Seven Similarities: Why The Doxa Sub 300T Professional Is Like Lip Repair.

I bet you’ve already heard a bit about the Doxa Sub 300T, and how it took the place of Doxa’s previous, Sub 1200t model as a tribute to the 1969 300t Conquistador.  About the specs of the watch (available in the end of this review for anyone interested), the pretty colors (#allthevitamins), the Helium Release Valve (that was rightfully, yet randomly, added), and those quirky, classic bezel measurements (that this author will never use, yet talks about like he’s Bruce the Shark and literally pi**es salt water).

You may even have heard the cool history of Doxa, and understand the allure of a tiny, red beanie, and so we’ll leave all that for now and get right to the meat. The meat, which in this case is a case for why the Doxa Sub 300t Professional is more or less like O´Keeffe’s lip repair.

 

A stretch? H*ll yes, but one that can actually bring to light a bunch of reasons to like this watch, and a few annoying aspects worth discussing. On top of which it provides some interesting realizations about watch collecting generally, and my own preferences specifically.

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So, let’s head on into this little comparison between my Doxa Sub 300t Professional and my all-time favorite lip repair (seriously, it’s amazing stuff), where we’ll start with the annoying similarities so that we can end it all on a positive note.

Why the 300t Professional is like lip repair

Reason 1: Both take some time to wake up/start working

While lip balm does do some good initially, I’ve found that lip repair takes a few applications before it starts to work for real. Sort of like the Doxa, which oftentimes takes a hella long time to wake up after slumbering in its unwound state. This might just apply to mine, though, and I might just have received the only 300t which snoozes for as long as it possibly can. Nevertheless it’s kind of peculiar, not just considering the performance of previous watches I’ve had with the same movement, but seeing the huge difference between the 300t and my humble, 75-bucks Vostok Amphibian. A watch that wakes up with a gentle tap, as if traumatized by 3.30 wake up calls from someone screaming in its ear.

It’s annoying, this time it takes for my Doxa to wake up, but then again it takes some time for me as well. You can’t just shake me awake and expect me to go into a solo performance of Good Morning Starshine (Hair, 1979), and so maybe I shouldn’t expect the same from this watch. Then again, I’m not paid to wake up while I basically paid for the watch to keep waking up reliably, so I don’t know.

Realization #1: When I was young, I used to romanticize the shittiness of life in vain poetry, so of course my romanticism has specked me in relation to my wrist-watch collecting. I prefer charming over perfected, honesty over some Baudrillardian Simulation, and need my things to feel right as opposed to work flawlessly. I do not recommend this approach, but that’s how things are in my neck of the woods.

Reason 2: They need to be used to keep working/running

You can’t just throw on lip repair once in a while and expect it to keep those lips unchapped forever. That stuff needs to be applied on the regular to work as advertised, just like this here Doxa needs to be worn and wound (hehe) to not wind down. And while this is technically true for any automatic watch (well, unless you wind it manually) it especially applies to my 300t. Which is to say that the power reserve may be specified as 38 hour or whatever, but to achieve that PR it seems I’d need to spend all day doing the aerobic routine made famous by the Bill-and-Ted version of Joan of Arc ( i.e. the ever-so cool Jane Wiedlin)

Is this just the fault of a semi-faulty movement? I have no idea, but as long as it starts back up and runs somewhat accurately (the Doxa runs in the -3 – +3 spd spectrum) I don’t really mind. After all, I couldn’t stay up 38 hours either, and more so if I was supposed to keep producing a reliable output.

Realization #2: See realization #1

Reason 3: I have little idea what either contains 

With the new mgmt, Doxa is paradoxically more out in the open than ever, while simultaneously being less transparent than ever before (total shite, if you ask me, but at least their CS is somewhat decent these days). For that reason, one cannot quite be sure what to get when getting a Doxa. Other models have been known to come equipped with seemingly random applications of lume on the hands, and the HRV on this 300t was mysteriously added at some magical cut-off point. When the clasp was also improved and updated without a much information other than reports from Watchuseek users. There have also been talks about top-grade 2824s (on 300ts purchased early on after release), standard and elaboré, and whether or not the 300ts with HRV was made from old 1200t cases (which is probably not true, as far as I know). Point being, one cannot be quite sure what Doxa will send at purchase, and the only way to be positive about the movement and its grade is to open the caseback (which I definitely will not do, and my guess is it’s just a basic 2824 anyway).

The similarity between the Doxa and the lip repair is thus pretty clear. I have virtually no idea what’s in this lip repair either (Mel Magazine even did a feature on the ingredients of classic chapstick, for those of you interested), and can barely make sense of it with the help of goodf old Google. I mean, I’d have to be way smarter to search for stuff like “Dimethicone” and “Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate”, and have it all make sense, but maybe that’s just me.

Realization #3: In the best of worlds, I like knowing what I’m buying. After all, this is why I read the ingredients list of virtually everything, and spend so much time researching purchases that do not warrant that amount of research (read: protein powder, denim , or pesto for that matter). And while the National-Treasureesque trial of finding out more about stuff that their creators don’t seem keen on talking about, it kind of hurts my impression of themand thus their productswhen too little information is given (for the sake of objectivity, it should be noted that Doxa has become better, and does seem to fix errors rather hastily. On top of which information is out there albeit via second-hand WUS reports).

