Not so baby shark
If you like dive watches with a genuine operational history, then it’s your lucky day. Because Squale has just released the Marina Militare watch, which – for those who aren’t familiar with Italian – means that it’s designed for the Italian navy.
Squale is actually based in Switzerland, using only Swiss movements and manufacture, but the owning family is Italian, from Milan, and they’ve never forgotten their roots.
Squale (which means ‘shark’) is quite rightly proud of its Italian heritage, and the arrangement it has had for many years with professional diving organisations, such as the Italian equivalent of the navy seals. In fact, Squale has been supplying watches to the military more or less since the company was founded back in 1959.
It’s a brand that keeps diving watches front and centre of its heritage, and the latest model is of its finest ones yet. The 42mm Marina Militare has the sort of chunky heft to it that instantly demonstrates it means business, despite not carrying one of the obvious Swiss brand names that everybody instantly recognises.
The design is recognisably Squale though, and while it’s certainly evolutionary rather than revolutionary, it comes together as a coherent whole that makes this watch stand out without feeling flashy.
The Marina Militare is being produced as a limited edition of 300 pieces and it’s available right now at 1350 CHF. You get a choice of straps, with rubber and a NATO option to help customise the Marina Militare for most occasions. But there’s no doubt as to where it properly belongs and that’s in the ocean.
One of the things that distinguishes the Marina Militare is the revival of the historic Squale ‘Master’ caseback, which was one of the first casebacks designed by Squale founder Charles Von Buren in the 1960s. On this watch, it features the coat of arms of the Italian navy.
Originally, the Squale Master case was designed for water resistance as deep as 1000 metres, which is one of the reasons why celebrated divers such as Frenchman Jacques Mayol chose it. The latest Marina Militare is even more serious: thanks to the introduction of a helium escape valve and a four-millimetre thick crystal, it can withstand depths of up to 1200 metres (or 120 ATM). The clean look of the whole watch is enhanced by the ‘bund’ bezel – which doesn’t feature a tachymeter scale.
On the Marina Militare, you only get what is essential: a key part of the whole appeal. We need more watches like this in the world, where it’s all about function rather than form.
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