About a month ago, I was telling Anders of Gnomon that watch companies seem to be headed down memory lane of late. Rado with the D-Star, Rolex with the orange hand Ex2, JLC with the Rendezvous, Tudor with the Black Bay to name a few.
He smiled and tickled me with a teaser. He said told me to hold off my purchases for now as he would be launching a couple of value for money offerings from Squale very soon.
I waited impatiently, bugging him for preview pics but he just wouldn't relent.
Then came the fateful day. I tried it, thought it's a tad too small for me and decided to pass. But I couldn't stop thinking about it for the next 2 days and told Anders I'll take the last piece that he had. Thank God as there were only 20 or 30 pieces produced.
And since, then, I've had 2 offers from two brothers in WUS. But as My wife has expressed interest in it as well, I declined their offers. Furthermore, I do not have a habit of selling my pieces.
Anyway, let's take a close look at the watch now.
This watch bears a close resemblance to the Rollie that it pays homage to. The case is very well finished. All the right curves and lines. the 40mm case diameter is identical to Rolex Sub it's pay homage to.
This variant is fitted with a NOS (new old stock) gilt dial with gilt Mercedes hands to match. the text just above the 6 o'clock index is another tasteful design feature.
They have also added the correct magnifier to the cyclops date window. It's perfectly magnified.
The uni-directional bezel makes a full rotation in 120 clicks. It's firm and steady and has hardly any free play. Very reassuring.
It also has a relatively slim profile which makes it a snitch when in shirtsleeves.
Another pleasantly unusual feature that amazed me was the crown. unlike most watches, the threads are on the inside of the crown. You can't see any threads on the stem housing. Also, it takes about 8-9 turns to screw and unscrew the crown. Another assurance of it's water resistance?
The case back is pretty spartan save for the usual literature, model reference and Squale logo.
The twin lock clasp snaps into place easily and holds down firmly and unclips with minimal fuss. True to form as a diver's watch, it even comes with diver's extension.
The bracelet is tapered and I don't think it has to be as the case is not that huge. They are well constructed and has hardly any gaps in between. It has a nice solid feel. However, the bracelet that comes with the watch could be rather short for those with larger wrists. Some have complained of insufficient links.
I'm more used to watches with a minimum of 42mm diameter but thanks to the bracelet and case construction, it doesn't look or feel too small on my wrist (which is not too hug actually only 6 3/4 inches).
This watch has been compared against the MK II Kingston and Steinhart Ocean Black 1. I have not seen the former but have fiddled with the latter countless times. My thoughts in a nutshell between the Steinhart and the Squale:
1) The Steinhart is more like an enhancement of the Rolex Sub - big in every way. A modern interpretation of a classic. The date magnifier seems to be pointless, imho.
2) The Squale is truer to form as a homage. Similar size, Cyclops date window that actually servs a purpose.
Case : 40mm.
Movement : ETA 2824-2.
Power Reserve : +/- 40 hours.
Case : Stainless Steel.
Dial : NOS black dial with gilt indices and hands.
- Value for money.
- Nice heft for its size.
- Versatile - as a work day watch and for the weekends.
- Very well constructed.
- Reliable movement.
- Unique screw-down crown design.
- Beautifully crafted gilt NOS dial and hands.
- Very limited production.
- Short bracelet.