Doxa Sharkhunter 1000T

Two years ago, I reviewed the Doxa Sub 750T Sharkhunter and was very pleased with my watch. Unfortunately, as so often happens, another watch came along that I really wanted and something had to go to generate the needed funds (I’m sure nobody in this forum knows what I am talking about, right?). I ended up sacrificing my 750T (which sold for within a $100.00 of what I paid for it new, a testimony to Doxa’ s policy of selling limited runs of each series and strictly controlling sales-as a result, there is no gray market out there and most every Doxa that shows up on E-Bay is used to some degree). Another thing different about the Doxa was, unlike many I have disposed of, I started to miss it, then really wondered what I was thinking for having gotten rid of it and finally, obsessing over it. I made the decision to get another one but by the time I got around to it, the 750T in the Sharkhunter black dial was consigned to Doxa watch history. The orange was still available but I couldn’t bring myself to getting an orange dial watch.

Fortunately, Doxa had released the newer Sub 1000T in nearly all color configurations and, other than the orange minute hand, it looked to be virtually the same. I ordered one and a week later, it arrived for my inspection. Here is my review of the watch and I will contrast some of the changes to comments made in my previous review.

The Sub 1000T is Doxa’s latest effort to recreate the original Sub of the late 1960’s and Doxa took special pains to improve upon the previous generation 750T by coming as close as possible to the original. This meant a slightly smaller case to match the exact proportions of the original, resulting in a watch with a 42mm diameter rather than a 44.7mm diameter used in the 750T series. You might not think that just a few millimeters would make any difference but it does just slightly. The watch visually appears more “right” in its dimensions and does not look as ungainly as did the 750T. Still, it took a bit of getting used to because the dial is a bit more compact and the hands cover less dial real estate than on the 750T. Another change is the lack of the orange minute hand, which is replaced by a matching white hand (oversized, as on all Sub series watches).

The Doxa Sharkhunter Sub1000T is a watch frozen in time (no pun intended), replicating nearly perfectly its original look from the latter half of the 1960’s. Watches that looked dated just a few years ago are suddenly back in vogue again and many companies are beginning to pick up on that era’s designs and combine them with modern technology. The Doxa case is classic 60’s/70’s style with its oval shaped case overwhelming what would otherwise be a pretty wide steel bracelet. Diving features such as a screw-down crown, water resistancy to an increased 1000 meters and diving bezel all make this the Diver’s Dive Watch. The ratings and comments are as follows, along with some contrasts to the 750T:

The classic ETA 2824-2 movement, automatic with 25 jewels, modified and decorated by Doxa. This movement is running a little bit faster than it should, gaining about a minute per day, which means it has to be re-synchronized frequently. I had hoped it would settled down into a more normal routine but it is still running about the same rate as when I got it over a month ago. The previous Sub 750T was very accurate, running within chronometer ratings. Where there was a deviation, it gained only about 2 seconds per day. Judging from its history, this movement should be low maintenance and have a long life though. If it doesn’t settled down soon however, I may have to send it back for regulating.

Solid Stainless steel case and back. The case is finely finished with polished sides and brushed top and back. The back and crown are polished mirror chrome finished and the crown has excellent “grip”. The back of the watch has lots of engraving on it and includes an updated center disk featuring the Jenny Family (owner of Doxa) fish logo, now with engraved waves behind the fish. There are six square dimples for a watch case opener around the periphery of the back, indicating a screw-down back. It appears to be a tad thicker than the 750T, probably due to its increased water resistancy. Finish is flawless with brushed and polished surfaces and it is very heavy, although maybe not quite as heavy as the slightly larger 750T.

The crystal is mineral sapphire and on the 1000T, it has been slightly domed to recreate the look of the original 1960’s plastic crystal. Whether it really does I can’t say but I do like it better than the perfectly flat crystal of the 750T. It too has an anti-reflective coat on the inside and this makes the black dial look blue in certain lights but it is a pleasing effect. The rise of the dome is barely above the rim of the rotating dive bezel and I doubt it will draw more blows than the flat one did because it is so slight it is barely perceptible.

A staple of a Doxa Sub watch is its patented no-decompression dive bezel that allows divers to know how long they can stay at certain depths without endangering themselves from the effects of helium buildup in their bodies. These rates are depicted in feet, like the originals instead of meters and are engraved into the flat, polished bezel face. They are filled with what appears to be orange enamel, which goes well with the black face. An inner bezel of brushed metal depicts minutes 0-60 in black. The side of the bezel features a saw blade design and it sits high on the case. It turns with an authoritative click, 120 clicks per revolution and is of a very solid design.

Polished crown, screw-down type with the Jenny Fish in raised relief. The crown, which unscrews from the case very smoothly after many rotations, has two distinct clicks, one for the date and the outer stop for the time. No changes here.

