Vintage Doxa Watches
Vintage Doxa watches are watches made by the Doxa watch company.
- 1889: Establishment of the DOXA factory in Le Locle, under the name “Georges Ducommun, Fabrique Doxa”.
- 1905: G. Ducommun is elected jury member of the World Exhibition in Liège. DOXA wins a prize in the category “non-competitive”.
- 1906: DOXA receives a gold medal at the International Exhibition in Milan.
- 1907: G. Ducommun requests a patent for the DOXA 8-Day, a watch movement especially designed for the dashboard of cars.
- 1910: The brand DOXA is registered and the factory is renamed “Doxa Watch Factory”. According to the request for registration of the brand, the company may produce all parts of a watch.
- 1912: G. Ducommun purchases the property of the Château des Monts on the heights above the city of Le Locle. It was built in 1780 – 1790, probably by the architect Gabriel de La Grange, and put on the market by Adèle-Rose Favre, née Dubois, who is a descendant of the family who ordered the construction of the castle.
- Around 1913 – 1915: G. Ducommun renovates the castle, eliminating the close-by farm annexes, expands the terraces and the park and adds a library.
- 1918 or 1919: Further expansions of the factory. At this period, DOXA has a staff of some hundreds of employees.
- 1925: G. Ducommun is elected vice president of the International Horology Group and president of the Swiss Horology Association at the International Exhibit of the Decorative Arts in Paris. DOXA is member of the jury.
- 1929: DOXA is elected member of the jury of the International Exhibition in Barcelone.
- 1936: Death of G. Ducommun at the age of 68. The company is taken over by his son-in-law Jacques Nardin, grandson of Ulysse Nardin, famous watchmaker of Le Locle.
- 1939: 50th anniversary of DOXA and publication of the book Doxa 1889 – 1939. The company participates at the national exhibition in Zurich.
- 1944: The factory is renamed “Manufacture des Montres DOXA.
- 1944: DOXA commercializes wrist-watches with a special hand as date indicator.
- 1949: 60th Anniversary of DOXA and publication of the book “10 Fables of La Fontaine”.
- 1950: Death of Jacques Nardin at age 52.
- 1954: Hélène Nardin, daughter of G. Ducommun and widow of Jacques Nardin sells the Château des Monts to the City of Le Locle. The castle is renovated and in 1959 the inauguration of the watch museum is celebrated.
- 1954: DOXA offers a golden watch to the members of the German Soccer Team to celebrate their victory at the World Championship in Berne.
- 1957: Start of the series DOXA Grafic, whose elegant and simple style had been inspired by the Bauhaus movement. It is very successful. DOXA receives a diploma for its 25th participation at the Swiss Fair in Basle. The company also receives a diploma from the Publicity Club of Lausanne for its booth at the fair in Lausanne.
- 1958: Participation at the International Watch Fair in Besançon. DOXA receives a diploma in the category “Fashion” for the model Grafic for women.
- 1964: 75th Anniversary of DOXA and publication of the book “ 19 Juin 1964. Le Locle – Exposition Nationale – Lausanne – Château d’Oron – Le Locle. 1889 – 1964. Doxa Jubilé 75”. DOXA receives the first prize at the National Exhibition in Lausanne, in the category « new line ».
- 1967: The wrist-watch for divers, DOXA SUB is put on the market. It functions to a depth of 300 meters. It has two important innovations: an orange dial, which improves the readability under water and a rotating bezel to indicate the remaining diving time. The DOXA SUB series is expanded with many models during the following years. Claude Wesly, deep-sea explorer, writes an expert’s report concerning the DOXA SUB 300T. As a result of many challenging experiments, the Center for Research and Dynamic Experimentation of Water Tightness issues a certificate.
- 1969: The model DOXA SUB 600T Conquistador with a helium valve is commercialized.
- 1969 – 1979: The DOXA SUB watches are the official watch of the Elite Diving Troops of the Swiss Army.
