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Between 1968 and 1978 DOXA became part of Synchron S.A. In 1978 DOXA S.A. was acquired by Aubrey Frères S.A. and then was sold to the Jenny family in 1997. In 2002 Doxa introduced re-editions of its watches and timepieces in limited quantities.
Doxa, founded in 1889 by Georges Ducommun, began as a maker of dress watches and other timepieces. Over the years, Doxa gained in size and branched out into other timekeeping markets. (Wristwatches, Armbanduhren, Montres-bracelets; Brunner, Gisbert L; Pfeiffer-Belli, Christian; Koneman, 2006)
In the late 1960s Doxa decided to devote resources to create a watch to be used for diving. Tests indicated that an orange face was more visible in murky water. Doxa also consulted with divers, including Jacques Cousteau, then chairman of "U.S. Divers," and Claude Wesly (a Cousteau companion and the first man to spend seven days thirty-three feet underwater). A staff of engineers and professional divers was assembled to create a watch with the required features. The Sub300t was purchased in quantity by U.S. Divers, who resold the watch in the United States.
The Doxa Sub300t features an orange face, intended to make it more visible in the water. It has a rotating bezel with the official US Navy air dive table for no-decompression dives engraved onto its surface. The watch could be used to calculate decompression times, and other information useful to divers. It was rated to work 300 meters below sea level, and later versions were introduced that could work up to 750 meters below sea level. Other watchmakers then followed with similar bezels, as well as different watch faces.
It released the first publicly available dive watch with helium release valve, named the Conquistador. In certain diving situations, helium can penetrate the watch seals and cause a pressure buildup in the watch, eventually blowing the crystal off the watch face. Rolex invented and introduced the first dive watches with a helium release valve in 1969, which prevented this helium buildup. While this was a major advance at the time, few actual watches with this feature were produced. Doxa introduced the Sub300t Conquistador in 1969 featuring a helium release valve. According to the sales brochures and advertisements in Skin Diver Magazine, DOXA was the first watch company to introduce this device to the public for general sale. Rolex was manufacturing watches with the Helium Release Valve at the same time, but was only selling them to Commercial Diving Companies such as COMEX. Rolex offered the Sea Dweller with Helium Escape Valve to the public in 1972. Omega also eventually introduced a helium release valve, in its Seamaster watch.
Soon after the introduction of the Sub300t, the Swiss watch industry was hard-hit economically by the introduction of quartz watches. Accurate, reliable and small timepieces could now be made without the mechanical movements that the Swiss specialized in constructing. In response, Doxa joined a group of Swiss watchmakers to consolidate resources. This eventually failed and Doxa, after being sold, ceased operations in about 1980.
The Jenny family of Switzerland now owns the brand. Since August 2002, Doxa has introduced re-editions of its watches and timepieces in limited quantities. Many are reproductions of the original models in design and construction, and all use Swiss movements.
Doxa began production of 92 limited edition Sub1000t series watches to support Project AWARE in 2008. In 2012, Doxa began a second production of their Sub1200t series with Project AWARE that contained 300 watches. A portion of the sale of each watch goes to support Project AWARE.
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Doxa's dive watches adhere to the following naming conventions.
- Professional refers to an orange-faced dive watch
- Sharkhunter refers to a black-faced dive watch
- Searambler refers to a silver (metallic)-faced dive watch
- Caribbean refers to a blue-faced dive watch
- Divingstar refers to a yellow-faced dive watch
- Conquistador refers to a watch with a helium release valve
The hero of the Dirk Pitt book series by author Clive Cussler wears an orange-faced Doxa watch, and also in the movie Sahara an orange-faced Doxa is worn by Dirk Pitt. In recognition of this, Doxa presented Cussler with a special watch. Also Robert Redford wears a Doxa watch in the 1975 film Three Days of the Condor.
- "DOXA: The brand". Doxa S.A. Archived from the original on 2006-01-18. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
- Editor (24 October 2008). "Project Aware Doxa Sub Watch Supports Marine Conservation". Xray Magazine. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
- "The Project AWARE DOXA SUB". Doxa S.A. Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
- "The DOXA SUB1200T Project AWARE edition II". Doxa S.A. Archived from the original on 2014-03-09. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
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