The tonneau-cased, orange-dialed Doxa dive watches you realize are in all probability from the ’60s and ’70s. Jacques-Yves Cousteau performed a job within the building of the fashions, Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt wore one, The Gray NATO boys love them, and they have earned a cult following amongst creditors.
However the manufacturing of the ones watches ended within the mid-seventies. There is a complete period of designs from the ’80s that have been born and died in that decade. Manufacturing of Doxa watches fizzled out by means of the early ’90s till the Jenny circle of relatives obtained Doxa in 1997 and re-started manufacturing of the brand’s vary at scale, however precisely 0 designs from the ’80s made the minimize. As a substitute, only designs from the ’60s and ’70s have been picked to get a 2nd probability at existence.
Doxa’s watches from the ’80s should not have robust historic tie-ins, and no doubt don’t embellish the wrist of any fictional swashbuckling pulp journey heroes. As a result of this, they are lesser-known and no longer reasonably as fascinating to creditors.
Perhaps they will have to be.
They are beefier and rarer, and there is not just about as a lot recognized about them as their mid-century ancestors. There may be an air of mystery, nonetheless, round this period of Doxa watches, as the corporate ceased manufacturing of those fashions relatively impulsively within the overdue ’80s and did not go away a lot in the back of. They are interesting from a collector’s perspective as a result of there may be nonetheless such a lot to be told, and from an informal fanatic’s point of view, the ’80s fashions be offering an reasonably priced manner into Doxa watches – when they are able to be discovered. They do not steadily arise for transaction, however they are no longer specifically dear in comparison to one of the early Sub 300T “skinny case” fashions or examples signed with the Aqualung insignia.
The ’70s Grow to be the ’80s
Within the historical past of Doxa, a huge shift took place in 1978. That is when the corporate was once bought by means of the Aubry Frères Corporate in conjunction with watch brands Ernest Borel and Aureole. Doxa fashions from the ’80s, when Aubry Frères ran the corporate, are known as “Aubry-era” Doxas.
The Aubry Doxas have been markedly other from the curvy tonneau circumstances of yore. As a substitute, they have been blocky, thick, and featured an outsized bezel. This shift in decoration was once pervasive right through the ’80s. Within the automobile world, curves had completely long gone out of fashion by means of 1980; as an alternative, the last decade was once marked by means of box flares, proper angles, and sq. panels. If the Aubry Doxas have been a truck, they would be a Jeep Wagoneer.
There is something in regards to the brutish squared-off decoration that is much more harking back to purposeful decoration than the svelte curves of the ’60s and ’70s. Take the Sub600T in the picture right here, as an example. The 14mm thick case turns out find it irresistible may just continue to exist the blast of a SCUD missile. The glass is mineral at a time when many dive watches have been nonetheless the usage of acrylic.
And identical to a Jeep, the Doxa caliber 5910 within many Aubry-era fashions is straightforward to handle – it is an ETA 2782 (the 2783 was once extensively utilized). Any watchmaker can paintings on it. The dial is slathered with tritium and the signature outsized minute hand is carried over from the old Doxas. In different phrases, the Aubry Doxas have all of the appeal of the genuine designs, however they are simply harder. And that’s the reason mirrored within the 600m water resistance score.
The Doxa I photographed for this piece may also be traced back to Abel Court of HeuerTime, a antique watch broker based totally in Belgium. In 2015, he unearthed a stash of 14 NOS Aubry-era Doxas within the Heart East. They have been time-capsule watches, which he describes as “unworn, some even with protecting sealant at caseback and case. Some with hangtags. All of them got here on their straps, complete period.” Courtroom even supplied an instance for the Aubry bankruptcy of Dr. Peter Millar’s well-known Doxa ebook, as NOS examples from the ’80s have been very laborious to come back by means of previous to Courtroom’s discovery.
Those watches have been dear when new, and didn’t promote specifically neatly. Few have been made. Moreover, ’80s watches weren’t thought to be “antique” but when Doxa fashions from the ’60s and ’70s changed into well-liked right through the early 2000s, so the handful of ’80s fashions that have been produced existed in relative obscurity. For a protracted time, they have been unwanted.
From the ’80s to As of late
The product line-up at Doxa this present day reveals the brand open to experimenting, with notable watches just like the tech-forward Sub 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Limited Edition and the value-oriented Sub 200 Professional. Doxa is now not an operation only all for reproducing designs strictly from its golden period.
And but even so, golden eras replace. Each era wistfully embraces nostalgia from an previous part in their existence; that is why the Wagoneer is back in taste. The “shark teeth” dial decoration was once born and died within the Aubry period, however perhaps that is what’s subsequent for Doxa. It would be an exhilarating addition to the modern line-up.
Now that the ’80s are back in style, I am pulling for the genuine Aubry Doxas to in any case have their moment. I used to be presented one in all Courtroom’s examples back in 2016 for an ideal value, however did not pull the cause. Ugh. Gag me with a spoon.
Particular due to TheWristorian for offering the Doxa photographed.