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The introduction of the Aqua-Lung in 1942 and SCUBA in the 1950s necessitated a watch that could endure exposure to depths far deeper than ever seen before. Before electronic diving computers, watches were a crucial tool for divers, who needed them to calculate dive and decompression times, and they needed specialized, easy-to-read watches. Rolex and Blancpain's iconic dive watches were released during this time, the Submariner and Fifty Fathoms, and both have become the stuff of legend.
By the 1960s, DOXA had decided to develop a dive watch of its own. The Sub 300T Professional was the brainchild of DOXA's product manager Urs Eschle, who consulted with legendary diver Jacques Cousteau in the development of this watch. It had to be comfortable, rugged, and above all reliable, with a dial that could easily be read in the murky depths of the ocean. The Sub 300T Professional debuted in 1967, with a bright orange dial, a unidirectional bezel (the first to feature the U.S. Navy No Decompression chart), and a beads-of-rice bracelet that was the first to implement an expandable clasp that could fit over a diver's wetsuit. Cousteau himself became the sole distributor of the watch in the U.S. through his company U.S. Divers.
While the Sub 300T Professional with its bright orange dial is perhaps the most definitive of them all, DOXA released a version of the Sub 300T with a bright yellow dial. The Diving Star, with its slightly thicker case, is certainly one of the rarest and most elusive, due to its relatively infrequent appearance in the vintage timepiece marketplace. But what sets the Diving Star apart from other DOXAs (even more than the bright yellow dial) is the fact that some were issued to the Marine Nationale.
Records on MN DOXAs are thin, namely because of how few exist. Collectors know of Tudor Submariners or Blancpain Fifty Fathoms produced for the MN, but the records of how many Divingstars were issued to the MN seem to have been lost to the ages. While this example doesn't bear the distinct markings often associated with the Marine Nationale, it is fitted with a thin-triangle aluminum bezel insert, a thicker screw case back, and an unsigned screw-down crown - all features that were found on the few MN-issued Divingstars that have surfaced in recent years.
We've done our best over the years to convey the historical significance of the Sub 300T. Whether this particular one was issued to the Marine Nationale or not, the Diving Star is uncommon enough to elicit excitement, being lovingly preserved and with an aesthetic that is straight out of the 1970s. There's little doubt that the DOXA story is beginning to catch on, and now's your chance to obtain one of the more unusual original variants before it sinks back beneath the surface.
Stainless steel case is approximately 42.5mm (excluding crown). ETA Caliber 2782 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with signs of light and careful polishing. Bezel has signs of use and wear but is in otherwise good condition. Dial is likewise in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent elements. DOXA-signed crown. DOXA "Cubes" case back has faint signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm beads of rice bracelet with DOXA-signed stretch clasp. Clasp has some signs of use and wear in keeping with its age. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle