Synchron's New Military Watch Resurrects an Old Doxa Diver

Onion-like layers of history surround this fascinating reissue of a vintage timepiece.

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It's funky, it's Seventies-inspired and it's a dive watch with military roots: the new Synchron Military covers a range of the hottest current watch industry trends, and it tops them all off with a vintage connection that gives it the extra historical punch collectors demand. Though the modern company is known by collectors as an umbrella group for resurrected brands, this is the first time the Synchron name is being featured on the dial of a modern watch.

The Synchron Group has been the vehicle through which entrepreneur Rick Marei has resurrected a number of dive watch and related brands: Aquadive and Aquastar, as well as the classic rubber dive strap Tropic and ISOfrane. Most of all, however, Marei is known for having helped resurrect Doxa's famous divers starting all the way back in the 1990s.

For watch enthusiasts who have followed his career, this is where the story turns juicy. Marei parted ways with the current owners of Doxa in 2019, and he seems to have left on less than amicable terms. Fast-forward to today, where, in addition to being a cool-looking watch, the Synchron Military seems to harbor a competitive undertone: it's based upon the vintage Doxa Army. It gets better: just after Synchron announced its reissue of the watch, the modern Doxa brand (sans Marei) fired back with an Instagram post about its own reissue of the watch, which has seemingly been in the works simultaneously. It's the sort of watch industry catfight the public rarely gets a glimpse of.

But back to the watch itself. The Doxa reference 11891-4 diver in question is such a rare specimen that its original purpose is debated; possibly less than 100 examples are thought to have been made. (Even military-esque watches of the 1970s apparently had to be "funky," and here, bright orange hands and a white dial are anything but stealthy.)

The Synchron Military could be considered an "homage watch," with a design nearly identical to that of the original, but with "military" replacing "army" and "Synchron" replacing "Doxa" on the dial. Powered by a top-grade ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, it's got a 42mm-wide case in the classic Doxa Sub shape, and comes in two versions: bare and black-c0ated steel.

This may look like a typical way of introducing two model variations, but in fact, they offer an interesting nod to the vintage watches. The originals had a black coating back in a time when such coatings were novel and not very effective, so the vintage examples found today have mostly lost them. Each modern version, thus, has an authentic justification in its own way.

Each iteration of the Synchron Military is being produced in limited a run of 250 examples' currently, the black-coated model is available for pre-order, but the steel version is sold out. They're available directly from Synchron's site online at an "introductory price" of $990.


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