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- Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:15 pm
The idea of homages are a sore subject in the watch world and this one is most surely homage material. Some folks love them, some hate them; but, in the world of dive watches there are very few that are not homages to something that has come before. Homages to the Rolex submariner are likely innumerable. Steinhart's Ocean One, CW's C60, Invictas galore and a host of others. Some have a bit more original work in the design, others not so much. The Squale 20 Atmos series, in my opinion, is pretty much walking the edge of what a homage can be. Now that the homage issue has been addressed, on to my impressions. FWIW, I did not know that Squale is based in Italy?
Uniquely packaged in something that I can only presume is "pleather" with a slot for the warranty card, a couple of straps and a pocket for the watch, the case folds into a decent carrying case. Different but not something I would tote my watch in. The root beer color of the bezel is a perfect color and the contrasting yellow really is eye catching. Would like to see the lume pip at 12 on the bezel be a bit bigger and better protected. Unfortunately the bezel insert is aluminum and no doubt easy to damage. Fortunately Gnomon, a US AD, is now selling the inserts individually for $40 which is a relatively new development as in the past it was necessary to buy a whole bezel for around $125-140 if you damaged the insert!
Time in the first 24 hours seems to be dead on and the sweep of the second hand is nicely smooth as expected as is the winding of the movement. Lume is passable but certainly nothing to write home about. It is nice to see a cyclops that actually magnifies the date for the aging eyes to see and at 2.5x it is certainly more impressive than the standard 1.5x norm. Sapphire crystal supposedly is AR coated but I am not impressed with it and the crystal itself is a fingerprint magnet.
Case finish is quite nice for the price and the bracelet is exceedingly comfortable although the clasp is a fingernail killing design and my least favorite of all clasp designs. Steinhart, Bernhardt and so many other micros use this design...it is secure; but, it must be cheap? The bracelet comes with screw links that are pre-treated with Loctite and though there have been some reports in the past of Squale utilizing too much Loctite, I did not find this to be the case when having to remove two links to fit by 7 1/2" wrist. Of note, the solid end links sit below the case which, as advertised, really helps the case fit the wrist much closer.
Although my initial thoughts were of flipping this one, it has grown greatly on me the last 24 hours and I believe it will be a keeper. The watch retails for $489 and with $50 in Amazon gift cards, I walked away for it with $439 via Island Watch's Amazon store. Considering the number of features, I believe that this watch is well worth around $450.
Cyclops that works at 2.5x
Stunning color of bezel
Screw-down crown, signed
Nice case finish
Very well made bracelet
Hands appear to be well finished
Bezel without play, 120 click, unidirectional
Clasp from hell (it is signed though)
Dial lacks depth... the script/emblems and markers appear as flat as the Oklahoma landscape. No real dial texture
Bezel is difficult to grasp and turn. Like there is no way you are turning this thing with a diving glove on!
Aluminum bezel insert; however, can be replaced on the cheap if damaged
Specs (from Gnomon):
Movement: Swiss automatic movement ETA 2824-2
Dial: Matte Vintage Off-Black. Non-shiny surround.
Date: 3 O'clock
Case: 316L Stainless Steel. Polished.
Crown: Screwdown crown at 3 O'clock
Crystal: Flat sapphire crystal with 2.5 times date magnification
Strap: 20mm Squale signed steel bracelet with diver extension with screw links
Water resistance: 20ATMOS/200m
Dimensions: 40mm in diameter, 44.5mm including crown, 12.1mm thick
Power Reserve: ~42 hours
Sorry some of the images are blurry...shaky hands and late PM..
The fingernail killer:
Sorry for the fingerprints...the case is a magnet for them d/t the polish!
The impossible to grasp bezel grooves: