PROFESSIONAL - SHARKHUNTER
© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - May 2004
There has been a lot of questions on the forums lately from people who have been bitten by the Doxa bug and are in a quandary over which one of the SUB 600T models to buy. "Do I buy the orange Professional or the Black Sharkhunter?", "Which could be used at a formal occasion?", "Is the black dial better with a suit or the orange dial?". You get the idea! Most people have a limited budget and spending around 1,000 dollars on a watch is a big occasion and they want to make sure they make the right choice. That's the whole point of this review. I hope it will help people be able to compare the two watches in similar lighting conditions and backgrounds. With regard to backgrounds, I dispensed with my traditional mauve / purple background in favour of black to try to offer the best contrast for the dials.
This review is more of a pictorial essay as I have already done an extensive review of the SUB 600T. I managed to get most of the Doxa Sharkhunter editions together at the one time. The photo above shows the vintage SUB 300T, the SUB 250 and the new SUB 600T (I added the orange 600T Professional in the background as a bit of colour relief). Missing from the set is the SUB 300T Reissue. Interestingly enough, of the 1,000 pieces produced, very few of them come up for sale. There is far more secondhand traffic in the orange dial Doxas.
Without doubt, Doxa are more famous for their orange dial diving watch than any of the other models they have made in their long history. They set the standard for legibility with the simple orange dial and luminous markers and added an innovative bezel which incorporated a Non Decompression dive table. The SUB 300T was further ensconced in history by best selling author Dr. Clive Cussler, who's adventure hero; Dirk Pitt, used his trusty Doxa in almost all the novels he appeared in. At the time of writing, a movie based on Cussler's book Sahara is being filmed and Doxa donated orange SUB 600T watches to the main characters in the movie (Matthew McConaughey plays Dirk Pitt). If the film is a hit, there is a fair chance that quite a few more people will get bitten by the Doxa orangitis fever and want one of Dirk Pitt's orange watches.
However, no matter how cool we all think the orange Professional is, there are people who just don't like orange dials. For them, salvation is at hand with the SUB 600T Sharkhunter. The black dial and white (slight hint of green due to the Superluminova luminous material) markers and hands offer a much more crisp and subtle businesslike look. Certainly the Sharkhunter would not be out of place with a formal suit. On the other hand in defense of the orange dial, it sure is a conversation starter and even with a business suit it shows that you are someone who is prepared to buck conventional thinking. Hmmmmmm, I like the sound of that. Maybe I should have been a Psychotherapist......
Looking again at the Sharkhunter range it can be seen that the new 600T bears a very close resemblance to the vintage 300T. the case design is almost identical and is based on the thinnest of the 3 cases made over the years. The rice bead bracelet is an updated and stronger version of the original one, which although stylish, was found to be a bit "underpowered" for the use it was designed for. Not many of them survived the last 30 odd years. The SUB 250 was released shortly after the 300T Reissue and was initially thought to be a bit of a let down. I have to admit that I was one of the nay sayers. That was until I got one of them. It is certainly a break from the traditional shape of the SUB cases. The hands are not the classic SUB style hands and the crystal is highly domed and acrylic. I believed that it would be a scratch magnet. However, I have been proven wrong on that count. Besides, because it is acrylic, any scratches can be easily buffed out. The SUB 250 is now completely sold out.
The above photo clearly illustrates the similarity in case shape between the vintage SUB 300T (second from bottom) and new SUB 600T and how completely different they are from the SUB 250 (top case). Note also how the winding crown on the SUB 250 is placed at 4 o'clock rather than the more traditional 3 o'clock position. The photo also shows how much higher the 250 dome is over the slightly domed 600T and flat crystal of the vintage 300T. The bottom case shows just how different the SUB 300T reissue was to the vintage 300Ts.
One of the questions asked has been; "what do each of them look like peeking out from under a sleeve. Well, let me introduce the patent pending "undersleeve" shot. First the Professional.
Next the Sharkhunter. I know the lighting is not exactly the same but I think it is fairly safe to say that the orange dial is much more eyecatching. The other thing to notice is that with the Professional you are fairly safe in guessing it is a Doxa whereas the Sharkhunter could easily be mistaken for a myriad of different watches, although the orange numbers on the bezel do give the game away somewhat.
The above photo was done to see how the different dials looked in low light with the luminous material charged. For me it is pretty much a draw on this one and the photo doesn't do justice to the effect. In half light the dials just jump right out at you.
For many people the 600T is the perfect blend of old and new. Doxa have definitely got it right with the this watch. They took the criticism and suggestions made by their customers after the launch of the 300T Reissue and worked them into the new design. The fit and finish of everything on the watch is just a notch above the 300T Reissue. It is lighter, thinner and with the new rice bead bracelet it hugs the wrist like it grew there.
As the 600T Sharkhunter is exactly the same watch as the 600T Professional the exact same comments about fit finish and wearability apply. However, there is something about the black and white contrast of the Sharkhunter dial that really makes it stand out. I have to admit that I have always preferred the orange dial Doxas over any other colour, but having both the Sharkhunter and Professional side by side, it really becomes very difficult to chose between them.
The 300T and 600T have been described as having Tonneau style cases. I didn't know what that meant so I looked it up in Ming Theinís Horological Dictionary. It means "A type of case shape somewhere between round and rectangular". I guess that really does describe it perfectly. It is probably also the reason why the 600T hugs the wrist so well and is so comfortable to wear.
And that really is all there is to say. When I started this review I was pretty much convinced that I was an orange kind of dial guy and that was it, but the longer I have been in contact with the Sharkhunter, the more it has grown on me. I actually wear my vintage Sharkhunter quite often as a change of pace from the SUB 300T Reissue Seahunter (the SUB 600T Professional is my wife's and I don't get much of a chance to wear it), but in all honesty the 600T is much more comfortable to wear than the vintage watch. Maybe it is because it sits flatter to the wrist and is that little bit sleeker. My wrist is fairly thin at 6.5 inches and the SUB 600T fits just about perfectly.
Ultimately the question many people have asked me is which one would I choose between the Professional and Sharkhunter, if I could only have one. Tough decision really but I'd have to go with the orange Professional. Just because it most typifies a Doxa to me and of course it's the one Dirk Pitt wears. Whatever your choice I don't think you would be disappointed with either.