Squale came to Basel this year ready to impress. If you’re not familiar with the brand, I recommend you check out our review of their Ref 2002 watch. If the look alone of that watch doesn’t tell you this brand is different than others, then their rich history will. Squale is one of those brands that everyone ought to know, as they were pioneers in dive watch case manufacturing in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, and now continue to make beautiful, original Swiss-made divers, at very accessible prices.
The first thing they showed us is a new family of watches, based on a line from the 60’s called the Master. These 600m divers have 44mm cases, power reserves, 12 o’clock dates and a cool vintage style. The bezels have to be seen in person to be truly appreciated, but they are made in an anachronistic fashion for a gorgeous outcome. They are essentially bakelite bezels with dimensional steel inlays on top. This is then all sealed in with acrylic (presumably) to create a flat top surface. As with the 101 Atmos, to adjust the bezel, you push down, which unlocks it, then turn either direction. This is a mechanism Squale has been known for since the mid-20th century.
The movement inside gets the full treatment too. Starting with an ETA 2892-A2, it is gilt finished, perlaged and has a unique skeletonized rotor. On top of the 2892 is a Dubois Depraz module which adds the power reserve, as well as an on-movement magnifier for the date, which is positioned at 12. But, what makes these ones really jump are the colors. Slate grey, deep blue and emerald green color ways are all absolutely exceptional and all a bit off the beaten path.
The all grey is smokey, speaking to patina, but doesn’t look forced. The blue is rich and sensuous for a touch of luxury. The green is sumptuous and saturated, pairing incredibly with a tan leather strap. If that’s not enough, they also did the grey palette with a bronze case and DLC accents. The Master is limited to 300 pieces total and will retail for around $2,500 in steel, a bit more in bronze.
They also showed us a vast array of color and finish combinations for their ref 1521 and ref 2002 dive ranges. Trust us, these guys can put together a palette. Their 1521 Atmos line stood out as a truly versatile watch that can take any finish, high polish to super matt, various bezel inserts, domed or flat crystal and just about any dial variation you can think of, and still look awesome. New for 2014 is a sky blue combo on a blue strap that is extremely eye-catching. The best thing about these subtle, but sexy watches is the price tag, which remains under $1,000. You’ll be seeing a review of these soon on w&w.
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