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DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch

DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch Watch Releases

Long before we had Zenith and Land Rover, the long-running canon of watches and brand partnerships was forged on the track and beneath the waves by names like Heuer with British automaker McLaren, and Rolex with experimental diving organization Comex. But bearing an equal share of significance (and a similar timeline of the latter) is the partnership between dive gear manufacturer Aqua Lung and DOXA. However, while the aforementioned partnerships have since faded into watch lore, DOXA is again partnering with Aqua Lung, this time to celebrate the dive gear manufacturer’s 75th anniversary by introducing a very special watch of its own: a re-issue of a rare DOXA Sub 300 prototype, originally nicknamed ‘Black Lung’ by collectors.

DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch Watch Releases

This edition isn’t just a reproduction of a vintage watch though – it’s an official rebirth of the Aqua Lung partnership that helped put DOXA on the map in the late sixties. Back then, the Sub’s quirky, purpose-built design, bright orange dial, and dependability at depth ultimately won it the approval of Jacques Cousteau – the godfather of modern diving and the inventor of the original self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (then dubbed ‘aqua-lung,’ now more widely referred to its acronym: ‘scuba’) in 1943. Cousteau’s company US Divers helped distribute the watches in North American dive shops, but would eventually consolidate both his Aqua Lung and US Divers ventures under the singular Aqua Lung name in the late nineties. Despite the co-branded watches ceasing production in the late seventies, the DOXA partnership remains an important milestone for both brands in the development of the rapidly developing recreational diving market.

DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch Watch Releases

Nicknamed ‘Black Lung’ for its yellow-on-black US Divers and aqua-lung logo, the 1967 vintage edition was only produced in extremely limited prototype form, as it was quickly discovered that the black logo ‘hid’ the black seconds hand, and the design was soon updated with the un-filled, lined Aqua Lung logo version most vintage DOXA fans are now familiar with. With reference to this detail, the seconds hand is probably where the re-issue is the least faithful to the source material, as it is fully lumed and easily contrasted anywhere on the dial.

DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch Watch Releases

DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch Watch Releases

Otherwise, nearly everything else with the Sub 300 ‘Black Lung’ Re-Issue is a pitch-perfect homage to the original. It’s built around DOXA’s 50th Anniversary re-issue case – a relatively modest, 43mm x 13mm case (which was massive for its time when introduced in 1967), and topped with the brand’s signature patented “No-Decompression” rotating bezel. Thankfully, progressive trends towards larger watches over the last 30 years enabled it to age gracefully into the modern age. Inside ticks a chronometer-spec ETA 2824 movement, which is an upgrade from most of the modern DOXA collection which uses Sellita and Soprod movements. The watch is completed with a generously domed sapphire crystal (another modern upgrade over the acrylic of the original) that lends a subtly distorted ‘porthole’ effect when viewed at side angles.

DOXA SUB 300 Black Lung Re-Issue Dive Watch Watch Releases

Given the extreme scarcity of the original, it’s widely considered a grail watch for many vintage dive watch collectors, including ablogtowatch alumni and Analog Shift founder James Lamdin. That collectibility has also led it to be one of the most sought-after modern re-editions, but one that DOXA was unable to reproduce without Aqua Lung’s official blessing. Apparently though, the modern Black Lung is also destined to be quite scarce – rumor has it that all 300 pieces of this limited edition have already been sold in the 24 hours since it became available. Should any still be up for grabs, you can obtain one for the special pre-order price of $2,190.

About the Author

Zach is a writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His appreciation for watches stems around their ability to inherently tell a story about their wearer, simultaneously representing both a journey, and a particular moment in time. As a genuine gear nerd with an affinity for large bodies of water, he loves getting his hands dirty, sweaty, or submerged with anything that’s been purpose-built for the task at hand.

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  • SuperStrapper

    It surprises me not this is long sold out. It’s not my style but people are crazy for this watch, it has a strong cult following.

    The reissue is very faithful, which is nice to see.

  • TrevorXM

    Like the Zodiac just featured, this watch does have a lot of unique style going for it. I can see the appeal for collectors.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Doxawho ?

    • MeaCulpa

      It’s a watch brand that is of some importance to Clive Cussler and people that went into a come in 1969 and still thinks that divers wear dive watches and that scuba diving is the realm of “hard men”, battling sharks with spear guns and what not.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I don’t think I’m butch enough to wear this. I freak if i see a spider.

        • IG


          • Raymond Wilkie

            A parrot fish with a beak ! in the Maldives. It drew blood, little fecker. !

