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Squale is a legendary brand founded by Charles von Büren in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1959. At first, they were more famous for being an excellent manufacturer and supplier of watch cases - supplying their cases to brands like Blancpain, Doxa, and TAG Heuer. The Squale curved shark logo was also featured on some of these brands’ watches as it was considered a hallmark of quality.
|A 1968 Blancpain Fifty Fathoms with the Squale Logo (Credits: Bachmann & Scher)
Squale also sold watches bearing its name, and today, they are well regarded as a brand steeped in history, offering quality Swiss-made timepieces at an excellent price point. The history of the Squale 1521 50 ATMOS case has been well-documented. Aside from being produced for the big brands, Squale has also adopted it for its watches. Have you heard the famous saying “don’t fix what is not broken”? Squale did so.
This new Squale T183 Forged Carbon Blue has a similar case shape to the famed 50 ATMOS case. Coming in at 42mm in diameter, with a lug-to-lug of 49mm, the watch has a thickness of 15.5mm. While the thickness might scare you, I assure you that it does not wear that thick on the wrist. The mid-case is slim, and the lugs curve down ergonomically, making the watch wear well on the wrist. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Squale, their watches always tend to wear better than what their on-paper dimensions suggest.
Squale 60 ATMOS T-183 Forged Carbon Blue
As the name suggests, the case is not your usual stainless steel. Instead, Squale has decided to introduce carbon for the case, a highly resistant and extremely light material. The word “forged” is derived from the manufacturing process whereby small fragments of forged carbon fibre are placed in moulds together with resin. The moulds are then compressed and forged at high temperatures. By using high-precision machinery, each case is carved from a single cube of forged carbon, with the material removed until the final shape is created. These pieces are then encased in a steel housing that helps enhance durability and water resistance.
The T183 Forged Carbon Blue features a matte grey dial with applied baton indices. An inverted triangle index can be found at 12 to facilitate easy orientation. Sword-style hands are utilised here, with the minute hand done in a light blue colour, matching the Squale curved shark logo at 6. A colour-matched date wheel can also be found at 3, adding a useful complication that does not compromise the symmetry of the utilitarian dial. Protecting the dial is a piece of flat sapphire crystal, giving the watch extra scratch resistance, which helps the crystal remain as clear as possible for a long time to come. The crystal also has layers of anti-reflective coating added, which will aid dial legibility in harsh lighting conditions.
| Carbon fiber + steel case material
As a dive watch, the timepiece also features a 120-click unidirectional rotating dive time bezel, allowing you to track elapsed time. The bezel insert is black brushed ceramic with engraved markings, offering a refreshing take on often polished ceramic bezel inserts. The signed screw-down crown at four and caseback also help boost the watch to an insane 600m of water resistance - without the help of a helium escape valve! The lumed bezel marking at 12 and the indices and hands are also coated with a generous coating of Swiss BGW9 Superluminova, offering perfect legibility in the dark.
Powering the Squale T183 Forged Carbon Blue is an elaboré grade Selita SW200-1 movement. The SW200-1 is a workhorse Swiss movement that has stood the test of time and will ensure that the watch will tick reliably for years to come. It has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800 BPH, and has a power reserve of about 38 hours. The elaboré grade movement is adjusted in three positions and has better daily accuracy than its standard counterpart.
Squale pairs the T183 Forged Carbon Blue with a 20mm rubberised leather strap. It is first coated in rubber and then trimmed, waxed, and hand-painted in a colour to match the details of the hands and dial. The strap tapers gently to a signed buckle in the same shade as the case. It is soft and supple and will conform well to the wrist over time.
This latest release from Squale combines new materials and a classic case design to give watch enthusiasts a well-made, handsome timepiece that can take a beating. Despite its stated dimensions, it sits well on the wrist and is a no-nonsense diver from a brand steeped in heritage. If you’re on the market for a bad boy diver to add to your collection, this Squale T183 Forged Carbon Blue is the way to go.