Squale: Matic Dark Blue Mesh Gendarmeria11 November 2022
The Squale Matic Dark Blue Mesh Gendarmeria is really something! It is always said – and rightly so – that watches should be seen and touched, and worn on the wrist for the “road test” that will allow us to understand whether or not “love at first sight” will strike. Well, in the case of the “Gendarmeria” this is truer than ever, because the coat of arms of the Corps of Gendarmerie of the Republic of San Marino alone is worth the list price of 1,590 euro. The logo is incredibly highly defined, and the silver grey seems to float softly over the blue dial evenly fading towards a hint of black, gracefully balanced with the blue and black bezel – the colors of the San Marino Gendarmerie uniform. Emphasizing details that belong only to the high-end watchmaking range and that once again confirm Squale’s savoir faire as the leading international player in this price range with the best possible quality/price ratio.
ANCIENT LAND OF LIBERTY
But we got caught in excitement! So let’s take a step back, starting from the beginning to explain what we are talking about. First of all, a brief historical excursus: tradition dates the foundation of San Marino back to September 3, 301 A.D., when the saint of the same name – a Dalmatian stonecutter born on the island of Rab – fled from the persecutions against the Christians of the Roman Emperor Diocletian and founded a small Christian community on Mount Titano, where the present Republic of San Marino stands. “Nestled” between Romagna and The Marches, with its 61 square kilometers it is the third smallest nation in Europe – it is larger only than the Vatican and Monaco – and since 2008 it has been a World Heritage Site as “evidence of the continuity of a free republic since the thirteenth century.”
THE GENDARMERIE’S HISTORY
The safety and public order of the Ancient Land of Liberty, and its population of 34,000, are protected by the Corps of Gendarmerie. And it has done so without interruption since August 28th, 1842. Initially, it consisted of only two Gendarmes. In the first decades of activity, the enemy was mainly banditry. Then, the First World War came, leaving great post-war difficulties and changing significantly the socio-economic dynamics. Thus, from 1921 to 1936 – and then from 1962 to 1984 – San Marino established a collaboration with Italy to ensure that the Gendarmerie was composed exclusively of members of the Carabinieri chosen from those serving in the Legion of Ancona and Bologna, under the guidance of an officer specially designated by the General Command of the Carabinieri. Then, since 1983, the Gendarmes have been recruited from among citizens and residents of San Marino. The partnership with the Arma dei Carabinieri is further sealed by the agreement of 10 July 2020 for a “technical arrangement” in the training field. Today there are about ninety Gendarmes, subdivided into four Departments (Headquarters; Operational and Judicial Police; Territorial Prevention and Control Services; Administrative and Social Police) with their activity dedicated to the control of the territory, to the issue of permits and authorizations in matters of foreigners and weapons, and to the fight against terrorism and crime, including international crime through the Interpol national central office. The Commander – inevitably fond of watches – is Colonel Maurizio Faraone.
1842-2022 A LIMITED EDITION TO CELEBRATE THE GENDARMERIE’S 180 YEARS
With that said, we can get back to the actual watch! 2022 marks the 180th anniversary of the founding of the Corps of Gendarmerie. To celebrate the anniversary, Squale was chosen because of its decade-long experience in collaborations with the armed forces of different countries (one for all, think of the Octopus 2002, i.e. the legendary “Polipetto,” from the logo of the Italian Police Nucleo Sommozzatori-Diving Corps, launched in 2017 and still part of the official gear of the divers at the CNES in La Spezia). So here is the Limited Edition of 80 pieces on the case of the Matic, with the excellent custom dial unveiled at the opening and named “Dark Blue.”
“It was almost natural to associate our anniversary with a watch – explains Commander Maurizio Faraone – because it is the most evocative instrument to represent the passing of time, that is to say the history of the Gendarmerie, as well as timeliness as we understand it: the distinctive characteristic of the Gendarmes’ conduct, who are asked to promptly respond to the citizens’ requests for help. While the choice fell on Squale because it is a prestigious and traditional Swiss watch manufacturer, particularly appreciated for the high quality standards of its professional products, and a brand that already stood out in important partnerships with other police forces and military corps. In my humble opinion, the Squale Gendarmeria fully expresses the expectations of the Corps to see ourselves worthily represented by a symbol we can relate to, an exclusive object with a particularly captivating aesthetic. For this result, I must express my gratitude to Squale, for their great willingness to meet our customization requests for the watch, and to Gioielleria Ciacci of San Marino, which has been involved in the operational management with sensitivity and competence.”
THE GENDARMERIE’S FEATURES – AND WHERE TO BUY IT
Technically, apart from the very successful aesthetics of the dial and bezel, this is the usual Squale Matic. The case is in 316L steel with a diameter of 44 mm, very wearable due to the famous shape of the characteristic sloping lugs. The sapphire crystal is domed, and the two-tone bezel is unidirectional. The crown and back are screw-down, guaranteeing water resistance to a remarkable 600 meters. The automatic movement is the reliable and well-tested Sellita SW 200-1. The commemorative set of 80 numbered watches includes, as a plus, an ad hoc box with a certificate signed by Commander Faraone, a steel bracelet with Milanese mesh and a blue rubber strap with a personalized steel pin buckle. It should also be noted that part of the profits from the limited edition sale will be allocated to the implementation in San Marino of a project on security.
Regarding the marketing instead, as the Commander mentioned, it is in the hands of the historic Gioielleria Ciacci, the main official reference point for many high-end brands in the area. It’s also available online here but, if you have the chance, we advise you to go to the delightful San Marino sales point – there’s another in Rimini too – to kill two birds with one stone: buy it after a convincing wrist test, and then go wander around the enchanting and unmissable old town of San Marino!
By Michele Mengoli