50 years after the DOXA Army was born, the iconic Swiss watch brand honours its history with the Swiss Army’s elite divers unit by reissuing, for the first time, a limited edition of the famous model that has become an instantly recognizable cult timepiece.
Limited to only 100 pieces, this timepiece was created in collaboration with DOXA’s partner, Watches of Switzerland.
Six months after receiving the official recognition (in November 2021) from the Swiss Army Combat Divers by Federal Councillor Viola Amherd, Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport DDPS, DOXA pays a fitting tribute by reissuing the iconic DOXA Army.
DOXA stands out in the Swiss watchmaking landscape as one of the finest examples of a discreet watch brand with a rich and exciting history. Now located in Biel, in the heart of the watchmaking industry, and owned by the Swiss Jenny family, DOXA remains one of the legendary brands in the field of diving watches. Numerous patents and prizes at national and international exhibitions, too, have contributed to its remarkable history and outstanding heritage.
The SUB 300 and SUB 300T unveiled at Baselworld in 1967 were the first 100% professional diving watches designed to be affordable to a broader public. And because of their quality and the radical innovations they introduce, they quickly became the reference for uncompromising professionals as well.
These two models, water resistant to a pressure depth of 30 ATM (short for atmospheres, i.e., 300 meters or just over 980 feet), were also the first diving watches ever to feature a patented unidirectional rotating bezel for calculating and monitoring the dive time to ensure a safe ascent without decompression stops.
Another first in the diving watch universe: the bright orange dial, a legendary hallmark of the DOXA SUB concept.
Besides cementing its credentials as a tool watch, the orange dial makes a DOXA SUB instantly recognizable from afar – and quite distinctive from the standard black or white dials on all the other dive watches at the time. In addition, prominent indexes and an oversized minute hand (after all, that is the main unit of time when diving) coated with beige Super-Luminova™, makes it easier still to register mission-critical information in the low visibility conditions encountered underwater.
Within a year, in 1968, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, co-inventor of the Aqua-Lung breathing apparatus and the spiritual father of modern scuba diving, adopted the DOXA SUB concept. The SUB’s orange dial became the sign of recognition on the wrists of the divers jumping into the water from the deck of “Calypso” to take millions of viewers on the legendary missions of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”.
In 1969, the DOXA SUB concept passed muster as the Official Watch of the Swiss Army’s Elite Combat Diving unit.
In 1966, the Swiss Army established a special force of military divers, trained to become an elite corps. The first members of this highly specialized Swiss diving unit began training in 1968. It was also around this time that the DOXA SUB 300T passed the stringent evaluation procedure set up by the Swiss Army for the items that would be part of the standard equipment issued to its divers.
Between 1968 and 1975, Swiss Army combat divers were systematically equipped with a SUB 300T Professional – the same as the one launched in 1967.
Approximately 150 SUB 300T Professional watches were issued to the Swiss Army’s elite divers. Etched on the back of each case: the serial number matching the personal diving equipment with each diver, who was also allowed to use the watch off-duty.
The SUB 300T was so popular with the Swiss Army’s elite diving unit that other units outside of Switzerland also adopted this model.
In 1969, within the framework of its collaboration with the Swiss Army, DOXA developed a dedicated model, aptly designated “Army”–and branded “The ideal watch for military divers”.
The distinctive matte black case, matte black insert diving bezel and sand-beige dial eliminated any risk of glare whilst ensuring excellent readability in low visibility conditions. In fact, Dr. Peter Nussberger, the Swiss physician of world renown at the forefront of diving medicine (also referred to as undersea and hyperbaric medicine (UHB) and author of numerous reference works, actively accompanied the Swiss Army’s divers – and received his personal DOXA Army as part of his own military service.
The DOXA Army occupies a special place in the brand’s history not only because of its connection with the Swiss Army. It was also one of the very first watches to use a coating process for cases that was relatively new to the watchmaking industry: the stainless-steel case was blackened by oxidation, giving it a matte black finish that prevented any glare, a key criterion for military equipment. This visual effect, quite original at the time, is maintained in today’s reissue through the choice of matte black ceramic for the case.
The DOXA Army remains a fine example of DOXA’s innovative spirit in the development of diving instruments perfectly adapted to each situation, be it for scuba pioneers such as Captain Jacques Cousteau and his team aboard the Calypso (who praised the patented no-decompression dive bezel introduced with the first SUB models), for professional divers (who appreciated the additional safety and utility of the helium valve-equipped SUB 300T Conquistador), or for use in the military (with the discreet DOXA Army).
Just like the first SUB with its original orange dial, the DOXA Army of that era is now one of the rarest and most sought-after models of the DOXA brand.
Today, more than 50 years after its debut, DOXA and its Anglo-American partner Watches of Switzerland are reissuing the DOXA Army in a very small Limited Edition of only 100 pieces.
Each watch comes in a packaging designed specifically for this edition and sporting the original camouflage pattern used by the Swiss Army at the time the watch was first issued. The box also includes two straps: one made from black FKM rubber and one NATO strap with a camouflage pattern.
The DOXA Army reissue is available at all Watches of Switzerland retail outlets where DOXA Watches is represented, and on the Watches of Switzerland and DOXA Watches e-commerce platforms.
Model: DOXA Army Watches of Switzerland Edition
Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Matte black ceramic
Titanium chamber for the movement
Diameter: 42.5 mm x 44.5 mm
Thickness: 11.95 mm
Unidirectional rotating bezel
Screw-down titanium crown – threaded titanium case back
Water resistance: 300 meters, equivalent to 30 ATM, approx. 980 feet
Orange hour and minute hands, coated with Super-LumiNova® luminescent material
Painted outside minute track, white
Matte black ceramic, unidirectional rotation
Numerals and dot 12 o’clock coated with Super-LumiNova® luminescent material.
Sellita SW200-1 COSC
Mechanical, self-winding Swiss movement, 3 hands, COSC-certified
Power reserve: 38 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
Jewels: 26 rubies
Black FKM rubber strap, colour-matched with the case
Folding clasp, black PVD coating, featuring the exclusive ‘DOXA fish’ symbol and adjustable wetsuit extension
Additional NATO camouflage strap included in the box
CHF 4,200.00 – EUR 4,200.00 – USD 4,500.00