for a two-piece nylon strap with velcro closure. Quick to put on and take off, breathable and light on the wrist, washable when dirty, it’s a great strap for taking on a hike. For the colors, we were torn between gray and teal – so we went with both at once. The result is a fun, contrasty strap that fits the watch perfectly.
That’s typically that, but for this LE we also worked with the Zodiac team to create some awesome packaging and graphics. Given the 90’s inspiration, something that brings real nostalgia for those of us at Worn & Wound, we challenged their team to create a sleeve inspired by Trapper Keeper art. You know the one – that laser tag meets Memphis design with random shapes floating above some sort of Tron-like void. Well, they knocked it out of the park, incorporating colors from the watch into a geometric landscape that will surely stir some memories. We liked it so much, we made sticker sheets based on it that will come with each watch as well, along with a large sticker of the watch, and a special Worn & Wound Tenth Anniversary sticker.
As the first watch we’ve launched now that we are officially 10 years old, the Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Limited Edition is a great way to kick off the next decade of collaborations. It’s fun, bold, and we think, unlike anything else you’ll find out there right now. Limited to 182 units, the Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Limited Edition is $1,095 and ships immediately.