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The Birth Of A Tropic GMT Diver
Published by: Samuel Ng
The Resurgence Of Ref. 1545
Now now, we are heading into a new year together with all of you. We are delighted to nudge one that we have been working together with the dive watch brand from Switzerland and Italy- Squale (Shark in Italian) for almost a decade already. Today's topic we will be re-kinder the hallmark of our collaborated GMT Diver with a color scheme that was unlike any other.
First of all, let's go back in time, eight years, to be exact. In 2012, Gnomon Watches launched the very first Squale 20 Atmos Ref.1545 in 2012, which became a total cult following. It's their re-issue on their late 60s 20, 25 Atmos divers Ref Y1545 series that Squale produced for several big Swiss Brands (Squale enthusiasts should ring a bell).
To re-launch it with a bang! Gnomon team paid a visit earlier to Squale Headquarter that year to find a batch of New Old Stock Ref 1545 dial and handset that were both gilded in gold trims, approximately 30 sets of them. What is gilt dials and handsets? Well, that leads us to one of the Crown's sports watches - the "Big Crown" divers that were discovered by collectors to be the first to feature these aesthetics from as early as 1957, but I digress. We won't go into the details on the Crown as it defeats the purpose of this article.
Getting back on track, The first generation 20 Atmos Classic REf. 1545 done right to its 60s brethren that have the archetypal dive watch look, fitted with the robust and rife Eta 2824-2 Swiss Automatic that seems to be scarce nowadays. They were sold out in an instant as it was a limited production, and unsurprisingly we at Gnomon realized that we couldn't stop here.
The Ideal Collaboration
Since then, throughout the years, Squale and Gnomon Watches kept a limited run every year based on the same 40mm diver case and expanded the realm of Squale's Ref. 1545; having different colorways from bright-colored like the 20 Atmos Mint to their "heritage" ones (pun intended). Squale produced them exclusively for us, annual production of roughly 800 pieces in total.
As the years went by and all of us have grown along the way, both in watch purchasing with our very own physical being, so did the Ref. 1545 collection. Therefore in 2015, over a few bottles of Barolos, we decided its time to have a GMT variant at a sportier size of 42mm with an increased in water-resistant of 300m. Atlas, in March, we got the 30 Atmos GMTs- the Horizon, Black, Pepci (blue/red bezel), and Pan-America (blue/red bezel with cream white dial) and they were a hit!
We realized the colorways were "safe," and we thought ourselves, "Since Squale has a history in tremendously diversified rich colorways for their divers back then, why not let's resuscitate one but in an unprecedented manner?" This idea was brought forth to them at their HQ in Milan, where the Maggi Family resides, and after a long relentless effort in try-and-error, we got a bi-color tone that never been seen before, yet stapled as a Tropical one.
Sealing The "Tropic" Colorway
The secret sauce to its entirety came about when we decided to re-imagine the 30 Atmos Horizon GMT bi-color bezel- black and blue, thinking to ourselves, "What happens if we ghost this combination." Well, the result amazed us. We rendered a slight greyish, yet pale olive color for the top half of the 24 hours bezel (blue color side), and then having a profound blue colorway on the bottom-half (first black color side). That's not all. We decided to go "vintage" because, hey, Gnomon is good at it, with aged caramel markers on the bezel and dial markers. Best yet, we went further opting for the handset of their 60s divers (which was the staple to the 50 Atmos collection), and wa-lah, the very first-of-its-kind wrist candy of yesteryears; the 30 Atmos Tropic GMT Ceramica Ref. 1545TCG.
Wait, did we just heard "Ceramica"? Yeap, that's right, this was the first time Squale did the unique tropical bi-colored bezel in a one-piece ceramic bezel with engraved markers. Squale was among the pioneer of two-tone ceramic bezel material development, and its breakthrough effectuated gracefully under-the-radar sort of thing.
Once we locked-in the "ghosted" blue/black GMT entirety, we launched it on 2016 October with the first 50 pieces and were instantly caught on and sold within hours. The 300m Tropical GMT Diver became a hit, and we knew it evidently through much genuine social media responses and the long waitlist till the next batch were.
This is how we took an evergreen dive watch like the 60s 20/25 Atmos Ref.1545, with such a rich pedigree, and evolved it into something progressive and incorporating new color traits into the collection.
Evergreen GMT Diver
All the risk-taking in developing a unique evolution step for the Ref.1545 DNA was not an easy task. But the sheer willingness and guts for Squale and Gnomon to launch something like the Tropic GMT Ceramica became fruitful that day it was released. Throughout the years, the Tropic GMT Ceramica became popular and placed Squale on the more extensive radar for the watch enthusiast. So much so in a way, dare we say, stamping the dive watch world with a new GMT diver that now, after four years, a genuine, unique classic that derived from the Family operated Swiss/Italian house.
So what would the brand's GMT line or the whole Ref.1545 hold in the future? Will there be more Tropical kind of wrist candies? Well, all we can say now is the Tropic GMT Ceramica had open a porthole for both us and Squale to delineate and burgeon for all of you in the watch world.
Squale 30 ATMOS Tropic GMT Ceramica - SEL Bracelet