I’ve never reviewed a Doxa watch before on the WRB, but the brand has been around for a long time. Doxa is a Swiss watchmaker, founded by a man named Georges Ducommun. The 1800s were a time with no child labor laws, and Ducommun took an apprenticeship with a watchmaker in the year 1880 at the age of 12.
For the next nine years, Georges would study the art of watchmaking. During that time, he would develop a reputation as one of the most hardworking apprentices in Switzerland. At the age of 21, in the year 1889, Georges Ducommun would found his own company: Doxa, which is derived from the Greek word for glory.
It wasn’t long before Doxa’s watches were winning major awards. In 1905, the company’s pocket watch would be honored at the Belgium World’s Fair. In 1906, Doxa’s anti-magnetic watch would win similar honors at the Milan World’s Fair.
From then until the present, Doxa has continued to innovate. In 1968, they would release the Sub 300T Conquistador, one of the first dive watches to come with a helium release valve. The Doxa Sub 300T Professional Stainless Steel is a tribute to the original Conquistador, and was released in 2019. That’s the watch I’ll be reviewing today.
A Rugged Dive Watch
The Doxa Sub 300T Professional Stainless Steel has a 316L stainless steel cushion case. This is one of the most corrosion-resistant steel alloys, which makes it the perfect material for a dive watch. It has a broad shape, with wide, heavy, curved lugs. The total diameter is 42.5mm, which gives it a medium-large wrist presence, and the surface is brushed to a dull sheen.
At 3 o’clock, there’s a large knurled screw-down crown that’s well protected by the thick case. The bezel, meanwhile, is surprisingly small for the case. It’s stainless steel and knurled for an easy grip, with a series of dive time calculator markings in orange Super-LumiNova paint. It also has a unidirectional ratcheting rotation, which makes it easy to set your timer.
Inside the bezel is a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, which is perfectly flat so as not to distort the dial. It’s also finished with an anti-reflective coating, which reduces glare to a minimum, even when you’re in the water. The case back, meanwhile, has a screw-down design. This provides a very secure seal, and also makes the watch easier to service.
The most impressive thing about the Sub 300T is its level of water-resistance. It’s rated for up to 120 bars of pressure, or a depth of 1,200 meters. That’s far deeper than you can dive without special equipment, but that’s ok. If you’re looking for a dive watch that can go literally anywhere you go, you’ve found it.
This watch has a set of 20mm lugs that are surprisingly narrow given the size of the case, but they’re well-proportioned to the dial. The bracelet is a matching 316L stainless steel, with fat links on the edges, and 5 rows of polished beaded staggered links in the middle. Alternatively, you can opt for a plain black rubber strap.
The movement is a Swiss automatic ETA 2824-2, with a power reserve of 38 hours. That’s a bit short for a modern watch, but not absurdly so. It beats at 28,800 VPH and is a relatively unfinished movement looks wise, but it’s built to be a reliable workhorse fitting the Sub 300T perfectly.
A No-Nonsense Dial
The Sub 300T’s dial is designed for maximum contrast and easy readability, and can be ordered in seven different colors: black, white, silver, dark blue, light blue, orange, or yellow. Around the outside is an outer index that’s printed on a narrow internal bezel. This index has small black hashes at the minute marks, with Arabic numerals every five minutes and a black pip at 12 o’clock.
Inside of this inner bezel is the primary index. It has fine hashes at the minute marks, and Super-LumiNova blocks at the 5-minute marks. The blocks at the 15-minute positions are larger, which makes the much more prominent. All of the blocks have bands to their sides, which are in a contrasting color to the dial. They’re black on the lighter-colored dials, and white on the darker-colored dials. At the 15-minute position, you’ll notice a date window in lieu of a marking. On all dial colors, this window is white with small black Arabic numerals.
The hour hand is both short and narrow, and can be black or white depending on the color of the dial. Down the center is a narrow lume stripe, providing excellent night time visibility. The minute hand is enormous, both in length and in breadth, with a pointed tip and a lume stripe down the center. On most dials, it’s bright orange, but it’s black on the orange dial. The second hand is a slender needle, but it has a square lume block near the end that makes it easier to read.