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In 1882, Ariste Calame founded a workshop for the production of special watches in Le Locle, Switzerland. The original name of the company was Ariste Calame and would later become Zodiac. The name "Zodiac" was used early but was not registered until 1908. The founder's son, Louis Ariste Calame, was sent to watchmaking school, and then began to participate in the business in 1895, and took over the business that year.

With a patented crown/stem system and improved case back design, Super Sea Wolf's water pressure rating increased from its predecessor's 200-meter rating to 750 meters. When the 750-meter-rated Super Sea Wolf was introduced in the early 1970s, the U.S. Navy SEALs adopted it, as Zodiac announced in magazine ads of the day.