Last year, DOXA hit a home run with their now sold out 50th Anniversary SUB 300 Professional “heritage” reissue, a watch that honored the original DOXA Sub to a tee (pun intended). Today, DOXA is following up with a grand slam of an announcement with the DOXA SUB 300 “Black Lung” limited edition, a watch that celebrates DOXA’s important relationship with Aqua-Lung–the renowned scuba gear company–as well as a historic and rare diver born of that partnership. Aqua-Lung pioneered the first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), which of course led to expanded possibilities for underwater exploration and to a boom in recreational diving. In 1967, DOXA introduced the first SUB, a specially designed tool watch for divers, and it quickly gained the approval of those early diving pioneers. Later that same year, DOXA and Aqua-Lung would team up to create a prototype SUB with a yellow and black Aqua-Lung logo printed in the lower left quadrant of the iconic orange dial.
This original prototype was nicknamed the “Black Lung” by collectors in reference to the logo, and it has since become an incredibly rare and desirable watch in the collecting community as only a handful were ever made. The US Divers company started to distribute DOXA watches, and many subsequent iterations of the SUB would carry a standard U.S. Divers/Aqua-Lung logo on the dial. Eventually, U.S .Divers and Aqua Lung would consolidate into one company under the Aqua-Lung name, and that company continues today to be at the forefront of diving equipment development and technology.
With DOXA and Aqua-Lung having such a rich and intertwined history, it makes perfect sense for them to come together once again to celebrate that heritage. We all know that the “heritage” craze is sweeping the watch industry, and as a vintage watch lover, I laud the trend. That said, some heritage editions are better than others, and this is clearly one of the better ones.The Black Lung is simply brilliant. DOXA really nailed this one, with looks and dimensions that closely emulate the original. The iconic stainless steel cushion case is a near-perfect 42.5mm wide, and at a mere 13.4mm thick, this will really have that vintage feel on the wrist. The orange dial with the Black Lung logo are complemented by the classic DOXA hands, with the big ole minute hand and puny hour hand. This can be a look that takes getting used to, but it is part of the style and history of the brand.
The crystal is a highly domed sapphire, adding to the vintage vibe. The serrated-edge bezel has the classic DOXA dual purpose engraving, with an elapsed time inner ring in black and the “no-decompression” scale outer ring in orange.
The Black Lung is powered by a chronometer-grate ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, so no worries in that department. The superb and eminently wearable DOXA solid link beads-of-rice bracelet with an integrated wetsuit extension finishes off the whole package.
Want one? You can pre-order one directly from the DOXA website for $2,190, with shipping anticipated to be in December of this year. But don’t sleep on this gem; it’s limited to only 300 pieces and I’m betting they’ll go fast! Doxa