Any watch enthusiast worth his salt will have a favourite ‘dive watch’ and for sure there is no shortage of selection as most large volume watch makers boast a special dedicated collection to lure the lucrative sports watch customer, with varying capacities for plunging to the depths of the clear blue seas (as they always are in the accompanying advertising images).
Ask a professional diver about their watch however – one for whom a watch can quite literally mean the difference between life and death – and it’s quite likely that even the hardened watch fan will learn about a few new names to add to their brand awareness portfolio. Prince among dive watches are Doxa, and to those within the immediate sphere of their speciality, it is not only an excellent instrument for their job, but it enjoys a long-standing cult status which must be the envy of many brands – thanks in no small way to the exploits of Doxa wearing underwater adventurer Dirk Pitt, star of many of Clive Cussler’s best selling thriller novels, and also to an altogether non-fiction relationship with diving royalty Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his descendents.
This relationship with the Cousteau family is an enduring one in a personal and commercial sense, and one which has passed down from father to son across three generations now, and it is with Fabien Cousteau, son of Jean-Michel and grandson of Jacques-Yves himself that the mantle of Doxa official adventurer-in-chief/ambassador now rests.
Doxa Mission 31 Sub Professional – Deep Six
In his latest exploit, Fabien Cousteau leads a team of five ‘aquanauts’ as they embarked on a commemorative 31 day mission, submerged some 65 feet below the surface of the Atlantic in the Aquarius Reef Base, a fixed pressurised underwater habitat, in a bid to set a new submersion record for human oceanic exploration; celebrating a record established by his grandfather fifty years ago – naturally.
Doxa Mission 31 Sub Professional – Sleeping With the Fishes
As sponsors of the quest, Doxa have created 331 Doxa Mission 31 Sub Professional limited edition watches, and for added exclusivity have left the first 31 pieces in the hands of Fabien Cousteau (who will wear a different one each day). On returning to the surface, these pieces will be taken back to Doxa in Switzerland for a final checkover before being shipped out to the handful of lucky customers who had pre-ordered online for $2,890.
The watch itself, the Doxa Mission 31 Sub Professional is, like Subs before, a chunky 44mm instrument, specifically designed for service in the sub-aquatic theatre of operations with a depth range bottoming out at 1,000m. Its case is made from white titanium alloy with titanium bracelet and automatic ratcheting expanding clasp. The dial is in the most popular Doxa orange with M31 and Mission 31 motifs and as always packs a visual punch with its vividly luminous Super LumiNova filled hour indices and stout black hands.
The uni-directional rotating bezel has almost harsh, fumble-proof serated grips which resemble the teeth of a circular saw disc, underlining the fact that the primary function of the Mission 31 Sub Professional is to serve as a serious, practical and reliable instrument for serious people, much more than being a fashionable quayside bar accessory, although its rugged good looks make it stand out from the crowd in those waters as well as any of the fish in that pool.