- 1973: Creation of the DOXA SUB 250T with a crown at 4 o’clock.
- 1995: Relaunch of the DOXA Grafic.
- 1997: The Jenny family, active in the watch making industry for four generations, purchases DOXA. The headquarters are transferred to Bienne, Switzerland.
- 2001: Re-launch of the DOXA 8-Day.
- 2002: Re-launch of the DOXA SUB 300T.
- 2007: Re-launch of the DOXA Grafic for the 50th anniversary of the creation of that series.
- 2009: 120 years since the establishment of DOXA. DOXA designs a special series “Château des Monts” for this occasion and publishes the book “DOXA 1889”.
- 2009: DOXA participates at the “Concours International de Chronométrie” organized by the watch museum “Musée d’Horlogerie du Locle Château des Monts”.
- 2010: DOXA is celebrating the establishment of the “DOXA Charity Library” at Huilei Primary School at Changping, Beijing, China.
- 2012: From April 4 to October 21, 2012, DOXA, together with the watch museum „Château des Monts” in Le Locle, presented an overview of its rich history. It is worth noting that the exhibition took place in the rooms of the manor purchased by Georges Ducommun in 1912.
Landlocked Switzerland is probably not the first place you think of when it comes to scuba diving, but it is the historical home of fine, precision watches. In 1967, the Swiss watchmaker Doxa brought these two elements together when it created its distinctive, orange-dialed Doxa Sub wristwatch.
Doxa’s history predates the Sub by almost a century. Founded in 1889 in the country’s Jura Mountains, where watchmaking dates to the 15th century, Doxa patented the first watch with an 8-day movement in 1908. The movement was so reliable that Doxa was hired to produce wristwatches for German infantrymen in World War I. Many of these watches are in excellent condition today—the two snow-capped peaks and depiction of Edelweiss on the dial are not to be missed.
Perhaps because of founder Georges Ducommun’s fondness for automobiles (he had one of the first in the region), Doxa was one of the first watchmakers to produce timepieces for cars. By 1921, Doxa was the official supplier to renowned sports-car manufacturer Bugatti.
One of the hallmarks of a Doxa watch is its fine internal workmanship, as well as its sense of style. For example, Doxa pocket watches from the 1920s feature handsome dials depicting golfers at play, while its women’s wristwatches from that era are sometimes hidden within elegant, 14-karat gold bangles.
In the 1930s, Doxa was one of the leading makers of chronographs, some of which were housed in 14-karat yellow-gold cases. And the firm continued to make watches for the military throughout World War II, particularly for aviators.
After the war, Doxa produced handsome, round calendar wristwatches. In 1954, the company gave a gold watch to each player on West Germany’s winning football team—the lads were in Berne, Switzerland for the World Cup. By 1956, the company’s designers were at it again, this time creating the square, Bauhaus-inspired Graphic in both men’s and ladies’ models.
But the biggest event in Doxa’s history was its foray into waterproof watches, which happened in 1967. The Doxa Sub 300T (300 is the number of meters it was rated for) featured a U.S. Navy air-dive table on its bezel to aid no-decompression divers while underwater. Even more helpful was the wristwatch’s brilliant orange dial, which was designed for divers in dark, potentially life-or-death conditions.
Divers loved the Doxa, which was embraced by U.S., British, French, and Polish naval forces. And so successful was the orange-colored dial that Doxa added a few more models, including the silver-dialed Searambler and yellow Divingstar.
A recently serviced Swiss Doxa watch, with Luftwaffe Eagle sold for $250 at Affiliated Auctions in March 2012.
A 14k gold Doxa cocktail watch with enamelled decoration and concealed dial sold for £220 at Gorringes in June 2005.
A vintage Doxa pocket watch, 1906, Hunter's Theme, sold for $200 at SUSANIN'S Auctions in November 2009.
A Swiss, mid-20th century, 14K yellow gold Doxa watch sold for $700 at Cowan's Auctions, Inc. in August 2011.
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