Masters of the 60s orange dive watch, Doxa, are back at it again, only this time with added case tech!
Inspired by the legendary DOXA SUB 300 Professional that came out in 1967, but crafted from ultra-lightweight Carbon Steel the new SUB 300 Carbon COSC is certainly eye catching, especially in the ‘Doxa Orange’ (otherwise known as Orange Professional), Turquoise Aquamarine, or Yellow Divingstar dial variants.
Coming in at 42.5mm and with the same case that graced the limited-edition SUB 300 Aqua Lung US Divers launched in 2020, the SUB 300 Carbon weighs just 87 grams despite the fact it’s 13.4mm thick. The case features a pressure-resistant titanium chamber, titanium solid case back and screw-down crown, giving the watch a water resistance of 300 meters.
The use of forged carbon brings a fresh new look to the SUB 300 without losing any of the Doxa DNA. Also, unlike flat-black finishes such as PVD, the patterns created from the random marbling prevents the watch from coming across as too austere. This added texture and visual impact will be welcome for those opting for one of the more somber dial colours – Silver Searambler, Navy Caribbean or Black Sharkhunter.
The dial is typically Doxa with 60’s style lumed indices, a framed date window at 3 o’clock and a dominant minute hand, in-keeping with the watch’s purposeful nature. Crosshair markings which extend halfway into the centre of the dial and an offset logo and ‘SUB 300 Professional’ complete the quirky but balanced look. Added dynamism comes courtesy of the gorgeous box sapphire crystal with AR coating which mimics the Plexiglass that was used in the original 60s version.
The uni-directional bezel features Doxa’s patented dual scale index which first featured on the iconic original SUB300 from 1967, with the outer ring indicating diving depths on meters and the inner ring showing the more familiar diving time in minutes. Linking the two traditionally enabled divers to calculate and monitor dive duration to ensure a safe ascent without decompression stops.
Doxa have opted to use a COSC Certified version of the industry standard ETA 2424-2 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 38 hours, with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz).
Available on a curved-end rubber strap for a seamless fit, buyers opting for the orange, yellow, turquoise or navy dials can choose either a matching strap, or a black strap to keep the colour pop more restrained. The silver and black dials meanwhile are only available with a black strap. All straps come with a black PVD coated folding clasp branded with the stylised Doxa fish’ symbol. The strap is simple but well-chosen and its cutaway top edges perfectly match the lug width. It also features an adjustable diver’s wetsuit extension.
Case width: 42.5mm
Movement: COSC Certified ETA 2824-2
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date
Power reserve: 38 Hours
Case: Forged Carbon with Titanium Case Back
Dial: Orange Professional, Silver Searambler, Black Sharkhunter, Navy Caribbean, Yellow Divingstar, Turquoise Aquamarine
Strap: Rubber with black PVD coated push-button deployment clasp
A personal perspective
With its tonneau-shaped case, short lug-to-lug length of 45mm and featherweight feel, the SUB 300 Carbon should wear incredibly well on the wrist for its size. The wide flat case and lugs of the watch provide a large surface area, which allows the unique properties of the forged carbon to be shown to maximum impact.
For me, the tactical and technical look of the forged carbon is most successful when contrasted against the brighter dials as it brings a certain playfulness, which provides a nice juxtaposition against to its tool-like nature. Having said that, Doxa has been wise to include more subdued colours options for those who like the Doxa aesthetic, but are a bit more colour shy and not quite ready to go ‘full Doxa’.
The SUB 300 Carbon’s unique aesthetic means that it certainly won’t be for everybody, but I can imagine it’d be easy to fall in love with it upon seeing it in the flesh and trying it on. I can also see die-hard lovers of the brand buying one to sit alongside a stainless steel Sub 300 in a different colour – the same but totally different!
That Doxa decided to use an ETA 2824-2 will be a disappointment to some at this price, despite the fact that it is COSC certified and was entirely expected given that it’s the chosen movement for the standard SUB 300.
The supplied rubber strap looks lovely and is well matched, but due to the watch’s straight case between the lugs, bright dial options and black case, you could really have some fun pairing the the SUB 300 Carbon with a whole strap-drawer full of options.
Fully carbon-cased watches from established mid-tier Swiss brands certainly aren’t exactly ten to the penny, so the SUB 300 Carbon with its distinctive case shape and uniquely Doxa aesthetic offers a unique proposition, even at its not inconsiderable £3750 retail price. To put the price into context, the Sub 300 Carbon US diver’s limited edition version has a retail price of £4590, compared to the £2390 for the standard stainless steel sub 300. So in Doxa terms, the SUB 300 Carbon seems priced about right. It’s sure to be a great option for those who like Doxa with a twist but aren’t concerned with the perceived status of a limited edition, or just didn’t like the addition of the aqualung graphic. Check them out for yourself here.