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Thread: The DOXA Appreciation Thread

  1. #1
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    The DOXA Appreciation Thread

    Introduction

    Some of you will be aware that in January of this year I fulfilled a long-held ambition by ordering a DOXA SUB 1500t from the factory. Ironically, I ended up waiting 4½ months for delivery, but that’s another story! Since its arrival I’ve posted a couple of photos of it, most notably in my monster SOTC thread posted earlier this summer. Of all the watches I featured in that thread (12 in all), the DOXA was probably the one that attracted the most ‘likes’ in the subsequent responses, and more than one member asked if I would publish a review. Beyond that, one member suggested a DOXA Appreciation Thread similar to those in Watch Talk for Breitling and Speedmaster, and so I’ve decided to combine the two suggestions by starting an Appreciation Thread and reviewing mine as the first post.

    It would be good if DOXA owners on here with both vintage models and new ones would contribute reviews and feedback. I think it would be interesting to build a body of opinion here, away from what I understand (without any personal experience, it has to be said) to be the excessively moderated environment of the factory-sponsored DOXA S.A. Forum on WUS.

    So, that’s the rationale behind the thread… now for the promised review.

    DOXA SUB 1500t Professional

    Overview

    As a dive watch enthusiast, I think it’s hard not to get excited about the idea of owning a DOXA SUB. After all, this is the watch that is credited with a number of ‘firsts’… the first professional grade dive watch available to the general public (according to them, anyway – introduced in 1967), the first dive watch to display the US Navy’s No-Decompression table on its rotating bezel, the first dive watch with an integrated Helium Release Valve (this of course is disputed by Rolex but it was DOXA who actually patented the design in 1969), the first dive watch available with an orange dial (introduced in 1966), the watch adopted by Jacques Cousteau as part of his team’s standard equipment...

    Doxa stopped producing the SUB some time in the 1970s at the height of the infamous ‘quartz crisis’, and it was reintroduced to the world in 2002, so SUBS fall into the two clear categories of vintage (pre-mid 70s/80s) and new (2002 onwards). When I went looking for one I was tempted initially by an older model, but it seems to me that most of the ones out there these days are either affordable but really battered, or in fabulous condition but really pricey. Looking at the prices of more recent used watches, I felt that going brand new would be the answer if I could find a good enough price. That led me to research the current models through their website, and for a number of reasons I’ll explain in a moment, the watch that immediately jumped out at me was the 1500t Professional.



    Model

    So, I bought the SUB 1500t Professional which is the SUB model in a 45mm diameter case, with a depth rating to 5000 feet/1500 metres, the traditional ‘dive table’ bezel, orange dial and what DOXA describe as “a modern interpretation of the original ‘Beads of Rice’ bracelet”. The word Professional is what identifies the dial colour – DOXA give their dial colours names, so Professional = orange, Sharkhunter = black, Searambler = silver and Caribbean = blue.

    My reasons for choosing the 1500t were basically a process of elimination – after taking out of consideration the Ti-cased ones (too light), the one with a power reserve indicator (don’t like ‘em), the chrono (I wanted it to be close to the original concept) and the ones that were too small (anything under 44mm would not have worked for me)… this was the obvious, perfect and only choice!

    Case

    The iconic ‘cushion’-shaped lug-less stainless steel 316L case is immediately recognisable and not quite like anything else. I imagine you either love it or not – personally I think it’s a lovely organic shape and beautifully executed.



    The upper surface is brushed while the sides and the case back are polished. The overall depth is 15mm which I don’t feel is unreasonable. There is an unobtrusive and flush Helium Release Valve at 9 o’clock, with the crown opposite at 3 o’clock. The crown is milled and easy to grasp and operate, with the logo on the polished face. The ‘lugs’ are drilled.



    The case back features the Jenny stylised fish logo in the centre, and the engraving around the back is clear and crisp. There is one slightly strange thing about it – the website currently identifies that the 1500t is a limited edition of 5000 pieces, and that’s what it said when I placed my order. However, the engraving on the back of mine clearly identifies that it’s one of just 1500. I’m not bothered either way, but I wonder which one is correct?



    Crystal

    As you would expect the crystal is sapphire with AR (so with excellent clarity and no discernible distortion), and is very slightly domed. As the bezel is very slightly ‘pitched’ inwards, the net result is that the highest point of the crystal is only just fractionally higher than the outer edge of the bezel.