OK, so there are some annoying similarities between these two objects, but not all similarities are made equal. Which we’ll go through next, when we get to the more positive similarities.

Reason 4: None of them are perfumed.

“They’re both unscented”, a fellow watch buddy answered, upon my posting of an image of the Doxa and my O´Keeffe’s. A pretty groovy response (which actually got me thinking of writing this “review”), that happens to be factually correct for the lip repair, and metaphorically correct for the Doxa.

There is, in fact, no perfume to speak of here. On the contrary, the Doxa is no-frills-allowed, basic-stuff-under-the-hood and verified-as-fancy-pants-free (talking about the regular 300t, of course, and not the golden T-graph that is as ridiculous as it’s guilty-pleasureish….).

Realization #4: I don’t like frills for the sake of having frills, and I don’t enjoy the comparison of pointless price points. Not saying that more expensive watches should be avoided, only that the raison d’être of the watch shouldn’t be to compare it to others, but to act as a source of genuine joy. And the Doxa does exactly that, for me at least, and thus also acts as a physical representation of a few lines made famous by the poets themselves, aka the Beastie Boys:

 “Well everybody rapping like it’s a commercial
Actin’ like life is a big commercial

So this is what I’ve got to say to you all
Be true to yourself and you will never fall

(Pass the Mic, 1992)

A line that is very, very important, when the Les crowd our doorsteps and comparison is a way of life.

Reason 5: They make cold mornings and dark days way easier to manage. 

I’m based in Sweden, these days. Which means that life is pretty cold, and especially so for a guy who goes all popsicle at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This also means that my lips crack all over the place come September, that I basically eat my lip repair to try and heal the cracks from the inside out, and that  – every fall –  I go into 9 months of mourning the sunshine and trying to keep seasonal depression from turning me all around. And much like the lip repair takes care of the first, the 300t Professional makes the latter mentioned, seasonal affection way easier to manage. More or less reminding me that, even when the sky is literally frozen solid, the sun is still there and the beach will be warm in just a few months’ time. Plus, the brightly colored dial is just playful enough not to take all the stuff all too seriously, and acts as a reminder of the good things that makes it all semi-worthwhile even when the temperature is trying to convince us otherwise.

Realization #5: Brightly-colored dials rock, and things don’t have to make sense to make sense. Watches are personal objects, sort-of living entities with the power to have us remember things and symbolize others. And these are the watches that will end up meaning something. 

Reason 6: They’re both orange. 

Duh.

Realization #6: I love orange, and while this may have lots to do with my first college roommate, who wore so much orange he was honestly known as “the orange man”, I adore the colour. Which may even have influenced my taking to the O´Keeffe’s as my lip repair of choice.

Reason 7: They act as treatments, of kind 

A key difference between lip repair and your run-of-the-mill lip balm is that the former is meant to treat notoriously dry lips while the latter is more or less just throwing a band aid on the condition. And, as the same watch buddy was kind enough to offer as a similarity, the Doxa 300t also treats things, namely any impulse to wear another watch. Not that the Doxa is the perfect watch, that it’s some kind of GADA piece or even worth its price (depending on how much weight you put on the movement, and having a 2824 in a 2 k watch) But, this Doxa is the watch I thought about when I first started out collecting. It has the foundational aesthetic, tool-ish nature and funky color that I love in wristwatches, even though I’ve been spun around a couple of times throughout the years and come to appreciate a wide array of watches. Which is all to say that this is the watch I think about when I think about the idea of a wristwatch, hence it’s the perfect watch. For me, that is. Even if there is little to no doubt that there are many watches that are “objectively” better. Like the Speedmaster Racing that now spends most of its time in the box. Coming in second, as it just makes sense to put the Doxa on the bedside table before falling asleep, and then pick it back up come morning.

Realization #7: [insert Beastie Boys lyrics from Realization #4 here]

Summary

As the last point kind of summarized this decently, we’ll keep this short before ending it all with the specs of this thing. And the good news is that it can, actually, be summarized in pretty much one sentence. A sentence that may look something like this:

While the Doxa Sub 300t lacks in technical perfection, and would benefit from better QC/an updated movement, and while this may scare off those not entirely in love with its funky dial and aged design, it has a charm that makes up for it.

Well at least its charm almost makes up for it, and the thing that will decide if it’s the right watch for you will come down to what you value. And whether or not super-orange dials are for you.

As for me myself, I may nitpick about the small things, but The 300t will still be the watch I reach for 9 times out of 10. I guess I’m just more romantic than I’m analytic. Which is why I may also pair my 300t Professional with a tiny, red beanie, despite the sartorial faux pas of combining orange and red, and the fact that my little red beanie doesn’t cover my ears and is thus rendered 50 % useless.

 

Specs and comments:

The Case: 42,5 x 44,5 (wears super nice and small, though not as small as the regular sub 300) x 14 mm, with a screw in crown (rather difficult to maneuver) and 1200 meter water resistance.

The Movement: ETA 2824-2, with 38 hour power reserve (well, in theory, at least)

The Case: 42,5 x 44,5 (wears super nice and small, though not as small as the regular sub 300) x 14 mm, with a screw in crown (rather difficult to maneuver) and 1200 meter water resistance.

The Bracelet: Beads of rice bracelet with some flare (looks super-nice, but doesn’t seem made for smaller wrists, updated clasp with diving extension (a seriously great update to say the least)).

Rasmus Hammarberg