Bring 1/2 cup sugar, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove simple syrup from heat and allow to cool completely.
Place watermelon in a blender or food processor. Pulse until pureed.
Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with simple syrup, tequila, and lime juice.
Place a small amount of salt or sugar into a saucer. Rub edge of margarita glasses with a lime wedge to moisten. Lightly dip the rim of the glass into the saucer to rim the glass; tap off excess salt or sugar.
Fill rimmed glasses with crushed ice; pour margarita mixture into glasses and garnish with lime wedges to serve.
Fill sugar or salt rimmed glasses with crushed ice, then pour margarita mixture over top. Garnish with a lime wedge.
To make a frozen version, crush 1.5 cups of ice in a high-quality blender. Add watermelon, tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup and blend until smooth.
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