Zodiac Astro II 'Mystery Dial'
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
“Definitely not the watch you get after 20 years with the company.”
Indeed! Those are the playful words employed by Zodiac on a print advertisement for the Astrographic II, a 1970s-era time-only watch imbued with funky playfulness in the form of a mystery dial — rather than conventional hands, the Astro II features plastic rings overlaid with a dot, dash, and an arrow, which represent the passing seconds, minutes, and hours, respectively.
A sequel to the boxy — and in some ways, more conventional — Astrographic with its less outlandish display, the Astrographic was further upped the funk factor with an integrated bracelet, wild colors, and a case available in chrome-plated steel or gold-plated steel.
This particular Astro II is housed in a 37mm chrome-plated steel case with a stainless steel caseback, a signed crown, and a polished concave bezel. It standout feature is no doubt its transparent ‘mystery’ dial - with a Zodiac logo front and center within the 'crosshair' layout, multi-tone blue accents with an outer minute track, and rotating hour, minute, and seconds discs below to indicate the time.
Paired to an integrated, stainless steel bracelet with a signed blade clasp and powered by a Zodiac-signed, automatic ETA Calibre 2724, this is one of the coolest watches to emerge from the Grooviest Decade that isn’t called ‘Royal Oak’ or ‘Nautilus.’
Trust us on this one.
Though preceded chronologically by the Omega Marine of 1932, the 1953 Zodiac Sea Wolf — which debuted alongside the more famous Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms that same year — provided the benchmark for contemporary dive watch design. Slightly later, its availability at overseas PX’s (post exchanges) on American military bases entered it into Vietnam War-era horological lore.
Zodiac was well placed to present such a watch on the international market, having developed flat pocket watches in the 1920s, early automatic watches in the 1930s and power reserve complications in the 1940s. In fact, the company’s horological prowess extends all the way back to 1882, when founder Ariste Calame opened a watchmaking workshop in Le Locle, Switzerland. More complicated watches followed, including the Aerospace GMT, which featured a bi-directional, two-tone bezel and a GMT hand in the vein of its contemporary dual-time brethren from the likes of Rolex.
The company’s chronographs from the 1960s — including the wildly complicated, Valjoux-powered triple calendar — are no less notable. Available in black or white “panda” or “reverse panda” dials, many of these chronographs are more affordable alternatives to offerings from larger, blue-chip brands such as Heuer and Breitling.
Though values have increased somewhat over the past five to 10 years, vintage Zodiac remains a refuge for those interested in genuine, purpose-built tool watches developed for working professionals at prices that don’t break the bank.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Zodiac Astro II 'Mystery Dial'