If you like your dive watches colorful, distinctive, and rich with history, then we think you’ll like Doxa SA. Founded in 1889 in Switzerland, Doxa foundered in the quartz crisis of the 1960s, but was reopened in 1997. Although they make a wide variety of watches, they are best known for their dive watches, and their perennial inclusion in the Dirk Pitt books by author Clive Cussler.
In 1967, Doxa’s research led them to use an orange dial for visibility on their Sub 300T model which was unheard of at the time. Water absorbs some colors more than others, and Doxa’s work found that orange remained legible to the greatest depths. The orange dial become a symbol of Doxa, and is now an option available on almost all serious dive watches (except the Rolex Sea-Dweller which has stubbornly stuck to black). Doxa also began incorporating an adjustable bezel with a decompression table into the Sub 300T. Resold in the US, it was a tremendous success and was reintroduced in 2002 as a special edition.
Doxa watches have a distinctive “cushion” case (referring to the shape), and since 1973, the crown is located at the 4 o’clock position for comfort (to prevent it from digging into your wrist). This, combined with the unique bezel, bracelets, and eye-catching colors, makes for a watch with great presence. They’re very well made, as well, utilizing Swiss ETA movements of impeccable pedigree.
Doxa currently makes four hardcare dive watches:
Most of Doxa’s dive watches are available in multiple colors which are indicated by the names Professional (orange), Sharkhunter (black), Caribbean (blue), and Divingstar (yellow).
There is plenty more to Doxa’s history and innovation (Helium escape valves, Bugatti car dash clocks, 8-day movements, ratcheting dive suit extensions, etc.) which you can find on Doxa’s site. The upshot is that if you’re a serious diver, or if you just want a unique watch with good legibility and an interesting history, Doxa is a very good place to look.
By Paul Hubbard