DOXA GRAFIC RE-EDITION
© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - May 2004
When I started this website it was in honour of the unique dive watch Doxa designed in the mid 1960's - The SUB 300T. Over the years the site has become more of a shrine not only to the new generation of Doxa dive watches but also the other classic designs they are bringing out like the Coppa Milano Sanremo chronograph. For that reason I have added this review of the Doxa Grafic Re-edition.
The Doxa Grafic Re-edition is based on one of the most popular designs of the 1950's. Its rectangular shaped stainless steel case and straight lines are a classic Bauhaus design from one of the former architects of the Bauhaus school in Weimar/ Germany. The Bauhaus School was Germany's most important and most avant-garde art and design school and was in existence from 1919 until it was forced to close by the Nazis in 1933. Even by today's standard many Bauhaus designs are considered avant-garde and by radically breaking with the past, the Bauhaus Masters and their students ushered in the dawn of modern design in everything from architecture to furniture.
The Graphic comes in a long white box inside which is a leather presentation box with the Doxa name, year of "foundation" and the old "double D" type logo. There is also the credit card style 2 year warranty.
Opening the box reveals the watch itself. There are two styles of Grafic: black dial and white dial. This one is the black version with the white date wheel.
The first thing you notice about the watch is that compared to the SUB range it is quite small. The case dimensions are: width 30mm (32 with crown), 37mm length, height: 7mm and lug width 20mm.
The Grafic dial could only be described as minimalist. There are no hour or minute markers other than 12 spokes radiating from the center of the dial to the edge. Even without numerals, it is very easy to tell the time with just a quick glance. The date window is round and located at 10:30. Other than that there is small silver lettering saying DOXA Grafic at the bottom right of the dial and even smaller silver lettering at the 6 o'clock position saying SWISS MADE. The crystal is sapphire and completely flush with the top of the case.
The caseback is a press fit and has etched lettering: DOXA - water resistant followed by two serial numbers. The crown is also signed with the Doxa "double D" logo.
Unlike any other Doxa I have owned, the Grafic is battery powered. It is a high grade Swiss quartz ETA movement. Opening the case shows it has 7 jewels with all metal parts finished in gold. The operation of the watch is the standard; pull out to position 1 to set the date, pull out to position 2 to set the time. Like all the quartz watches I have ever owned, once the crown is pulled out to position 2 it disengages the battery and effectively makes the seconds hand hacking. I never timed the accuracy of the Grafic, however I would expect it to be in the range of seconds a month rather than the seconds a day of mechanical movements.
Thanks to the small size, quartz movement and signed leather strap, the Grafic is a fairly light watch and becomes un-noticeable once on the wrist. I am used to heavy watches like the SUB 300T Reissue and it was strange to wear the Grafic as I felt that I had forgotten to put a watch on. Whether it was because I felt that I had lost it or because of the unique styling, I felt myself constantly looking at it. It has a presence which, even though it is unlike the SUBs, makes you look at it over and over again. The Grafic was also a hit with the majority of my friends who are not interested in dive watches. For them the Grafic was "more like what a watch should be".
The Doxa Grafic is billed as a "Unisex size Ladies/Gents elegant Dress watch". My wife tried it on and it looks pretty good on her. The leather strap would need another hole in it as she as very thin wrists, but she says she would be happy to wear it loose.
The nice thing about having a lug width of 20mm is that there is no shortage of alternative bracelets available for the Grafic. I just happened to have a spare 3mm thick mesh bracelet in the watch drawer and I think it is a match made in heaven. The mesh bracelet gives the Grafic more of a heft to it and I think the styling compliments the Bauhaus avant-garde look of the Grafic case.
There is no question about it. The Doxa Grafic is a stylish watch. It is so completely different to the SUB series of dive watches that people may have a hard time believing that it is a Doxa. There is just something about it that grows on you and even a staunch, big, mechanical watch guy like me has to admit that I like it. I don't know if it is the styling of the case or the spartan black dial but something about it says "hey why don't you wear me today".
For some occasions, a dive watch just doesn't cut it, you need a watch with a bit more style to it. The Grafic, fits the bill admirably.