The watch: The Doxa Sub 300 Carbon
The single best thing about this watch: the way it pairs carbon with the elementary-school joy of a fresh pack of highlighters.
The backstory: When it comes to dive watches, there are plenty of fish in the sea. But while many of them follow the template set by the Rolex Submariner, the oomph-packing Doxa Sub 300 is a watch all its own. For starters, the watch comes with the most prestigious co-sign possible: Doxa was Jacques Cousteau’s brand of choice. He loved the watches so much that he sold them stateside through his company US Divers. It’s not difficult to see what Cousteau loved about the Sub, specifically. The Sub, originally released in 1967, is a watch of confounding proportions and even wilder colors. It’s known for its range of six mostly flashy shades: orange Professional, silver Searambler, black Sharkhunter, navy Caribbean, yellow Divingstar, and turquoise Aquamarine. They’re intended to be legible underwater when diving down to 300 meters—but have the added effect of being visible from someone standing that far away on land, too. The case and dial combination is a charmer: while the watch measures in at a very sizable 42.5mm, much of that space is reserved for the hulking case and bezel, while the dial itself is slightly crunched in. So while 42.5 sounds like a big, scary number, the effect is that the watch appears more compact than most others this size.
This latest version of the Sub 300 is made out of carbon, which is a natural pairing for a watch with this much wrist presence. Carbon, of course, is lighter than steel, so Doxa can keep its beefy case without turning everyday wear into a never-ending weight-lifting routine. I wore this watch, in Aquamarine, out for a week and was surprised at how mellow a 42mm watch in neon blue could be. On the wrist, the watch is light—carbon really is the meringue of watch case materials—and the aqua blue takes its shots on the bezel’s numerals and condensed dial. The star of the show is the carbon case, which up close has ripples running throughout it that look like waves—fitting considering the watch’s purpose.
This watch matters in the world of watches because: Doxa plays a read-and-react offense. The full collection of carbon watches follows the successful launch of a single, bumblebee black-and-yellow carbon Sub from 2020. This has become a regular plan of attack for Doxa: In 2017, Doxa brought back its iconic Sub 300 model as a special edition limited to only 300 pieces of each color…before putting out almost the same pieces in unlimited numbers last year. (Partially to the chagrin of collectors who acted fast enough to get the limited edition.) Doxa’s other big release in 2020 was a carbon version of the Sub 300 Aqua Lung. It was a big enough hit among collectors that Doxa is now bringing the material to its full range of colors.
No mo’ Cousteau: Cousteau’s US Divers company was the last distributor of Doxa in the United States. Until today, that is. Watches of Switzerland is grabbing the snorkel from the famed scuba man, and making it that much easier to get all your candy-colored dive watches stateside starting today.
Where and when to buy it: The watch, priced at $3,890, is available in every color at Watches of Switzerland now.