VIDEO: The DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers that should have won the GPHGZach Blass
I have made it no secret that I felt the DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers watch was snubbed in the Divers prize at the 2020 GPHG awards. I have nothing against Breitling, let me be 100% clear on that fact, but I personally felt that if the vote were left to the watch community then DOXA would have taken home the award. Doxa is known for its dive watches with a winning formula left largely unchanged over the years.
The fact that their creations are effectively modern fabrications of designs of yesteryear is a testament to this fact, something only brands like Rolex have been able to do. When you have a good thing going, there is little incentive to switch things up. But when you find a way to bring innovative materials into an already great design, I believe such an achievement should be rewarded – and I believe DOXA did just that with their SUB 300 Carbon diver.
The flying saucer-like profile of the case is iconic within the watch community and makes for a very wearable watch across wrists of varying sizes. It has a professional diameter of 42mm and thickness of 13.4mm. But its lug to lug of approximately 45mm makes the watch incredibly compact for a sports/divers watch. It is really the best of both worlds, having a large presence on the wrist without being overwhelming in fit. In this instance, the carbon material only makes the case that much more interesting – especially with the natural texture it adds.
We often speak about how a watch plays with light, and how the manner in which it does elevates its design. This is usually achieved with contrasting finishes to the surface of a metal, but here it is simply the innate nature of the material that does so. As you rotate the watch so that your eye meets the dial, you can see the texture brighten in certain spots while others remain dark. It is very intriguing to the eye, and is an element that will ensure the timepiece does not become boring or flat over time.
Aside from its titanium caseback, all elements of the outer case are fashioned in carbon, including the bezel and screw-down crown that helps secure the watch to depths up to 300 metres. To protect the inner components of the watch, the inner case beneath the deep carbon layer is a titanium cage that serves as a layer of protection in the very unlikely event you manage to crack the outer carbon layer.
The bezel is also designed to be dual-purposed, with a depth scale in feet on the rotating portion of the bezel with the adjacent fixed ring able to be used as a timing scale. This allows DOXA to pack in a ton of relevant information and indications without having to interrupt the dial.
The dial, and the bubble sapphire crystal that protects it, are quite small – something you would think would hinder legibility. But this is not the case. Interestingly there is a segment of carbon between the crystal and bezel that serves as the outer minute track (as well as a timing scale), so to an extent the dial information extends past the crystal of the watch. The dial plate is made of carbon, like the case, and has yellow accents to match the yellow tone of the diving bezel inlays and engraved DOXA fish logo on the crown.
Between 7′ and 8′ is the famed Aqua Lung US Divers emblem printed in yellow to match the other color accents of the watch. Speaking of yellow, the minutes hand is also rendered in the colour making it very legible against the dial. The shorter hour hand, as well as the central seconds hand are finished in a contrasting white colour that matches the tone of the indices and printed hashes on the dial. Both the yellow and white are very easy to read against the carbon backdrop, something DOXA has clearly ensured in its design as a professional dive watch. And don’t worry, in darker settings there is ample SuperLuminova® to brighten up the hands and hour indices.
The rubber strap on the DOXA SUB 300 Carbon, like other DOXA SUB 300 models, is incredibly comfortable and robust. Having sized my own DOXA SUB 300 Carbon, I know first-hand how much effort it takes to deliver a clean cut to the strap as you size it to your wrist. While you may wish it was a tad easier to do, once sized you’re grateful that it’s such a tough rubber composite. It is only a testament to how durable the strap is – it is extremely unlikely you will notice tears and fractures to the material over time.
The folding clasp boasts a neat feature for both divers, or those who nitpick to find a perfect fit. There are two sets of triggers: one two unlock the folding clasp and the other to unlock the dive extension within the clasp. While depressing the dive extension triggers, you can begin to extend the clasp in notches to lengthen the circumference of the strap – a handy tool to fine-tune the fit to the millimetre or get it around your wetsuit.
Inside the watch is the venerated ETA 2824 caliber, used throughout horological history as a reliable movement in professional tool watches. The COSC chronometer certified movement has a power reserve of 38 hours, but as an automatic watch will continue to keep time if you keep wearing it.
As an owner of this crazy cool watch, who would I recommend it to? I think the DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers watch is a great option for those who want the comfort of a tried and true divers watch brand on the wrist while also being able to explore such an innovative new case material such as carbon. The natural texture it provides to the case is without a doubt absolute eye-candy and its stealth vibes tie into the professional divers theme. I also cannot understate the quality of the rubber composite used in the strap, it’s both incredibly tough and comfortable on the wrist. While a limited edition watch, we can only hope DOXA explores carbon further in the future.
DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Limited Edition pricing and availability:
The DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers is a limited edition of 300 watches, contact DOXA for inquiries that pertain to remaining availability in your region. Price: $4,790 USD. For enquiries, please contact: [email protected]
Made in partnership with DOXA. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with ourEditorial Policy.