In the dive watch community, Doxa truly holds a place apart. The brand has gained cult status for its original, colourful and purposeful aquatic models designed and built like no others. In a market that is more than crowded, Doxa watches might be niche, but that’s what makes them cool. Surely, when referring to the brand, most will have in mind the all-time classic SUB 300 and its no-deco bezel. But, looking back at the brand’s history, there are more Doxa models than just this one. And today, following a “teaser” made in August this year with the Pacific Blue, the brand is releasing an entire collection of 24 references, with the Doxa SUB 600T Collection of steel watches. And here they are live and in video.
Doxa was founded in the late 19th century by Georges Ducommun but mostly made a name for itself with its dive watches, as the boom of diving for commercial and military purposes spilled over to the masses and recreational diving started to reach commercial success. The brand gained its reputation for crafting rugged, functional dive watches with several technical innovations and the use of orange and other bright colours. It soon achieved cult-like status amongst divers and fans worldwide, in particular with its SUB 300.
The brand has made a remarked comeback over the past few years and, today brings back one of its models from the 1980s, the SUB 600T. In that period, Doxa was part of the Aubry Frères watch company before being acquired by its current owner, the Jenny family. That is why models from the 1980s are often referred to as Aubry-era Doxa watches. The Doxa SUB 600T stands out in the line-up for its case design. Gone is the curvy tonneau case of the 1960s SUB 300. Instead, the SUB 600T features a beefier, blocky, angular case with its crown offset at 4 o’clock. The notched unidirectional bezel is more massive too.
The design was actually brought back on the occasion of the 2021 Geneva watch days, with the Pacific Blue version, a 200-piece titanium series with a blue dial, which sold out within a few days. And now, the Doxa SUB 600T is released in stainless steel, as a non-limited edition and with a full palette of Doxa colours: of course, there is the iconic orange for the Professional but also Silver for the Searambler, Black for the Sharkhunter, Navy for the Caribbean, Yellow for the Divingstar, and Turquoise for the Aquamarine.
The 24 references in this new Doxa SUB 600T all share the same base, meaning an angular barrel-shaped block of stainless steel that is 40mm in diameter and 14.15mm in height. The case is mostly brushed with the sides featuring large polished chamfers. It’s not a particularly small watch, mostly due to the shape of its case and its unmistakable weight on the wrist, but the 47.60mm lug-to-lug measurement remains totally acceptable and makes for a wearable instrument. Also, due to the far larger opening of the dial, compared to the SUB 300, it appears larger than the rest of the collection while actually being the smallest model available from Doxa. As its name suggests, the Doxa SUB 600T is water-resistant to 600m thanks to its screwed steel caseback and its screw-down crown, which are both emblazoned with the Doxa fish.
Aside from the use of stainless steel as the main material and compared to the Pacific Blue titanium edition, the watches now available from the permanent collection can be ordered with two types of bezel’s inserts – you can see both in the video on top of the article. Indeed, the unidirectional bezel is either all stainless steel (with a sandblaster insert) or steel with a glossy ceramic insert. In both cases, the bezel features the signature US Navy no-decompression dive table with two separate scales engraved into the insert, an outer depth ring and an inner minute ring. The serrated edge allows for optimum grip. The ceramic insert is available in black for all models, except the Navy edition that comes with a matching blue insert.
Underneath the sapphire crystal, the matte dial focuses on legibility with large luminescent indexes including the distinctive shark-tooth markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. These are paired with luminescent hands with a characteristic oversized minute indication. Last, the date is indicated at three o’clock. As said, the brand’s 6 emblematic colours will be available on this Doxa SUB 600T, and the hands are either all black outlined (on the orange, yellow, silver and turquoise watches) or white and orange (on the black and navy models).
Inside this solid steel case is the automatic Sellita SW 200-1. Ticking at 28,800 vibrations/hour or 4Hz, this tried-and-tested calibre stores 38 hours of power reserve when fully wound. A no-brainer movement that will perfectly do the job.
The Doxa SUB 600T can be ordered either on an FKM integrated rubber strap matching the colour of the dial (except for the silver model, delivered on a black strap), equipped with a new folding clasp. Also, you’ll be able to go for the stainless steel bracelet. Entirely brushed and with a blocky 3-link construction, it feels solid and is equipped with a folding clasp with a diving extension.
On the wrist, the Doxa SUB 600T feels utilitarian and solid as a rock. It does have strong presence with its quirky design and vivid colours, but it wears relatively comfortable with dimensions that are not exaggeratedly large for a 600m diver. The overall construction is precise and clean, as you’d expect from a Doxa watch meant to be used and abused underwater.
Availability & Price
In total, there are 24 combinations of Doxa SUB 600T to choose from – 6 dial colours, 2 types of bezels, 2 types of bracelet/strap. The collection is now available from the brand’s website. Price is set at CHF 1,350 (on strap) and CHF 1,390 (on bracelet) for the models with steel bezel, and CHF 1,450 (on strap) and CHF 1,490 (on bracelet) for the models with ceramic bezel.
For more details and orders, please visit doxawatches.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.