In the picturesque town of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, a fascinating watchmaking journey began back in 1946, when the visionary Charles von Büren founded Squale SA. With a keen eye for innovation and an unwavering commitment to quality, the company quickly established itself as a go-to supplier for waterproof cases in the watch industry. Their reputation for excellence spread far and wide, earning them collaborations with some of the most renowned watchmakers of the time.
The heart and soul of Squale’s identity lie in their iconic logo – a formidable shark. Not only did this striking emblem capture the spirit of dive watches with its aquatic inspiration, but it also held a profound connection to the brand’s heritage. As a nod to their French-speaking roots, “Squale” translates to “shark” in French. This unique touch infused the brand with a distinct personality and became a symbol of reliability and resilience for water-resistant watches, particularly during the vibrant watchmaking era of the 1970s.
In those transformative decades, the world witnessed a surge in the popularity of scuba diving, with adventurers exploring the ocean depths armed with the revolutionary SCUBA equipment, thanks to pioneers like the legendary naval officer and sea explorer, Jacques Cousteau, and the skilled technician, Emile Gagan. As diving became not just a profession but also an enthralling hobby, the need for precision timing during underwater expeditions became paramount. Divers relied on their timepieces not just for tracking remaining oxygen but, more crucially, for calculating decompression times during resurfacing. Squale recognized this vital requirement and responded by crafting sturdy, dependable diving watches to meet the growing demand of this daring community.
In an era before the “in-house production” trend took hold, the watch industry saw a network of collaboration among specialized companies. This cooperative approach allowed watchmakers to source components from experts in their respective fields, ranging from dials and cases to hands and straps. Squale, with its mastery in crafting waterproof cases, was at the forefront of this collaboration, supplying high-quality components to both small and prestigious brands, such as Blancpain. This spirit of camaraderie fostered a tightly-knit watchmaking community, where expertise was shared, and craftsmanship was celebrated.
While the landscape of watchmaking has evolved over time, Squale’s dedication to excellence and passion for the art of horology remain unchanged. Their watches, inspired by the legacy of exploration and built with a timeless charm, continue to find their way to the wrists of adventurers and enthusiasts worldwide. As the brand’s story unfolds, Squale’s enduring legacy in the watchmaking world serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of innovation and craftsmanship that keeps ticking away with each passing second.
Squale’s history is a rich tapestry woven from innovation, dedication, and a deep connection to the diving world. Established by Charles and Helene Von Büren in 1950 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Squale began as the Von Büren SA watch factory. Driven by a passion for diving and water sports, the couple focused on the then-nascent field of sub-aquatic watchmaking. By 1959, Charles Von Büren registered the “Squale” trademark, marking the official start of the brand known today.
Initially, Squale specialized in producing watch cases for other Swiss brands, distinguished by the iconic “shark” symbol at 6 o’clock on the dial or caseback. Soon after, they started launching their own models under the Squale brand, including the prototype for the SUB-39 model. In the 1960s, the brand’s reputation soared when Italian freediver Enzo Maiorca set a world diving record wearing a Squale Master, leading to the launch of this model.
The 2002 model, introduced by Squale, gained fame when Jacques Mayol wore it to set a historic diving record in Japan. The introduction of the 1521 model further solidified Squale’s reputation, and the brand became the official supplier for the Italian Navy and the “Folgore” Paratroopers Brigade.
In preparation for his retirement, Charles Von Büren sold Squale to the Maggi family, who later relaunched the brand and resumed production of iconic models like the Rambo, a professional watch with an integrated compass, and the Tiger model. In recent years, Squale has continued to innovate with the launch of the 2002 LUX model, featuring a diamond-set bezel, and the Matic model. The brand also became the official supplier to the Italian State Police Divers Unit with a special edition 2002 model, and in 2020, they introduced the T-183, the first Squale model made of fiberglass and carbon.
Squale’s ongoing commitment to the diving community is evident in its sponsorship of Italian freediver Vincenzo Ferri and the launch of the Squale Galeazzi model, marking a partnership with underwater technology company Drass Galeazzi. This storied history underlines Squale’s enduring legacy as a pioneer in dive watchmaking, constantly evolving while remaining true to its founding principles of quality, innovation, and a deep affinity with the underwater world.