    Movement

    The 1500t is fitted with the Soprod Alternance A10, which is a 25-jewel Swiss automatic that obviously both hacks and hand winds. Apparently, the power reserve is fairly typical at around 42 hours, and I have no reason to disbelieve it. Although DOXA makes no COSC claims for the watch, it’s currently running at about +3 seconds a day. It winds smoothly, is quiet and when shaken it winds with no perceptible movement of the watch from the rotor. Apparently DOXA decorate the movement, but since the case back is solid I really can’t see the point to be honest…

    Ironically, this movement is the reason it took me so long to lay my hands on the watch… when I placed the order through Jura Watches I was quoted 2 weeks delivery, whereas it subsequently transpired that DOXA were having difficulty sourcing the movements from Soprod. It eventually took over 4 months for delivery!

    Dial

    It’s orange – really orange! The dial colour on these is stunning; I’ve had both a first-generation Seiko Orange Monster and an orange-dialled Orient Mako XL in the past, and I can honestly say that the colour of this dial is infinitely better than both of those. The block 5-minute markers are striking, very true to the original and well-lumed. The lume is good but not quite up to the standard of Seiko’s finest. The classic position of the lettering – again replicated on the 1500t – is to have ‘DOXA, Automatic’ at the 10:30 position and ‘SUB 1500T, Professional’ at the 4:30 position. The only complication is the date window at 3 o’clock – the wheel is black-on-white so it is both clear and matches the 5-minute markers well.



    Hands

    If you’re not familiar with older DOXAs, the hands can come as a bit of a surprise. DOXA SUBs have classically featured what they describe as a dwarf hour hand, meaning that not only is it as usual much shorter than the minute hand, but it’s also in this case only about half the width, too. It looks a little unusual when you first see it, but it certainly adds to the authenticity and somehow just looks right. Both are lumed, as is a block on the black needle second hand.

    Bezel

    I’m intrigued to see that on both the SUB 300 T-Graph and the SUB 4000t in the present line-up, DOXA have chosen to offer the option of a conventional sapphire dive bezel in place of the traditional no-decompression dive table bezel… but I really don’t understand why anyone would want that. The classic bezel is a unique and iconic feature of the watch – and it works so well with the rest of the design. I’m no diver and therefore will never need to use it, but it looks great. The two rings that make up the face of the bezel are in contrasting finishes – polished for the outer ring and brushed for the inner. The bezel is uni-directional, stands proud of the case and features pronounced serrations that make turning it in gloves (I would imagine) very simple.



    Bracelet

    As I’ve banged on and on about the classic design elements of the SUBs, it has to be said in fairness that a noteworthy aspect of the original watches was the ‘Beads of Rice’ steel bracelet. That design is still available within the DOXA range on both the 50th Anniversary variant of the SUB 300 and also as a standard fitting on the 1200t. It’s not however available on the 1500t.

    Instead what we have here is something that DOXA in their own words describe as “a modern interpretation of the original BOR bracelet with an automatic spring-loaded ratcheting extension, that will extend without unfolding the clasp. The links are made of heavy individual beads of steel”. The difference of course is that the beads here are rectangular rather than oval… so I’m not entirely sure they should be called beads.



    However – the 22/20 bracelet is a lovely high-quality piece of engineering and very comfortable. The beads are in contrasting finishes – alternating brushed and polished across the width of the bracelet. The extension does allow the bracelet to be adjusted whilst on the wrist, and it’s good to have some fine adjustment without the need to resize the bracelet or move little fiddly pins around in the clasp. The extension has the DOXA name across it while the clasp features the Jenny fish logo (same as the case back).



    All removable links and the end links are secured with screwed bars that require two screwdrivers to undo them. An over-complication that I could have done without when I was trying to resize the bracelet initially, I must say.

    Packaging

    Anyone who’s bought a DOXA will recognise the unique packaging. The watch arrives in a smart silver tube, with a foam insert in which the watch and warranty card are located.



    Conclusion

    I don’t really like the use of the term ‘grail’, but for a long time I had held the belief that a DOXA was potentially the ultimate orange-dialled dive watch. It’s fair to say that I’ve not been disappointed by the reality of owning one. I actually sold 5 ‘lesser’ watches to be able to fund this purchase, and I feel it was entirely the right choice.

