The New Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US DIVERS A 21st century update for a '60s diving icon by Balazs Ferenczi May 07, 2020 MIN READThe New Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US DIVERS
Doxa has made many amazing timepieces since the brand entered the watch market in 1889. Still, if you ask most watch guys about the first model from the Swiss brand that comes to mind, they’d probably say it’s the Sub 300. This 1960s icon was the quintessential diver’s tool of the time. With the new Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers, the brand gives a modern look to their iconic timepiece.
Although the case is not the only feature of this watch, that’s worth talking about. To understand where Doxa and the Sub 300 is today, we need to go back a bit in time. The year was 1967 when the brand launched its revolutionary new model, the Doxa Sub 300. The rest, as they say, is history.
Vintage Sub 300
It’s safe to say that we here at Fratello Watches are fans of the Doxa brand. This is especially true for the Sub 300 models. Mike did an interesting TBT on his Sharkhunter, and RJ covered the 50th Anniversary Sub 300 Searambler. I even wrote an article on the iconic Doxa Expandro bracelets. However, we never really went through the history of the Sub in detail. So let me give you a quick run-down of the timeline.
In 1964, Urs Eschle, head of product development at Doxa, started work on a project that would result in an affordable timepiece for the mass market. A tool watch that serves the needs of the ever-growing recreational divers’ community. Eschle assembled a team that included not only watch industry engineers but professional divers such as Claude Wesly, a crew member of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Soon they develop a fascinating watch concept
Vintage Doxa Sub 300 Aqua Lung also known as the Black Lung
To start with the most noticeable feature, the watch’s dial was orange. Something nobody ever did before. According to Doxa’s engineers — who had tested numerous dials colors such as Turquoise, Yellow, and Red — Orange proved to be the easiest to read underwater down to a depth of 30 meters. Another smart move was to equip the watch with different sized hands. The minute hand was much larger than the hour hand. This helped the diver to follow the elapsed time more carefully. The diver could follow this using the most intriguing feature of the newly developed Doxa Sub 300; its unidirectional bezel with two indications. The outer ring had the dive depth (in feet) for a “no decompression dive”, which is based on the US Navy’s no-decompression chart. The inner bezel circle has the corresponding time to the outer ring’s depth-rate.
One thing we’ve not yet talked about is Aqua Lung. It’s an air regulator that reduces the high pressure in the tank and lets the airflow into the diver’s mouth only when he inhales. Engineer, Émile Gagnan and Jacques-Yves Cousteau co-developed this device back in the ’40s. Overwhelming commercial success followed the release of the Aqua Lung. Many years later Jacques-Yves Cousteau founded the US Divers Company in Los Angeles. They aimed to cater to the new American recreational diving audience and import and sell diving equipment. The Aqua Lung made it onto the company’s logo, which they put on every item they imported. Through Claude Wesly, Cousteau learned about the Doxa 300 Sub and was amazed by the watch. So much so that eventually, US Divers Company became the sole distributor of the timepiece in the USA. As such, it also received the Aqualung logo on their dials.
Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung
Finally, we arrive at this new and fantastic timepiece, the Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers. It is hardly compelling when a brand releases a “new” model that, other than a different dial color, is no different than the previous models. Luckily, this is not what happened here. To start with, the case, as its name suggests, is of forged carbon. The material is not only extremely light (the watch only weighs 87g) but durable, contemporary and radical. Not to mention the urban camouflage look it gives to the Doxa Sub 300 Aqua Lung Carbon US Divers. Furthermore, said material is also present at another vital part of the watch; its dial. Yes, the case and the dial are both forged carbon fiber. This matt, raw material, is the perfect canvas for the contrasting white and yellow on the dial.
The size is 42.5mm with a water-resistance of 300m. Features such as the screw-down crow or the scratch-proof sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating contribute to the new Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers’ ruggedness and usability. Speaking of which, for perfect legibility, for the first time, Doxa used bright yellow on the minute hand. It is a similar shade to the Aqua Lung logo at the 7 o’clock position.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the watch is a limited edition. Only 300 pieces are available, all equipped with a COSC certified ETA-2824-2. A mechanical, self-winding movement with 42h of power reserve, 25jewels, and a date feature at 3 o’clock position. The Doxa Sub Carbin Aqua Lung US Divers comes on a black rubber strap with PVD coated folding clasp. If you’d like to visit Doxa’s website, please click here.
Brand Doxa ModelSUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US DiversReference822.70.101AQL.20DialBlack forged carbon Painted indices highlighted with white Super-LumiNova® luminescent inserts Minute hand highlighted with white Super-LumiNova® luminescent insertCase MaterialForged carbonCase DimensionsDiameter: 42.50 mm x 45.00 mm Thickness: 13.40 mmCrystalGlass box sapphireMovementETA 2824-2 Mechanical self-winding, 3 hands, COSC Certified Chronometer Power reserve: 42 hours Frequency: 28'800 vibrations per hour (4.0 Hz) 25 rubies – with DOXA decorationsWater Resistance300 meters, equivalent to 984 feetStrapBlack rubber Folding clasp with black PVD coating, exclusive “DOXA fish” symbolPrice£4,590/€4,790/$4,790 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up… read more
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