Zodiac Watch Company
Ariste Calame founded a workshop for the production of watches in 1882 in Le Locle, Switzerland called Ariste Calame. The company grew and the brand later became Zodiac. It seems even before "Zodiac" was registered in 1908 watches produced were sold under that name. Louis Ariste Calame (Ariste's son) began to participate in the business in 1895 just after finishing watchmaking school. By the end of 1895 Louis took over the business and began to change operations. By 1928 the first flat pocket watch was launched to the public and used a Zodiac calibre 1617 movement. The brand continued to grow and expand and in 1930 produced the first automatic sports watch as well as the Zodiac Autographic. The Autographic was self-winding with a power reserve gauge, and a radium dial. The watch was also water and shock resistant which intrigued buyers. By 1953 the Sea Wolf was introduced as a Dive Watch and marketed to a broader mass market. Later, in the early 1970s the Super Sea Wolf was introduced. A patented crown/stem system and improved case back design helped the watch sell along with the increased pressure rating. This secured a contract with the U.S. Navy SEALs which continued their success with an Aerospace model. By 1990 Willy Gad Monnier purchased the Zodiac brand, but its parent company Montres Zodiac SA, went bankrupt by November 1997. In September 1998 Genender International, Inc. purchased the Zodiac inventory including their trademarks. Genender discontinued all of the "Point" models, the Formulas, the Sea Wolf, and most automatic watches. They also discontinued the Zodiac automatic chronographs keeping only the Super Sea Wolf and the Marine Life. On October 1, 2001, Fossil Inc. acquired the rights to the Zodiac brand name.