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The history of Squale watches

Sekvens Journal

Squale is an iconic Swiss watch brand with a reputation for producing high-quality diving watches.

The company was founded in 1959 by Charles Von Buren, who started the business as a small case and watch component supplier to independent and high-end Swiss brands. However, Von Buren took a keen interest in the trend of dive watches and began creating and designing watches specifically suited for this purpose.

The brand name “Squale” originated from the Italian word for “shark,” and the classic curved shark image later became the brand’s distinct logo on its dial. This symbol became synonymous with quality Swiss-made diving watches, as several brands used the same logo in their dials and case backs.

Before producing its own watches under the Squale brand, the company was a large case manufacturer for many other well-known labels in the watch market. They sold cases to brands such as TagHeuer, Blancpain, Sinn, Doxa, and many more. They also provided watches unofficially for special corps of armies such as the paratroopers of the “Folgore Brigade” and the Italian Navy’s Diving Corps.

Squale has always dedicated itself exclusively to the production of watches and meeting the highest quality standards to ensure reliability in extreme conditions. From 1959 the company solely produced diving watches and the brand is known for being the choice of professionals, including the Armed Forces, athletes, and underwater workers. All their watches are assembled by hand by expert watchmakers in their facility in Ticino, and go through numerous tests before they are approved for sale.

They continues to follow the values of Swiss watchmaking tradition and craft high-quality, reliable and long-lasting watches, with a rich heritage of providing outstanding product and service to customers.

Watches for police and military divers

Polipetto Police diver with a Squale 2002

Squale has a strong connection with various organizations in the military and law enforcement fields, and has supplied watches to several prestigious institutions over the years. Some of the notable organizations that Squale currently supplies watches to include:

  • Marina Militare (Italian Navy): Squale has a long-standing relationship with the Italian Navy, dating back to the 1980s. The company was awarded a contract to become the official watch supplier to the La Spezia Scuba Diving Group, and special watches were designed and crafted according to the specific requests of the Navy.
  • Italian Police Diving Unit – Polipetto: Squale has a strong connection with the Italian State Police Diving Unit, with a history that dates back to the 1970s. The company became the official supplier for the Diving Unit in 2016. During the 60s and 70s, divers such as Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca broke records and attempted to go beyond their limits. The Italian State Police Diving Unit provided assistance to guarantee the safety of these champions, and Squale was a proud supplier of watches to these divers.

These long-standing relationships are a testament to Squale’s reputation for producing high-quality, reliable watches that meet the demanding requirements of professional divers and military and law enforcement personnel. Squale continues to work closely with these organizations to ensure that its watches are suitable for the extreme conditions of deepwater diving and other demanding environments.

Popular Squale watch series

Squale 1521 Militaire Blasted www.sekvens.com
Squale 1521 Militaire Blasted
Squale Matic Light Blue Mesh www.sekvens.com
Squale Matic Light Blue Mesh
Squale Sub-39 Black Arabic
Squale Sub-39 Black Arabic
Squale 1545 Black dial with steel bracelet
Super Squale Black with metal bracelet
Super Squale Black dial with steel bracelet

Key moments in Squale history

1950 Charles and Helene Von Buren establish the Von Büren SA watch factory in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Inspired by their personal passion for diving and water sports, their focus immediately turns to sub-aquatic watchmaking – still an unexplored field at the time.

1959 Von Büren SA registers the Squale brand and obtains the first patent for the production of diving watch cases. during the 70’s Introduction of the 1521 model. In the following years, Squale becomes the official supplier for the Italian Navy and for the “Folgore” Paratroopers Brigade.

1980 The relationship between the Von Bürens and the Maggi family, the Italian distributors of the brand, becomes closer thanks to collaborations in Italy such as performance tests carried out on the island of Giglio. 1982 In preparation for his retirement, Charles Von Büren sells the brand to the Maggi family.

2016 Squale becomes the official supplier to the Italian State Police Divers Unit, with a special edition of the 2002 model created according to their specific requests. The model then becomes available to the public (“2002 Black Black Round Dots”).

2019 60th anniversary celebration of the birth of the company. The SUB-39 collection is launched with a limited edition of 150 pieces.

2020 Squale moves its headquarters to Ticino, Switzerland, and closes its headquarters in Milan.

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