Hands On: Doxa SUB 1200T Professional Review


Doxa’s watchmaking roots trace all the way back to 1889. Fast forward to 1964: Doxa began the development of the SUB, something completely new to them and the world. The brand collaborated with who may be the most famous diver of all time, Jacques Cousteau – the explorer, conservationist, Naval Officer, filmmaker, scientist (you get the picture), his company (US Divers Company), and diver Claude Wesly (google him) in efforts to produce what would later become the SUB 300T. With its bright orange dial, rotating bezel, and an unheard of level of water resistance, this new Doxa SUB changed the game.. well, started it.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau wearing a Doxa SUB

Two years after its official unveiling at Basel, the Doxa SUB also became the first watch available to those same consumers with a Helium-Release-Valve, which allowed gasses that may have been trapped inside of the case during deep dives to be be released safely from the watch during decompression, thus preventing the crystal from potentially being blown off. Yes, while the Rolex Sea-Dweller and its inclusion of a similar device was in production at the same time, it was only available as a commercial tool, and therefore not the first watch YOU could buy with this feature.

Doxa SUB 300T Conquistador

Describing this watch is fairly easy, because there’s nothing to really compare it to – it’s unlike anything ever strapped to my wrist. Never have I felt such a sense of surety while wearing a wristwatch. It makes you feel as though it could do anything you asked of it; not one part of this thing suggests that it would ever fail you. Like a motivational YouTube video, the SUB 1200T urges you to get out of your comfort zone. It urges you to explore new things and take chances.

Supreme “Gunmetal” NATO strap from http://www.crownandbuckle.com

The cushion-style case is finished exceptionally well for a sub-$2k watch. The bezel action is the best and most solid I’ve felt, with each of the 120 clicks slamming to the next with no play, no fuss. The brushed inner bezel ring shows elapsed time, while its polished outer counterpart displays Doxa’s patented no-decompression dive table bezel. The deep blue (Caribbean) dial looks as though you’re peering through a porthole into an abyss. The white-painted hands are clear and concise, being easily readable in nearly every scenario. The Superluminova is adequate, but nowhere near (at least on this example) what I’ve come to expect of a professional-grade diver. The original SUB 300 used a greater amount of glow-in-the-dark material on its dial than any wristwatch that came before it.. This 1200t should be better.

Beads-of Rice

Wearing the Caribbean is a pure joy on my 7.25″ wrists; its short lug-to-lug measurement makes it wear very square. In comparison, my Oris Aquis @ 43mm wears larger by a decent margin. Its self-winding ETA 2824-2 (or Sellita SW200) movement is accurate, running +3/4 seconds per day in my experience, and undeniably reliable. The “beads of rice” bracelet is lovely, but I find this piece most enjoyable when strapped to a great grey NATO strap; just as I do most of my watches.


To sum this up: The Doxa SUB is worth every penny, and worthy of being your companion for nearly any expedition you could take it on. No, it’s not the most casual watch out there, and in no way does it fit in during a board-room meeting, but is that what you’re buying it for? Have you done something lately that makes you uncomfortable?

If the answer is no – buy a Doxa and go explore something new. Step out of the ordinary. Go make Jacques Cousteau, and more importantly yourself proud.


  • Case Diameter – 42.70mm (not including crown)
  • Dial Diameter – 27mm
  • Case Thickness – 14.4mm
  • Lug-2-Lug – 44.6mm
  • Lug Width – 20mm
  • Water Resistance – 1200m/3937ft
  • Crystal – 3mm Sapphire w/ AR coating
  • Movement – ETA 2824-2 or SW200
  • Power Reserve – 42 hours
  • Suggested Retail – $2490 (you can purchase new from Doxa for $1890)
  • Warranty – 2 years

Visit http://www.doxawatches.com/SUB1200T-Caribbean.html for more information

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