Geneva Watch Days, like any big trade event in the watch industry, means a cluster of brands with new releases, all vying for the attention of the public, and of watch media. The “novelties” that are unveiled during these things are often just that, in the sense that these new releases are perhaps not representative of what a brand will usually produce. They are meant to grab headlines, start conversations, and garner immediate reactions. They’re novel. This year, Doxa showed us that they know how to play the game, with a new watch that quickly became a hot topic all over Watch Internet: the SUB 300β Sharkhunter.
What we have here is a SUB 300 in a black ceramic case with 18K gold accents on the bezel and crown. No Doxa has ever expressed this particular kind of understated nightlife vibe ever before, for better or worse. Doxa seems to be leaning into it – their press copy says this watch was built to defy dress codes. Now, I’m an American, an elder millennial, and I feel like I’ve been defying dress codes for as long as I’ve been a functioning adult (I’ve been told we killed Business Casual – you’re welcome). But for some, subverting a dress code might be a serious transgression, and for them, Doxa has a watch made just for you.
The strange thing about the SUB 300β Sharkhunter, beyond the fact that this is a Doxa with solid gold components, a rare occurrence but not unheard of, is the visual impression of the dial. This watch, believe it or not, has a date display at 3:00. It’s tough to see, because they’ve gone the route of not only color matching the date wheel to the dial, but the date text itself. But I’ve been informed it’s definitely there. Black on black on black might not seem like a logical choice for a tool or sports watch, and…well it’s just definitely not. I’m not really sure where I was going there.
Here’s the thing: I like black watches. I like ceramic. I also like gold. And I’m even developing a deeper appreciation for straight up dive watches after kind of letting them go for a few years in favor of less sporty fare. But this watch seems to suggest that simply combining a number of things that are undeniably appealing isn’t necessarily a recipe for a watch that is universally loved. Because this watch, I mean, let’s just say after reviewing some of the commentary on IG over the last few days, is not universally loved.
Which is not to say that there won’t be some people that love it. And those people, I’m sure, will love it a lot. That always seems to be the case with unusual watches that generate a lot of online conversation (and snark). The watches that are the subject of memes today might be the sought after collectibles a generation from now. Watch fanatics who are yet to be born could very well be on a years long hunt for a SUB 300β Sharkhunter.
I think one of the things that is taking people aback a bit by the SUB 300β Sharkhunter is that this format is so well known for its bright colors. Is there a more iconic orange dial than the one found on the SUB 300? I would argue there is not. This new watch, while novel in many important ways, is still just a SUB 300 when you zoom out far enough. The case is a familiar 42.5mm in that iconic cushion shape, and it has all the deep diving specs you’d want in a Doxa, including water resistance to 300 meters, a screw down crown, and a COSC certified movement within an interior titanium container for extra protection. It’s just, perhaps, the strangest version yet of this particular diver. And Doxa made one with a treasure map on it just this year, so that’s saying something.
The SUB 300β Sharkhunter will be available in October, and carries a retail price of $6,950.