© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - February 2006
December 2005 saw a new high point in the rekindling of the Doxa flame. After an absence of almost 30 years, the flagship T-Graph made a welcome and spectacular return. Many people considered the vintage SUB 200T-Graph to be the pinnacle of the Doxa SUB range and today it is one of the most sought after vintage Doxa watches. None other than Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon,wore one. A review of that watch can be found here. Recently a pristine condition SUB 200T-Graph Searambler, complete with original documentation, fetched $4,000 at open auction. It is therefore no surprise that the T-Graph was high on the list of watches that Doxa had scheduled for reissue.
Because of all the technical advances in the SUB600T T-Graph it became the most expensive Doxa ever. Unfortunately I was not in a position financially to justify buying one. You can imagine my surprise then, when the FEDEX guy arrived at my door with a box from Switzerland. It contained a SUB600 T-Graph and was a present from Rick Marei, the Marketing Director of Doxa Watches. S.A. There was a small note in it which said; "Pete, Doxa cannot thank you enough for everything you have done to help promote the SUB range and the Doxa brand. Please accept this watch as a token of our appreciation". I was absolutely stunned. Rick certainly didn't need to do it. I love the Doxa SUBs and it is enough reward to be allowed to become a small part of the Doxa history. Thank you Rick and Doxa.
Although technically advanced for its day, the Eberhard cal. 310-82 used in the vintage T-Graph had been superseded by modern movements and when Doxa set about designing the new T-Graph they looked at a number of movements to power the new watch. The obvious choice was the Valjoux 7750. This movement is used in numerous modern chronographs. It is accurate and reliable. However, the new T-Graph was a limited run of only 250 watches and was designed to be the new Doxa flagship, so in the end Doxa decided on the ETA 2894. This was a much more expensive movement than the Valjoux 7750 and also a higher grade mechanism. The ETA 2894 has 37 jewels, Incabloc shock protection, sweep seconds, date at 4 o'clock, automatic and runs at 28800 bph. This was ETA's newest, finest and highest-grade movement to date. It had been promoted in the major publications directed at the professional watchmakers and jewelers as a symbol of their watchmaking brilliance and is considered by many as one of the most reliable and accurate movements ever made.
Whereas the old 200 T-Graph was a twin register movement, the ETA 2894-2 was a triple register display. DOXA had the choice of "hiding" the third subdial and keeping the look of the new T-Graph similar to the vintage model, but in the end they decided to go with a triple subdial design. This necessitated offsetting the date window to the 4 o'clock position and was a dramatic change as the date window had been historically positioned at 6 o'clock on the vintage T-Graph. It is worth noting here that the arrows with the points (large sweep hand and small subdial hand) indicate the stop watch functions, where as the square hand on the subdial is for the time function.
Like the SUB750T reissue before it, DOXA took the best elements of the vintage design and upgraded them. The case was based on the SUB750T but although the thickness was increased to accommodate the pushers the depth rating was reduced to 600 meters. In order to achieve the increased rating over the vintage SUB 200T-Graph, the pushers for the chronograph functions had screwed collars to help with the sealing. Like the 750T the bezel used a 120 click mechanism and the bracelet also utilized solid end links.
Increasing the case dimensions and the use of screwed chronograph pushers enabled the new T-Graph to withstand a depth of 600 meters. Whereas the major dimensions were the same as the SUB750T (47.00mm length - lug to lug, 45.00mm diameter excluding crown and 21mm lug width), the height had increased from 14mm to almost 16mm.
The photo above shows the increase in case thickness from the 600T through the 750T to the T-Graph. The increase in thickness to accommodate the chronograph pushers also necessitated enlarging the height of the Solid End Links (SEL) for the bracelet. Like the 750T the width of the SEL is 21mm while the width of the bracelet is a constant 20mm over its whole length.
Another nice touch on the new T-Graph was the commemorative plate with the words; 2005 Edition, embedded into the case side. This was the first time Doxa had used such an indicator on a case and it just added to the overall mystique of the T-Graph legacy.
Regarding the T-Graph bracelet, I can only echo the same comments I made here in my 750T review. The brushed version of the bracelet on the 750T doesn't look quite as 'rice beady' as the polished version on the SUB 600T. I think this is especially true about the T-Graph because the polished sides of the case are the largest of any modern Doxa. However, I must say that this is my opinion and other people prefer the brushed bracelet. Doxa have confirmed that the brushed 750T / T-Graph bracelet is an evolution of the 600T bracelet and is considered slightly superior. One other point worth mentioning is that my T-Graph's bracelet uses the older pin and sleeve method for joining the links. I think this is the best securing method available, however, bowing to customer requests, the latest 750T bracelets are utilizing screws.
Before receiving the T-Graph, the biggest watch in my collection was the PRS2 Dreadnought. A comparative review of it and the SUB 300T reissue can be found here.
The DN was also the heaviest watch I have ever owned. The 300T reissue came close and so did the 750T. Picking up the T-Graph for the first time had me wondering if there was a new heavyweight champ in the house. For the same length of bracelet the weights were as follows:- SUB600 T-Graph = 198 grams. SUB 300T reissue = 170 grams and the Dreadnought = 235 grams. So even though the new T-Graph is considerably heavier than the 300T reissue, it still is positively anorexic compared to the Dreadnought.
Obviously with a big heavy watch the concern is that people with small wrists may find the weight uncomfortable. My wrists are a fairly puny 6.75 inches and to be honest the T-Graph did initially cause some discomfort. This surprised me because the 750T is my daily wear and is one of the most comfortable watches I have ever owned. Even the DN which is a serious lump of steel becomes neutral after a short period of time. So what was the reason? Actually it was my own fault. In my haste to wear the T-Graph I didn't resize the bracelet, I just swapped over the 600T bracelet. I though it would be a perfect length but in fact it was just a fraction too small and that made the watch too tight on my wrist. All it took was to insert another link and use the fine adjustment on the clasp. I've been wearing the T-Graph since I got it and the weight and size are virtually unnoticeable and the watch is indeed very comfortable to wear.
The chronograph operation is very smooth indeed. After unscrewing the collars, the top pusher starts and stops the large sweep hand and the bottom pusher resets the chronograph. The screwed collars are a little difficult to turn when the watch is on the wrist and it is easier to do by just undoing the bracelet or taking the watch off altogether. Even though the 600T-Graph has the screwed collars, the watch is NOT designed for the stopwatch function to be activated under water.
The new T-Graph also shares the same type of caseback as the SUB750T. The SUB 600T had a caseback with a metal fish insert, however with the introduction of the 750T, the caseback changed to a one piece affair. Unlike the 750T, the caseback is devoid of any wording which links it to the movie SAHARA.
The above photo shows a comparison of the biggest and smallest Doxas ever produced. The vintage ladies SUB 200 is minute compared to the much larger SUB 300T reissue and the even larger dialed SUB600 T-Graph.
The original SUB 200 T-Graph is a legend among the vintage DOXAs; the new SUB600 T-Graph was a fitting continuation of that legacy and once again I have to thank Rick Marei and Doxa for giving me one the 250 flagship watches. Well that's just about it for the review, but before I finish I have to leave the last word ...errrrmm.... photo to Joe Pignatelli. Joe is the lucky #$%&*#@ who has 3 T-Graphs. Two vintage SUB200T and one new SUB600 T-Graph. Here is a view of one of the most unique and prized families in the Doxa universe.
If you would like to see a movie I made of the T-Graphs, just click here. It is a 2 meg download.