DOXA DECO RE-EDITION
© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - August 2005
It is the end of August 2005 and Doxa have been slowly but surely gaining ground in the hearts and minds of dive watch aficionados. It started in 2002 with the release of the Sub 300T reissue and subsequent releases of the SUB 600T and most recently, the SUB 750T. Doxa is once again a "name" in the dive watch industry and with their drive towards retail distribution later this year, they hope to complete a Phoenix like rebirth. But Doxa isn't just about dive watches, they have steadily released keenly priced dress watches which hark back to designs of their glory days. The Coppa Milano Sanremo was a 250 Limited Edition, 40 Jewel Chronograph. The Grafic was a small stylish Bauhaus inspired design, powered with a quartz movement. Now comes the Deco.
Doxa took the square style of the Grafic and beefed it up with an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, a Sapphire crystal and Sapphire glass back (which is secured by a screw at each corner). Whereas the Grafic was small and light, measuring: width 30mm (32 with crown), 37mm length, height: 7mm and lug width 20mm, the Deco weighs in with a width of 34mm (35 with crown), 40mm length, height: 10mm and lug width 23mm. The weight is also significantly heavier. With the stainless steel bracelet it weighs 5.3 ounces, which is as much as the SUB 600T with a similar length bracelet. As can be seen from the above photo, the Deco is approaching the size of the SUB 600T.
The image above shows both the Grafic and Deco. It can be easily seen that the Deco is a much more substantial watch both in size and weight. The only real similarities between the watches are the small round date window in the 10:30 position and the sloping sides of the case.
The highly polished case, Sapphire crystal and polished bracelet give the Deco much more bling and it really leaps off the wrist. It is worth noting here that the dial is black with a wave pattern, but under certain lighting conditions, the anti reflective coating on the crystal makes the dial seem to have a blue tint.
The above photo show clearly the wave pattern on the dial and the subtle red markers on the inner dial ring corresponding to the hours.
With regard to the dial, there is no luminous material on it. The hands use Super Luminova but they are quite small and so there is not a great deal of luminous material on them. The above shot shows the Deco and the SUB 600T after the same exposure. The Deco's hands are quite legible considering the small amount of luminous surface area, however, at 4 o'clock in the morning I think it would be easier if you just switched on the bedside light to find out what time it was.
The Deco normally comes with a leather strap, however, I prefer bracelets and hence this review only shows the bracelet. The strap is calf skin and uses the same deployant clasp used on the bracelet. The stainless steel bracelet is very comfortable and certainly not a hair puller. Three nice touches are solid end pieces, a Deployant clasp and the inclusion of 2 half links which make up for the lack of fine adjustments inherent with a butterfly style clasp. The reflection from the purple background I normally use in my reviews just wouldn't let me capture the decorated rotor clearly nor the writing on the caseback so I switched to a darker background for several shots. This one clearly shows the simple decoration on the ETA 2824-2 rotor. It says DOXA and TWENTY FIVE 25 JEWELS SWISS MADE. Regarding the movement, Doxa's webpage shows an image of a Deco which has a slightly different dial with the word CHRONOMETER written on it. This is actually a prototype and never made it into production. After 2 months the Deco shown here is running at -4 seconds a day. I don't think many people would be too unhappy with that accuracy.
Although the Deco case looks symmetrical on first viewing, closer inspection shows that there is a extra ridge of steel on the winding crown side. At first I thought that this made the case look unbalanced and wondered if the watch would look more "even" without it, but in effect the ridge is really a crown guard.
The signed crown sits nice and protected in the recess afforded by the extra ridge.
Supposedly the Deco is not aimed at the SUB wearing dive watch community, however, I would argue against that. Anyone who owns a SUB 300T, 600T or 750T knows full well that Doxa make a watch which stands out from the crowd and even the most fanatic of dive watch wearers sometimes looks towards a dress watch for that special occasion. All said and done, there really isn't much to dislike about the Deco. I did genuinely try to pick holes in the design and even lent the watch to several friends for a few days to get a totally unbiased opinion. They all liked it and one even went and bought one! I would recommend that if you get the chance to see a Deco in person, then pick it up and try it on. I think you will find that once again Doxa have produced a stylish and elegant watch at a great price.