Squale Design philosophy
Squale’s design philosophy is deeply rooted in the harmony of form and function, a testament to their commitment to the needs of professional divers while embracing a distinct aesthetic appeal. This ethos is evident in every aspect of their watches, from their ergonomic construction to their legible and elegant dials. The brand’s focus on precision, durability, and legibility underpins its approach to watch design, ensuring that each timepiece is not just a tool but a work of art.
A hallmark of Squale watches is their exceptional water resistance, achieved through innovative case designs and superior sealing techniques. These watches are engineered to withstand extreme pressures, a crucial feature for deep-sea diving. The use of high-quality materials like stainless steel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal enhances their durability and longevity.
Another distinct feature is the legibility of Squale watches. The dials are designed with clarity in mind, featuring luminous hands and markers that ensure easy readability in low-light conditions underwater. This focus on legibility is not just a practical aspect but also an aesthetic one, contributing to the clean and uncluttered look of their watches.
Squale’s innovations have significantly impacted the diving community and watch enthusiasts. Divers appreciate the reliability and functional aspects of these watches, trusting them as essential tools for their underwater expeditions. Meanwhile, watch enthusiasts are drawn to Squale’s blend of technical excellence and timeless elegance, making these watches coveted items in their collections. The brand’s commitment to innovation while honoring traditional craftsmanship has solidified its status in the horological world, appealing to a diverse range of users who value both performance and style.
Notable Models and Collaborations
Squale’s journey in the world of horology is marked by several iconic models and notable collaborations that have cemented its legacy in the dive watch arena. These models not only showcase Squale’s commitment to quality and innovation but also reflect the brand’s ability to adapt and evolve over the years.
One of the most iconic Squale models is the “101 ATMOS”, renowned for its exceptional water resistance of up to 1000 meters. This model set a new standard in the industry for deep-sea diving watches. Its distinctive case design, featuring a unique bezel lock system, became a trademark of Squale’s commitment to functionality and safety.
Another celebrated model is the “Squale 1521”, which gained fame for its classic design and robust performance. The 1521 series, with its streamlined aesthetics and reliable mechanism, epitomizes the Squale ethos of combining elegance with practicality. This series is especially popular among both professional divers and watch aficionados for its versatility and durability.
Squale has also engaged in special collaborations and limited editions that reflect its heritage and innovation. One such collaboration was with the Italian Navy’s Diving Corps, for whom Squale produced specialized dive watches. These watches were designed to meet the rigorous demands of military diving and featured enhanced water resistance, robust construction, and exceptional legibility under water.
The brand has celebrated its rich history with limited edition models that pay homage to its past. These editions often feature vintage-inspired designs with modern technology, offering a nod to Squale’s historical models while incorporating contemporary advancements in watchmaking.
Each of these models tells a story of Squale’s dedication to excellence and innovation. Whether through collaboration with elite diving units or through the creation of watches that push the boundaries of technology and design, Squale has established itself as a brand that honors its past while continually looking towards the future. These notable models and collaborations not only highlight Squale’s technical prowess but also its ability to create watches that resonate with a wide range of audiences, from professional divers to watch collectors and enthusiasts.
Squale in the Diving Community
Squale’s integration into the diving community extends far beyond its role as a manufacturer of dive watches; the brand has become a respected and integral part of the diver’s toolkit, revered for its reliability, precision, and durability. Squale has established a reputation as a maker of watches that can withstand the extreme conditions faced by divers, earning the trust and loyalty of the community.
The brand’s commitment to the diving world is not just evident in the quality of its watches but also in its active engagement with the community. Squale has been involved in various sponsorships and partnerships with diving events and organizations, supporting the sport and its enthusiasts. These collaborations often involve supporting diving competitions, environmental conservation efforts, and educational initiatives, reflecting Squale’s dedication to the diving world both above and beneath the surface.
Testimonials from professional and recreational divers who use Squale watches are a testament to the brand’s impact. Divers often share stories of how their Squale watches have been reliable companions during challenging dives, withstanding the pressures of deep-sea exploration and offering indispensable assistance in timing and navigation. The clarity, ease of use, and robustness of Squale watches are frequently highlighted in these accounts, showcasing the brand’s understanding of a diver’s needs.
