Squale may be a name more familiar to the most hardcore vintage dive-watch collectors. The Swiss brand with Italian heritage, however, is certainly not exclusive to a discerning few. The dive-watch specialist has an illustrious history with its fingers in some truly iconic watches since the ‘60s. Today, one of them is getting a long-absent sequel (just like Top Gun!). Forty years after developing a military-grade tool watch for the Marina Militare, Squale is issuing a new model, once again for the partnership with the Italian Navy. The limited edition of 300 pieces is aptly called Squale Master X Marina Militare.

Squale is slow-growing when it comes to its own portfolio of watches, but it was a major player in the production of dive-watch cases for decades. The company’s trademark case donning a four-o’clock crown can still be spotted on vintage dive watches from the ’60s through the ’80s, including those by Blancpain, Doxa, and TAG Heuer. Blancpain even used the Squale case on its famous “Bund” Fifty Fathoms for the German military.

Squale Master X Marina Militare Dive Watch

Squale Master X Marina Militare

For its own lineup, the family-run brand continues to create well-built watches with enthusiast appeal and a distinctive vintage flavor. Mike discovered the fascinating provenance of this passionate company several years ago, so head over to his 2015 write-up for a taster. According to Squale, its signature “Master” watch was favored by the likes of famous freedivers such as Enzo Maiorca and Jacques Mayol for their underwater adventures. The technical characteristics of this pioneering watch guaranteed a water resistance of up to 1,000 meters.

Squale Master X Marina Militare Dive Watch

That brings us to the Squale Master X Marina Militare watch. Squale says it has produced every last detail of this model in collaboration with the Italian Navy. This professional partnership traces back to the ‘80s when Squale became an official watch supplier of the La Spezia Scuba Diving Corp. For this purpose, Squale designed and crafted watches according to the Navy’s most specific requests.

Squale Master X Marina Militare Dive Watch

For this latest commission, Squale decided to revive the historic Master case. This was one of the first cases that founder Charles Von Büren designed back in the 1960s. To give the watch even greater performance, Squale has updated the new Master case with technical improvements. The brushed steel case features a helium valve, a screw-down crown, and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal measuring 4mm thick. It can withstand depths of up to 1,200 meters, which has been certified by the Drass Galeazzi company (world leader in the production of submarines) in its laboratories.

Every detail counts

Squale has also thought through other important details to meet the needs and high standards of the Italian Navy. The team has crafted the matte black dial using the beloved “sandwich” technique. This allows a greater amount of Super-LumiNova BWG9 to fill the large indexes. The 120-click “Bund” bezel is unidirectional with a black brushed steel insert. Its thick ridges and the way it extends over the case should provide an excellent grip.

Gone is the typical dive-time scale, and it has only one triangle in Super-LumiNova. Squale explains, “Exclusively intended for use by military diving corps, [this design] was born out of the need to monitor the hours spent on very long dives, and not the minutes as in traditional underwater-use bezels.”

Powering the Squale Master X Marina Militare is the Sellita SW 200-1 Elaboré movement. The 42mm case measures 17mm in height and 49mm from lug to lug. To enhance the wearability of this serious piece, the lugs curve downward to wrap around the wrist. The screw-down case back is engraved with the Italian Navy’s coat of arms, depicting the symbols of the four most famous maritime republics. The case back also displays the limited-edition number out of 300, the Squale logo, and general specs.

Final details and pricing

The Squale Master X Marina Militare has a utilitarian look with its mostly monochromatic livery, super-clean face, and stocky features for superior legibility. Its iconic case design may appeal to vintage watch lovers and just as easily win some new friends. The orange minute hand, a classic feature of ’70s dive watches, is here to stay. You will actually find orange detailing running through most of Squale’s current lineup. On this model, the orange color highlights the Marina Militare name on the dial.

Squale equips the Master X Marina Militare with a black 20mm perforated rubber strap. The brand also includes an additional black 20mm NATO strap with a rugged C-buckle. This 300-piece limited edition comes in a black IP67-certified protective box and retails for €1490 including VAT. The build quality is said to be quite promising, and Jorg will have a hands-on review coming very soon!

For more information, visit the Squale website.