The Complete Buying Guide for Doxa Watches

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Jerry Garcia once said the Grateful Dead are like licorice: not everyone likes it, but those who like it really I like this. For decades, we could have said the same about Doxa dive watches, which always looked as strange as licorice tastes and drew fanatical dedication from the margins.

Recently, the Grateful Dead gained a huge mainstream fan base in a totally unexpected comeback. Again, we could say the same about Doxa diving watches, which were extremely innovative in the 1960s and 70s, got creative in the 1980s and early 90s and then slowly became popular from the start. from 2002 when diver watch enthusiast Rick Marei began relaunching limited editions of Doxa liquorice-flavored diving watches.

It took over a decade for these 21st century reissues of Doxa SUB to transcend their niche and become widely popular, thanks in large part to the infectious passion of James Lamdin of Analog / Shift and Jason Heaton of The Gray. NATO, HODINKEE, Equipment Patrol and more. These two influencers, along with Marei, have turned a lot of people into Doxa divers. (However, Marei is no longer with Doxa, and in recent years the company has reconfigured the Doxa catalog around a more conventional approach.)

A vintage advertisement for the Sub 300 in French.

Gallery 123

Today’s Doxa divers range from relatively accurate recreations of ’60s models to new affordable offerings, all-carbon divers and interesting chronographs. Connoisseurs prefer the precise reissues over everything else, largely because these are the original designs and, most importantly, because these older styles often include the patented double-scale diving bezel. (This, when used in conjunction with US Navy dive tables, provided an easy way to calculate gas release intervals between dives.) This technology is completely useless in the computer age. diving, but it’s an absolute must-have for die-hard fans of the original SUB Doxa.

Things to know about modern Doxa Divers

Colors: Until recently, Doxas mostly came with silver (The Searambler), black (The Sharkhunter), and orange (The Professional) dials, with a few weird colors added over the years. Today, Doxa also offers yellow (The Divingstar), dark blue (The Caribbean), aqua blue (The Aquamarine) and together these six colors (and their names) make up most of the colorways available on all models. models.

Straps and bracelets: Today, rubber bracelets to match the dials are available for most Doxa models, but die-hard fans need the rice bead stainless steel bracelet for the ultimate vintage Doxa experience. The rubber is excellent, with a lot of silicone and a silky soft feel. The bracelets are among the best on the market: safe, comfortable, heavy and highly polished.

Frames: The polished steel bezels of many Doxa SUBs are known to be scratched, so much so that many vintage examples have nothing left to read on them. But there is some acceptance – and even some bragging rights – of having a vintage or even modern Doxa SUB with a striped bezel. Think of it as a pair of Levis that are much fresher once they’ve been broken in by their owner.

The Doxa SUB300T Conquistador which was developed in the 1960s in collaboration with Jacques Cousteau featured a special bezel. This scope featured the innovative and patented dual scales that worked with US Navy dive tables. They come in two feet (the original metric used in the 1960s that met US Navy diving standards) and also meters. Watches using the scale in feet (not meters) are usually labeled with a “T” in the part number.

jacques yves cousteau wearing a doxa watch
Jacques Cousteau was an avid Doxa fan, so much so that his company US Divers became for a time the only American distributor in North America.

Courtesy

Cases and forms: Some, but not all, of modern Doxas are relatively accurate recreations of vintage models, particularly the SUB 300 models. These feature an egg-shaped cushion case with wide straps extending beyond. the glasses. Over the years there have been modern interpretations in larger sizes [link to my 3-doxa dive article, perhaps?], like the Sub 750T, 1200T, 1500T and so on. Typically, Doxa is good enough at noting what is an accurate recreation and what is not.

It’s also worth noting that the SUB 200 model hits an introductory price. These are stylish and durable dive watches, of course, but they also represent a lower echelon among aficionados who care deeply about vintage case shapes. In other words: not all current Doxa divers are as licorice flavored as the funky classics.

The catalog

UNDER 300T

doxawatches.com

$ 1,890.00

The big dog of Doxa’s reissues, the SUB 300T is based on the venerable SUB 300T Conquistador from 1969, which featured the aforementioned double-scale rotating bezel with a depth in feet (not meters), and is therefore compatible with tables of US Navy dive. It is the one that Jacques Cousteau helped to develop, and that he then adopted in his range of Aqua Lung products. The rice bead bracelet and flat cushion case are bursting with late ’60s wild style. All the amenities of a specialist diver are on board. (Note that this reissue does NOT feature a helium exhaust valve, however.)

