With a stylish design, the Zodiac Oceanaire Automatic ZO8013 is more than just a diving watch. Although the design of the dial is somewhat cluttered, the large watch is easy to read and has many features necessary in a functional diver.
Sleek Sporty Design
Like most dive watches, the Zodiac Oceanaire has a bold, eye catching design that would work for both a diving watch or a stylish everyday watch. At 45mm in diameter, the round case is on the large size, and the slight curve of the sapphire crystal adds to the width of the case to make it 12mm thick. The lug width is 24mm, which is proportional to the case, but they also curve around the sides of the bezel giving the case an almost oval shape.
Although it might not be the best option if you have smaller wrists, the large size is ideal for being able to read it clearly even in murky underwater conditions, which almost everything on the dial seems like it was designed to help with. The applied dot hour markers all have a silver frame with a white luminous center that pop against the black dial. The ones indicating three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock are an isosceles trapezoid shape in order to differentiate them from the rest. Adding a nice touch of detail, the twelve o’clock hour marker has the Zodiac logo applied in silver so that when it’s dark, the marker glows around it. There are also stick indicators marking the minutes and seconds around the outer edge of the dial, with every five minutes denoted by a stylish rectangle.
Even the hands are designed for maximum readability. They are plongeur style, which is common on diving watches, with a squat arrow hour hand. The purpose of this style is so that the hands can never totally obscure one another, and with their black outline and base with a white luminous inlay, they also happen to look fantastic too. The sweep second hand is also visible no matter the light condition, with a luminous dot toward its tip.
The only design element that perhaps takes away from the readability of this watch is all of the text printed on the dial, it looks nice but might be a little too cluttered for some tastes. Obviously watch manufacturers need to make their brand apparent, but the only necessary information here is the 200 meter water resistance depth. Also something that is slightly off putting about the design and could detract from the readability is that the date display is at four o’clock, rather than the somewhat standard three o’clock.
As you would expect from a functional diving watch, the Oceanaire Automatic ZO8013 is built to be able to withstand the conditions underwater. The stainless steel case has a solid caseback to prevent water getting in the movement. And the crown screws down, which also helps to prevent water from getting in. Additionally, the Oceanaire goes above and beyond the protection of the screw down crown by having a case shape that fits around the crown for added water resistance.
Another feature that’s great for divers is that the stainless steel bezel has a black serrated grip around the edge in order to make it easier to turn. Like most diving bezels meant to measure dive time, this one has a unidirectional rotation and Arabic numerals marking the minutes. It also has double lum dots at the 60 minute mark.
The strap on this watch also lends itself to use in diving, as it is a black rubber material. It’s a special type of hypo-allergenic rubber called caoutchouc, which is a high end natural rubber. In addition to being waterproof, it’s also tear proof and won’t irritate your skin. Zodiac makes this strap its own with the imprinted logo and brand name design elements, and it smells good with a hint of vanilla.
Finally, the movement of this watch is a Claro-Semag CL888. While it is technically a Swiss movement, it takes some flack for actually being a Chinese movement. However, it is not uncommon for Swiss watch manufacturers to use some parts made in China, and as long as 50 percent of the value of the parts are Swiss, it is still legally a Swiss movement. The real debate should be whether or not it runs well, which this movement does, despite it only being 18 jewels.
The design of the Oceanaire ZO8013 is sleek enough to work as something you could wear daily if you like bold casual watches, and it’s also well made enough to be functional as a diving watch. Whether you’re in the market for a diving watch because you like they way they look or because you want something to keep time on an underwater adventure, this watch would be a great option.