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2019 is a milestone for the Neuchatel’s Maison- Squale, the Swiss dive watch specialist with the diver-oriented named by the Von Buren family who founded the brand. Today, the dive case manufacturer turns 60 this year, and to celebrate; the brand is releasing an extraordinary edition of their much loved Sub-39 dive watch. Previously launching a limited edition to just 150 pieces- the 60th-anniversary special edition that is not just a mere re-issue with much of vintage touches but based on the very first model design manufactured in the 60s.
Right now, for those who have missed the limited editions and craving to get one still, it is your lucky day. Gnomon would like to present to all of you the Squale Sub-39 Heritage - sets forth to be more than a favorite among Squale’s fans but as a celebration of how far Squale themselves have come. Now, let’s take a closer look at how Squale is in continuation from their latest line-up.
|Squale Sub-39 Heritage - Bracelet - Gnomon Exclusive
Mentioned above, the all new exclusive Squale Sub-39 Heritage, derives from its full vintage touch, from its aged markers and hands, to its vintage bezel aesthetic. Inspired by the first dive watch model that Charles von Büren created in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is more than meets the eye.
Everyone who is into dive watches would remember this watch brand has supplied some of the most famous watch companies in the world. The Sub-39 is the tribute of the BP’s 1960s legendary Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe diver that utilized Squale cases, during the Swiss watch manufacturer Rayville’s period.
Bathyscaphe, the name came from the submersible cabin in which divers used to the deep ocean. The original was inspired by a famous Swiss explorer named Jacques Piccard, who descended into the Marianas Trench during the 60s in the Bathyscaphe Trieste with another partner, Don Walsh. Therefore, Bathyscaphe bears one of the most critical dive watch designs in history, and Squale’s involvement made it possible.
|Ticking inside the Sellita SW 200 “REGLAGE ELABORÉ" automatic|
This specific 60s styling cues seen on the new modern tribute, size up from 35mm to 40.8mm (inclusive of the bezel) wide diver with sharp distinctive lugs design with 300m water-resistant. Do not let the muscular lugs design spook you, the Sub-39 is svelte with a height of 12mm thanks to the unique case construction. It bears a slim mid-case (39mm wide), just like the very first design.
Starting from the top, the bezel ode-to-past, using a unique crystal glass insert to mimic those days bakelite material, with the exact old-school 15 minutes markers indicators. Further. Its bezel grooves are right to its kind, thin and intricate, while still comfortable for one to rotate. The unique design has a satin-finished midsection that elevates the bezel from the mid-case, giving it an original look from most dive watches.
Now to the mid-case, it has thick masculine lugs that feature several bevelling, done in full polished that showcases the traits of Squale manufacturing. Also, resulting in an addition to a beautiful retro-ish look. Although the lugs are thick, they narrowed into the middle of the watch, total up for the lug to lug dimension of 48.5mm results a good balance bow-of-porridge for many of us on the wrist. Finish up and for the first time, the Sub-39 Heritage comes with a period-correct signed srcew-in crown at 3 o’clock for a tranquil time setting. This crown is much alike its brethren from the 50, 60 and 101 Atmos collections, instead of the usual SUb-39 “Big crown”.
|Unique 60s throwback case construction|
Oh, we also do know that this distinctive case most definitely inspired the following Ref. 1521 50 Atmos case design after it, as they do share similar mid-case styling.
Onto the dial side, we have the sober matte black dial that packs retro elements. Like for instant, gone are the pre-60s “Explorer” style layout, the Original now has a classic mix of round markers and rectangle plots at cardinal points. All done up in old radium lume that glows green when in darkness. Paired finally with the pencil-shaped handset and arrow second hand, with the same old radium tone. The Squale iconic shark logo further enhances vintage cues at 6 o’clock with the specific “30 Atmos” fonts. Owners can enjoy the whole 60s vibe time-reading through its boxed shaped crystal that is made from sapphire material for durability while mimicking the nostalgic Plexi-crystal found on its precursor.
|"Radium" coloured SuperLuminova that glows green|
Another worth mentioning factor would be its unique case back design. Squale designed a unique ring lock system, whereby the case-back secured by a screw-in metal ring on its periphery. This was an ingenious design in the early 60s at that time before adapting to the provened invention of the O-ring rubber seal and screwed-in case-bock combo. The Sub-39 Heritage has the exact stepped case-back design (while bears the more efficient screw-in design now), with the correct 60s throwback engravings of its Squale emblem in the middle. With this original remake of its case-back, for us in today’s time, it is a major throwback to authentic dive watch’s construction of yesteryears.
Ticking inside an automatic Swiss caliber- the Sellita SW 200 “REGLAGE ELABORÉ" automatic. It has 26 jewels, running at 4 Hz (28,800VPH), providing mechanical reliability.
|Original "Squale" emblem engraved on the caseback|
The Sub-39 Heritage comes on an oyster-style bracelet with polished center links and brushed outer links. It gently tapers to a signed Squale buckle. As a modern dive watch drawing inspiration from the same era, it is thus reminiscent of the Omega Seamaster Heritage’s bracelet. That’s not a bad thing at all - the bracelet looks and feels amazing on the wrist, making the watch feel a lot more premium than its price tag suggests.
While somewhat a mark of Squale achievement for the past 60 years. Here’s another authentic tribute to its roots as a well-known reliable supplier for others with their dive timing instrument, and lastly, taking pride in that even until today, for us watch nerds.