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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 "...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. The first flat pocket watch was launched to the public in 1928, and used the unique Zodiac calibre 1617 movement. In 1930 the brand designed and produced the first automatic sports watch, and then produced the popular Zodiac Autographic. The Autographic was self-winding with a power reserve gauge, an unbreakable crystal, a radium dial, and was also water and shock resistant. In 1953 Zodiac launched the Sea Wolf. The Sea Wolf model was one of the first serious diver's watches manufactured and marketed to the masses. Later on Zodiac launched the Super Sea Wolf. The patented crown/stem system and improved case back design increased the water pressure rating to 750 meters. In 1990 Willy Gad Monnier, formerly of TAG Heuer purchased the Zodiac brand, however this company, Montres Zodiac SA, went bankrupt in November 1997. In September 1998 Genender International, Inc. purchased the Zodiac inventory including their trademarks and registrations and other assets. Genender discontinued all of the "Point" series models, the Swiss Formulas, the Sea Wolf, and most automatic watches and all of the Zodiac automatic chronographs. The only two 1990s models kept were the Super Sea Wolf and the Marine Life, both of which were updated with new metal bands. On October 1, 2001 Fossil Inc. acquired the worldwide rights to the Zodiac brand name for approximately $4.7 million for use in connection with watches, clocks and other timekeeping devices. In April 2002, the new Zodiac line was introduced at the BaselWorld watch show in Switzerland, with the notable absence of any Sea Wolf model for the first time in 50 years.
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