© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - August 2005
Like many people reading this, I use to be addicted to motorbikes. I've had quite a few over the years, starting with a Suzuki GT 250, then GT 500. They were great fun and I was lucky enough that the inevitable crashes and falling offs I had, left me with all my body parts and most of my skin intact. 'Powerful and fast' as my early bikes were, I never really felt that I had joined the 'big boys' until I got a Honda 750. There was something about the numbers 750 that just said; "hey, I have arrived". My motorbike days are long behind me now and I am into the more pedestrian pastime of collecting watches. Specifically Doxa watches. I have examples of both vintage and modern. The modern consisting of the SUB 250, SUB 300T reissue and the SUB 600T. I was more than happy with my collection until Doxa released the SUB 750T. Yep, you guessed it, there was just something about the numbers 750 that said; "you haven't joined the big boys unless you have one". Well, I finally got hold of one to review and because many people have asked me to do it, this review will primarily be a comparison between the SUB 600T and the SUB 750T. For those people who want to read the full review of the 600T, it can be found here. Oh and just in case Rick Marei of Doxa is reading this; my last bike was a BMW R100RS which was a 1000cc monster. What do you say Rick, 1000 ring any bells :-)
Looking at photographs of the 2 watches it is easy to see how many people could mistakenly think that the 750T is exactly like the 600T. But closer examination shows that it is not just a difference in depth rating that separates them, they are in fact different watches. Probably the most striking thing about the SUB 750T is something that people would not even notice. Look closely at the photo above and you will see that there is no longer a space between the word SUB and the depth rating of the watch. SUB 600T has now become SUB750T. This is quite a break in tradition for Doxa as all previous dials had the space. There doesn't seem to be any real reason for it other than a "management decision".
The first thing that I noticed on opening the Doxa signature aluminium tube, which held the SUB750T was how flat the crystal was. The watch bore more of a resemblance to the SUB 300T reissue because of its size and weight and flat crystal. Next was the dial. It is larger than the 600T by 2mm (30 as opposed to 28) and hence looked brighter. The increase in dial size also means that the hands and luminous markers have increased in size. The 750T also feels fairly heavy the first time you pick it up. Another change which is not noticeable at first is how the bezel thickness has increased. The above photo shows that while the bezel still maintains the classic Doxa serrated edge, it is noticeably thicker than any of the previous Doxas, either vintage or new.
The above image shows all 3 of the orange dial modern SUBs. It gives a pretty good size comparison. 300T at the bottom, 750T in the middle and 600T at the top.
|WIDTH (exc crown)||LENGTH||HEIGHT||LUG WIDTH||WEIGHT|
The table shown above summarizes the dimensions of all 3 of the modern SUBs. The 300T reissue is by far the largest of the watches because of its unique case design. As can be seen from the numbers the 750T is larger than the 600T by around 5%
The 750T is closer to the 300T reissue than the 600T in many ways. First, the crystal which has an anti-reflection coating and 3mm thick, is flat and not domed as on the 600T. Secondly, the bezel is a 120 click version instead of 60 clicks on the 600T. Both the 600T and 750T use the Imperial bezel whereas the 300T has the Metric version. And thirdly, the crown on the 750T is similar to that on the 300T. The 600T crown is easier to grip than the 750T because is has sharp edges at the very end. However, these sharp edges tend to give the crown a rough and unfinished feel. The 750T's crown feels much better and if you look closely at the markings on it they resemble the markings on the side of the bezel.
The earlier photo showing the 3 cases stacked on top of each other doesn't really bring out the increase in case size of the 750T. The photo above shows the case from the lug end and it can clearly be seen that the 600T is quite a bit thinner than it's newer brother.
Even though the new 750T uses the exact same ETA 2824-2 as the 600T and 300T reissue, the increase in case size necessitated some changes to the dial and hands. It can clearly be seen from the above photo that the hands have increased in length, more noticeable with the hour hand, and that the position of the date window is now much further away from the edge of the dial.
The increase in dial size is actually more noticeable in darkness. The lume on the 750T is both brighter and more readable because there is more of it and it is a double coating. Like the 600T, the 750T uses Super Luminova which remains readable through most of the night.
