Welcome to Dialed In, Esquire’s weekly column bringing you horological happenings and the most essential news from the watch world since March 2020.
Doxa has a unique place in the hearts of dive watch fans. Affordable and functional—and with a professional 300m depth rating—Doxa was deliberately targeted at non-professional divers at a time when subaquatic sports were exploding around the globe. Doxa divers have also long been known for their bright dials, especially in orange and yellow, which were developed in the ’60s not with fashion, but underwater legibility, in mind. The brand’s wares underwent extensive testing, including by one Jacques-Yves Cousteau—the OG of the oceans and developer of scuba apparatus—who was tapped as a consultant. Doxa watches always had a distinctive turtle shaped case, but their experimental approach to color gave them a modern vibe not found in other professional watches of the time.
Today, ” data-vars-ga-product-id=”f7a3f635-7272-4cdd-a4a4-88370137b2a2″ data-vars-ga-product-price=”0.00″ data-vars-ga-product-sem3-brand=”” data-vars-ga-product-sem3-category data-vars-ga-product-sem3-id data-affiliate-network data-vars-ga-media-type data-affiliate=”true”>Watches of Switzerland unveils a limited-edition milestone watch from the Doxa back catalog, a striking diver with a particular history. Despite sounding somewhat land based, Doxa’s “Army” watch was developed from the 300T Professional diver from the mid 1960s and supplied the Swiss Army Diver units from 1969. Thanks to the pioneering matte black case and beige dial, these watches—when rare mint examples come up—look startlingly 21st century. But despite the aesthetics, both the PVD coating and the sand-colored dial were conceived with function in mind, to cut out reflections or glare while ensuring legibility in low light.
James Lamdin, the director of vintage and pre-owned timepieces at Watches of Switzerland, knows a thing or two about Doxa. As the founder of Analog Shift, NY’s premier vintage watch source (and, since 2020, the vintage and pre-owned wing of Watches of Switzerland), Doxas have crossed Lamdin’s desk for years on their way to appreciative collectors. He worked with Doxa to secure its exclusive distribution in the U.S. through Watches of Switzerland. And it was Lamdin too who worked with Doxa to create a special new Watches of Switzerland edition of the Army watch.
The new edition recreates exactly the strikingly modern look of the original watch from 1969—but with some significant updates. The new 42.5mm case and bezel are made in matte black ceramic rather than the original’s coated steel, which means the finish can’t rub off and is strongly scratch-resistant. The movement—a Selitta SW200-1 COSC-certified chronometer—sits inside a titanium chamber inside the ceramic case. The beige dial is contrasted with bright orange hands, with the hour hand shrunk so as to not disrupt time reading when, in a crunch, minutes count more. Bright green SuperLuminova on bezel and dial markings ensure legibility after dark (or underwater). The watch comes with an integrated rubber strap in black and with a spare nylon NATO strap in the period-correct Swiss Army camo pattern. There are only 100 pieces available, so in due time, this new edition will be just as rare—if not more so—than the original. If you’re in the market, now’s the time to make your move.
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