For us here, at MONOCHROME, one of the coolest dive watches of 2020 was the Doxa SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung Sharkhunter. Why that? Because the iconic Doxa was clad in carbon for the first time, while reconnecting with the brand’s history through a partnership with Aqua Lung. For 2021, the brand brings back the carbon-cased concept in its 6 iconic colours, in non-limited editions, with the Doxa SUB 300 Carbon COSC Collection. And we have an early hands-on look at it right now.
Founded in 1889 by Georges Ducommun, Doxa achieved cult status among dive watch enthusiasts but is still niche for a mainstream audience. The brand is mainly known for its innovative, rugged dive watches from the late 1960s, several technical innovations and the use of orange and other bright colours.
If the first, archetypal, dive watches date back to the 1950s (with Blancpain, Rolex or Zodiac in particular), Doxa made a name for itself in the dive watch history in the late 1960s. As diving started to reach commercial success, Urs Eschle, head of product development at Doxa, envisioned an affordable, purpose-designed, professional-grade watch for the growing community of underwater explorers. Instead of a copycat product, he decided to start from scratch supported by a development team gathering experienced watchmakers and professional divers… And since then, the distinctive shape of the SUB 300, its double bezel and bold dial have become iconic, and have been re-issued in multiple editions. Latest in line; this modern and technical carbon version.
The Doxa SUB 300 Carbon
Fashioned out of forged carbon, the funky, distinctive SUB 300 Carbon cushion-shaped case measures 42.50mm (width) x 45mm (height) x 13.40mm (thickness). Standing high above the case for better grip, and with its distinctive notches, the forged carbon unidirectional rotating bezel features the twin depth-minute display that was brought by the brand in the late 1960s.
Back then, the US Navy no-decompression dive table was the most authoritative system. Doxa took the idea and incorporated two separate scales into the bezel, an outer depth ring and an inner minutes ring. Last, the movement is protected inside a titanium container, fitted with a screw-down back and crown to ensure the 300m water-resistance of the model.
While on paper the dimensions could indicate a relatively large watch, the Doxa SUB 300 is actually a highly comfortable watch on the wrist, with a compact lug-to-lug measurement. The carbon case only reinforces this feeling of comfort, the watch being ultra-light. Finally, the well-integrated rubber strap provides a snug fit on the wrist.
Under the domed sapphire crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating, the dial of the Doxa SUB 300 Carbon features painted indexes with Super-LumiNova inserts, just like the hands for optimal legibility in all conditions. As you come to expect from Doxa, these are offered in a large choice of bright colour schemes, including the brand’s signature orange. Of course, the 5 other classic colours are offered; Black Sharkhunter, Silver Searambler, Navy Caribbean, Yellow Divingstar and Turquoise Aquamarine.
Indeed, Doxa was one of the first brands to make use of colours in contrast with the traditional black and white dive watches, in particular this radical orange that was brought with the aim to improve readability. This is here one of the main differences with last year’s Carbon Aqua Lung version, which came equipped with a carbon dial.
No surprise as for the movement. Indeed, the SUB 300 Carbon is powered by a self-winding ETA 2824 calibre, in a version with COSC certification, attesting its chronometric accuracy. Nothing especially fancy but this tried-and-tested movement will be a precise and reliable ally. Running at 28,800 vibrations/hour, it boasts 38 hours of power reserve when fully wound. It displays the hours, minutes, seconds and the date.
The Doxa SUB 300 Carbon COSC is presented on a choice of colourful, distinctively Doxa, rubber straps nicely integrated to the case – matching the dial (for the navy, orange, yellow and turquoise dials), or black. In total, there are 10 versions to choose from. The folding buckle is in black PVD-coated steel and is emblazoned with the Doxa fish logo. It features two pairs of push-pieces. One to open the buckle, the other to release the wetsuit extension – with 6 positions, with over a centimetre of extension.
Availability & Price
All the watches from the Doxa SUB 300 Carbon COSC Collection will be part of the permanent range and priced at CHF 3,790 (versus CHF 4,790 for the Aqua Lung limited edition). They are now available from the brand’s website. For more details and orders, and also to check the other colours available, please visit doxawatches.com.