On paper, this impressive Swiss-made watch lands big shots on the reigning king...
What’s the hottest watch in the world right now? There are several potential answers to that very big question, but if you say ‘Rolex Submariner’, you’re unlikely to be wrong. As to why that’s the case…pretty much every watch manufacturer in the world would like to know. So it’s maybe not immediately obvious, as no other watchmaker has quite managed to capture the very same mix of desirability and exclusivity.
But look at it this way: what’s there not to like?
The Submariner blends timeless looks with the sort of chunky dependability that just fits into your life. It may have been designed for divers, but it suits more or less any occasion. Or rather, it enhances any occasion, because these are watches that make you feel good when you’re wearing them. In a small way, they allow you to escape the common mundanity of everyday life and take you to a place that’s somehow more exciting and aspirational than wherever you currently find yourself.
As well as the design and the obvious quality, there’s also a rich heritage honed through an association with James Bond and many other adventurers, which somehow magically allows you to share a part of their existence. This, subliminally, is what these watches whisper to you from your wrist, forming an integral part of their appeal.
But while the Rolex is undoubtedly the king of dive watches, there are several alternatives out there, with a pedigree that is just as proven and prestigious. And there are a couple of problems with the Rolex too, both of which are well documented. Firstly the price, which is what you expect – in other words, not cheap. But that’s not actually the biggest drawback. Instead, it’s actually getting hold of one. Unless you’re a very good customer, incredibly lucky, or willing to pay massively over the odds on the grey market, then you’re not likely to be wearing a new one any time soon. So whatever you think about the Rolex merry-go-round and everything it entails, it’s easy to understand the people who want to get off.
The most obvious alternative is Tudor, which is an undeniably great choice, but also still contingent on having a chunk of change at your disposal. Or, if you’d like to spend less than four figures – in fact, only a shade over £500 – there’s also another fantastic choice with all the heritage and aesthetics of the Rolex Submariner, but just a fraction of the cost. A bold statement? Yes, but we wouldn’t make it unless it were true.
Step forward the Squale ATMOS 1545 Automatic: a diver’s watch with authentic Swiss pedigree made by a historic brand that supplies real professional divers. And the best news of all? You can buy it immediately.
The Squale ATMOS 1545 Automatic
The specification is impressive, starting with the sine qua non of a dive watch: 200 metres of water resistance. And you get everything else you would expect too: a chunky stainless steel 40mm case, ceramic bezel insert, scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal and a bright Super-LumiNova lume, which makes for clear legibility even in low light. Inside there’s the well-known Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 26 jewels, fed by a 38-hour power reserve. The case is imposing yet only 13mm thick and there’s a mix of brushed and polished finishes, which means that this watch suits most occasions from dressy to casual.
Overall, the Squale boasts a quality specification using a tried and trusted formula that offers excellent value for money. It’s a tough watch as well, capable of dealing with more or less anything modern life can throw at it – above or below water. So there’s substance to match the style.
The Squale ATMOS 1545 on the wrist
OK, so I did an obvious thing. I put the Squale on one wrist and the Rolex Sub on the other. And the result was perhaps surprising. Granted, the Sub I compared it to was on a rubber strap (thanks to my friend and colleague Tim, who loves transforming the look of his Sub on a regular basis) but it was the Squale that stood out for its weight and prominence.
Look more closely, and it’s obviously unfair to compare the two. But it’s striking just how much they resemble each other, or maybe that’s not a coincidence. More on that subject below. What's for sure is that it sits very comfortably on the wrist as a reassuring and slightly weighty presence. The buckle is simple to adjust, and it’s easy to see how this watch could slip easily into your life. All the traditional diver virtues – clarity, simplicity and legibility – are there, and it's hard to think of any obvious drawbacks.
Final thoughts on the Squale ATMOS 1545
To understand the Squale 1545, you first have to understand the brand and its story. There’s nobody better placed to explain that than company owner Andrea Maggi, who a few years ago took over the company that was originally founded in Switzerland in 1946 by Charles von Buren.
“The 1545 is actually a reissue of a design that we had in the 1960s,” he points out. “So it’s not something that’s been new in the making, but we recognised that there was a demand for this type of watch. In the end, it’s a diver’s watch – which is typical of our brand and what it is known for – and so of course it has aspects in common with other dive watches. But it also has a number of features that are unique to Squale, and a signature that is unique to Squale.”
Throughout the history of watchmaking, everyone has copied everyone else. So to see something that resembles something else shouldn’t be considered scandalous or in any way detrimental. There are only so many ways to reinvent the wheel. “Diving is at the core of our business,” concludes Maggi. “And we still work with professional divers constantly, during development and as brand ambassadors, to obtain their feedback and give them what they want. That’s been the case with this watch as well, so we hope it’s going to be another big success.”
Buy Squale watches from the UK!
We're pleased to announce that WatchGecko is now an authorised UK dealer for Squale watches. If you're based in the UK, WatchGecko is now the place to go to buy your new Squale watches. Don't worry if you're reading this not from the UK however, we offer extremely quick international shipping and have done since 2010. Click here to check out our latest range of Squale watches.
I do love a watch dial that’s a little out of the norm and good news for me, there’s a trend for colourful displays of late. Brands are getting braver and bolder with their use...
Most of us are familiar with the term "You don't know sh*t from Shinola". This playful phrase sets a high bar for an iconic name that was once associated with a (now long defunct) brand...