Squale Updates The 1521 Collection With Five New Models
Squale is a brand close to my heart. I have worked with the company in the past as a dealer, and I own several Squale watches as well. My favorite model is, by some margin, the 1521, aka the 50 Atmos, named after its impressive depth rating. And this is a big moment for that specific collection as Squale is introducing a host of new variants. There is a little something for everyone, from subtle, technical updates on subdued variants to extravagant, brightly colored new models.
What they all share, however, is the basic shape of the collection — that unique arching case with its squared-off lugs. It has become a signature design for the former case makers at Squale. Because yes, they used to make this case for some illustrious watch brands in the past. Today, though, it is a Squale exclusive.
Squale 1521 COSC
Let me kick things off with the chronometer models in the range. Squale released the chronometer-certified 1521 quite recently, but it has received an update already. This is a smart move as it further differentiates these higher-end 1521s from the rest.
Although powered by the same Sellita SW200-1 as the rest of the collection, here we have a COSC-certified version of it, as denoted on the dial. Aesthetically, there are a few nice details to be found. The indices, for instance, are applied rather than painted, and the aluminum bezel inlay is fully lumed.
Nothing new there; this was all present on the recently released 1521 COSC. This time, however, Squale has opted for more elaborate case finishing. Famously, the 42mm 1521 case is always fully polished. Well, not anymore! The 1521 COSC models are now nicely brushed with broad polished chamfers — a look that suits this case rather well, I might add. The COSC model is available in black or the famous Squale sunray blue, priced at CHF 1,475. Each comes on a black Tropic-style rubber strap with an additional vegetable-tanned brown leather strap included.
Fashionable dégradé green or full lume
Next up, we have a new dial option for the regular 50 Atmos — green dégradé. It seems that dégradé, fumé, or vignette dials are all the rage these days. With the 1521 Green Ray, you can now have one in your Squale too! The dial fades from a bright Spanish green in the center to a darker shade around the perimeter. Beyond the dial, this is a traditional 1521 as we all know and love it. That means you get a 42mm × 48mm × 12.5mm case in steel, an aluminum bezel insert, Sellita SW200-1, sapphire crystal, date at three, crown at four, and 500m water resistance.
Squale calls its simpler no-date 1521 with painted stick markers “Militaire.” This model has now received a full-lume dial option. There was already a full-lume regular 1521, but its C3 Super-LumiNova made the entire dial a bit greenish. This time, we get a BGW9 dial, making it a nice, bright white. The indices at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock are executed in orange. The aluminum bezel inlay is lumed as well.
Conceptually, I am not sure a “military” version should be full-lume and orange. It is not exactly stealthy. It will, on the other hand, be extremely legible. The new full-lume Militaire is CHF 1,250 on mesh bracelet, and CHF 1,195 on rubber. The 1521 Green Ray is CHF 955 on a green leather strap and CHF 994 on rubber.
Squale 1521 Bronze
I have saved the most surprising model for last. Squale introduces an all-bronze version of its 1521 with a bright blue sunburst dial and orange minute hand. You know…just in case someone was about to call the brand boring or something.
Although powered by the same Sellita SW200-1 and housed in the familiar case shape, a lot has changed. Most notably, the crown moved from 4 to 2 o’clock. That is not much of a shocker, but Squale moved the date there as well! The bezel features much coarser teeth and a brushed ceramic insert with luminous markings. The entire watch is 1.5mm chunkier than its siblings, coming in at 14mm thick. On the dial, we find different, more rounded applied indices.
The 1521 Bronze comes on a blue nylon strap with bronze hardware. An additional blue leather strap is included in the Peli-style case. You will have to part ways with CHF 1,475 to make it yours.
Say what you will about Squale, but the folks there are a characterful and quirky bunch, never shying away from doing something daring. This also means their releases are often something of a love-it-or-hate-it affair for me. And that is actually one of the things I like about the brand. Squale isn’t as over-analyzed and polished as some bigger brands are, and there is no design-by-committee strategy here. There is room for some playfulness and the odd gamble.
Making a “Militaire” version of a watch with the most flashy dial option you have is an example of that. It makes little sense to me, but I am sure lume lovers will rejoice. I do think the white BGW9 is a significant improvement over the earlier green C3 version. The bronze 1521 is an even better example of Squale madness. A date at two? Sunburst blue, orange, and bronze in one watch? As a lover of boring watches, I ask, “Why?” The mad professors at Squale ask, “Why not?”
I find the COSC versions seriously attractive, though. The earlier aesthetic tweaks were already on the money, but the new case finish drives it home for me. I think the brushing and polished chamfers look amazing on the traditional 1521 case. I would have been tempted if I did not already own a 1521.
What do you think of the new Squale 1521 collection, and which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
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