Squale is a brand with a long history in the field of maritime horology. Their watches are durable, functional and are the product of years of hard work and research. The company was founded in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in the 1950s under the name Von Büren SA by husband and wife Charles and Hélène von Büren. At the time professional diving watches were only a mere two decades old. This which allowed the company to experiment and develop the winning formula to their design. In the 1950s and early 60s diving equipment, was still largely dependent on the diving watch’s precision. This era also saw a rise in interest in scuba diving as a past time. The demand for diving watches began increasing exponentially.
In 1959 the Squale trademark was registered and a patent for the brand’s manufacturing of a diving watch case. Around the same time, the couple’s daughter Monique joined the family business, testing watch prototypes. After years of rigorous research and experimentation, Squale manages to establish itself as one of the first developers of the professional diving watch. In the late 1967 and then in 1970, freediving legends Enzo Maiorca and Jacques Mayol set immersion records wearing Squale watches, solidifying the brand’s position in diving circles.
The Von Bürens weren’t ready to settle and wanted to push Squale further. Developing the technology on the brand’s models, the von Bürens dedicated their time to testing new watches and expanding the brand’s reach. In the face of the Maggi family, Von Buren found likeminded individuals. Through their involvement in recreational diving, in an attempt to test their products, a deep friendship blossomed between the two families. In the 1980s with von Bürens’ retirement, the Maggi family has headed the Squale brand.
In 1988 the Tiger model was released. It was slender, robust and with a water-resistance, up to 300 meters, or 30 bars, met the needs of professional divers at the time. The Tiger is one of the very few watch models whose bi-directional bezel can be locked into place. This system prevents any accidents which may occur due to unexpected shifts of the bezel.
The brand returned with new models in 2005 with the rise in popularity of the vintage style. Their return was met with immediate success and praise from the international watch community. During the years the brand has released a number of special editions. In 2017 Squale released the Squale OCTOPUS. The watch was made in collaboration with the Italian Police Diving Unit. The model is named after the department logo, a small octopus. Another notable mention is the Neuchâtel 2019, released for Sqaule’s 60th anniversary. The watch was inspired by the brand’s earlier creations. Only 150 watches are available and every watch comes with a certificate signed by the daughters of both the Maggi and Von Büren families.
Most recently the brand has taken steps to return to their roots. Moving back their headquarters to Switzerland and refocusing the company’s values on the design and optimization of their products.
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