HANDS ON: The DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials in future-proof carbon fibre

HANDS ON: The DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials in future-proof carbon fibre

Thor Svaboe

The DOXA Sub 300 is a strong diver’s watch with vintage leanings. But the Sub 300 Aqualung US Divers Limited Edition in carbon fibre offers a completely different proposition. Essentially, it refashions the piece with a modern edge – the sharp and moody presence of the industrial carbon fibre turning up the emphasis on the Sub 300 as a pure tool watch, while at the same time highlighting the vivid dial.  DOXA is now pairing all six references in the Sub 300 range with the inviting tactility of that new carbon fibre case.  Don’t be fooled, however, by the bright colours and feather-light weight.  This watch remains a serious diver powered by a COSC-certified ETA 2824-2 movement that reminds us that under the surface, every minute counts.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

First Impressions

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

When we first laid our eyes on this new range, the bright dials seem even more prominent framed by the matte, silky darkness. This carbon fibre composite has an industrial vibe with silvery flecks of visible fibre bringing an even stronger presence to the Sub 300, not to mention that extraordinary lightness (it weighs just 87g).  Retaining the distinctive tonneau shape, the 13.4mm thickness is svelte for such a rugged tool. Visually, meanwhile, all these dials seriously pop like any DOXA, now with a retro-futuristic vibe unlike any other diver at this price level.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon – Professional

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

Part of the rocket-like rise of DOXA as a brand is their purity of focus on divers watches. That’s why it seems apt to start with the zesty orange of the Professional – the colour that most people associate with the brand. The slimmer new steel Sub 300 case offers textbook comfort for a diver’s watch, with a shape that makes it shrink on the wrist. The carbon fibre adds that extraordinary lightness and silky demeanour, while changing the look to appeal to the less vintage-obsessed. The pure function of a 300m depth tool is present – the orange bezel markings even more legible on the dark background – while the box crystal creates vibrant reflections and frames the intensely fruity orange. With the choice of a black or orange rubber strap, you choose just how fresh you want to go.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon – Searambler

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

I must confess to owning a Sub 200 and, like this carbon fibre tool, the dial has a mood-lifting effect. The Searambler in its crisp silver brings a more classic late ’60s look to the table offering functionality in a vibrant suit. The vintage look, especially on a black strap, somehow metamorphosizes and gives me more of an instrument feeling, akin to a Leica camera – a touch more formal and exact in its demeanour. The dial details are razor-sharp with the fresh pop of the minute hand and zesty orange bezel markings. From the small detail of the half-crosshair design to the diagonally opposed text, the busy vintage dial is a lesson in graphic balance.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon – Diving Star

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

Back to freshness with the Diving Star – DOXA’s name for the lemoniest yellow I’ve seen on a dial. The hour markers here in gloss black seem to pop even more with a broad centre section of Super-Luminova. The hand set is classic DOXA with a thin sword hour hand and broadsword minute hand underlining the fine margins at stake on a dive. As a first entry to the colourful world of DOXA diver’s watches you can’t really go wrong with this, just be prepared for random questions from the public as it’s hardly a quiet wrist presence. Go for the yellow rubber strap for full-grin effect or pick the stealthy black rubber to emphasise legibility on a dive.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon – Caribbean

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

Deep blue has been the dial colour du jour of the last couple of years and the dusty matte Caribbean from DOXA is a great match for the arresting structure of carbon fibre. Those white dial accents make this one of the most legible of all the new carbon-bodied range. It’s no secret: orange works damn well with blue, making the bezel accents and that massive minute hand stand out at several feet. You have the choice of strap colours, but the look of this on the black rubber is something special, the ocean blue becoming rather intense, emphasised by the orange tool hand reminding you of the task at hand.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon – Shark Hunter

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

If the new Sub 300 Carbon series from DOXA remind you of a brace of fruit lollies that you find slightly too tangy, the Shark Hunter is the more stealthy fighter-like tool you’re looking for. Its blackness makes you notice the slight variations in the carbon fibre, the grey-silver flecks giving a quiet glimmer in the right light. Like the Caribbean, the dial markers and crisp minute track are a pure white, while once again we are happily disarmed by the brawn of the large orange minute hand. Every time I try on one of the new Sub 300 Carbon references I remain surprised by the astounding lightness of the case and the fact that the 42.5mm diameter wears a lot smaller.

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon – Aquamarine

DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials

The brightness of the Aquamarine colour dial has never had a better frame than with the juxtaposition of carbon fibre, emitting an almost legible “POP” as you strap it on your wrist. For maximum effect, the soft comfort of the matching aquamarine strap is pure summer candy. The black and white of the markers, hands and sharp Super-Luminova application are like glossy liquorice for the soul.

The straps

The new Sub 300 carbon comes on the soft comfort of the DOXA shape-moulded rubber strap with a solid black DLC diver’s clasp with sliding quick adjustment. Its comfort is only underlined here by the lightness of the case, making it want to stay on your wrist for days, no matter how many watches in your box. Your choice is mandarin-fresh orange to make a complete zingy package, or a more tool-like black, making the dial pop even more. Personally, I’d say get both and change it up. Oh, and get the Time+Tide Erika’s Club strap in black and orange while you’re at it.

Conclusion? Delightful confusion.

With the solid ETA movement we know from the steel 300 under the hood you’ll have a highly accurate diver’s watch with the 2824-2 being a bullet-proof Swiss movement with a decent 38 hour power reserve. The icing on the cake?  Each movement is COSC chronometer-certified, with a 38 hour power reserve for the accurate 2824-2 and a 28,800 bph rate – exactly what you need when each minute counts on a dive.

Soft comfort and light weight aside, the wake up call of the fresh colours is as confusing as it is delightful. Try to pick a favourite, I dare you. You might lose an hour or two and still only come to the dangerous conclusion that you want to get more than one.

The DOXA Sub 300 Carbon, price and availability:

The DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range are all $5490 on a rubber strap. For more details, visit DOXA.

Made in partnership with DOXA. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.