Dial and Hands
The 750T featured a glossy black dial; the 1000T has changed this to a more period-accurate matte black, which increases visibility and brings it closer to the look of the 60’s version. It has large, luminous square markers at 6, 9 and 12 and smaller ones at the other numeral positions. The date is at the 3 position and is white. The date window matches the 6, 9, and 12 markers in size which gives the dial excellent balance. Overall the dial has a perfect symmetry to it. Unlike traditional dials, this one seems divided into four equal quadrants with “DOXA automatic” in the upper left quadrant and “SUB 1000T Sharkhunter” in the lower right quadrant-all very balanced. The smaller hour hand is dominated by the wider and longer minute hand, now in white as well, (this hand is the most important to a diver, hence its size) and the second hand is white with a square near the tip filled with Super Luminova. The hands are classic “stick” hands. The Super Luminova indices and hands are extremely bright at night. Speaking of the luminova, it too has been updated (or, depending on how you look at it, retrodated). To make it even more reminiscent of the original and to give it a more aged look, the luminova has been tinted green so even in normal light when it is not glowing, the luminova stands apart from the white color of the hands and indices, giving the impression that it has aged. It also is raised slightly on the indices like the old tritium used to be. It is a nice touch that probably only a Doxa purist would notice. Another new feature is that sub-second indices have been added between each second mark which forms an outer circle of the dial.

A classic 60’s look, the Doxa bracelet features outer bars and an inner “rice bead” look like its original design. Today, the rice bead sections are actually solid links made to look like many intricate beads strung together-much more durable. It has a flip lock with the word “DOXA” in relief on the lock and the Jenny Fish on the buckle part. It appears to be a little bit more beefed up from the 750T and of course, this is a tried and true design and should hold up well. The links use screws instead of pins so a jeweler’s screwdriver is necessary to adjust links. Be very careful when doing this because the screws are difficult to turn on a new watch and it is easy to chip the screwdriver head. The best way is to apply gentle pressure when turning, then go back a bit, back and forth, allowing the tension to ease up. The screw should then turn normally. The bracelet is attached to the case lugs by spring bars and the connectors fit flush to the case. The bracelet is supposedly 1mm less in width than the 750T but since I don’t have the 750, I cannot compare. This makes sense though as the slightly smaller case would merit a slightly reduced bracelet size.

Gain of about one minute per day regardless of position. This is really too fast, even for an automatic watch.

Very comfortable to wear but might be weighty on someone with a small wrist, although the 1000T will probably fit smaller wrists better than did the 750T. The design curves to the wrist and stays in place.

Doxa still ignores the mainstream trend of presentation boxes and instead opts for an aluminum tube made of diver bottle material instead of a box. The tube has a form fitted seal top and the words “DOXA SUB Professional Series” painted in black against the silver aluminum. Inside is a hard foam insert, black and molded to fit perfectly inside the tube. The foam comes open with a fitted slot for the watch, warranty card and a jeweler’s screwdriver. A DVD is included with full operating instructions and graphics/animations. I have to give this one a high score for quality and originality.

Overall Impression:
When I rated the 750T two years ago, I stated that it was “An interesting, accurate, nostalgic and rare watch, worth the $1349.00 price tag”. Two years later, I still feel the same except for one major change-the price of the watch. Doxa is no longer an unknown watch to the masses and the price reflects that, having climbed to the loft price of $2390.00. This represents a price increase of 77.17% or about 38.5% per year, which is more than even Rolex increases its price each year. Still, you are getting a lot of watch for the money and maybe they were a bit underpriced in the beginning. Whether this one will hold its value like the 750T did remains to be seen and someone else will have to tell me because I have no intention of finding this out. Clive Cussler has probably made this watch as famous as James Bond’s Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster among thriller novel fans. The fact that you A) Don’t see them on E-bay everyday for $100.00s less than retail and B) Limited Production and controlled sales makes them rare and C) not enough presence for the Hong Kong counterfeit market makes the Sharkhunter a watch that is a good investment and one with some history. Of all the features that have been improved, none are really functionally better than the 750T with the exception of one that I haven’t really highlighted-its increased water resistancy from 750 meters to 1000 meters. Both are a good bit deeper than a standard Rolex Submariner will go. An interesting historical footnote too-Doxa and Rolex once collaborated and jointly patented the helium release valve currently found on the Rolex Sea Dweller and on the new Doxa Sub 5000T that is the newest release from Doxa.

Recommendation: Buy one. This may be your last chance to get an original looking Sub as the newer 5000T has been modernized a bit and doesn’t quite look as vintage. Doxa is only making 5000 of them and the watch will have a unique number “XXX of 5000” engraved on the back. If you are a serious diver or just a pool skimmer, this watch is great in the water and you won’t see them all over the place, although it is easy to identify one when you do occasionally see one. Like people who drive certain types of unique cars, a Doxa wearer who spots a complete stranger wearing one can strike up a conversation about their watches. You don’t see Rolex owners doing that very often.