A highly respected yet niche name in the field of dive watches, Squale is a brand that should not be overlooked thanks to its historical impact, the coolness of its watches and the accessible price at which these are offered. Typical no-nonsense aquatic instruments, the brand combines vintage designs with robust construction and reliable movements, something the 1521 Militaire, the brand’s cornerstone watch, perfectly exemplifies. That was until Romaric André, a.k.a Seconde/Seconde/ vandalized the watch, offering the new Squale 1521 “Watch Your Hand” limited edition.
Founded by Von Buren S.A. to supply various companies with cases, dials, hands and more, Squale also made a name for itself with its own dive watches. Produced in the late 1950s, these respectable models were designed for the job and made in tandem with the production of, for example, parts for the Blancpain “Bund” Fifty Fathoms. An important model for the brand, the Squale 1521 Militaire is a tribute to those days with a case modelled after the historic Von Buren case – which might explain why this watch looks pleasantly familiar… The name itself is as pragmatic as you can imagine, being the reference number of that specific case.
Flying under the radar and a niche brand followed by a small crowd of diving enthusiasts, Squale has decided today to talk to a wider audience, emerging from its shell of seriousness. The partner in crime for this emancipation is Romaric André, a.k.a Seconde/Seconde/ – a well-known figure in the watch industry renowned for his humourous and original revamps of classic models. And here, the Squale 1521 is literally exposed to a shark attack!
Let’s first check the basics… The watch is faithful to the specifications of the venerable 1521 model, with a fully polished 42mm stainless steel case featuring the unmistakable Von Buren shape with long but highly angled lugs and the crown at 4 o’clock. It’s a solid dive watch overall, with its 120-click unidirectional bezel, a black aluminium insert and 60-minute scale, a flat sapphire on top, a screw-in crown and caseback, and a solid 500m water-resistance. A no-frills dive watch with a retro design and modern touches.
The dial of this Squale 1521 “Watch Your Hand” is where things get nasty… The base remains that of the professional 1521 dive watch, with a matte black dial and large hour markers with luminous coating. Then comes the Seconde/Seconde/ touch. Having freed itself from its usual position at 6 o’clock, the shark pokes its head out of the water, rebelling against the position it had been assigned for decades. Romaric André had the bad (or good…) idea of freeing the shark from its former position, resulting in the shark biting the ‘hand’ which fed it for years…
In addition to the vandalized hour hand, more fun touches like the offset position of the squale or the orange S letter in 50 ATMOS, alluding to Seconde/Seconde/. Despite this artistic take, the rest of the dial is pragmatic and legible, maintaining the all-important orange minute hand. Not everything has been attacked!
Power comes from a Sellita SW200-1 No-Date in Elaboré grade, an automatic movement with 4Hz frequency and 38h power reserve. This version is worn on a classic steel “Milanese” mesh bracelet closed by a folding clasp.
A limited edition of 100 pieces, the Squale 1521 “Watch Your Hand” with Seconde/Seconde/ is available exclusively from www.squale.ch and priced at EUR 1,052, CHF 1,021 or USD 1,128 (all prices excl. taxes).