Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH
The Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH has a rich heritage, both in terms of the brand’s history and indeed the history of diving watches as a whole. Moreover, it incorporates a number of the brand’s innovations. Steve Ashby looks closely at this eye-catching professional watch.
I am ashamed to admit that, up until a couple of years ago, I had only ever seen photos of Doxa watches. I always liked the look of them, but initially they never struck me as a must-have brand. Then I saw one of the brand’s models in person and tried it on for size. In that brief moment, I was smitten and the company has since assumed permanent residence on my radar.
Over the years I have acquired several divers’ watches. While many are typical of the popular models within this market segment, featuring bracelet extensions, helium release valves and other design features typical of this genre of watch, they are all resolutely modern. I like them all for a variety of reasons, albeit some miss the mark when it comes to fulfilling the ‘traditional diver’s watch’ remit.
Having worked in the watch industry for a number of years, I feel a sense of disappointment when a comparatively mundane timepiece purports to be a diver’s watch merely because it has a maximum water resistance of 200 metres. That’s not to say that such watches can’t be beautiful, and even impressive in their own way, but, for me, a genuine ‘diver’s watch’ has to look the part as well.
There’s a certain appeal to a diver’s timepiece that transcends the capacity to merely tolerate deep water exploration. Indeed, it’s the same appeal that makes watch enthusiasts like myself purchase several diving pieces, despite never intending to wear a snorkel and a wetsuit. Quite simply, the allure of a diver’s watch goes beyond its professional remit.
Part of Doxa’s appeal is that the company has an impressive heritage. The firm is clearly aware of this and has infused its current line with its cherished patrimony, much to the delight of fans old and new. The brand, based in Bern, Switzerland, was founded in 1889 and is best known for creating the first purpose-built publicly accessible diving timepiece, the SUB 300. This watch was named as such because of its ability to be submerged up to 300m underwater. The fact that Doxa has, in more recent years, created the SUB 4000, is a sure-fire sign that the brand knows exactly what is required when making a capable diver’s watch.
The Maison’s love of history is evident with the release of this new Doxa SUB 200 T-GRAPH which pays homage to the iconic ‘SUB concept’ of 1969. Now, half a century later, the brand has given the piece a new lease of life with a limited edition reinterpretation. And, I can already report, it is irresistible.
It’s actually the second reinterpretation of the watch as an 18ct gold version was unveiled earlier this year at Baselworld 2019. This version, encased in noble metal, was limited to a mere 13 pieces worldwide which were subsequently snapped up by avid collectors. The new steel version of the Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH proves far more accessible while still being sufficiently scarce to get enthusiasts hot and bothered. Indeed, there are only 300 pieces available across the globe. The stainless steel case is a faithful rendition of the original 1969 variant, augmenting the appeal to collectors. No doubt many of these Doxa aficionados will be pleased to see the coveted Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH after a 50 year absence.
True to the original, the watch has a booming orange dial, though silver and black versions are also available for those individuals seeking something a little more restrained. The dial is complemented with black hands and baton-style hour markers, each embellished with a luminescent coating. Chronograph registers sit at 3 and 9 o’clock. Each subdial is white with black hands and markings, albeit the 30-minute chronograph register has been enlivened with yellow and black accents. Completing the ensemble is a small date window at 6 o’clock.
Doxa’s patented unidirectional rotating bezel features a dual indication of both the dive time in minutes and the depth in metres, allowing the wearer to easily calculate the dive time without decompression stops. The edge of the bezel incorporates a series of teeth-like projections, aiding rotation with glove-clad hands.
The watch features a beautiful brushed steel case which sits harmoniously with Doxa’s stainless steel ‘Separate Beads of Rice’ bracelet. This latter element looks incredible and proves very comfortable to wear thanks to the small links which facilitate precise adjustment. The bracelet is complemented with a deployant buckle, equipped with a wetsuit extension in true diver’s style.
The Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH is endowed with a period movement, heightening the overall appeal of the watch. For 30 years, Doxa has managed to preserve a number of vintage 7734 Valjoux movements that are not only precise but also give a deferential nod to the company’s roots. The movement is self-winding, has a decent power reserve of 45 hours and a frequency of 18,000 Vph (2.5Hz). While this frequency is slower than most modern-day 4Hz movements, it befits the watch and is sympathetic to the original model released some 50 years ago.
The Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH is modestly priced at £4,690. While this price is greater than many of the brand’s other models it represents excellent value, considering its period movement and relative scarcity.
I am always a fan of homage re-releases, especially when they successfully portray a certain genre of timepiece such as pilot’s watch, or in this case, a diver’s model. Orange dials are easy to get wrong, but Doxa has definitely managed to pull it off in this instance. The bi-compax layout and white subdials look superb and successfully enrich the overall aesthetic. The appearance of the watch captures the period look of the 1969 original, while still appearing applicable to the present day. Indeed, the Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH is proof that vintage styles still have relevance in today’s watch market.
- Model: Doxa SUB 200 T.GRAPH
- Reference: 805.10.351.10
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; height 15mm; water resistance 20ATM (200 metres) sapphire crystal; full caseback with sailboat motif
- Functions: Hours; minutes; seconds; date; chronograph
- Movement: Valjoux 7734; manual winding movement; frequency 18,000 VpH (2.5Hz); 17 jewels; power reserve 45 hours.
- Strap: Stainless steel ‘Separate Beads of Rice’ bracelet with deployant buckle and wetsuit extension.
- Price: £4,690 (RRP as at 24.10.2019)
- Limited Edition: 300 pieces
The press sample was kindly provided by https://www.jurawatches.co.uk