Diameter: 42.5 mm

Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic

Water resistance: 300m

Strap / Bracelet: Color Matching Rubber Dial ($ 1,850); stainless steel rice beads

Based on the 1967 model that launched the SUB diver series, today’s SUB 300 is a quintessential Doxa diver. The absence of a “T” in the title tells us that this watch uses meters (and not feet) on the diving scale of the bezel. It is also slightly thinner than the 300T and its movement is COSC chronometer certified. The crystal here is in domed sapphire, and not in plexiglass like that of the original.

Diameter: 42.5 mm

Movement: ETA 2824-2 COSC automatic

Water resistance: 300m

Strap / Bracelet: Matching rubber dial color ($ 2,450); stainless steel rice beads

SUB 300 CARBON

doxawatches.com

$ 3,890.00

Using forged carbon for the case and a water resistant titanium inner chamber, this watch is ultra light and ultra modern despite its otherwise vintage design. The diving scale is in meters (not feet), and it is otherwise available in the six standard Doxa colors on a rubber strap and features a COSC certified movement.

Diameter: 42.5 mm

Movement: ETA 2824-2 COSC automatic

Water resistance: 300m

Strap / Bracelet: Matching dial color rubber or black

SUB 300 CARBON AQUA LUNG US DIVERS

doxawatches.com

$ 4,790.00

Similar to the SUB 300 Carbon above – everything is the same here except for the American dive scale in feet (not meters) and the inclusion of the Aqua Lung logo on the dial. Only available in the special black and yellow colourway, this one is entirely devoted to modern technology and vintage vibes.

Diameter: 42.5 mm

Movement: ETA 2824-2 COSC automatic

Water resistance: 300m

Strap / Bracelet: Rubber (black)

UNDER 1500T

doxawatches.com

$ 2,390.00

Bigger, heavier, and featuring a helium relief valve and massive 1,500-meter water resistance, this watch takes the original SUB 300T and raises the stakes for a diver ready for commercial and commercial expeditions. long-term exploratory studies. This bezel is in feet (not meters) in a nod to the original Conquistador. Available in all six colors.

Diameter: 45 mm

Movement: ETA 2892-2 automatic

Water resistance: 1,500 m

Strap / Bracelet: Matching rubber dial color ($ 2,350); stainless steel rice beads

SUB 4000T (limited edition)

doxawatches.com

$ 3,890.00

A bit odd in the collection, the SUB 4000T is a limited edition of just 300 pieces with the steel diving bezel scale in feet (not meters) – or you can get one of the 200 units just with a bezel ceramic using a traditional 60-timer scale ($ 3,890). Large and with a refined, rounded case shape, the 4000T looks more like a modern watch, despite its vintage style elements. A power reserve gauge marked “Safe Dive” is located at 8 o’clock and will indicate that the watch has enough energy stored for long distance diving.

NOTE: This one is only available on a limited basis and in a limited range of colors. Check the Doxa website for availability.

Diameter: 47.5 mm

Movement: ETA 2892-2 automatic

Water resistance: 1200m

Strap / Bracelet: Stainless steel flat link bracelet

A privileged competitor in the category of dives under $ 1,000, the SUB 200 brings a very basic diver’s watch to the Doxa range. But it does so with the Doxa style: aged luminescent material (read: beige), base markers, and a standard timing bezel. The shape of the case is a fun nod to the Doxas of yesteryear, if not equally funky. It is also available in an all white version called Whitepearl.

Diameter: 42mm

Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic

Water resistance: 200m

Strap / Bracelet: Matching rubber dial color ($ 950); stainless steel rice beads

SUB 200 C-GRAPH

doxawatches.com

$ 2,790.00

Taking the SUB 200 format and adding a chronograph function, this watch is an adventurous movement for modern Doxa, as it fits into a very short list of modern dive chronographs. The sub-dials total seconds, minutes, and hours, while the main minute hand can be used with the standard 60-minute timing bezel. This format makes it easy to time your entire dive and other shorter decompression intervals in the blink of an eye.

Diameter: 45 mm

Movement: Sellita SW510 automatic

Water resistance: 200m

Strap / Bracelet: Matching rubber dial color ($ 2,750); stainless steel rice beads

SUB 200T.Graph

doxawatches.com

$ 4,900.00

Doxa’s SUB 200T pays homage to the 1969 T.Graph, a standard in its day and a vintage collector’s grail. Interestingly, this new watch uses old-fashioned Valjoux 7734 movements, which are around 30 years old – Doxa claims all movements have been carefully checked and overhauled to be ready for years of service.

Diameter: 43mm

Movement: Valjoux 7734

Water resistance: 200m

Strap / Bracelet: Orange rubber ($ 4,860); stainless steel rice beads

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