Zodiac is probably best known for its beloved Sea Wolf, a watch that saw widespread popularity throughout the United States military for its workhorse capabilities and affordable price point—so much so that it’s now a highly collectible vintage timepiece. But dive watches aren’t the company’s only specialty. The Grandrally collection is another great example of Zodiac’s modern interpretations of classic watches, and now there are even more to choose from: Today, Zodiac released four new models of its iconic motorsports-inspired design.
Aesthetically speaking, the Zodiac Grandrally collection takes a cue from popular auto racing chronographs from the ’70s. The 41.5mm barrel-shaped case stands out boldly on the wrist, and the dial and sub-dials reference the gauges and dashboard layouts of vintage race cars. The new release includes four models available in a variety of different case finishes, including brushed stainless-steel and black stainless-steel, as well as black and stainless-steel dial colors. If you like to have a mix of straps, you’re in luck—the Grandrally watches come paired with a variety of leather straps and stainless-steel bracelets.
All the watches in the Grandrally collection are powered by a Swiss quartz chronograph movement for reliable timekeeping, but in a nod to the mechanical timepieces of the 1970s, the central chronograph seconds hand moves in a sweeping motion, just like an analog mechanical watch. Another vintage touch: The bezel includes a tachymeter, which is used in conjunction with the watch’s chronograph function to quickly calculate the speed of a moving object (a car speeding around a race track, for example). Sub-dials at three and nine o’clock display running seconds and chronograph minutes, respectively. Overall, the layout of the watch feels purposeful and utilitarian—and honors its racing roots—without looking clunky.
But you don’t have to be a Formula 1 driver to appreciate the functionality of this watch; it’s designed to be easy to live with. Super-LumiNova hands make it legible in low-light conditions; it includes a date window at six o’clock; and it’s water-resistant to around 100 meters, so it can handle the occasional splash or soak. With its wide range of dial, strap, and case options, the Grandrally makes a great pick for adding some vintage style to any look.[$495-$595; zodiacwatches.com]
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