Dialed In, Esquire’s weekly column bringing you horological happenings and the most essential news from the watch world.
For devotees of scuba diving—specifically diving old wrecks—Clive Cussler is a legend. The late author took up writing in the 1960s and in a long career earned millions churning out 85 potboiler adventure novels and non-fiction books inspired by the sea, diving, and shipwrecks. Two of them were made into films: Raise the Titanic (1980) and Sahara (2005).
The hero in many of Cussler’s novels was Dirk Pitt, an adventurer who, like Cussler himself, never went anywhere without his Doxa Sub 300T dive watch with its distinctive orange dial. Cussler earned his before he took up writing, when he was working for a California dive shop. Yet he was far from an armchair adventurer. As the founder and chairman of NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, he was the leader of a team responsible for discovering over 60 shipwrecks.
Doxa, for its part, was a pioneer in introducing dive watches to a wider, non-professional dive audience in the 1960s. Many of the brand’s watches had highly distinctive, brightly colored dials deliberately different from the sober (and mainly black-dialed) watches worn by pro divers. They were a hit in the USA, but a long hiatus in availability gave Doxa a new fan base when the brand was reintroduced to the market in a partnership with Watches of Switzerland. This month, at the New York Yacht Club, Doxa’s CEO Jan Edöcs unveiled a very unusual tribute to Cussler: a classic steel dive watch from the Sub 300T family that comes with some rather unique differences from the main line that inspired it.
Most obvious is the stonewash PVD effect applied to the 42.5mm steel case and its matching “beads of rice” bracelet. Both were created only after two and a half years of experimentation tumbling the cases and strap parts with different rocks for different amounts of time in order to ensure a matching finish. This striking effect gives the watch the look of something that might have tumbled with the tides for years at the bottom of the ocean before being fished out by a lucky adventurer like Dirk Pitt. The dial, which features a weathered compass rose and Cussler’s name picked out in red, only adds to the relic-like vibe. On the case back, Doxa has engraved the names of 72 shipwrecks discovered by NUMA since its founding. While not limited, the collection is individually numbered and will sell fast to fans of Cussler and to the ever-expanding army of Doxa fans in the U.S.
Nick Sullivan is Creative Director at Equire, where he served as Fashion Director from 2004 until 2019. Prior to that, he relocated from London with his young family to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. He has styled and art directed countless fashion and cover stories for both Esquire and Big Black Book (which he helped found in 2006) in exotic,uncomfortable, and occasionally unfeasibly cold locations. He also writes extensively about men’s style, accessories, and watches. He describes his style as elegantly disheveled.
Source : Esquire