The bracelet on the 750T is virtually the same as that on the 600T with 2 exceptions. It is brushed and has solid end pieces. People are split on the use of brushed as opposed to polished and I remember there was a discussion on the forum regarding the belief that sharks and piranhas were attracted to shiney objects in the water and could attack divers because of that. Well if it is true then the brushed bracelet and case of the 750T should keep you safer if you are daft enough to dive in shark or piranha infested waters. Looking at the table above it can be seen that the lug width on the 750T increased from 20mm to 21mm. Rather than make a new bracelet, Doxa just made new endpieces. It may actually be possible to make the 750T endpieces fit the 600T by filing off 0.5 mm from each side. The pieces may not be a perfect fit because the case depth has increased slightly but I'm sure they would look fine. If I ever get my hands on a couple of spare ones, I'll have my needle files out in a flash and give it a try.
One thing I've noticed with the brushed version of the bracelet on the 750T is that it doesn't look quite as 'rice beady' as the polished version. Anyone who has a 600T or 750T will know that the bracelet looks like it is a rice bead bracelet with individual beads, but it is in fact just an illusion. In order to make the bracelet stronger and more durable than the original rice bead bracelet, Doxa came up with an ingenious design which uses solid links but shaped like it uses individual beads. In the polished version I think it works very well and the illusion is very satisfying, however, in my eyes, the brushed finish doesn't quite pull it off. The brushed links look blurred. At first I thought it was my eyes playing tricks but I think the above photo shows what I mean. I have included the original rice bead links to show the difference. Also noticeable from the photos is the fact that the links from the 600T and 750T are not exactly the same. The polished links have more of a curve to them, while the brushed links are slightly fatter and straighter. The difference may be due to the polishing process.
For many people the review just would not be complete without seeing what the 750T would look like with the polished bracelet and solid brushed end links, so here it is. I think it looks pretty good but in honesty I prefer the completely polished bracelet with the 750T.
Turning the watches over shows the other major change to the 750T. Not only is the caseback larger, but it no longer has the Doxa / Jenny fish logo as a medal inset. The logo is now stamped into the caseback. When Doxa first produced the SUB 300 / 300T back in 1967, there was little on the caseback other than the sailing ship logo and a serial number. When Aubrey took over Doxa in 1978 they started to include more information on the caseback. That trend has continued with the new generation of SUBs, so much so that the SUB750T is a veritable novel of a caseback. Compared with the SUB 600T which has CLIVE CUSSLER EDITION XXXX/3000 - SWISS MADE SINCE 1889 - 600 METERS - 1968 FEET written on the caseback, the 750T weighs in with LIMITED EDITION - PATENTED BEZEL US 3505808 - SWISS MADE - WATER RESISTANT 750 METERS - 2460 FEET - DIRK PITT © EDITION XXXX/5000 - "SAHARA" MOVIE © 2005 - DESERTLANDS ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED. I think Doxa made the 750T bigger just to fit all the writing on.
Many people have asked for comparison shots of the 600T and 750T because they are worried that the 750T may be too big for smaller wrists. I have a 6 3/4 inch wrist and I find that my SUB 300T reissue is just a little on the big size. I think the minimum wrist size for it is really 7 inches. I still wear it and it is very comfortable but I think the 600T wears much better for a wrist my size. The 600T is also a consideration for women. Certainly my wife wears the 600T more than me (it is actually her watch so I really can't say too much) and loves it. How does the 750T compare? Well, there is no doubt that it is a much bigger and heavier watch. It really isn't a unisex watch at all. The 600T just about makes it into that category, the 750T is just for men. The watch is more comfortable than the 300T in my opinion and although heavier than the 600T it very quickly becomes 'neutral' on the wrist. Put it on and forget about it..... ah, yes, if only that were possible. The increased size of the dial is like a diner plate in comparison to most other watches and the bright orange colour just leaps off your wrist. I've owned orange Doxas for years now and with the 750T I found myself sticking the edge of my sleeve under the case just so that the dial stayed prominent. It worked because I found people staring at my wrist when I moved my arm while talking to them. The 750T stands out like no other Doxa before it.
I think it is safe for me to say that the SUB750T is easily the best watch Doxa have made since their rebirth. They listened to what people said and made the changes and produced a very fine dive watch indeed. The watch world has been moving to larger watch sizes in the last few years and the 750T makes Doxa a serious competitor in that arena. However, it has to be remembered that not everyone has wrists like Popeye and not everyone wants a large watch, so I believe there is room in the market for both the 600T and the 750T. I would like to see Doxa continue the 600T line in the future to cater for those people who like a smaller lighter orange SUB. Ultimately I think the 750T is a better watch than the 600T and that is not to say that the 600T was in any way bad, it just means that the best just got better.