Though today it’s seen as somewhat obscure by non-enthusiasts, watch brand DOXA was making some seriously accomplished dive watches back in the 1960s and ’70s. The brand was a favorite of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and it helped pioneer some big innovations, like the bright, legible orange dial and the helium release valve.
As a testament to the watch’s diving prowess, Cousteau — who had helped create the world’s first self-contained diving apparatus — distributed the watches under his company U.S. Divers (now consolidated into Aqua-Lung). As such, a handful of DOXA SUB 300 prototypes were made back in 1967 featuring a black and yellow U.S. Diver’s logo (featuring the wordmark “Aqualung”) at 8 o’clock, earning it the nickname “Black Lung.” Given its provenance and its rarity, it became elusive amongst collectors, but DOXA has just reissued the Black Lung as a modern variant.
The Black Lung features the same logo as that rare watch and DOXA’s iconic orange dial. Inside beats a chronometer-grade ETA 2824 automatic movement, and that’s cased up inside a 42.5mm cushion case. Like its historical inspiration, the SUB 300 Black Lung is good for a 300-meter depth rating. Also, like its predecessor, the watch will be made in limited numbers, though with 300 examples being made it won’t quite be as hard to get as the original. The watch is available for preorder now, with a special preorder price of $2,190 ($400 off retail); watches are expected to ship in December.