Zodiac Aerospace Jet
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Zodiac Aerospace Jet

While there’s an undeniable appeal in military watches that were officially issued to servicemen and pilots, there are scores of other vintage watches that—due to their tough natures—were used by those in the military so often that they might as well have been.

Although Zodiac is perhaps best-known in today's vintage market for its chronographs, its output in the 1960s was marked by robust watches that saw air time on the wrist of military pilots.  

The release of the Sea Wolf in the mid-1950s was Zodiac’s foray into the world of tool watches. With large triangular luminous plots at 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 and 12:00 and a distinctive case design, the Sea Wolf stood out amidst a sea of chunky dive watches. Slim and functional, it lent itself well to many different adaptations.

Building on the success of the Sea Wolf, Zodiac built out a line of tool watches meant for use in other environs; with this watch, the Hermetic Aerospace Jet, it would take to the air.

Released in the early 1960s, its dial design made the Hermetic (then with no “aerospace” in the title) a true 24-hour watch—meaning that the hour and minute hands go around the dial only once in 24 hours. This made it a worthy competitor to the Glycine Airman, which was reportedly the first watch to feature a 24-hour dial. The dial’s functionality meant that it was ideally suited for pilots, and was soon being sold at PX’s on Air Force bases.

Zodiac must have caught on to this, because by the close of the 1960s the watch become known as the Jet Aeronaut; by the 1970s it would become the Aerospace Jet that we know today.

While the Aerospace Jet lacked the rotating bezel of Zodiac's other prized timer, the Sea Wolf, its aquatic heritage was never entirely forgotten. Indeed, the word “hermetic” in the model name signifies its water-resistant nature, a fact that was underscored by the fish that Zodiac engraved on the case back.

Due to the 24-hour dial and its proliferation at PX’s, the Zodiac Aerospace Jet became the watch of choice for many pilots who served in the Vietnam War.

This particular Aerospace Jet is a perfect example of form-meets-function design, and the form in question happens to be a stunner. Although the watch also came with a sleek black dial, we love the legibility of the white dial on the Aerospace Jet we offer here. The case shows some signs of use, as befitting its age, but it’s still as sturdy and stylish as ever.

Details

SKU: TT01249

Stainless steel case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). Circa 1970s.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear in keeping with age. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Signed crown.

Includes one 18mm dark brown leather strap.

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