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The Squale Master Titanium 120 ATM, Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of a Diving Icon

Classic in look and specs, but the first Squale Master made out of titanium

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |

Like many other brands born during the golden era of watchmaking, and in particular the early days of the professional dive watch, Squale might not sound familiar to a mainstream audience but has to be considered an emblematic maker of dive watches for seasoned enthusiasts. 65 years ago, in 1959, Squale launched its first watch; a case design that has accompanied the brand from the beginning, becoming Squale’s most iconic design along the way: the well-known “Von Büren Case”. Over the years, it has been widely used by the brand but today is special. Meet the first Von Büren-shaped titanium watch, the new Squale Master Titanium 120 ATM. 

The story of Squale (a name used in French to talk about a shark – which has become the logo of the brand) starts in 1959 when Charles Von Büren registered the Squale trademark in Neuchâtel. After a decade working on the design and construction of cases capable of withstanding high pressures for several well-known brands of the time, Von Büren was ready to carve out his own path. Alongside the Squale trademark, he also registered the logos for the Squale-Master and the Super-Squale with the intention to create dedicated product lines that would develop independently, with differentiated characteristics suitable for a specific audience’s needs. The Super-Squale was a simpler diving watch, with basic technical features (20-30 ATM pressure resistance).

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What matters mostly today is the Squale-Master, a far more capable dive watch positioned itself as a product with cutting-edge technical features, capable of withstanding the most extreme depths. The result was a watch with the goal of achieving a pressure resistance of 100 ATM (atmospheres). For that, it already featured two crucial elements; a screw-down crown and a screwed back. The bezel, made of bakelite, and as often back in the days, was still bi-directional. The turning point came a bit later when Von Büren created his emblematic case; asymmetric, with a crown at 4 o’clock, straight lugs, and a squared right side. This is the very shape that is celebrated today with the release of the very appealing Squale Master Titanium 120 ATM, a mix of modernity and retro elements.

The first titanium Squale Master

IFKYK… Look at this new Master Titanium 120 ATM and if you know a bit about your dive watch history, you’ll recognise immediately a Squale watch. It sure looks great, it has charm and appeal, but mostly it is a watch meant to be underwater. Large, ultra-robust and made to be used and abused. The typical tool watch as we love it. And for the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the brand, we would not have expected anything else.

The most important talking point with the Squale Master Titanium 120 ATM is its case. No, it’s not its shape but the fact that it is the first time a Squale watch is made of titanium. The brand has elected grade 5 titanium here, while retaining the classic Von Büren case with its asymmetrical shape, a crown at 4 o’clock and a squared profile on the right side. It surely a sizeable piece, measuring 41,65mm in diameter, 16,15mm in thickness and 48,90mm in length. But it’s also a deep dive watch capable of withstanding 120 ATM of pressure, thanks to the use of a 4mm thick crystal, a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock, a screw-down crown and a solid screwed back. As you’d expect, the lightness of titanium largely compensates for the size of the case and makes it a very pleasant watch on the wrist.

Other features of this watch are classic, yet appealing. The bezel, which is now uni-directional (a mandatory feature for modern dive watches), uses a black and brushed ceramic insert, only comforting the instrumental vocation of this model. It features a fully-graduated 60-minute diving scale, executed in old-radium Super-LumiNova.

As for the dial, it might look rather classic at first sight, but the Master Titanium 120 ATM comes with quite some cool features. We’re here talking about a three-layer dial, with a sandwich construction. The lower base is a disk entirely coated in old-radium Super-LumiNova, while the upper level is a perforated plate revealing the luminous markers underneath. Finally, all cutouts are surrounded by brushed applied metallic markers, matching the finish of the large and lumed hands. The date at 3 o’clock matches the dial’s colour and all logos are there to remind you that you’re looking at a vintage-inspired watch. It’s all very functional and visually appealing.

Power comes from an outsourced movement, a solid, easy-to-service Swiss Sellita SW200 in Elaboré grade. This automatic movement beats at 4Hz and stores around 40h of energy. Simple but consistent with the whole “instrument watch” concept.

Also new, Squale launches this Master Titanium on a matching bracelet – the first time a bracelet is made specifically for the Von Büren case. Inspired by old-school bracelets, it is entirely brushed and closed by a three-fold butterfly clasp. An additional black rubber strap (not available for our photos) is also included.

Availability & Price

The Squale Master Titanium 120 ATM is released as part of the permanent collection and is “destined to remain in the collection for a long time,” according to the brand. It will be priced at CHF 2,500 (incl. taxes), which remains a fair price for such a capable titanium dive watch.

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3 responses

  1. This is the second Squale master with titanium case, the first is the Mastergos limited edition for Comsubin, launched 07/2023

  2. I believe it is not the first 120ATM titanium diver of theirs though as the COMSUBIN came out with the same case in June ’23

  3. No one now a-days wants a THICK watch…no matter what material the case. Thin is much better especially when 120ATM is only good if the watch sinks to the bottom of the ocean and is somehow found and retrieved. Chasing after numbers for the sake of it is a big problem and the industry should stop this practice. Think how many more would be willing to by this watch in 50ATM or 30ATM with a thickness of 12 or less mm.


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