DOXA Army Watches Switzerland Edition
A long awaited reissue. A limited edition of only 100 pieces, launched in collaboration with its partner Watches of Switzerland.
6 months after the official recognition of Swiss Army divers by Swiss Federal Chancellor Viola Amherd (in November 2021), DOXA is especially proud to finally honor them by re-releasing the famous DOXA Army for the first time.
doxa army © Doxa
A nod to the history of the DOXA Army, to mark the launch of the watch in New York with “Watches of Switzerland,” Jan Edöcs, CEO of DOXA Watches, invited 72-year-old Major (S2) Hilty, Switzerland. Sir Robert Hilty has a long history with his DOXA watch that he is very proud of. She hasn’t left her wrist since entering enlistment school with Swiss Army Divers. The watch has always worked perfectly throughout his civil and military career, and therefore witnessed all the important moments in his life. He traveled to New York to celebrate the history of the DOXA Army, as always, and his original DOXA watch on his wrist, was not without sentiment.
There are also more secretive Swiss watch brands, which have a rich and fascinating history in Swiss watchmaking. DOXA is a good example. Today located in Bienne in the heart of the watch industry, owned by the Swiss Jenny family, it is one of the legendary brands in the field of diving watches. Numerous patents, numerous awards at national and international exhibitions, give it a wonderful and extraordinary heritage.
In the early 1960s, the space race took off. However, at the same time as the world is looking toward the stars, another universe, closer but still mysterious, invites us to explore it: the sea. It’s 1964, Urs Eichel, who is responsible for developing DOXA Watches, see where all those great documentaries, TV shows and magazine articles about underwater adventures will take us. Dive watches have been around for a decade, but they are still exorbitantly priced.
Urs Eschle envisions a reliable and affordable watch, tailored to a growing audience of divers. He then created a team that would also include professional divers such as Claude Wesley, already a legend through his assignments with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his participation in sub-continental diving missions I, II and III that began in 1962, similar to Project Silab. To study underwater habitats that will be carried out by the US Navy in a few years.
For them, it’s not just about making an attractive, affordable and water-resistant watch. They are fully aware that the underwater environment is not without dangers and divers rely on their watch for their safety. With this sense of mission and precision, began a three-year process in developing the perfect diver’s watch, the DOXA SUB Concept.
doxa army © Doxa
Unveiled at Baselworld and marketed in 1967, the SUB 300 and SUB 300T became the first 100% professional diving watches accessible to a wider audience. The radical innovations they introduce quickly make them standards for professionals as well. Water-resistant to 300 meters – 30 atm, these two watches feature for the first time a patented rotating bezel that allows control of dive time to ensure uninterrupted ascent.
These watches will become easily recognizable legends as they also introduce for the first time a diver’s watch, an orange dial contrasting with the dials, all black or white at the time, ensuring better readability. Plus, with its prominent pointers and an oversized minute hand filled with beige Super-Luminova™, their dial makes it easy to see useful information in the darkness of the sea floor.
Since 1968, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the co-inventor of scuba diving and the godfather of modern diving, has so appreciated the DOXA SUB concept that the SUB’s orange dial has become a mark on the wrist of divers who leap from Calypso to take millions of viewers on the legendary missions of their “voyage.” Underwater for Team Cousteau.
In 1969, DOXA SUB watches became the “Official Watches” of the Swiss Army’s elite divers unit.
At the same time, in 1966 the Swiss Army began creating units of professional military divers, trained to be the true elite forces. The first members of this unit of highly specialized Swiss divers have been trained since 1968. Meanwhile, the DOXA SUB 300T won the evaluation procedure established by the Swiss Army to equip divers. Thus, between 1968 and 1975, Swiss divers were systematically equipped with the SUB 300T Professional – launched in 1967 and more popular with divers. About 150 copies of the SUB 300T Professional would fit the wrists of Swiss Army divers at the time. The bottom of each case contains a number corresponding to each diver’s personal diving equipment, who can also use his watch to dive outside of his business hours.
The SUB 300T was so appreciated by the elite divers of the Swiss Army, that other units outside Switzerland also used this model with pleasure.
doxa army © Doxa
Birth of Doxa’s Army
Also in the framework of its military cooperation with the Swiss Army, and first marketed in 1969, DOXA developed a special custom model, aptly called the Army – the “perfect watch for military divers”.
Recognizable by its black case, diving bezel with black insert and sandy beige dial, the watch continues to ensure excellent readability while diving. Renowned diving doctor, Dr. Peter Neusberger, who notably accompanied Swiss Army diving swimmers, also received his own personal DOXA Army at this time, as part of his military service.
doxa army © Doxa
Jan Edaux, CEO of DOXA, comments: “The DOXA Army – due to its history with the Swiss Army, and its unusual original design, is one of the most sought after vintage DOXA pieces, for many years, by collectors. Today I am pleased to be reissued This remarkable model of our brand for the first time, keeping true to the original design, while giving it a soft and subtle touch of modernity and current performance, with a matte black ceramic case and movement whose accuracy is COSC certified after the official recognition of Swiss Army divers by the Swiss Federal Chancellor Viola Amherd 6 months ago, we can finally celebrate not only an exceptional watch born over 50 years ago, but also an excellent collaboration with our partner Swiss Watches.
Case at that time, steel blackened by oxidation
If the DOXA Army holds a special place in the history of the brand because of its connections to the Swiss Army, it is also one of the first watches to use a relatively early case coating in watchmaking. At that time: the steel was blackened by an oxidation process, giving it an anti-reflective matte black color for an original effect at the time. A visual rendering developed by today’s reissue, it is presented in matte black ceramic that is as visually close as possible to the original.
The DOXA Army was a great example of DOXA’s innovative spirit, which offered for every situation a diving tool perfectly adapted to every field of use, both for professional divers (with its SUB 300T Conquistador and its helium valve), SCUBA pioneers such as Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the Calypso team. For him (with patented decompression frame for SUB models) or even for military use (with DOXA Army).
doxa army © Doxa
Just like the first SUBs with their original orange discs, the DOXA Army of that time is today one of the rarest and most sought-after models of the DOXA brand.
Today, more than 50 years after its debut, DOXA is reissuing the Army model in a small limited edition of only 100 pieces, with its Anglo-American partner “The Watches of Switzerland”. It is delivered with two straps – black FKM rubber and NATO type with a camouflage pattern – in a special case for this series, which takes the original Swiss Army camouflage pattern at the time.
Look, buy now: The DOXA Army model is now available at all Watches of Switzerland points of sale where DOXA watches are located, and on watch e-commerce platforms from Switzerland and DOXA Watches.