Auch verfügbar auf Deutsch
The Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN is built to be worn by soldiers of the Italian Navy during their demanding missions. Once again, Squale equips the special unit with a new toolwatch, now made of titanium. Best of all, mere mortals like us also have a chance to win one of the new diving watches….
The relaunch of a glorious partnership
Swiss watchmaker Squale is upgrading. In cooperation with Palombari del COMSUBIN, the special unit of the Italian Navy, the tradition-rich company has introduced a new diver. Squale immediately proves that the cooperation involves more than just the use of a license. 80 soldiers of the elite unit will be equipped with the new Toolwatch with immediate effect. This assumes that the watch has a lot going for it. We’ll take a closer look at what exactly in this watch review. I have to admit: this cooperation is already one of the most exciting releases of the year for me!
In fact, the partnership is a new edition. Forty years ago, Squale twice supplied professional diving watches to the Italian Navy, more precisely to the Gruppo Operativo Subacquei (G.O.S). This special unit consists of trained combat swimmers and divers. It is also part of the Palombari del COMSUBIN. In 2022, they celebrated their first revival here. The special Master Marine Militare model (in an edition of 300), which is sold out in the meantime, is based on a Master. To delve a little deeper into history: the Master itself can also look back on an eventful past. First designed in the 1960s, the historic Master was one of the pioneers in the emerging sport of diving.
One could therefore speak of a double revival. Because our current top model is also a Master. What makes the watch called Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN so special? It is the first titanium watch from Squale. The Swiss manufacturer is no longer doing pioneering work with this. Diving watches with a titanium case are well established on the market. Nevertheless, I’m happy about every other (successful) model.
And the omens are not bad. But: as is so often the case with watches created against the backdrop of a collaboration, the same applies here: the Squale Master is strictly limited. 500 pieces were produced. But if you subtract from that the 80 pieces that the soldiers of the Italian Navy now wear on their wrists, only 420 remain. Squale’s new top model is nevertheless not utopian in price. The price is currently 1,990 euros, but that’s well above what you’d have to pay for a “typical” diver’s watch from Squale, for example the 1521.
The Palombari Division – an international elite unit
But what is typical? The stresses that the Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN has to withstand certainly aren’t. Because they go far beyond what amateur snorkelers like us experience on our annual beach vacation. Worldwide, the Palombari Division is one of the best anywhere. Its divers work at depths of up to 300 meters and can rescue boats in distress using helicopters and parachutists. To do this, they need a reliable, robust and precise toolwatch. Goal fulfilled?
Light as a feather in use thanks to titanium
Let’s start with the most important criterion: the case. The first thing you notice when looking at the spec sheet is its unusual diameter of 41.65 millimeters. In practice, however, the compact dimensions are an advantage in my opinion. The watch doesn’t look bulky or oversized. And that despite its considerable case height of 16.15 millimeters. Usability and readability are simply outstanding, but more on that later.
Compared to classic stainless steel, from which the vast majority of diving watches are still made, titanium offers several advantages that cannot be denied. First and foremost, for me, is the weight saving. You don’t even need measured values for that. Just the feeling of wearing the Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN on your wrist is hard to put into words. You don’t feel the watch in everyday life. This lightness guarantees maximum comfort. Add to that the fact that titanium is also excellent for allergy sufferers and gentle on the skin.
Squale says it uses grade 5 titanium, a high-tech material that is impervious to scratches, impacts and salt water. This makes the diver’s watch even more durable than a comparable stainless steel model. The case finish of the matte surfaces is something to be proud of. Without question, this is premium level that doesn’t have to hide from the competition.
What the Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN achieves in use
The high weight saving is also thanks to the unidirectional rotating bezel, which impresses with an inlay made of ceramic. To ensure that the special divers of the Italian Navy can still operate it optimally while wearing gloves, it was equipped with a classic, side-mounted fluting. The 120 clicks engage cleanly and have no play.
Indispensable is the helium valve. For a serious diver’s watch, it is one of the most important functions. During the decompression phase, the safety valve allows helium molecules to escape from the case. The tiny helium molecules are inhaled by professional commercial divers as part of a helium-oxygen mixture. They enter the housing through small openings. Without the helium valve, they could not escape quickly enough during the decompression phase. In the worst case, the diving watch could burst.
Mit einer Wasserdichtigkeit bis in 1200 Meter Tiefe stellt die Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN die meisten Tauc
With a water resistance to a depth of 1200 meters, the Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN puts most diving watches in the shade. Even though the professional divers of the Italian Navy “only” reach depths of up to 300 meters, the possible value still shows how high-quality the case is.
The movement in detail
The Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN is powered by a Sellita SW200-1, and in this respect, it does not differ from a cheaper Squale 1521 Ocean Mesh, which I wore on my wrist in January. In automatic watches of the premium segment, the clone of the famous ETA 2824-2 has become a real authority in recent years. Squale installs the movement in the Elaboré version. As a result, the accuracy should be a maximum of +7/-7 seconds during the day. A power reserve of 38 hours is sufficient.
Dial and bracelet of the Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN
The dial presents itself in the Squale-typical blue tone. The most conspicuous feature that this is a special edition is the striking Palombari del COMSUBIN emblem above 6 o’clock. Its orange accents are echoed in the framing of the seconds hand and form an interesting contrast to the rich blue.
The sandwich dial is characterized by excellent readability, which is due to the large circular indices. These are additionally coated with Swiss SuperLuminova luminous material, which is helpful in low light conditions.
Squale offers two straps when purchasing its Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN. The Tropic rubber strap is particularly suitable if you want to get active with the watch. The robust material can withstand wind and water without any problems. Nevertheless, you don’t want to look so “sporty” every second of the day – hopefully you understand what I mean. In the city, in the restaurant or in the office, you like it a little more comfortable. Then the blue textile strap with camouflage pattern is more suitable. It is made of the same material as the official COMSUBIN insert.
My conclusion on the Squale Master x Palombari del COMSUBIN
A few months ago, the Swiss watch brand Squale already caught my eye positively with the 1521, perhaps the most successful watch in the model range. Good quality, an appealing design and a fair price make the watch for me one of the best models if you are new to the premium segment and want to buy your first automatic diving watch. The Squale Master, on the other hand, is a different caliber. It shows how much the Swiss manufacturer is really capable of.
Titanium as case material, a high-quality finish and many little gimmicks like the helium valve, the low weight, the reliability of the movement or the functional design make this diver’s watch the optimal choice if you want more. As a toolwatch of the Italian Navy, there are practically no limits to this timepiece in everyday life. In short, the Squale Master meets all the demands one can have on a modern diver’s watch.
If you have already forgotten the price, it is 1.990,00 euros, as mentioned above. What at first glance may appear to be a handsome sum, turns out to be quite inexpensive when you take a closer look. Special watches of the navy can cost also gladly once the double. But I don’t want to judge if this surcharge is justified. The new Squale Master is worth the money.
All important links to the diving watch, the company Squale and diving watches in general can be found below.