    I find it quite hard to be dispassionate about this watch – frankly, I love it. The only other watch I own that’s attracted as many positive comments from people ranging from family to complete strangers has been my yellow-dialled Seawolf II (probably no surprise there!). If I had to summarise the things I like about it, I’d cite the design, the dial colour and layout, the case & bezel, the bracelet, the overall quality feel and the timekeeping.

    If I was being incredibly picky I’d say that from a purely aesthetic perspective I would probably have preferred it to be fitted with the Beads of Rice bracelet, although I suspect that this one is actually higher quality. I also think that the need for two screwdrivers is unnecessary and risks potential damage when resizing the bracelet. Beyond that, I really don’t have any negatives.

    Some members will wonder about the size of the watch and its consequent comfort on the wrist. Those who know me here will be aware that I own watches of between 43mm and 46mm diameter, so for me the size is ideal. Also, it sits well on the wrist so has proved comfortable even when wearing it for days on end. For anyone thinking of a new DOXA in the traditional style but without the wrist size for the 1500t, there’s always the 1200t that comes in at fractionally over 42mm…

    I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and I’d love to hear your opinions. It would also be great to see further reviews added here covering both other new models as well as vintage ones.

    All the best,

    Simon
    Last edited by mycroft; 15th September 2017 at 19:10.

  2. #2
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting your review, like many I'm interested in Doxa but the often conflicting opinions of the brand has put me off, hopefully this thread may give me some useful pointers.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  3. #3
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    Brilliant review Simon, thanks. Your appreciation of this watch really shines through. In terms of opinions. I am not a fan of cushion cases. This mainly stems from my skinny wrists, so any extra metal around the circular dial always feels like it just isn't needed. However, your write up has encouraged me to try one on to see if I notice the comfortableness.

    Sent from my XT1580 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Master
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    Very comprehensive review with lots of great info. thanks.
    I've owned about 5 or 6 Doxas and found them to be excellent watches. Certainly suitable for what they are designed for. Some folk dislike them on here and make a point of informing everybody but anyone I've spoken to who owns one here or on WUS usually end up owning more than one.
    At present I have a 750T COSC Divingstar that is in pretty much mint condition as it has been swapped between Rich (toshi) and myself and not really worn by either of us, but kept in storage. Confirmed by Doxa that only 20 of these were ever made. Will get some pics up later.
    Last edited by alas58; 15th September 2017 at 17:04.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Thanks for the review, I have always liked Doxa but never quite managed to get one, there was always something else that won out.

  6. #6
    Fantastic review Simon, I for one are a huge fan of the case shape, think I'll be doing a bit of research about Doxa.

  7. #7
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Big Doxa fan here

    I've liked them for ages but their cases were always too big for me. Then I discovered the 1200T and bought a Sea Rambler dial version a few years ago, but it was still slightly too big for my taste so it went. Beautiful dial though, and with the case shape and BoR bracelet, I was hooked.

    Then at the end of last year Doxa announced the 50th Anniversary Sub with the same dimensions as the original 1967 SUB 300, a COSC 2824 movement and box sapphire. How could I resist…





    It's such an iconic watch and couldn't be mistaken for anything else. I'm also a big Clive Cussler fan so a Doxa is a natural fit

    I'm not sure about the company itself, which probably has little in common with the original Doxa, and you can read plenty of horror stories regarding their total lack of customer care, but I'd always assumed that unless I needed to make a warranty claim, I would be employing independents to work on it anyway.

    I quite fancy another Sea Rambler dial but the budget won't allow it for the moment. Maybe one day. For the foreseeable future though, the orange is going nowhere.

  8. #8
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    What size is that please?

    Case and lugs?

  9. #9
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarky View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    What size is that please?

    Case and lugs?
    It's 42.5mm case but wears smaller due to the smaller dial and thicker bezel.

    Height is about 13.5mm, which includes the box sapphire.

    Lug to lug is roughly the same as the width, maybe a few mm longer.

    Bracelet is 20mm, with a 24mm flare at the lugs, then down to 20mm at the clasp.

  10. #10
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    Thanks - perfect size for me too.

  11. #11
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    Thank you for posting your review, like many I'm interested in Doxa but the often conflicting opinions of the brand has put me off, hopefully this thread may give me some useful pointers.
    I think most of the conflicting opinions about DOXA concern the company rather than the watches. My view was that I didn't need to love the company as long as I didn't ever need to activate the warranty!

