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Template:Hersteller-Menue2 Zodiac is a historic Swiss watch brand, currently owned by Fossil Group.


Watchmaker Ariste Calame began making watches in 1882, training his son, also named Ariste Calame (1875-1955) at the home workshop. The younger Calame took over the business in 1899, coining the Zodiac brand in 1908. The company was transformed into a Société Anonyme in 1934 as the grandsons of the founder, René-A. Calame and Maurice Calame, took over.

Zodiac is said to have invented the power reserve indicator in 1932 and created their own 8-day movement in 1937.

The Zodiac Autographic, which first appears in 1948 and was advertised heavily in the following years, was an early automatic watch with the first power reserve indicator. Located at 6 with a bottom-pivoting pointer, the indicator was connected to the winding mechanism and barrel with ratchets and had a slip-fit and pegs to reset when fully wound. A new version in 1952 moved the pointer to the center, pivoting from 3 to 9.

The hermetically sealed Zodiac Glorious was launched in 1954 and featured modern styling with a 3-dimensional multi-part dial. Yet it was a thin watch, despite having central hacking seconds and anti-shock protection. This was made possible by the use of a very small hand-winding movement, 7.75 ligne. The Glorious was also offered with a thicker case and automatic movement.

In 1955 Zodiac launched the Zodiac Datographic Automatique, with a date window at 3 and an exclusive 11.5 ligne automatic movement. A similar Calendar à Remontoir had a hand-winding movement and was 2 mm thinner. The calendar complication came to the Glorious range the following year.

In 1957 the Zodiac Seawolf was launched, a model that would establish the company's reputation for dive watches. But Zodiac was more focused on the Zodiac Pharaon, which featured the signs of the zodiac around the dial. It wasn't until the updated and re-named Zodiac Sea Wolf (with 200m depth capability) appeared in 1959 that the company focused on sports watches.

Although there are claims of a "quartz" Zodiac watch as early as 1932, it was the 1968 launch of the Zodiac Dynotron that really mattered. This was one of the first Swiss electronic watches, and Zodiac also participated in the launch of the Beta 21 quartz movement]] in 1970. By the 1970s, Zodiac was known as a maker of upscale and luxury watches.

Zodiac Killer

The watch logo with the cross-circle symbol was used by a serial killer who became famous in Northern California in the 1960s/1970s and who was therefore called Zodiac Killer. The Zodiac Sea Wolf model is shown in the film Zodiac, directed by David Fincher, where one of the suspects wears this watch.

Zodiac, Zenith, Dixi

The Zodiac brand faltered through the quartz crisis and was purchased by Paul Buhré (part of Dixi, owner of Zenith), in 1979. Zodiac watches continued, now sold by Montres Zodiac SA (also called Zodiac Precision Watches) of Le Locle. These were produced by Zenith, with quartz models using movements from ETA. Zodiac officially became part of Zenith in 1982. The brand was not successful and disappeared after 1985.

On October 29, 1988, Zodiac (along with H. Moser & Cie., Jean Perret, Luxor, Paul Buhré, Robert Cart, and Terrasse) was dissolved. These brands were officially abandoned in 1989.

The Zodiac brand was re-launched in 1990 at the Basel Fair. Watches were produced by Zenith, but Zodiac maintained its own design, marketing, and distribution. This incarnation went bankrupt in 1997.

Zodiac and Fossil

The brand was purchased by the American Genender company in 1998, which re-introduced the iconic models, the Sea Wolf and Astrographic.

Fossil Group stepped in to purchase this company in October, 2001. The next month, Fossil also purchased Montres Antima SA, Meliga Habillement Horloger SA, and Synergies Horlogeres SA to establish a Swiss watchmaking operation.