• Squale Marina Militare a True Partnership with the Italian Navy
  • Squale Marina Militare

    A True Partnership with the Italian Navy

    Hourstriker Staff
    Words by: Hourstriker Staff
    July 8, 2024
  • Amidst the ebb and flow of horological trends, Squale, the Swiss watchmaker renowned for its diving timepieces, has once again made a splash with its latest creation, the 1521 Marina Militare. This watch isn't merely a new addition to Squale's lineup; it's a commemorative piece, a nod to a storied partnership, and a testament to the enduring appeal of classic dive watch design.

    Squale's journey began in the 1950s, under the Helm of Charles von Büren, a visionary who saw the potential in crafting robust, reliable watches for underwater exploration. Von Büren's passion for diving led him to establish Squale, a name derived from the Italian word for shark ("squalo"), a creature synonymous with the ocean's depths. Squale quickly gained recognition for its "von Büren" cases, known for their exceptional water resistance and durability. These cases became the foundation for many of Squale's iconic models, including the 1521 collection.

    Courtesy of Squale
    Courtesy of Squale

    The 1521 collection, launched in the 1970s, solidified Squale's reputation as a purveyor of high-quality dive watches. Characterized by its distinctive cushion-shaped case, robust construction, and reliable automatic movements, the 1521 quickly became a favorite among professional divers and watch enthusiasts alike. Its design, a harmonious blend of form and function, has stood the test of time, remaining largely unchanged over the decades.

    In the 1980s, Squale's expertise caught the attention of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare), leading to a partnership that would shape the brand's legacy. Squale was commissioned to supply watches to the Navy's divers, a testament to the brand's commitment to quality and performance. The first model supplied was a variant of the 1521, a watch that would become synonymous with Squale's military heritage.

    Fast forward to 2024, and Squale is celebrating its 65th anniversary. To mark this milestone, the brand has partnered once again with the Marina Militare to create a limited-edition timepiece that pays homage to their shared history. The result is the 1521 Marina Militare, a watch that embodies Squale's heritage, craftsmanship, and unwavering commitment to underwater exploration.

    Limited to just 500 pieces, the 1521 Marina Militare is not just a watch; it's a piece of history. It's a tribute to a partnership that has spanned decades, a celebration of underwater exploration, and a testament to the enduring appeal of classic dive watch design.

    Courtesy of Squale
    Courtesy of Squale

    But what makes the 1521 Marina Militare so special? Let's delve into the details.

    From a visual standpoint, the 1521 Marina Militare is a sight to behold. The watch case, crafted from 316L stainless steel, boasts a brushed finish that exudes a rugged, utilitarian charm. The polished bevels add a touch of refinement, creating a subtle contrast that catches the light just right. The black dial, with its sunburst finish, is both elegant and legible, providing a perfect backdrop for the applied indices and hands.

    The color orange, a symbol of both the Marina Militare and Squale, is used to striking effect throughout the watch. The Navy's official logo, rendered in orange, adorns the dial at 6 o'clock, while the minute track and tip of the seconds hand also feature this vibrant hue. The orange accents not only enhance the watch's visual appeal but also serve a functional purpose, improving legibility in low-light conditions.

    The 1521 Marina Militare is powered by a Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré movement, a reliable and robust automatic caliber known for its accuracy and durability. The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case back, which also bears the Marina Militare logo and the watch's unique edition number.

    Courtesy of Squale
    Courtesy of Squale

    The watch is paired with a black microfiber strap with orange stitching, a nod to the Marina Militare's official colors. The strap is not only comfortable and stylish but also water-resistant, making it a perfect complement to the watch's diving capabilities. An additional black rubber strap is also included, offering a more sporty alternative.

    Delving deeper into the Squale 1521 Marina Militare, we uncover a timepiece that seamlessly marries form and function. This watch isn't just a pretty face; it's a tool designed for underwater exploration, a testament to Squale's unwavering commitment to quality and performance.

    Let's start with the heart of the watch, the Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré movement. This Swiss-made automatic caliber is a workhorse, known for its reliability, accuracy, and durability. With 26 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, and a power reserve of 38 hours, it's a movement that can keep up with the most demanding lifestyles. The Elaboré grade signifies a higher level of finishing compared to the standard SW200-1, with the movement components receiving additional polishing and decoration. While hidden beneath the case back, this attention to detail reflects Squale's dedication to quality, even in areas that aren't immediately visible.

    Courtesy of Squale
    Courtesy of Squale

    Speaking of the case back, it's a sapphire crystal exhibition piece that allows you to admire the intricate workings of the movement. The Marina Militare logo and the watch's unique edition number are also etched onto the case back, adding to its exclusivity and collector appeal. The case itself, measuring 42mm in diameter, strikes a perfect balance between vintage charm and modern wearability. It's not too large, not too small, just right for a wide range of wrist sizes. The 12.5mm thickness ensures a comfortable fit, while the 50mm lug-to-lug distance allows the watch to sit snugly on the wrist.

    The watch's diving credentials are further enhanced by its water resistance rating of 500 meters (50 ATM). This means it can withstand the pressures encountered at depths far beyond recreational diving limits. The screw-down crown and case back ensure a secure seal, preventing water from entering the watch even under extreme conditions. The unidirectional rotating bezel, with its aluminum insert and luminous markings, is another essential tool for divers, allowing them to track elapsed time underwater.

    The dial of the 1521 Marina Militare is a masterclass in legibility. The black background provides excellent contrast for the applied indices and hands, which are filled with Super-LumiNova C3 for optimal low-light visibility. The brushed finish of the dial adds a touch of texture and depth, while the Marina Militare logo at 6 o'clock serves as a constant reminder of the watch's heritage.

    The watch comes with two straps, each offering a different aesthetic and feel. The primary strap is made of black microfiber, a material known for its durability and water resistance. The orange stitching adds a pop of color, while the Squale-branded buckle ensures a secure fit. The secondary strap is made of natural rubber, a classic choice for dive watches. It's comfortable, supple, and resistant to sweat and saltwater, making it ideal for active wear.

    Courtesy of Squale
    Courtesy of Squale

    Priced at $1,430, the Squale 1521 Marina Militare offers exceptional value for a limited-edition dive watch with a rich history and impressive specifications. It's a watch that can be worn daily, dressed up or down, and will always remind you of Squale's legacy of underwater exploration. Whether you're a seasoned diver, a military history enthusiast, or simply a lover of fine timepieces, the 1521 Marina Militare is a watch that deserves a place in your collection.

    With its blend of heritage, craftsmanship, and performance, the Squale 1521 Marina Militare is more than just a watch; it's a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and a celebration of a partnership that has stood the test of time. It's a watch that will not only tell time but also tell a story, a story of adventure, courage, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence.
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