The Squale brand refers to their watches as ‘friends of the sea‘. The Swiss watchmaker remains a renowned brand world over for its diving and underwater capabilities. The name ‘Squale’ comes from a French synonym for the word shark. Currently, headquartered in Milan, Italy, the brand continues to manufacture Swiss made high precision, durable, precise, and professional diving watches.
Squale Brand History
Squale’s journey began in 1946 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Charles and Hélène von Büren initially set up the company to manufacture cases and watch components for other watch brands. Four years later, under the Squale brand, von Büren S.A./Montres produced their own line of professional diving watches sold in specialized dive shops. Following this, in 1959 von Büren S.A. registered the Squale trademark and obtained a patent to construct dive watch cases.
Diving reputation and success
Meanwhile, through the 1960s & 1970s Squale manufactured cases for brands Altanus Genève, Potens Prima, Margi, La Spirotechnique, Sinn, and more. In addition, the brand also designed watches water-resistant at 500m for TAG Heuer, Doxa, Blancpain, and more.
As a result of their underwater prowess, top divers Enzo Maiorca, Maria Treleani, and Jacques Mayol wore Squale watches. Further, Mayol broke several world records wearing a Squale watch. Around the same time, Squale unveiled the ‘Master‘, a 1000m diving watch. Above all, Squale also supplied to the paratrooper corps of the Italian Air Force and the Italian Navy.
Italian collaborators and new ownership
In 1974, the brand entered the watch industry as an independent identity. During this period, Charles von Büren collaborated with the Maggi family to enter the Italian market. The Maggi family went on to purchase the Squale brand from von Büren after his retirement.
Squale unveiled the iconic ‘Tiger’ in 1988. The watch purpose-built for professional diving featured large markers from 9 to 2 for nighttime diving, protected knobs, etc. Most importantly, the Tiger was the only Squale watch to feature a two-way rotating bezel.
However, Squale too suffered during the quartz crisis. Mechanical watches made way for quartz timepieces in 1989. Subsequently, the brand unveiled the Squale Rambo to the public. But, the company soon began to fade from the international scene.
The present and future
The new Millennium brought good news for the iconic brand. Now headquartered in Milan under the helm of the Maggi family, Squale relaunched. The brand continues to value the founding philosophy – professionalism, integrity, experience, and passion.
Squale Watch Collections
Currently, the Squale websites feature six collections to choose from. Subject to availability, these watches are available for purchase directly from the website.
Watches under the 1521 collection count amongst the better underwater affordable watches. Water-resistant up to 500 meters, this watch is ideal for both recreational and professional diving. Furthermore, the 42 mm airtight 316L stainless steel case hosts Superluminova treated hands and markers for better readability. More importantly, these watches excel in precision given the presence of Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic, self-winding movements.
In addition to the stainless steel watch cases, you can also check out the stylish bronze or black PVD steel options. The collection features a host of straps and dial color options to pick from.
The Matic collection considered amongst the brand’s more popular collections credits its presence to an older watch. The Matic serves as an upgrade to the original Squalematic dive watches of the 70s. Every watch shares the unique bakelite bezel with multifaceted steel markers. Like the 1521 collection, these watches, too, host the Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic, self-winding movements. In addition, for ideal clarity, the Matic watches feature a double-domed Sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment.
Slightly larger than the 1521s, Matic watches measure 44 mm in diameter. Above all, these timepieces excel underwater with water-resistance up to 600 meters. Another stand out feature of the watch is the crown placement at 4 o’clock.
Ideal for deep divers, the Squale 2002 is capable of water resistance up to 1000 m. The design here takes a departure toward a sportier and rounded look. The 2002’s unique hooded lug-case design is a throwback to the Squale 101 first introduced in the 1970s. These timepieces also are known for their double gasket patented construction make an excellent diving watch. In addition, the updated models feature a helium release valve as standard for deep diving. These robust watches measuring at 43 mm have Swiss ETA 2824 automatic movement and 42-hour power reserve.
Furthermore, the 2002 collection offers timepieces in several bold colors and strap options.
