Hot off the presses and looking about as fine as ever, Doxa has just announced a new version of their very funky diver, the SUB 300. Meant to be a faithful recreation of their classic and colorful dive watch from the late ’60s, the new SUB 300 comes in all six of Doxa’s core colors and can be had on a multi-link steel bracelet or a color-matched rubber strap.
But wait just one second there, buddy, because this all feels pretty familiar. And that’s because some of us are old enough to remember 2017, when Doxa – then under different management – celebrated the 50th anniversary of the SUB 300 by making a limited edition run of very faithful recreations, the Doxa SUB 300 50th Anniversary. Those watches, while not offered in quite as many colors, were limited editions, with Doxa making 300 of each colorway (and even fewer for those examples rocking Aqua Lung branding on the dial). I know these watches well, as I own two; one silver-dial Searambler and one orange-dial Professional.
From what I can tell from Doxa’s supplied images, the new SUB 300 looks to be essentially a non-limited version of the 50th Anniversary, which is frustrating to those of us who really love the 50th Anniversary models and appreciated their limited production. In identical fashion, we see a 42.5mm-wide dished case that is 13.4mm thick including the crystal and 45mm lug to lug. Likewise, the new 300 has a bubble domed crystal and a very similar dial layout.
While I’ll certainly wait to see these in person before rendering any sort of final verdict, the only differences I can spot are in the dial font, the inclusion of Doxa’s modern orange-painted logo crown, and the fact that the 2020 SUB 300 has a no-deco bezel scale that shows meters, while the 50th Anniversary models use feet. Also, while we’re being granular, the 50th Anniversary piece’s no-deco scale was painted in orange while the Divingstar (yellow) and Aquamarine (duh) have dial-matched paint and the Sharkhunter (black) now has an orange hour hand. There may be more, but that will have to wait for a hopeful Hands-On post.
Also of note here is that (much like the 50th Anniversary) the 2020 SUB 300 features a COSC-certified ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, which likely speaks to the jump in price over this model’s close sibling, the 300T (which itself is a reissue of a watch Doxa made in 1969). Within all of this, what they are offering is basically a modern and non-limited expression of the sweet core of Doxa’s design lineage. It will come as exactly no surprise that I think these are gorgeous watches, and I really love the wider range of colors (though I wish the crown logo was color-matched to the dial, see below).
As a big fan of the SUB 300 design and as an LE owner, I have to say I feel kinda mixed on this. In the same breath, this new watch is absolutely a bummer for those that snagged a 50th Anniversary model (I feel you), but this is also a watch that Doxa should make, as it’s a great design and a lovely size on wrist. I kind of wish they had done something more substantial in differentiating 2017 from 2020, like maybe opting for a flat crystal or dropping the date display. LE owners can take some solace in the fact that these new models are being offered at the same price point as the 50th ($ 2,490 on bracelet).
While I think there is more to unpack here, I do think that this SUB 300 instantly became the brand’s most desirable model, even if the similarity to the LE is annoying. Additionally, I am very about the Divingstar version and am encouraged to see that even after the attention given to the exceedingly cool SUB 300 Carbon, that steel dive watches appear to be front and center with the brand’s current leadership.
We’ll do our best to get one in the metal (let us know in the comments what color you’d like to see in said possible Hands-On), but one thing is for sure: With all of the hot dive watches coming out this summer, it’s almost as though someone, one of us, even, should have come up with a fun way of describing it.
Model: SUB 300
Lug to lug: 45mm
Case Material: Steel
Dial Color: Several (orange, black, silver, navy blue, light blue, yellow)
Water Resistance: 300 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Steel “beads of rice” bracelet or color-matched rubber strap
Caliber: ETA 2824-2
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Chronometer Certified: COSC certified
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 2,450 (rubber), $ 2,490 (bracelet)
Availability: August 2020