Aqua-Lung-branded DOXA dive watches are rare, expensive, and (whether you like them or not) undeniably cool and unto themselves. DOXA is an independent Swiss watch house dating back to 1889, and DOXA didn’t just weather the quartz crisis, it actually started making these striking, purpose-built dive watches in the midst of it. To have their back catalog winning over a whole new generation of fans seems a fitting reward for their perseverance.
DOXA’s unmistakable dive bezels hold a standard one-hour dive inner track as well as an outer “no-decompression” track. The deeper you dive, the less time you can spend at that depth. Spend too much time at any given depth, and you’ll have to make decompression stops while ascending in order to “off gas” the nitrogen built up in your body. The Searambler’s “no-deco” bezel indicates how long you can stay under at any depth without having to make extra decompression stops; this is crucial information because without it you risk the bends, an unthinkably painful—and sometimes lethal—condition. Today’s divers use computers to track all that, but right up into the early 1990s tools like DOXA’s dual-track dive bezel and a depth gauge were the computational devices SCUBA divers relied on.
The Silver Lung Searambler’s bezel is wide, and thus quite legible, but it also reduces the dial and crystal down to just 25.5 millimeters. On the Silver Lung, DOXA has finished that dial in the highly coveted silver sunray color, first issued in 1967. The chubby orange minute-hand reads like the instrument gauge its intended to be, and the comparatively little black hour-hand—which divers are rarely concerned with—plays a secondary role by design.
How that tiny dial manages to incorporate four lines of text, a date window, the entire Aqua Lung logo, and a beefy minute-track while maintaining superb legibility is an industrial design case study worthy of a graduate thesis. Throw in how uniquely stylish this dial is, and students of fashion might end up reading that thesis, were such a thing to exist.
Chances are the Silver Lung Searambler will sell out in pre-sale just as the limited edition Black Lung did in 2017. If this rare beauty belongs in your collection, you best move fast. DOXA