Hands on review of the Squale 1521 Militaire Blasted
I wanted to go back to one of the watches I own, the Squale 1521 Military Blasted. The 1521 collection is the base of the Squale catalog and its best-seller. The watches from this collection are distinguished by their case designed by Charles Von Buren and by their water resistance of 500 meters. This case could be purchased by other brands and one of the most famous examples using it is the Blancpain "Bund".
The 1521 collection includes several models with variations in dial colors, bezel types and even size since while the majority of the watches have a 42mm case, some pieces may have a slightly smaller case (41mm). However, all available references have a date window at 3 o'clock.
The 1521 Military Blasted model can be considered as a UFO in this collection. Indeed, it is distinguished by a specific dial, typography and indexes, by the absence of the date window and by a different movement. All these elements taken together define a watch that has its own personality and this was one of the main reasons for my choice. I knew the seriousness of Squale's manufacturing, the quality of the products, the legitimacy of the brand but I wanted a watch that could combine both this favorable context and an even more sober and stripped aesthetic approach.
Because the least we can say is that the Squale 1521 Militaire Blasted goes to the essential. The observation of the dial is revealing in this respect. Gone is the date window at 3 o'clock. Gone are the alternating baton and dot markers. Gone is the inverted triangle at 12 o'clock, elongated and pointed. Gone are the two brand logos that are usually combined on the dials. Instead, the dial offers a wide inverted triangle at the top as well as an uninterrupted series of identical stick markers. I find on the other hand the orange minute hand and the fine second hand with rectangular tip that I like very much.
And then, nothing changes in terms of quality of execution. The handling of the 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel is perfectly measured. The bezel moves both easily and firmly with a great sense of security. The crown at 4 o'clock can be screwed in and out without any problem and its integration in the case gives it an excellent protection. The case itself is very well finished and I appreciate the homogeneous and flawless rendering of the bead blasting that defines a very pleasant color. The contrast between the part in contact with the skin and the rest of the case emphasizes the impeccable finish of the bead blasting. The case back is of course solid and decorated with an engraved tablet showing the technical characteristics of the watch and the brand's logo.
The change of movement is finally more anecdotal since the traditional ETA2824-2 caliber is replaced here by a Sellita SW200 caliber which offers similar performances (a power reserve around 40 hours for a frequency of 4hz).
I really enjoy wearing this simple and efficient watch. Its readability is excellent thanks to its sapphire crystal with an internal anti-reflective coating. The contrast between the hour and minute hands is always pleasant to observe and practical. The case is comfortable, fitting well on the wrist. It is also more subtle than it appears at first glance, as evidenced by the shape of the lugs. But the great advantage of this watch, like the 1521 collection, is that it offers a water resistance of 500 meters in a contained size. Certainly the 42mm diameter cannot be considered "small". But the limited opening of the dial, the thickness of 13mm, the integration of the crown in the case, the position of the strap thanks to the short and plunging lugs as well as the dominant grey color due to the microblasting allow to reduce the perceived size. Without being revolutionary, the Squale 1521 Military Blasted is attractive thanks to its simplicity, its sobriety and its practicality. It gives off a robust feel while remaining reasonably sized. To give it a little touch of fun, I equipped it with an orange rubber strap that suits it very well and whose color echoes the minute hand. I remind you that Squale offers a complete range of straps (leather, rubber, mesh) for the 1521 and Matic collections.
The Squale 1521 Military Blasted is not available through the official Squale website. Its production seems to be very limited but it can be found at some retailers here and there. So you have to go fishing with the help of Google but the easiest way to start is to contact directly the brand to have information about the availability. The selling price is around 1,050 euros including VAT which is acceptable given the qualitative context and the legitimacy of the brand.
+ the seriousness of the manufacturing
+ the finishing of the case
+ the 500 meters waterproofness obtained with a reasonably sized case
- a watch that seems to be very difficult to find which is a shame