The Squale 1545 collection is the ideal buy for recreational diving. Water-resistant up to 200 meters, these watches feature Swiss ETA movements. The 40 mm 316L stainless steel cases host Superluminova treated and markers. More importantly, the look and design give it a classic dive watch style. In addition, this watch also features a date display at 3 o’clock under the domed sapphire crystal.
The other collections currently listed and available on the website include the Giramondo and the 1553 collection.
The Squale websites also feature an array of colorful straps made of different materials. These include steel, rubber, and leather straps.
Squale Brand Reputation
The brand focused on purpose-built professional dive watches from its inception. From obtaining patents for airtight case construction to manufacturing components for leading brands, the Squale craftsmanship garnered high praise.
Above all, the brand pushed the limits and pioneered underwater tech. The Squale reputation grew exponentially with legendary divers swearing by it. In addition to multiple diving and underwater records associated with the Squale brand, orders from armed forces followed. Despite the dormant gap in recent history, the brand’s reputation as a trusted, precise, robust professional dive watch has endured.
Is Squale A Good Watch Brand?
Watch forums offer mixed reviews. While some watch enthusiasts consider Squale a good quality underwater or diving watch, the feeling is not shared by all. This is mainly because of its sudden crash post the Quartz movement. Yet, its affordability makes a difference in comparison to other diving watches like Sinn, Doxa, Longines, or Rolex.
More so, the fact that Squale produced parts for Doxa and TAG Heuer back in the day, but currently manages to sell today for a fraction of the price resonates Squale’s advancing technological achievements that make it available for all.
As the brand is trying to reclaim its spot amongst the upper echelons of the watchmaking industry, watch lovers commend its functionality and rich heritage. However, as we recommend always, consider all factors like brand history, watchmaking technology, watchmaking history, price, and usability before purchasing the watch of your style.
Where To Buy Squale Watches?
If you are looking to buy a Squale watch, a quick internet search will give you many website options. However, the brand’s Wikipedia page lists the Swiss site and the USA site as official.
The websites offer extensive details on current collections, prices and the online purchase option is available. Firstly, create an account to start. You can pick your favorite watch by simply clicking on the ‘add to cart’ button. Subsequently, follow the suggested instructions during the checkout process. Payment options for the purchase include bank transfer, credit card, or through a PayPal account. A worldwide shipping option exists for online purchases. However, the free shipping offer extends only for purchases over 100 Euros.
You can also find some new and pre-owned Squale watches on eBay.
For patrons looking to buy a Squale product in person, check out the list of retailers mentioned on the website.
Where Are Squale Made?
Squale watches and products remain Swiss made to this day. This includes the winders, gaskets, and winder sleeves. Though headquartered in Milan, Italy, the watches continue hand-assembly in Jura Valley, Switzerland by master watchmakers. Above all, the original philosophy of the brand and Swiss watchmaking tradition persevere. In addition, to ensure the brand’s reputation underwater, watchmakers combine solidity and durability in the airtight Swiss 316L steel cases.
Subsequently, a series of strict checks and tests follow to ensure precision, water resistance, quality on every watch. These tests are essential for the watch to showcase its ability to withstand high pressure and saltwater. More importantly, Squale movements come directly from the ETA Factory at Grenchen, ensuring top quality. For more technical information on the Squale ETA movements, click here.
All products purchased come with a warranty certificate. Most importantly, the watches under the Squale brand stand protected by a worldwide two-year warranty against any manufacturing defects. This comes in to effect from the date of purchase after the seller has filled, dated, and signed the certificate. The brand recommends saving the warranty certificate and the purchase receipt to ensure the warranty exercise. However, the brand has the right to refuse warranty if the warranty certificate has been altered, damaged, or misplaced. Furthermore, the strap, crystals, and batteries don’t come under the warranty. Similarly, the warranty also ceases in cases of mishandling, impact damage, unauthorized repairs. The warranty page on the website shares more detail on warranty terms, water-resistance, watch care and precaution, etc.
For more details on shipping, terms, and conditions, check out the FAQs section on the website. Also, you can contact the customer service on their fixed number on weekdays between 9 am & 6 pm. The FAQ/Help page for the American website for more information is here. In addition, they also offer a return and exchange policy for Squale watches.