One notable story involves a renowned free diver who used a Squale watch during record-breaking dives. The watch’s performance under extreme conditions not only provided the diver with a reliable tool but also demonstrated Squale’s capabilities to the broader diving community.
Furthermore, Squale’s engagement with diving legends and instructors in the design and testing of their watches ensures that their products meet the highest standards of functionality and durability. This collaborative approach has helped Squale maintain its relevance and reputation within the diving community, as they continue to innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of divers.
squale Current Market Position
The current market position of Squale watches is strong. They are a well-established Swiss watch brand with a loyal following, and their watches are known for their quality and affordability. Squale watches are also popular among collectors, and their prices have been steadily increasing in recent years.
According to Chrono24, the current median price for a Squale watch is around $1,000. However, there are some Squale watches that can sell for much more than that. For example, a Squale 1521 GMT can sell for up to $5,000.
The strong demand for Squale watches is due to a number of factors. First, Squale is a Swiss watch brand, and Swiss watches are generally considered to be some of the highest quality watches in the world. Second, Squale watches are relatively affordable, especially considering their quality. Third, Squale watches have a classic and timeless design that has appealed to watch enthusiasts for decades.
As a result of their strong market position, Squale is well-positioned for future growth. The company is constantly expanding its product line, and it is also expanding its distribution network. Squale is also investing in marketing and advertising, which is helping to increase brand awareness.
Overall, the current market position of Squale watches is strong. The company is well-established, has a loyal following, and is known for its quality and affordability. Squale watches are also popular among collectors, and their prices have been steadily increasing in recent years. These factors suggest that Squale is well-positioned for future growth.
Squale Watches Popular Models
The Squale 1521 is one of the brand’s most recognizable models, often referred to as the “Squale Fifty-Fathoms.” It pays homage to the classic dive watch designs from the 1960s and features a robust stainless steel case, a screw-down crown, and a unidirectional rotating bezel for timing dives. The 1521 comes in various dial and bezel color combinations, making it a versatile and popular choice among diving watch aficionados.
Squale 30 Atmos
The Squale 30 Atmos is another iconic dive watch that draws inspiration from vintage models. It features a distinctive cushion-shaped case and is available in different case materials and dial configurations. The name “30 Atmos” refers to its water resistance, which is rated to a depth of 300 meters (30 atmospheres).
Squale 50 Atmos
Building on the success of the 30 Atmos, the Squale 50 Atmos takes the water resistance to a depth of 500 meters (50 atmospheres). It features a more modern and robust case design while still retaining the brand’s signature elements.
The Squale Tiger is a stylish and sporty chronograph watch that combines functionality with a bold design. It features a tachymeter scale on the bezel and sub-dials for measuring elapsed time.
The Squale Matic series includes a range of automatic watches with vintage-inspired designs. These watches often feature unique dial colors and a vintage-style domed crystal, giving them a classic charm.
Squale 101 Atmos
The Squale 101 Atmos is a classic dress watch that contrasts with the brand’s dive watch heritage. With its clean and elegant design, the 101 Atmos is a versatile timepiece suitable for both formal and casual occasions.
Why Squale Watches Stand Out
Squale Watches have long been revered in the world of horology for their unique blend of craftsmanship, design aesthetics, and a rich heritage that sets them apart from other luxury watch brands. This section explores the key factors that make Squale Watches stand out and cement their position as icons of timeless elegance.
Legacy of Precision and Expertise:
With a legacy dating back to the 1940s, Squale is deeply rooted in the heart of Swiss watchmaking excellence. Their timepieces carry the hallmarks of precision, quality, and meticulous attention to detail, traits that have been passed down through generations.
Tradition Meets Innovation:
Squale Watches seamlessly blend traditional watchmaking techniques with innovative technology. This harmonious marriage results in timepieces that not only exude timeless elegance but also deliver outstanding performance and reliability.
Design Aesthetics and Distinctive Style:
Squale Watches boast a design language that transcends passing trends. The brand’s commitment to timeless elegance ensures that their watches remain as captivating and relevant today as they were decades ago.
Iconic Case Shapes:
Squale is renowned for its iconic case shapes, notably the signature cushion-shaped case. This distinctive feature not only showcases the brand’s design ingenuity but also makes their watches instantly recognizable.
