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, it comes with the most prestigious cosign possible: Doxa was Jacques Cousteau’s brand of choice. He loved the watches so much that he sold them Stateside through his company, U.S. Divers. It’s not difficult to see what Cousteau loved about the Sub specifically. Originally released in 1967, the watch features confounding proportions and even wilder colors. It’s known for its range of six mostly flashy shades: the orange Professional, silver Searambler, black Sharkhunter, navy Caribbean, yellow Divingstar, and turquoise Aquamarine. They’re intended to be legible when you’re diving down to 300 meters—but have the added effect of being visible to someone standing that far away on land too. The case and dial combination is a charmer: While the watch measures a very sizable 42.5 mm, much of that space is reserved for the hulking case and bezel, with the dial itself 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 making the watch’s everyday wear a never-ending weight-lifting routine. I wore this watch, in Aquamarine, out for a week and was surprised at how mellow a 42 mm watch in neon blue could be. On the wrist, it’s 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, the company 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 (somewhat 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 U.S. Divers company was the last distributor of Doxa in the United States. Until now, 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 now in every color at Watches of Switzerland.