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In conversation with Jan Edox, CEO of DOXA at Geneva Watch Days.

The Watches Of Switzerland Group 4 minutes
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This article is part of our Geneva Watch Days 2023 series. We were delighted to speak with Jan Edocs, CEO of DOXA on the brand as well as the new releases.

Can you share with us your journey and history at the brand? How did you become involved in the world of horology?

Since the day I arrived at DOXA about 4 years ago, nothing and everything has changed. Nothing has changed because the DNA remains intact, the design remains intact, all the codes with the quality of the watches, their reliability, the readability of the dials, but also their price positioning, all our historical values are very present, with our attachment to our history. And at the same time, everything has changed. The first big decision we made as CEO and together with the Jenny family was to focus mainly on the SUBs with their huge history. The SUB had so much substance, both from a technical point of view and from a historical point of view. It seemed obvious to me. So we reorganized the product lines, and we put the SUBs back in their rightful place. It is this recognition of the SUB that we see today.

What has been your favourite memory of working at the brand so far and why?

I think this is the team spirit inside the DOXA team. I attach great importance to team spirit and mutual support. These values are even stronger because DOXA is a Swiss family company, with very important human values. DOXA is developing in these values, which are for me very modern values, which also correspond to the new generations: well-being, trust, sustainability also in relationships and responsibility. When you have a good atmosphere, you make good watches.

With such a storied history, what key elements or values from the brand's past do you believe still resonate in today's watchmaking industry?

To me, the helium valve is key in DOXA’s history. Urs Eschle and his team introduces in 1968 the DOXA SUB 300T Conquistador, the first diving watch to feature a helium release valve being offered to end consumers. Just as diving to a deep depth can be harmful to a diver if the nitrogen isn't released from their body during careful decompression when heading back up, a dive watch can be damaged by helium. Helium molecules are much smaller than oxygen or nitrogen and can penetrate the seals of a watch case in sufficient quantity and pressure to physically blow the crystal out of the watch. The HRV addresses this problem, allowing the helium to be released while still preventing any water from entering the watch case. Today the helium valve is still in some of ours models : the SUB 300T and the SUB 1500T.

We’ve seen many technological advancements in watchmaking. How does the brand balance its heritage with incorporating modern innovations into its timepieces?

At DOXA, the material is very important, especially for a diving watch. We have recently worked with bronze for the DOXA Army. With this watch, for instance, in order to play with the past, present, and future, we proposed one version that features steel and bronze with a ceramic insert in hunter-green. We have also used carbon, as we did for the SUB 300 Carbon collection. Far from the usual black watch cases, the texture, the look and feel of forged carbon is simply one of a kind. Matte, raw, high tech, the material seems at once sleek and compact, smooth and irregular. With the COSC certification, this results in a high performance, accurate and very successful product.

Also, we want to step into the future and don’t want to just open books of the past and make replicas. Today, we like to combine materials as well, like we did when we came out with a carbon watch. The engineers who were in charge of DOXA 50 years ago would be happy to know that we are still coming up with new things even in 2023.

Speaking of innovation, could you tell us about any recent breakthroughs or unique features that have been integrated into your latest collections for 2023?

One of the most important moments of the whole year is our reconnection with Clive Cussler's family and the adventurous spirit through his fictional world. The acclaimed American adventure novelist wrote over 85 books, selling over 100 million copies, and discovered scores of shipwrecks through the non-profit agency he founded called, NUMA. Cussler’s books have been adapted to the big screen twice; Raise of the Titanic (1980) and Sahara (2005) where we can see Doxa on Matthew McConaughey’s wrist.

Cussler’s novels were highly influential in spotlighting DOXA to the world, its famous orange dial was monumental in coming to renowned fictional adventure hero, Dirk Pitt’s aid, enabling the adventurer to read the time accurately while diving on his deadline driven missions.

To mark the occasion, we have presented at the New York Yacht Club, a limited series with an original handmade dial evoking a vintage compass, and the use of an aged steel appearance applied to the watch, bracelet, clasp, and pin buckle. The watch is intended to have a weathered look, perfect to be featured on the wrists of adventurers in one of Cussler’s novels. The look and the material were a Premiere for us.

Collectors often seek brands with a strong identity. How does the brand ensure its signature style is consistently reflected across various collections?

DOXA enjoys a great recognition and trust from its customers, which is even stronger since the revival of the brand in 2019. But, more important, also for the younger generations, DOXA represents the authenticity of a real story. When we have decided to highlight its fabulous heritage in diver’s watches, we rebuilt the brand image and a collection of new diving products that do not betray the brand but, on the contrary, pay tribute to it and are perfectly aligned with its DNA. Amateurs and collectors were not mistaken and today salute the work that we accomplished.

What can you tell us about the new launches showcased at Geneva Watch Days?

After the recently launched vintage patina look of the SUB 300T Clive Cussler special edition, DOXA will launch at the GWD the SUB 300β Sharkhunter with a black ceramic case and 18K 3N gold bezel and crown. A first for DOXA.

The SUB 300β Sharkhunter’s two-tone color scheme with its interplay of dark and bright, of matte and glossy, of showy and stealthy, remains deeply connected with the DOXA codes that defined the icon. Starting from the premise that a sports watch should feel right under any circumstance, the SUB 300β Sharkhunter retains all of its original DNA while cultivating a sleeker, more stylish appeal. Here, DOXA ever so slightly reworked the design to achieve a slimmer watch, resulting in a profile of just 11.95mm (13.65mm for the SUB 300T) as well as a lower bezel height (by 0.5mm) compared to the SUB 300T.

What is the creative or design inspiration behind this collection and what can enthusiasts look forward to?

Behind the SUB 300β Sharkhunter, there is of course the emblematic SUB 300T, it remains among the rare diving watches to have significantly marked Swiss watchmaking history.

Discover more from Doxa at Goldsmiths.

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