    Quote Originally Posted by ged View Post
    Brilliant review Simon, thanks. Your appreciation of this watch really shines through. In terms of opinions. I am not a fan of cushion cases. This mainly stems from my skinny wrists, so any extra metal around the circular dial always feels like it just isn't needed. However, your write up has encouraged me to try one on to see if I notice the comfortableness.

    Sent from my XT1580 using Tapatalk
    Thanks for your kind words, ged. If you have skinny wrists then the 1500t might be too big, but there are smaller cases in the range.

    Quote Originally Posted by alas58 View Post
    Very comprehensive review with lots of great info. thanks.
    I've owned about 5 or 6 Doxas and found them to be excellent watches. Certainly suitable for what they are designed for. Some folk dislike them on here and make a point of informing everybody but anyone I've spoken to who owns one here or on WUS usually end up owning more than one.
    At present I have a 750T COSC Divingstar that is in pretty much mint condition as it has been swapped between Rich (toshi) and myself and not really worn by either of us, but kept in storage. Confirmed by Doxa that only 20 of these were ever made. Will get some pics up later.
    That's lovely - and presumably worth more than mine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quality Man View Post
    Fantastic review Simon, I for one are a huge fan of the case shape, think I'll be doing a bit of research about Doxa.
    You should do QM - they're great!

    Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    Simon

  12. #12
    Master village's Avatar
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    I've had this 750T Sharkhunter for some time....I purchased it from its previous owner in 2009,who had originally purchased it in 2005
    This is the Clive Cussler black LE. It's 45mm but ,due to the very comfortable cushion case,doesn't wear 'large'. This particular watch has an ETA 2824-2 inside;it also has a proper beads-of-rice bracelet which is one of the most comfortable bracelets I have worn.




  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post




    There is one slightly strange thing about it – the website currently identifies that the 1500t is a limited edition of 5000 pieces, and that’s what it said when I placed my order. However, the engraving on the back of mine clearly identifies that it’s one of just 1500. I’m not bothered either way, but I wonder which one is correct?

    All the best,

    Simon
    One of the other models did the same with an example being 1500 being the number of Pro (orange) watches, 1500 (silver) Searamblers, 1000 (blue) Caribbeans and 1000 (black) Sharkhunters with a combined total of 5000 x 1500t. Numbers given just example
    So in a way both are correct.
    Last edited by alas58; 15th September 2017 at 21:41.

  14. #14
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I have coverted a Doxa SUB ever since I first got in to watches many years ago. However I have always been wary about the modern incarnation of the company and didn't know enough about vintage examples to buy. (that said I did nearly impulse buy a sealab example on MWR once).
    The OPs thread has answered a few questions about the new versions I had so thank you for that.
    I think they are great looking watches and hope to have one of these and a KonTiki soon. Watch this space.
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 15th September 2017 at 21:34.

  15. #15
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alas58 View Post
    One of the other models did the same with an example being 1500 being the number of Pro (orange) watches, 1500 (silver) Searamblers, 1000 (blue) Caribbeans and 1000 (black) Sharkhunters with a combined total of 5000 x 1500t. Numbers given just example
    So in a way both are correct.
    Aha, I think you've cracked it! That makes perfect sense!

    Simon

  16. #16
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    The OPs thread has answered a few questions about the new versions I had so thank you for that.
    You're most welcome.

    Simon

  17. #17
    Master seffrican's Avatar
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    Quality review, well illustrated. If all the Watch Talk posts were on this level, we wouldn't have threads about how boring the forum has become.

    You made Doxas more interesting to me than they were before. 10/10, would read again.

    Thanks and kudos.

  18. #18
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seffrican View Post
    Quality review, well illustrated. If all the Watch Talk posts were on this level, we wouldn't have threads about how boring the forum has become.

    You made Doxas more interesting to me than they were before. 10/10, would read again.

    Thanks and kudos.
    Thank you seffrican. Now we need some more!

    Simon

  19. #19
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    Thanks for a great revue - I'm still trying to get the 750T Professional but not many come up.

  20. #20
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    I've had this 750T Sharkhunter for some time....I purchased it from its previous owner in 2009,who had originally purchased it in 2005
    This is the Clive Cussler black LE. It's 45mm but ,due to the very comfortable cushion case,doesn't wear 'large'. This particular watch has an ETA 2824-2 inside;it also has a proper beads-of-rice bracelet which is one of the most comfortable bracelets I have worn.



    That's lovely village. I've realised why Sharkhunters always look 'different' to DOXAs of any other dial colour - because the dial is black they had to dispense with one of the classic design cues (the black & white 5 minute markers) and make them all white...

