The most interesting feature of the watch, without a doubt, is the dial. It’s a gradient dial, going from a pale blue at 12:00 to an inky black at 6:00. We’ve seen dials like this before, notably on the Rolex Deep Sea Sea-Dweller, but this one has a novel twist. While difficult to capture in still photographs, there’s a graining through the top half of the dial, creating a dramatic effect meant to mimic the way light appears to divers as they rise closer to the surface near the completion of a dive. These beams of sunshine, known as “God’s light” to divers, are something Mann knew he wanted to replicate on his version of the Sea Wolf, and serve as a sort of Easter egg that only divers will fully be able to appreciate. It’s also an interesting inverse to the aforementioned Rolex, as the gradient effect on that dial is meant to symbolize the descent to the ocean floor, here a similar treatment is used to call to mind a rising to the surface.
Mann had an enormous influence on all aspects of the design of this watch, and there are plenty of other little details that are very much his doing. The dorsal fin hour marker at 12:00 is a nod to Mann’s love of sharks, and based on a drawing he made himself (as is the shark engraved case-back, based on an Andy Mann photo), and you’ll notice that unlike on most dive watch bezels that highlight the first 15 minutes for timing, here it’s the final quarter-hour. That’s a special request of Mann, as he tends to find the ability to count down time more convenient. Other than that slight twist on the bezel, the Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation is specced to match many of the most impressive divers on the market today, with a full 1000 meters of water resistance and a COSC certified movement. While the watch has a large footprint at 44mm in diameter, the hidden lugs on the underside of the case will make it wearable on a wide range of wrists (it’s only 49mm from top to bottom).
While this iteration of the Super Sea Wolf can certainly stand on its own as an exceedingly well built and solid diver, Andy Mann hopes the watch’s best “feature” is actually the story it has to tell about conservation. This watch marks the beginning of a partnership between Zodiac and SeaLegacy, a collective of exceptional photographers, filmmakers, and storytellers producing media and art that is meant to spark conversation and raise money to help protect the world’s oceans. Zodiac’s role here is to co-fund SeaLegacy’s upcoming expedition to study and document the coral reefs of East Timor, the single most bio-diverse coral reef on the planet, and thus extremely important to protect. As the second youngest country in the world, East Timor is at a crucial stage in its economic development, and it’s SeaLegacy’s hope that a “blue economy” can be safely sparked in the country, lifting up not only its oceans, but its people as well.
While the Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation isn’t the first dive watch to bring attention to preserving the world’s oceans, this is certainly a trend that we won’t get tired of covering or seeing repeated in new ways. The watch officially launches on October 24, and the first place you can see it and buy it in person will be at the Wind Up Watch Fair, beginning a day later in New York City, so if you’re in the area be sure to stop by and be among the first to check it out. Zodiac