As its latest new release of 2023, Doxa has created a special-edition version of its SUB 300T dive watch that pays tribute to the life of American adventure novelist and explorer Clive Cussler. In addition to famously wearing a Doxa SUB 300T with orange dial in his personal life, Cussler also chose the same watch for his novels’ protagonist Dirk Pitt, and Cussler’s works were instrumental in helping put Doxa on the radar of a more mainstream audience, cementing the brand’s reputation as a manufacturer of rugged and adventure-ready timekeeping companions. Joining the catalog for 2023 is the Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler, which features a unique compass-inspired dial and aged finishing that celebrates the life and works of one of the most famous Doxa wearers of all time.

In terms of its core case design and functionality, the new Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler (ref. 840.80.031.15) is largely the same watch as the standard SUB 300T models, which means that it is based upon an angular cushion-shaped stainless steel case that measures 42.5 in diameter by 14mm thick with 20mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug distance of 44.5mm. Despite its somewhat imposing dimensions, the case of the SUB 300T is surprisingly not all that large once you actually get it on the wrist due to its relatively compact lug-to-lug profile, and pictured here on Ariel’s wrist (as he was the one who took the photos), the new Clive Cussler edition does not appear to be all that much bigger than any other chunky purpose-built diver.

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Similar to other current-production SUB 300T models, a flat sapphire crystal sits above the dial, a solid screw-down caseback is fitted to the reverse side of the watch, and at the 3 o’clock location is a winding crown that is signed with the Doxa fish logo, and it screws down to help support the model’s rather generous 1,200 meters of water resistance. Additionally, just like other SUB 300T models, the Clive Cussler edition features a helium escape fitted to the side of its case at 9 o’clock, and this enables the watch to be used for saturation diving applications. Although a helium escape valve is a feature that most of us will never actually require, it does make sense from a thematic perspective to include one on the new Clive Cussler edition, given both the actual life of Cussler himself and the fictional world that he created for his novels.

With that in mind, unlike the standard-production SUB 300T watches, the new Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler features an aged finish across the entirety of its metal components, which gives the model the appearance that it has spent many years being used in a variety of different demanding conditions. Furthermore, rather than receiving Doxa’s standard fish emblem engraving, te caseback on the new Clive Cussler edition features the logo of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which was founded by Cussler in 1979. Additionally, the engraving includes the names of all of the organization’s expeditions surrounding its emblem in the center, and this occupies the entirety of the space on the caseback. Similarly, the side of the aged stainless steel bezel also features engravings that denote the model’s Clive Cussler association, along with each watch’s individual serial number positioned below the serrated upper rim.

While the aged case finish is certainly unique among Doxa’s modern lineup, arguably the single most distinguishing feature of the new Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler is its handmade dial, which has been inspired by the design of a vintage compass and features an aged finish to match the case. While the overall layout of the dial is the same as what can be found on the standard SUB 300T models, the center features an embossed compass rose pattern, while the “Clive Cussler” name appears in red letters to match the accents on the seconds hand and bezel. Additionally, the calendar disc (which presents the date through a window in the dial at the 3 o’clock location) features black numerals, with the dates 7, 15, and 31 printed in red as a nod to Clive Cussler’s birthday (July 15th, 1931).

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Powering the new Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler edition is what the brand calls a “Swiss mechanical automatic” movement, and as is often the case with the brand’s watches, an exact caliber or manufacturer has not been specified. That said, with the familiar specs of a 28,800vph (4 Hz) operating frequency and a power reserve of approximately 38 hours, the movement inside the SUB 300T Clive Cussler is more than likely the same Sellita SW200 automatic movement that is used in the brand’s standard SUB 300T watches. Realistically speaking, no one is buying a Doxa (especially not this particular model) solely due to the movement used to power it, and a reliable known-quantity caliber is perfectly suited for a timepiece of this nature, especially when it is hidden behind a nicely decorated caseback.

Fitted to the 20mm lugs of the Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler is a stainless steel “beads of rice” bracelet that features the same dark aged finish that can be found throughout the case and bezel of the watch. The bracelet offers a completely solid-link construction, and it includes a double push-button folding clasp that has an integrated extension system (identical to the clasp style fitted to the Doxa Army that I previously reviewed here). Operating the extension is done by pressing the two secondary buttons located on the side of the clasp, and this allows the interior extension piece to slide out and offer multiple positions of on-the-fly incremental adjustment.

While the bracelet is clearly intended to be the primary option for the new Clive Cussler edition, Doxa also includes an additional beige NATO strap with a chunky signed pin buckle that compliments the antique compass-inspired dial color of the watch. Additionally, should buyers wish to wear the new SUB 300T Clive Cussler on a rubber strap, a two-piece black FKM rubber option also exists, and it is fitted with the same clasp as the bracelet (complete with a matching aged finish). With that in mind, the rubber strap is not included with the watch (a stock image of it is included within the gallery below), although it can be purchased separately at an additional charge.

Delivered in a book-themed presentation box as a nod to Cussler’s novels, the new Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler is clearly aimed at collectors and enthusiasts, although this unique model is not being produced as a limited edition. While it is highly unlikely that this special-edition watch will be a long-term offering in Doxa’s lineup, anyone who wants to buy the new Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler can purchase one at its official retail price of $2,690 USD, while the additional black rubber strap costs $490 USD. Compared to the standard SUB 300T models, the price premium for the new Clive Cussler edition is not insignificant (approximately 40%), although it’s undeniable that this is one of the most unique watches that Doxa has put forward in recent years, and it offers a significantly different aesthetic compared to the any of the other models in the brand’s current lineup. For more information on the Doxa SUB 300T Clive Cussler watch, please visit the brand’s website.

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