    Simon

  21. #21
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post
    Aha, I think you've cracked it! That makes perfect sense!

    Simon

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Another Doxa fan here!
    Nice 1500t, only a pity it misses the terrific bor bracelet!
    Here my old 1200T mkII;



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  23. #23
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    Another big fan. I have a 50th anniversary pro at the moment.

    Love the BoR bracelets.

    I did have a nice vintage collection which I sold to fund a Daytona! ( that didn't stick, flipped it - regret selling the Doxas!)

    M


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  24. #24
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=markl;4495902]Another big fan. I have a 50th anniversary pro at the moment.

    Love the BoR bracelets.

    I did have a nice vintage collection which I sold to fund a Daytona! ( that didn't stick, flipped it - regret selling the Doxas!)

    M


    Not something I'd have done, Mark... but then I'm not a Daytona fan anyway.

    Simon

  25. #25
    Master markl's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mycroft;4496963]
    Quote Originally Posted by markl View Post
    Another big fan. I have a 50th anniversary pro at the moment.

    Love the BoR bracelets.

    I did have a nice vintage collection which I sold to fund a Daytona! ( that didn't stick, flipped it - regret selling the Doxas!)

    M


    Not something I'd have done, Mark... but then I'm not a Daytona fan anyway.

    Simon
    Yes, wish I could turn back the clock on that one!


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  26. #26
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    Another 50 anni owner here. It's not an everyday watch for me. Ii often have thoughts of flipping it but really it's just something to wear occasionally that makes me smile


  27. #27
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    Love old DOXA's and have had many...many many many ;)

    currently wearing a couple and always looking for more




  28. #28
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demer03 View Post



    That's really nice with the 'Aqualung' logo.

    DOXA bezels are an absolute scratch magnet, aren't they?! Mine's pristine of course, being brand new, but I'm clearly going to have to be careful...

    Simon

  29. #29
    Master demer03's Avatar
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    They are, Simon, but these are from 1968 and 1973....being from 1967 myself, I have my share of scratches ;)

  30. #30
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demer03 View Post
    ....being from 1967 myself, I have my share of scratches ;)
    You're a mere stripling...

    Simon

  31. #31
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    Seen one of these in the wild for the first time recently and they seem to wear much smaller than the 'on paper' dimensions.

    Don't think it was anyone on here unless any of you lot have been through Singapore ferry terminal recently.


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  32. #32
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottd View Post
    Seen one of these in the wild for the first time recently and they seem to wear much smaller than the 'on paper' dimensions.

    Don't think it was anyone on here unless any of you lot have been through Singapore ferry terminal recently.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I certainly don't think people should automatically be put off by the 45mm diameter of mine - they don't wear big, I agree.

    Simon

  33. #33
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    Black Lung reissue

    Reissued within past 12 hours or so
    Already half of the 300 sold per Doxa on WUS
    http://www.doxawatches.com/SUB300-Black-Lung.html


  34. #34
    Master
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    I woke up to that in my inbox this morning. No idea where they got my email from.

    Have to say I really liked it, until I saw the price. Perhaps I don't get the brand, but had its value more £5-700


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  35. #35
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    I woke up to that in my inbox this morning. No idea where they got my email from.
    Likewise.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    Likewise.
    I had that e-mail four times in my inbox and one in spam!

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Emeister View Post
    Reissued within past 12 hours or so
    Already half of the 300 sold per Doxa on WUS
    http://www.doxawatches.com/SUB300-Black-Lung.html

    All sold out now in less than 48 hours. Anyone snag one?

  38. #38
    Master
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    Fantastic post OP, and turned into a good thread too.

    My experience of DOXA hasn't been great, I was offered a vintage one a couple of years ago complete with box and papers so snatched it up, but after years of curiosity I was left a bit disappointed by the way it wore on the wrist. Top quality, but bloody top heavy as well!!

    I sold it here (JasonM) and I believe it was sold on again. I hope it's still around the forum, they seem to be very rare complete with their boxes.

    I would post a picture, but Photobucket swallowed them all!

  39. #39
    Grand Master WORKSIMON's Avatar
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    Still love my Doxa's after all these years but still more into the delights of vintage

    [IMG] [/IMG]
    Cheers

    Simon



    Ralph Waldo Emerson: We ask for long life, but 'tis deep life, or noble moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.

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