  • Ross Diljohn

    I do like doxa dive watches but you never see them in stores. Looking for a shark hunter for years.

    • I believe they’re only sold online, which would explain the lack of a brick & mortar presence.

      • Ross Diljohn

        Yes I discovered that a while back but the problem is that I will never buy a watch that I don’t try on first and get an idea for size and feel as well as the quality of the build and the finish. It seems that lack of brick and mortar presence hinders the brand as I don’t think I am in any way unique in wanting to see and wear it first.

        • egznyc

          I remember seeing this brand in store windows somewhere in Europe or Asia a number of years ago, before I was really watch obsessed. I didn’t even realize they were a Swiss brand. Still not sure how the name is pronounced!

          • spiceballs

            There is at least one watch shop (on Queen’s Road Central, HK) that I know sells Doxa.

  • Kuroji

    Not a fan of the tiny-dial-in-a-giant-case look.

    • SuperStrapper

      Which is a sometimes nasty side effect of this case shape. Completely subjective opinion obviously and there are legions of people that love it

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I can’t see what other people see in it, but as you say………..subjective,

      • IG

        Legions of people? Are they marching in formation to the Doxa dealers?

        • SuperStrapper

          Yes. Problem?

  • Rupert Muller

    “Inside ticks a chronometer-spec ETA 2824 movement, which is an upgrade from … Sellita and Soprod movements.”

    Again and again we are taught that ETA calibers are superior to Sellita. One can read this statement spread out all over the watch journalism. However, did anyone EVER try to proof this assumption? Just by continuously repeating it does not become true.
    I think it would be the task of “The World’s Most Popular Source for Watch Reviews, News & Admiration Since 2007” to write an article to compare ETA with Sellita movements. And please provide facts! Please talk to watch brands that use both (e.g. Richemont and LVMH brands) and ask about sales guarantee rates. I am pretty sure that a standard three-hand movement from Sellita is not inferior to an ETA brother but I would love to see some proven evidence.

    • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

      Agree. Also mentioned is the Soprod comparison.
      A most unfortunate choice of nick names, IMO.

    • TrevorXM

      I think he mostly meant that a chonometer spec movement was an upgrade, however you may be right.

      In reality, both the Soprod A-10 and the Sellita are better than the ETA 2824. The Sellita is of course a clone of the 2824 but it has an improved hand-winding gear which is really tough to wear down or break as they had that problem when they first struck out on their own. They also have an extra jewel to reduce wear. Meanwhile, the Soprod was not designed to compete with the 2824 (early 1960’s design) but rather the more upscale and newer design ETA 2892 (1970’s design) and is drop-in dimensions to that movement (the Soprod is a 2000’s design). Although it is completely its own design, licensed from Seiko who used it in its high end Credor watches. However they deemed it too expensive to make themselves for their mass produced watches as it doesn’t use the same winding as other Seikos (magic lever) nor Seiko’s own shock protection, as well as other premium features and quality requirements which cut into Seiko’s bottom line.

      • You’re correct – the ‘upgrade’ mentioned was only to chronometer spec, as everything else DOXA uses is ‘top’ grade from what I understand. Probably could have worded it better – I’ve read a great deal supporting the fact that Soprod and Sellita’s equivalents are superior movements to the 2824.

    • Tempvs Mortvvs

      No facts here, just opinions conveyed as facts.

  • A_watches

    its cool, but took freaking expensive, they are mad to charge that price.

  • Pete L

    Retro cool and I like it even though the dial seems too small for the case.

  • IG

    That ugly black logo ruins the dial.


    Something about the case always bugs me w Doxa. Not sure what it is but I would rather go with Aquadive and their cushion cases. This is also too much for what it is but again it is sold out so so suppose that the price was right

    • SharpsvilleBill

      I LOVE the Doxa case and bought a Dirk Pitt Sub 600T Limited edition several years ago. I LOVE it. The 70s case and orange face was a GRAIL piece from the 60s I HAD to have as I drooled it in my earlier teens and WAS a MUST have!

  • Yan Fin

    Good to see Doxa alive. I can understand people who attracted to this version of the sub. I am more of Grafic person ?

  • Nice re-edition!

  • Mr. Snrub

    I really like Doxa, especially the ‘saw tooth’ bezels. Shame there is no way to try one on. They’d probably have a customer…

  • Mark1884

    I know this watch/ brand has a following. Frankly, I do not see the appeal of it. I do not think it is bad, but not for me.
    I would suggest instead of this, try a Breitling Superocean with a coral color dial.