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642 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Interest in Squale watches has been growing steadily over the past few years. Deservedly so.

We thought it time to set the record straight, tell the story of the Squale company as it is today - with the emphasis on the word today.

Squale was founded by the Von Buren family and possibly they did not dream that some sixty years later, enthusiasts would still be fascinated in the watches they developed. The Von Buren's were a leading diving family; active among the upper echelons of the 'dive fraternity'. They were always at the cutting edge of the development of watches for scuba diving, sport fishing and free diving. Even as we write, Monique Von Buren, daughter of Charles and a marine biologist in her own right, is diving in Burma.

With this in mind we visited Squale last week with the specific intention of following the manufacture of a watch from start to finish. By this means we would be able to update our knowledge and give comprehensive and up to date information to customers' enquiries.

Squale as many of you know, is based in Milan, Italy. Entering their offices, one's attention is immediately drawn to the many 'treasures' on display. Past trophies, awards, posters, old models; even real sharks teeth which in former days were presented as a gift when one bought a Squale watch.

However, the main purpose of this visit was not just to rummage through the archives, but to look at the current range and how it is made. Milan is only a short drive from Switzerland and Switzerland is where Squale production continues today.

We first visit the case maker. Amazing! When you stand face to face with the craftsman who turns a block of swedish steel into the beginnings of a Squale, all one's questions can be answered. What finishes are possible? How do you PVD coat? What is the Vickers hardness of your coating? etc.

For watch fans like ourselves, there is no mystery, and with a close working relationship anything is possible. Bronze Squale? Titanium Squale? All are possible. Watch aficionados such as ourselves really need to support these smaller bespoke workshops.

A short car ride brings us to the assembly workshop. High tech - and with a great view of the Alps! Squale is known for its quality. Here, watches are assembled and tested with pride, passion, and great care.

Watches for other companies are also put together here. Without betraying any trade secrets, we can say that these 'other watches' are, in some cases, many times the price of a Squale. Tourbillon, Open Heart Movement, Chronographs; Complications galore.

This workshop reveals the true extent of Squale's ability and versatility in a wide variety of horological tasks. A dedicated team of just five expert watchmakers assemble and comprehensively test (for pressure and regulation) each Squale. Genuine top grade ETA movements are used. (We've seem them!).

Squale are always looking to improve their watches; Domed crystals being a recent example, and the attention to colour is superb. No photo we can take can do justice to the unique formula that the Company has developed for its own use.

Squale have a bright future ahead and it is up to us as watch fans to support independent makers such as these.

The rewards will come back to us.

I have some video interviews and reviews taking us through the construction of the current range of Squale's I'll get these up as soon as I can edit them.

A vintage Squale sign welcomes the visitor
Logo Font Brand Signage Banner

Vintage Squale Posters
Text Fiction Games

An 80's Squale Poster
Cat Felidae Small to medium-sized cats Banner Advertising

The 'Sharks Teeth' Squale Gift

Franco carries out all of Squale's repairs....he joined Squale at 18.
Games Fun Recreation Photography Table

Trays of Squale Components
Metal Architecture Steel Window covering Building

A vintage Squale with 'no click' friction bezel
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Metal

A 'Folgore' Italian Military Squale
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap

My 1521 next to a vintage ladies Squale (automatic)
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap

Off to Switzerland (Alps in the distance, NOT Photoshopped!!!)
Road Highway Freeway Sky Lane

The casemakers
Machine Toolroom Tool and cutter grinder Machine tool Gear shaper

Such lovely people....this gentleman is one of the casemakers........

2002 PVD cases.....these are PVD coated the same specialist who PVD coats Beretta firearms.
Auto part Plastic Rim

A short drive away we arrive at Squale's workshop
Sky Property Town Residential area Urban area

1521 dials
Games Auto part Rim Plastic

ETA 2824 Movements ready for assembly
Metal Auto part Brass Gear Hardware accessory

1521 Dial, hands and movement assembled
Vehicle Gauge Car

Hand assembly
Scientific instrument Hand Machine Tool accessory

Final assembly inspection
Hand Glasses Eyewear

Pressure testing
Gauge Measuring instrument Tool Tachometer Auto part

Analog watch Watch accessory Watch Fashion accessory Quartz clock

Ready for shipping
Yellow Fashion accessory

Finished for WUS Member Joseph! Thank you.
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

2,380 Posts
Wow, awesome post. Thanks so much for contributing this. I love to see images of watch company HQs, workshops, and mostly of the people who put it all together. It really allows us to make a connection to a company.

I'm certainly one step closer to buying a squale thanks to you.... :)

608 Posts
Excellent !
It's interesting to know that even a small brand offering low cost watches make everything in Switzerland (unlike stated by many) including cases !!
By the way, here's what I wrote in a prevoius thread about my squale:
Squale 50 atmos 1521 - 026/A WR 500m ($750)
+ Vintage Squale look, good build quality, good lume, very comfortable, light
- Available on rubber strap only (although comfortable)
=> an excellent choice, a well finished neo-vintage at a reasonable price

5,481 Posts
Thanks for the post and pics. That was really great. Enjoyed it.

40,825 Posts
Awesome post and photos, one can feel your passion and enthusiasm for the brand through the entire post. I really enjoyed it and it does make you feel more connected to the brand, I mean you see the face and name of the repair guy :)
dont see that often! I am a fan of Squale ad miss my 1521, I'll have another one. I wanted to require one before but now I think you made it sooner than later ;-)

642 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all your comments so far guys.....if I don't love what I sell and I don't have faith in the manufacturer then I won't sell it.....crazy and old fashioned I know, but hopefully it's what real enthusiasts want.

I can only do these trips with the support of you, my customers past present and future and it's my belief that with the smaller manufacturers if we support them they will support us.

I've put quite a few hints in the articles about the skills at Squale, and what they can do for us...

If you have any questions just message or email me [email protected]

3,147 Posts
Wow, truly amazing. Very interesting and I love to see the step-by-step process. As others have said, it's nice to see them at work as it builds a connection between the owner and the company. I am now even happier than I already was to own two Squale's! :-!

3,446 Posts
Agreed. Truly a great post. Always great to know the story behind a watch as it makes for more of a personal attachment to the brand and each individual model. Even though I've been on the search for a vintage one for many years, I have just missed many and only have one of the new ones (20 atmos classic, first batch). And I can't really say it's truly mine anymore because the GF has taken it over as her own - I like to think of it as a time share watch. I showed her the photos of Squales facility and team and we both have a deeper appreciated for the personal touch that goes into each Squale.
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