After releasing a black and gold version and a limited edition for Dubai Watch Week, Doxa has finally come out with a permanent collection of steel Doxa SUB 300β watches (which the brand is also referring to as the Doxa SUB 300B and Doxa SUB 300 Beta). The standard SUB300 has always had historicity on its side: Whatever its dimensions and however it may have worn, it was a historically accurate reproduction of the 1967 diving icon. While there are other watches more in need of slimming down, Doxa has taken it upon itself to put the SUB300 on a diet, resulting in the Doxa SUB 300B (that’s the name we’ll use). Now in steel with black ceramic bezels, the watches use color as an accent instead of a cudgel, making the entire package a bit less conspicuous.

The Doxa SUB300B watches keep the same 42.5 diameter and have a .5mm shorter lug-to-lug of 44.5mm, but the main draw will be the thinner case. Instead of the SUB300’s 13.65mm case, the Doxa SUB300B measures 11.95mm thick. Most of this is achieved by using a flat instead of box sapphire crystal, and by using a bezel that’s .5mm thinner. The bezel is also new, crafted entirely from black ceramic, but continuing the brand’s use of the razor edge design. The bezel still includes the dual depth and timing scales, with the blue model featuring a blue ceramic insert instead of black. Unlike the approach taken on the SUB300 Carbon, the inner ring of the black inserts features black-on-black numbering, which may create some legibility issues.

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The crowns screw down and are executed in a matching black ceramic. As the name suggests and history demands, the watches have 300m of water resistance. As you can see, the contrasting fill on the bezel inserts is done in a color that matches the accent color of the dial. While the Dox SUB300B watches are offered on a black FKM rubber strap (blue for the blue dial) with a black PVD-coated steel ratcheting clasp, they are also available on Doxa’s classic steel beads of rice bracelet with the same clasp (without the black PVD coating). There also appears to be the option for FKM rubber straps that coordinate with the dial’s accent color.

The dials are where things get even more interesting, for better or worse. The flat matte color of the classic models has been tossed in favor of a more stylized design. Instead, the SUB300B is available in one’s choice of blue, white, or black dials, all with a sunburst finish and an etched wave pattern. While all three dial options feature orange accents in deference to the brand’s signature color, the black dial is also available with turquoise or yellow highlights. The dials have also been simplified: While they feature the same style of hands, hour markers, crosshair, and date window (color-matched except on the blue dial), they lack minute hashes. This makes the watches seem far more modern, but a bit less technical. Of course, one could always use the minute track on the inner bezel. One final detail: While each watch has familiar text on the dial, the “β” has been added to the model name, and each watch gets its own specifier under the model name.

The watches feature the same movement as the first two SUB300B releases, the Swiss automatic Sellita SW200-1. That means a reliable movement with a quoted minimum 38-hour power reserve at 28,800 vph (the average, according to Sellita, is 41 hours). The standard SUB300 features a chronometer-certified ETA 2824-2. I’m imagining this is where some of the cost savings is coming from (the SUB300B is priced $200 below the SUB300). Depending on how many watches a brand has certified, you can often see a much larger increase for COSC than $200. My guess is the use of ceramic elements may prevent a full realization of the savings from changing movements.

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I’d be surprised if there were any complaints about this small reduction in height. The watch itself isn’t really being sized down, so it will still wear much like the standard SUB300, but the thinner and slightly lighter case should make it wear a bit more easily. The two sticking points will likely be the simpler, patterned dial and the less impressive movement. But the watches are priced cheaper with the Doxa SUB 300B at $2,250 USD on rubber and $2,290 USD on bracelet.  For more information, please visit the brand’s website

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