Very Modern yet Classic
Expressing both the space age and contemporary blueprints into a 60s looking dive watch with Squale's impeccable craftsmanship.
In the world of Squale, the 50 ATMOS line is recognized as one of the most iconic offerings of divers strongly associated with the Swiss brand. For a long time, all of its iterations – be it a tweak with modern materials like the T183, or the flamboyant Onda series – the line has kept closely to of its classic line of 500-meter professional case silhouette that harks back the golden years of skin-diving. Each and every variant flaunt the timeless “Von Büren” case with the Skin-diver’s L-shaped lugs and 4’o clock screw-down crown, bringing the volume of its historical case-making marvel.
However, in 2021, Gnomon Watches had sat down with the Squale’s owner, the Maggi family, to execute an exciting and whole new sub-lineup on how we could push its icon further with a contemporary twist. And indeed, we successfully did by introducing the all-new Squale LAB Edizione 1 Limited Edition. This model might be the most exaggerated skin-diver yet for the heritage brand.
Before we get on to the watch itself, let’s talk a bit about this new collection. The people behind it have named the collection “LAB” as it represents an experimental side of Squale. Despite the treading opposite direction of what tends to be more mainstream, through the “LAB” we could perceive the brand’s “other side” of creativity and crafts it puts out, and of course, the genuine passion for all things dive-watchmaking. That said, the watch looks incredible and familiar bearing the signature skin-diver case of the 50 ATMOS, which means a super robust 500m water-resistant built (yes, you can dive it), and definitely wearable on all wrists. And there’s no better watch to kickstart the journey than the Squale LAB Edizione 1 with its steampunk yet minimalist vibe.
Let’s start off with the case dimensions. The watch retains its previous predecessors at 41mm wide and 48mm lug to lug. Therefore, this piece would continue to wear incredibly well on most wrists, thanks to its smooth curvaceous lugs. With that said, we could strongly argue that this wearability placed the LAB Edizione 1 in the unisex category. Continuing down the specs, we have an exceptional slim height of 12.5mm for a 500 meters water-resistant timepiece, sans a need for a helium escapement valve.
Through our collaborative effort with Maggi, we took the path of minimalism in terms of aesthetics. The high-polished finishing is applied thoroughly throughout the case with no signs of the “Squale” name engraved on the side while adding a ritzy touch to its character. The screw-down crown might be the exception, keeping the “Von Buren” emblem at the tip, resting ergonomically within the case at 4’o clock position.
The watch comes with a criss-cross patterned rubber strap with quick-release spring bars on the curved ends, accentuating a sleek and modern overall look. With the rubber strap pairing, one could wear this with ease when you’re out for a swim at the beach or simply going by your day with your daily activities without worrying about getting wet or drenched with your own sweat.
We have always wanted to implement a raised bezel markers for Squale’s Skin-diver, and there’s no better time to introduce it than with this particular beauty. Inspired by those ship’s porthole, the one-piece steel bezel is fitted with 12 rivets, raised oh-so-slightly to create a steampunk appeal. With that, the bezel is still apt for timing purposes through the 12’o clock lume pip in tandem to the 15 minutes marking at the cardinal points. The first-of-its-kind bezel further features 120-click unidirectional rotation through the coin-edged surrounds, and boy does it rotates crisply just like any of its 50 ATMOS siblings – making the watch practical for everyday use with an elevated designer’s touch.
Okay, onto the next highlight might lead to a polarising parley between watch enthusiasts’ traditional and modernistic sides. Let’s analyze what’s going on first. Yes, one of the most appealing features lies the watch’s sci-fi-looking-looking, almost empty dial. The dial only boasts a few particular elements; a glow in the dar mid-ring that goes around the matte black face, only to be broken by the date display at the bottom 6′ o clock and balance its symmetry instills the italic “Squale” moniker on top. It achieved a sense of zen, with a futuristic style seeping through a more than 50 years old canvas, bringing a whole new level of attention. As if it is a little contradicting as there’s seemingly nothing much going on the restrained dial, but inevitably grasping your eyes to a certain quirkiness within.
That said, the LAB Edizione 1 successfully permeates a balance between both idiosyncratic and remarkable legibility. All that is topped off with an original 50 ATMOS handset in matching white SuperLuminova luminous plot, glowing green in dark conditions altogether. Unlike anything you saw from Squale, this minimalistic design evokes sophistication and depth to the overall “experimental” design that brings the watch to a whole new level. Besides, it’s a good dive watch, after all. Protecting the dial is a piece of flat sapphire crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating on the underside for superior scratch resistance.
The Squale LAB Edizione 1 houses a Swiss-made 25 jewel ETA 2824-2 / Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement, which has a 4 Hz beat rate of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH) which features hand-winding and hacking capabilities. This movement is widely popular even in many other Swiss brands as it has been proven to be a robust and reliable “workhorse” movement. The movement can be operated using the aforementioned screw-down crown situated at the 4 o’clock position, specially designed to prevent accidental impacts that may harm the movement.
Limited to only 200 pieces, the Squale LAB Edizione 1 got to be the first out-of-the-box skin-dive – an exciting addition to the Squale stable of watches that packs modern upgrades and one-of-a-kind aesthetics in a familiar design. This remarkable customized dive watch will definitely impress not only yourself but anyone that spots it on your wrist. When strapping the Squale on, it still could be your perfect companion as an everyday piece, maybe one that just blows you away.