DOXA Dive Watches USA
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DOXA Dive Watches  
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The 1960s saw DOXA continuing to grow and thrive at a time when young people in the US were exploring John F. Kennedy's "New Frontier" and Camelot had come to life in the White House. Americans were enjoying a higher standard of living than ever before, and as a result they could afford to explore new hobbies and interests.

Diving had previously been the domain of the super rich and the military. The introduction of the ‘aqualung' changed all of that. Diving would cease being only a military necessity and evolve into a true sport and pastime. Up to then, the cost of equipment was extremely prohibitive. Diving watches were also too expensive for the everyday diver. But DOXA was about to change all that!

It was decided that a dive watch was a real priority and rather than merely assemble one from existing technology, DOXA launched an in-depth research project with a team of expert watch makers and professional divers. This would be a true collaboration. Organized and guided by Urs Eschle, the dive watch project began in 1964. Claude Wesly was one of the key members to join the team. As the first man to swim across the Mediterranean Sea in 1962, the French diver was already a legend.

Keeping true to the ideals of affordable, dependable watches, the team worked to develop a reasonably priced sports diver watch for both professional and recreational divers. It would be accurate, rugged, and above all, highly legible. An invaluable, highly functional piece of equipment would be the result.


The dive watch incorporated a solid stainless steel case of substantial proportions. At 45 mm in length and a width of 45mm, it went beyond the typical size of other watch cases being made at the time. This watch case was tested and proven to be water resistant to a depth of 300 meters (1000 feet) and would come to be named the DOXA SUB 300.

In an effort to have a highly visible dial, and therefore improve the watch's overall visibility under water, it was agreed that a brightly colored dial might offer a better solution than the previous dive watch standard - black.

Several colors would be tested - red, yellow, turquoise and perhaps most importantly, orange. The testing was not undertaken at sea, but closer to home in Lake Neuchatel. As it happened, orange was thought to be the most "readable" dial color down to a depth of 30 feet owing to its bright, colorful appearance and thus it was obvious to the team that the first DOXA dive watch should have an orange dial. Remember - up to this time nobody had ever even conceived of something this radical - an orange dial?!
Urs and DOXA didn't just stop with the orange dial and a water-resistant case though. They wanted to go even further. Perhaps one of the greatest hazards for divers is not knowing exactly how long they have been underwater as it relates to the maximum time that they can stay underwater. The US Navy was utilizing a no-decompression limit dive table.

This allowed the Navy's divers to monitor the time and water depth while they dove. This seemed like such an obvious, useful function that Urs and DOXA started working on a rotating, unidirectional bezel that would utilize the Navy's no-decompression dive table. Based on their successful adaptation of this design, Urs filed a patent for this bezel in April of 1968 (US patent No. 3505808). This bezel had two different scales on it and DOXA utilized orange to highlight the outer "depth" scale, and black to indicate the inner "minute" scale.

Another feature was born out of the team's research - the now iconic "dwarf hour" hand. Urs and the team decided to use a minute hand that was substantially larger than the hour hand. This decision was so basic, so obvious, and yet nobody had thought of it before. The team knew, after all, that a diver would be more focused on measuring time in minutes not hours!

There were two final innovations which would make the use of the bracelet much easier. First, the bracelet incorporated a new type of flex-buckle. This ingenious expansion device attached to the buckle and easily adapted itself to the larger diameter of the wrist if the wearer was wearing a wetsuit, and then reduce its size to fit the wrist of the diver on dry land. Secondly, the original DOXA SUB bracelet had a unique "ratchet" mechanism built into the clasp. This allowed the bracelet to be sized without the need to remove links. Once the watch was placed on the wrist, and the clasp closed, the ratchet mechanism could be moved until the length of the bracelet corresponded to the wearer's wrist size.

The SUB is launched

The result of this research and development was the DOXA SUB 300T. This proved to be a watch that would set the standard in the development of dive watches up to that time and for all of those that would follow.

The watch was water resistant to a depth of 300 meters (1000 feet) and Tritium was the luminous material on the hands and the dial; as such, the name SUB 300T was realized.


While for many people DOXA's main claim to fame is manufacturing the first dive watch with an orange dial and a no-decompression table bezel, there was an even more important development in the evolution of diving watches - the Helium Release Valve (HRV). And once again, DOXA was one of the first manufacturers to incorporate this feature.


Who needs an HRV?

Just as diving to a deep depth can be harmful to a diver if the nitrogen isn't released from their body during careful "decompression", a dive watch can be damaged by helium. Helium molecules are much smaller than oxygen or nitrogen and can penetrate through the seals of a watch case. These molecules can enter in sufficient quantity and pressure to physically blow the crystal out of the watch. The HRV addresses this problem, allowing the helium to be released, while still preventing any water from entering the watch case!

DOXA had started out with the intention of making dive watches available and accessible to the diving public at large, not only the military or the rich and famous. So in keeping with this philosophy, DOXA released the first diving watch equipped with an HRV available to the general public in 1969. This would be a different type of SUB, one that could take on any under-sea challenge. Therefore DOXA chose the name Conquistador. This first version would be known as the DOXA SUB 300T Conquistador. It is worth noting that today the Conquistador is proving to be perhaps the most sought after vintage DOXA watch of all time and has become something of a holy-grail amongst collectors.

Everything was going DOXA's way, and the future looked bright for the company. And then ... the "Quartz Crisis" hit the Swiss watch making industry and many companies disappeared or went dormant. With the superior accuracy of quartz technology, the business environment had changed. Many companies cut-back or even completely abandoned the use of mechanical and self-winding movements. DOXA continued on, quietly making watches and adapting to the new climate. And for all intents and purposes the SUB slowly sank to the depths of history. Until...


    Read what owners say about Doxa dive watches »

    J.E., Rancho Mirage, CA, DOXA SUB5000T Caribbean

    Just a short note to say that my Sub 5000T (68/5000) arrived in tact. It is an amazing watch and I could not be more satisfied. Special pricing made it possible sooner than I thought, and I believe I got a true bargain in a dive watch recognized around the world. My sincere thanks to all at Doxa who had a hand in producing my Seaconqueror.

    Read what owners say about DOXA dive watches »
    Joseph S., Sub 750T Professional #4093/5000

    I have to say it is an awesome piece.As an owner of a few Rolex's and Tags, I was recently thinking of adding a Rolex Sub to my collection.But the article in hr:Watches and your web site helped me in my decision.Now I have the right Sub a DOXA.Your service is great at my door in 4 days.This watch including the box it comes in far surrpass any Rolex I have and for a lot less money.Very pleased&impressed.

    Read what owners say about DOXA dive watches »
    Dean, Alberta, Canada, 2006 SUB750T Clive Cussler Professional Edition 4504/5000

    Thank you for a brilliant time piece. The watch looks a million times better in person than in the spectacular photos on the official forum and on the website (which are what sold me in the first place). This watch is unquestionably one of the finest watches I have ever purchased.

    I am very, very glad I bought this watch. Doxa's quick turnaround and prompt responses to all of my queries was also much appreciated. I normally hate waiting for things, but like a very few select other parts of my life this watch was well worth the 4 day wait.


DOXA Watches USA

Customer Service Line
1 877 255 5017

DOXA Watches Europe

Customer Service Line
+43 1 577 35 35 13

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More about this site :

DOXA watches LTD is a traditional and independent Swiss watch brand, based in Bienne, Switzerland, this site presents the dive watch collection only. The entire DOXA watches Ltd. collection can be found here:

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