Those of us in the know consider the DOXA SUB to be the King of the Dive Watches. For a mix of function, form, and nostalgia, the SUB is unbeatable in the deep. It’s a time-tested recipe:
- Orange, Black, or Silver dial (with the occasional celebrated exception)
- Unique and perfectly engineered no-deco table bezel
- The dwarfed hour hand that knows its role
- High contrast hands and markers with bright lume
- Beautiful beads of rice style bracelet with a diving clasp
Yes, these are the things that have made the SUB great since the mid-late 1960s as a function-first design that is more beautiful for its excellence of purpose than for its brushed and polished surfaces.
And yet, I’ve been thinking. These days it’s no longer really about that excellence of purpose. When we buy a SUB today, we are buying the FORM of that functional package that once was created, marketed, and sold as a legitimate tool, largely unchanged for 50 years. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However (get ready for a dose of real-talk)…
Even though DOXA likes to say they make tools for divers, as a diver myself, I can tell you that in my opinion this is a bit of a half-truth ("oh snap, did he say that on the official forum?"). A SUB is (nearly) as functional for a diver as it ever was (where are you, oh lovely Expandro?), but the trouble is that when looked at from a purely diver-functional standpoint, today’s SUB is a backup at best and obsolete at worst. Again, there is nothing wrong with this. I love the SUB for what it is, and I don’t need to pretend it’s something more. I don’t even wear mine in the water ("ok, now this guy’s just trolling!”), but that doesn’t mean I don’t have great affection for it, or plan to even buy another.
But I’m not writing to bash the current SUB. The point I’m trying to make is this: the next DOXA diver really actually COULD be something more. I believe the mechanical dive watch still has unexplored potential as a legitimate tool for even modern divers, and DOXA has a big opportunity to do again what made it great the first go-round: innovate in this space via total dedication to creating the most functional tool for the job that they can. It doesn’t even have to be a SUB as we know it ("gasp!”)(“I wish he would stop sub-texting himself…”).
Let’s go to the drawing board, shall we? Here’s a list of features/innovations for which I have real, legitimate use cases while diving:
- Bring back the expanding/contracting clasp! I can’t believe Tudor is eating your lunch on this front with the Pelagos, DOXA, and it was your brilliant idea to begin with!
- Fully lumed dial
- Bubble depth gauge like the old Squale Profundus/Profondus, which in combination with the no-deco bezel would make the watch 100% more usable as a self-contained backup.
- Chrono with central minutes or central seconds, with pushers that can be activated underwater (as on the 300 T-Graph)
- Dedicated 3-minute safety stop timer/sub-register. Does your computer drive you crazy by counting your stops only in whole minutes? Boy mine sure does, and it’s the worst.
- Nitrox MOD/Best Mix table engraved on the caseback from 32-40% O2 (intended for reference before you splash, of course)
- An optional old-school strap compass (backup, for sure)
- Some kind of sequential counter similar to what you’d use at a running track for counting laps, but here for counting kicks, breaths, or say, nudibranchs!
- Power reserve indicator (as on the 4000T) is a great safety feature, but could probably be moved to the caseback for pre-dive checks.
- Not exactly a feature, but some kind of conservation partnership that helps secure our big blue world for future diving generations would be a great plus.
Calling all divers, share your thoughts and additions! Tell DOXA what kind of tool we’d love to carry with us beneath the waves. Or just tee off on my heretical rantings, either one.