Excited today to get a package delivery in work. Finally my new baby has arrived! It has been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster over the last couple of weeks waiting for this moment.
For a long time I've wanted a dive watch (I'm a certified diver, but more often a desk-diver). I always admired the orange Doxa sub, but I never pulled the trigger, since there were dozens of other watches I liked equally. Then came the Project Aware II with its striking turquoise dial. I thought "wow, that's something special", but again, I never pulled the trigger. Jump forward to a few weeks ago, when I saw a post on this forum where someone mentioned that stock was running out. Out of curiosity, I pinged Doxa support, to find out how many were left. Imagine my excitement to hear that there was just one left in stock!
I thought, wow, 300/300, it's a sign.
So I pulled the trigger.
And I waited.
And I got a note to say they were waiting on more stock.
Turns out that the "last one" message I got originally was referring to stock on hand, since the watches are made in small batches. Nobody's fault, just a misunderstanding. I still felt gutted. In my mind some of the "shine" was lost from my new watch before I'd even got it. The guys were great, and tried to give me my choice of number. I settled on 101, which seems like a good number.
In any case, today the package arrived. The second I opened it, any reservation or buyer's remorse was immediately blown away by that amazing blue dial.
The first word that comes to mind is "Solid". This watch feels bombproof. There's a wonderful heft to it; a reassuring weight that immediately tells you that this is a quality piece of engineering. The finishing on the case is superb. The bezel action is so crisp, better even than Rolex Sub bezels. The blue numbers in the bezel are absolutely beautiful, and even better in person than pictures. The one thing I had never gotten from pictures before is the depth this watch has. From bezel to dial just seems further than any other watch I've seen. It's a combination of the thickness and refraction of the crystal which photographs really don't convey, but the last one here sort of comes close.
The thing that exceeded my expectation more than anything else is the bracelet. Holy cow, this thing is incredible. For anyone who laments it not being a traditional BOR style, don't even think about it. It's heavy. It's solid. It feels better than a Rolex Oyster bracelet. The finishing is exceptional for a watch at this price point, with mirror polishing and super fine brushing, and all screwed links. The clasp feels reassuringly strong. This thing isn't going to open with a bump or knock at an inopportune time. I'm also really impressed with the ratcheting wetsuit extension, which has 5 or 6 clicks to get a perfect fit. Definitely hope to give this some wetsuit time soon. Doxa kindly include a quality screwdriver/spring bar tool, but perplexingly it isn't much use on its own, since both sides of a link need a screwdriver in order to unscrew it! I would love to be wearing it right now, but I'll have to wait until tonight to remove the extra links.
Size-wise, on the wrist it does feel big. My wrists aren't the biggest out there, but the size of the dial relative to the overall dimensions does tend to fool the eye. I like to wear my watches loose down on my wrist much of the time, so I don't think this will bother me. I'll just have to do some forearm workouts to beef up a bit!
Overall, I'm happy with my purchase. It's partly a birthday present to myself, and partly an overdue reward for passing an exam I had this year. I promised myself a significant watch as a reward, and I think that's exactly what I've gotten here.
So that's my unboxing and first impressions. I think this is the start of a Doxa love affair that could run for some time!
I hope my pictures help some of the people out there who were on the fence, or simply wanted some more detailed pictures of this amazing timepiece. I'd love to hear your comments and feedback.
I will hopefully do a review with better pictures at some point in the future after a bit of wrist time.