Scuba Pioneer Jacques Cousteau's Doxa Dive Watch Is Back – In Limited Edition Carbon

14 June 2020
Dive watch, Jacques Cousteau, Scuba, Doxa
Doxa is an under-the-radar brand with incredible history, as the Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers makes clear...

Doxa has long been held in high regard by watch enthusiasts. To everyone else, however, it has flown under the radar – that is until Baselworld 2019, when it released the Sub 200 collection. This revival of an archive model won plaudits well beyond the horology hardcore, putting the brand back on the map. Its CEO, Jan Edöcs, is quite straightforward about it: “Doxa has been experiencing an unprecedented revival over the past 12 months.”

 The Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers comes on a rubber strap

You can see why it has happened. Vintage divers have shifted into vogue, and Doxa is not only affordable but has first-class credentials. In 1964, it commenced work on manufacturing its first dive watch in collaboration with aquanaut Claude Wesly. He was famous at the time for the “Précontinent I, II and III” missions to create a seabed habitat for humans. The watch itself, the Sub 300T, came out in 1967 and became a familiar fixture on the wrists of sailors aboard the Calypso, the undersea research vessel belonging to the father of scuba diving, Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau himself liked the watch so much that he brokered an agreement for his company, US Divers, to be its exclusive distributor.

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It’s no surprise, then, that Doxa has returned again to this classic piece. This time, the company has reinterpreted it through the lens of cutting-edge watch design, while still retaining its essence. The Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers formalises its partnership with the Aqua Lung, the modern name for US Divers, tapping firmly into that heritage. And, indeed, this 42.5mm piece clearly echoes the design of the original – the same distinctive minute track, date window and case shape – but has been strikingly realised in black forged carbon with contrast white and yellow markings, secured on a black rubber strap. There’s something inherently fascinating about seeing such a familiar watch in such a radically new guise. There is also one other way in which it is different: at £4,590 it is almost £3,000 more than a new, standard-issue Sub 300T. Still, this carbon model is a COSC-certified chronometer (with a power reserve of 40 hours plus) and it's limited to 300 pieces. With the brand's cachet soaring, it's a safe bet that it will sell.

 The Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers

Available from August 2020, $5689 at doxawatches.com