DOXA Army Watches of Switzerland Edition
A long-awaited reissue. A limited edition of only 100 pieces, launched in collaboration with its partner “Watches of Switzerland”.
Six months after the official recognition of Swiss Army Divers by Swiss Federal Councilor Viola Amherd (in November 2021), DOXA is extremely proud to finally pay them a great tribute by reissuing the famous DOXA Army for the first time.
DOXA army © DOXA
A nod to the history of the DOXA army, on the occasion of the watch’s launch in New York with “Watches of Switzerland”, Jan Edöcs, CEO of DOXA Watches, invited Major (S2) Hilty, Switzerland, 72 years old . Mr. Robert Hilty has a long history with his DOXA watch, of which he is immensely proud. She hasn’t let go of her wrist since she went to Swiss Army Diver recruiting school. The watch has always functioned perfectly during its civil and military career and thus has witnessed all the important moments of its life. It was not without emotion that he traveled to New York to celebrate the history of the DOXA army with, as always, his original DOXA watch on his wrist.
There are other discreet Swiss watch brands, with a rich and fascinating history, in Swiss watchmaking. DOXA is a good example. Today based in Bienne, at the heart of the watch industry, owned by the Swiss Jenny family, it is one of the legendary brands of diving watches. Many patents, many awards at national and international exhibitions, give it a remarkable and extraordinary heritage.
The space race was launched in the early 1960s. But at the same time as the world looks to the stars, another universe, closer but still just as mysterious, calls us to explore it: the sea. It’s 1964, Urs Eschle, responsible for the development of DOXA watches, see where all those fascinating documentaries, TV shows and magazine articles about underwater adventures are going to take us. Dive watches have been around for a decade, but their price is still prohibitive.
The time of the pioneers
Urs Eschle envisions a reliable and affordable watch designed specifically for a growing audience of divers. He then set up a team that will also include professional divers such as Claude Wesly, already a legend for his missions with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his participation in the Precontinent I, II and III diving missions started in 1962, similar to the Sealab- project to study underwater habitats to be conducted by the US Navy a few years later.
For them, it’s not just about making an attractive, affordable and waterproof watch. They fully realize that the underwater environment is not without risk and that divers depend on their watch for their safety. With this sense of mission and precision, a three-year process began to develop the perfect diver’s watch, the DOXA SUB concept.
DOXA army © DOXA
Unveiled at Baselworld and launched in 1967, the SUB 300 and SUB 300T became the first 100% professional diving watches affordable to a wider audience. The radical innovations they present also quickly make them the benchmark for professionals. Water resistant to 300 meters – 30 ATM, these two watches feature for the first time a patented rotating bezel that allows the dive time to be monitored to ensure an ascent without decompression stops.
These watches will become easily recognizable legends as they also present for the first time for a diver’s watch, an orange dial contrasting with the dials, all black or white of the time, ensuring better readability. In addition, with their prominent indexes and oversized minute hand filled with beige Super-Luminova™, their dial makes it even easier to see useful information in the dark of the seabed.
From 1968, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, co-inventor of scuba gear and the father of modern diving, appreciated the DOXA SUB concept so much that the orange dial of the SUB became a mark of recognition on the wrists of divers who of the “Calypso” to take millions of viewers on the legendary missions of “Team Cousteau’s Underwater Odyssey”.
In 1969, DOXA SUB watches became the “official watches” of the Swiss Army’s elite diver unit.
At the same time, in 1966, the Swiss army began to set up units of professional military divers, trained as real elite troops. The first members of this unit of highly specialized Swiss divers were trained from 1968. At the same time, the DOXA SUB 300T won the evaluation procedure set up by the Swiss army to equip its divers. For example, Swiss divers were systematically equipped with a SUB 300T Professional between 1968 and 1975 – launched in 1967 and more than popular with divers. About 150 examples of the SUB 300T Professional will equip the wrists of divers of the Swiss army at the time. The bottom of each case is numbered identical to each diver’s personal diving equipment, who might also use his watch for diving outside of work hours.
The SUB 300T was so valued by the elite divers of the Swiss army that other units outside Switzerland also liked to use this model.
DOXA army © DOXA
Birth of the DOXA Army
Also in the context of its military cooperation with the Swiss army, and first introduced in 1969, DOXA develops a special special model, aptly named “Army” – “The ideal watch for military divers”.
Recognizable by its black case, a diving ring with a black insert and its sand beige dial, the watch continues to guarantee excellent legibility during diving. The famous diving doctor, Dr. Peter Nussberger, who in particular actively accompanied the diving swimmers of the Swiss army, also received his personal DOXA army at that time, as part of his military service.
DOXA army © DOXA
Jan Edöcs, CEO of DOXA, comments: “The DOXA army is – because of its history with the Swiss army and its unusual original design, one of the most sought after vintage DOXA pieces for many years by collectors. I am very happy today to reissue for the first time this cult model of our brand, faithful to the original design, while giving a soft and subtle touch of modernity and today’s performance, with its matte black ceramic case and its movement whose precision is COSC certified is .After the official recognition of Swiss Army Divers by Swiss Federal Councilor Viola Amherd 6 months ago, we can finally celebrate not only an exceptional watch born more than 50 years ago, but also the excellent collaboration with our partner “Watches of Switzerland”.
A cabinet at the time, in steel blackened by oxidation
While the DOXA Army holds a special place in the brand’s history because of its ties to the Swiss military, it’s also one of the very first watches to use a relatively early case coating in watchmaking at the time: a steel black. made by an oxidation process, giving it an anti-reflective matte black color for an original effect for the time. A visual representation cultivated by today’s reissue, presented in matte black ceramic that is visually as close as possible to the original piece.
The DOXA army was a fine example of the spirit of innovation specific to DOXA, offering for every situation a diving instrument perfectly adapted to every field of application, be it for professional divers (with the SUB 300T Conquistador and its helium valve ), the SCUBA pioneers such as Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his Calypso team (with the patented decompression ring of the SUB models) or even for military use (with the DOXA army).
DOXA army © DOXA
Like the first SUBs with their original orange dials, the DOXA Army of that era 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 re-releasing the army model in a small limited edition of just 100 pieces, with its Anglo-American partner “The Watches of Switzerland”. They come with two straps – black FKM rubber and NATO type with camouflage pattern – in a special case for this series, which adopts the original camouflage pattern of the then Swiss army.
Watch Now, Buy Now: The DOXA Army model is now available at all Watches of Switzerland outlets where DOXA Watches has a presence, as well as on the Watches of Switzerland and DOXA Watches e-commerce platforms.