Attention to Dial Details:
The dials of Squale Watches are a work of art in themselves. Whether it’s the iconic wave patterns, striking color combinations, or legible numerals, every dial element is carefully considered, resulting in a harmonious and visually pleasing watch face.
Dive Watch Heritage and Water Resistance Expertise:
Squale is inseparable from the history of dive watches. Their early collaborations with professional divers and naval forces laid the foundation for their expertise in crafting robust and reliable timepieces for underwater exploration.
Superior Water Resistance:
One of the standout features of Squale Watches is their exceptional water resistance. From the early days of watchmaking, the brand has pushed the boundaries of water resistance technology, making their watches a top choice for diving enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Impeccable Craftsmanship and Materials Selection:
Each Squale Watch is a testament to the skill and dedication of Swiss watchmakers. From the assembly of movement to the intricate detailing of the case and dial, every step in the production process is executed with precision and artistry.
Squale Watches are crafted using only the finest materials, including high-grade stainless steel, sapphire crystals, and top-tier watch movements. This commitment to quality ensures that Squale timepieces not only look stunning but also stand the test of time.
Limited Editions and Collectibility:
Squale occasionally releases limited edition watches that pay homage to their heritage or commemorate significant milestones. These limited releases not only appeal to collectors but also add an element of exclusivity to their watch catalog.
Squale’s long and illustrious history, coupled with the rarity of some vintage models, has garnered a dedicated collector’s community. Owning a Squale watch is not just about wearing a timepiece but also becoming a part of a cherished legacy.
Endorsements and Recognition:
Squale Watches have earned the trust and endorsement of professional divers, explorers, and adventurers worldwide. Their timepieces are considered reliable companions in extreme conditions, further solidifying their reputation as exceptional dive watches.
Squale’s commitment to quality and design has earned them recognition and acclaim beyond watchmaking circles. They have garnered admiration from enthusiasts, celebrities, and industry experts alike, making their watches highly sought after around the globe.
The Resurgence of Vintage Squale Watches
In recent years, vintage Squale watches have experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity and demand among watch enthusiasts and collectors alike. These timeless timepieces from the past have once again captured the attention of horology connoisseurs, creating a vibrant market for vintage Squale watches. This section explores the factors driving the resurgence of these classic timepieces and the allure they hold for modern watch aficionados.
Nostalgia and Timeless Elegance:
Vintage Squale watches evoke a sense of nostalgia, taking collectors back to a bygone era of horology. Their classic design aesthetics and historical significance appeal to those seeking a connection to the rich heritage of watchmaking.
Timeless Elegance: The design language of vintage Squale watches transcends changing trends and fads, embodying a timeless elegance that remains relevant in the modern era. The understated charm and sophistication of these watches make them coveted additions to any watch collection.
Heritage and Historical Significance:
Vintage Squale watches carry the legacy of the brand’s illustrious history, dating back to its inception in the 1940s. Owning a vintage Squale watch is like possessing a piece of horological history, honoring the brand’s contributions to watchmaking.
Some vintage Squale models hold historical significance, having been used by professional divers and naval forces in their heyday. These watches carry a unique story and capture the adventurous spirit of exploration and diving.
Uniqueness and Limited Availability:
As time passes, vintage Squale watches become increasingly rare, making them highly desirable among collectors. The limited availability of certain models adds an element of exclusivity and prestige to owning a vintage Squale timepiece.
Uniqueness in Design:
Vintage Squale watches often feature design elements that distinguish them from modern counterparts. Collectors appreciate the unique dial configurations, case shapes, and bezel designs that set these vintage models apart.
Craftsmanship and Quality:
Vintage Squale watches were crafted during an era when Swiss watchmaking reached its pinnacle of excellence. These timepieces bear witness to the craftsmanship and precision that defined the golden age of Swiss horology.
The enduring durability of vintage Squale watches showcases the quality of materials and manufacturing techniques used in their creation. Many vintage Squale timepieces continue to function flawlessly even after decades of use.
Care and Maintenance:
Vintage Squale watch owners are often committed to maintaining the integrity of these timepieces. They follow best practices for caring and storing their vintage watches, ensuring they remain in pristine condition for future generations.
Collectors’ Community and Market Value And Thriving Collectors’ Community:
The resurgence of vintage Squale watches has fostered a vibrant collectors’ community. Enthusiasts come together to share knowledge, experiences, and their prized vintage timepieces.
Increasing Market Value: The growing interest in vintage Squale watches has also led to an increase in their market value. Certain rare and sought-after models have become valuable assets in the world of watch collecting.
Vintage as a Statement:
For some, wearing a vintage Squale watch is not just about telling the time but making a statement about personal style, taste, and appreciation for the timeless art of watchmaking.
Squale Watches FAQ
Are Squale watches suitable for everyday wear?
Yes, Squale watches are suitable for everyday wear. They offer versatile designs, comfort, durability, and reliable Swiss watchmaking, making them perfect for daily use. With scratch-resistant materials and water resistance in many models, Squale timepieces are built to withstand the rigors of daily life while maintaining timeless aesthetics.
What sets Squale watches apart from other luxury brands?
Squale watches stand apart with their diving heritage, Swiss watchmaking excellence, iconic design aesthetics, and enduring elegance. Their expertise in water resistance, limited editions, and diverse collections further elevate their distinction in the luxury watch market.
Are Squale watches automatic or quartz?
Squale watches are primarily automatic, which means they are powered by the movement of the wearer’s wrist rather than relying on a battery. However, they also offer a limited selection of quartz models for those who prefer the convenience of battery-powered timepieces.
Can Squale watches be worn during water activities?
Yes, Squale watches are designed to withstand water activities due to their water resistance capabilities, making them suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and even diving, depending on the specific model’s water resistance rating.
Is Squale made in China?
No, Squale watches are not made in China. Squale is a Swiss watch brand, and their timepieces are crafted and manufactured in Switzerland, known for its renowned tradition of watchmaking excellence.
Are Squale watches limited edition or mass-produced?
Squale watches are typically mass-produced, not limited edition. While Squale has released certain models in limited quantities in the past, the majority of their watches are part of regular production and widely available for purchase.
Mass production allows Squale to meet the demand for their watches and make them more accessible to a broader audience. This approach also helps maintain consistency in design and quality across their regular production models.
Squale Vs. Seiko
- Heritage: Squale has a Swiss heritage dating back to 1946, renowned for vintage-inspired dive watches. Seiko, a Japanese brand established in 1881, boasts diverse watch offerings and technological innovations.
- Specialization: Squale specializes in crafting high-quality diving watches with exceptional water resistance. Seiko offers a wide range of watches, including dive watches, dress watches, and sports watches.
- Price Range: Squale watches are typically mid-range to higher-end, while Seiko offers options across various price points, including affordable and luxury models.
- Movements: Squale uses Swiss-made automatic movements, whereas Seiko is well-known for its in-house calibers, including both automatic and quartz movements.
Ultimately, the choice between Squale and Seiko depends on personal preferences, budget, and the type of watch one seeks. Both brands have their unique strengths and appeal to different watch enthusiasts worldwide.
Is Squale A Microbrand?
Squale is not considered a microbrand in the watch industry. Squale is a Swiss watch brand that has been around since the 1950s and is known for producing high-quality diving watches. While they may not be as widely recognized as some of the major luxury watch brands, they have a solid reputation among watch enthusiasts and collectors. But, we should remember that today’s microbrands function in a remarkably similar manner to the niche brands of the 20th century, such as Alsta, Squale, and Yema. These historical brands were not initially classified as microbrands during their time, nor do we refer to them as such when looking back at their history. They followed a similar business model where they sourced watch components from different suppliers: cases from one factory, dials from another, and off-the-shelf movements. This approach allowed them to create unique timepieces with limited resources and cater to specific audiences, just like the modern-day microbrands do.
To Sum It Up
In conclusion, Squale Watches stands as a testament to Swiss horological heritage, founded in 1946 and renowned for its iconic shark logo, unrivaled water resistance, and vintage dive watch designs. From the legendary 1521 to the enduring 30 Atmos, Squale’s craftsmanship captivates watch enthusiasts and divers worldwide. This article not only delves into the captivating history and legacy of Squale Watches but also addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the brand, providing valuable insights into what makes it truly special. Through a comprehensive exploration, readers will gain a deeper understanding of Squale’s distinct qualities and unique offerings, fostering a greater appreciation for this wonderful watchmaker.
For more information about Squale watches, the company history and current models – please visit the company website.