A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

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MKTheVintageBloke
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A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » December 12th 2016, 7:15pm

Originally posted by me on WUS, link to the original thread at the bottom

Given that little information can be found on pre-SUB Doxa watches, and but a few guidelines on how to identify them, let me share all the bits of info that I was able to put together...

SERIAL NUMBER SYSTEM 1940-1966
In 1940, Doxa introduced a 7-digit serial number system, with the first two digits corresponding to the year of manufacture. In other words, 40XXXXX corresponds to 1940, and so on.
The serial is always stamped on the outer side of the case back.
Movements had a Doxa stamp on them, but no serial.
PRE-1940: The archives were destroyed by a flood in 1966- if the Doxa you're trying to identify does not follow that pattern, three things can be the reason behind that:
1. In the 1950s, there was apparently an additional numbering system- although I'm not even close to being familiar with that. If anyone is- please post any info here, in order to make this short guide more detailed.
2. Pre-1940- if the serial does not follow the 7-digit pattern, and the watch is equipped with an Aurore-Villeret 110 movement (wristwatches) or an FHF with modified bridges (pocket watches), just the decade of manufacture will do... If you have a presentation Doxa watch with a date on it- good for you. Otherwise... Well, sorry. Dating to the nearest decade is as good as it gets. For a wristwatch with an A-V 110, most likely 1930s.
3. Frankenwatch- if the case does not have a correct Doxa stamp inside- walk away. Even if there's a 7-digit serial on the case back. If the first two digits make no sense (like 41 on a watch with an ETA 1080 and 1950s looks to it)- yeah, you can be pretty sure it's a generic case. For dirt-common movements it's no challenge to find a generic case.
NOTE: The serial number system 1940-1965 not necessarily applies to gold cases, which often use a different code- unfortunately, the lack of documentation makes it unresearchable, and therefore useless in dating a watch.
CASES
Doxa has been using chrome plated, stainless steel, gold plated and solid gold cases. Some of them were manufactured by an outside case company like Maeder-Leschot or Paul Bovier. In such a case, the case back will still have a Doxa serial and stamp.
BE CAREFUL WITH SOLID GOLD CHRONOGRAPHS! Doxa has used Landeron and Valjoux movements. The fact of using Landeron means the possibility (sadly, a confirmed one) of Chronographe Suisse with wafer-thing gold cases being "converted" to Doxa watches. That said, if it's got an unsigned Landeron inside, or one with a shoddy "Doxa" marking on it, and the case IS wafer-thin (optionally: with hollow lugs), and everything about it screams "Chronographe Suisse", then it probably IS a Chronographe Suisse.
Case not properly marked, regardless of whether gold, gilt, steel or chrome? WALK AWAY!

MOVEMENTS.
All throughout the 1930s, and well into the 1940s, Doxa has used one "workhorse" movement- the Aurore-Villeret 110. Now, a lot of sellers will try to use a phrase like "in-house Doxa movement" or "manufacture Doxa movement". Keep in mind, that there is no such thing, except one or two ladies' watch movements from the 1960s. That's that. The Felsa 55 has been used as well (according to the entry for that movement in the Ranfft archive).
In the early 1940s, Doxa started using ETA movements- usually, with a set of bridge modifications that will make finding the right movement in the Ranfft archive a drag. What will determine the ebauche manufacturer and the calibre, is- as always- the balance cock shape, and (if you're lucky to have a good picture of the movement) the tiny markings under the balance.
In the early 1950s, Doxa has used a next generation of ETA movements- 1080, 1100 and their derivatives. Specimens from circa 1950 were not equipped with a shock device.
In the mid 1950s, Doxa has also used dead beat seconds movements by Chezard- these, by Doxa standards, remained pretty much unchanged in terms of bridge shapes.
Automatic movements used by Doxa were-pro maiori parte-ETA. I'd give the usual few percent for the chance that I'm wrong, and that they actually have used anything else than ETA automatic movements.
Bumper movements used by Doxa were modified A. Schild ebauches.
There are triple date and triple date moonphase Doxa watches out there- except for a module, the basic hand-winder will be the same thing with the bridges modified by Doxa.

DIALS:
Wristwatches made between the late 1920s and the late 1950s can have three types of the Doxa logo:
1. Painted, upper case letters, the D noticeably larger than the rest of the script.
2. Painted, upper case letters, the D almost identical (although almost unnoticeably larger) to the rest of the script size-wise. CAREFUL WITH THESE! I've seen specimens without obvious signs of a redial, but I wouldn't vouch for a watch with a logo like that. If you are having a hard time telling a redial from the real McCoy, best stay away from these...
3. Applied (raised), upper case letters, D noticeably larger than the rest of the script.
Do you see a Doxa logo like the one used in the SUB on a 1950s model? REDIAL.
ANTI-MAGNETIQUE/ANTI-MAGNETIC MODELS:
Be careful with the "Anti-Magnetique" inscription. It should ALWAYS be written separately, with a dash between the two words. A specimen with Tissot-like font used for that, and Anti-Magnetique" written as one word, is probably a redial.

SIZES:
Doxa watches came in a wide range of sizes, from 28 all the way to 38mm. Oversized watches tend to be overpriced. Chrome-plated 38mm watch being sold in the Omega price range? Do yourself a favour, and don't buy that. They just wait for you to believe it's worth a lot. I've seen a lot of 36-38mm Doxa watches out there- not exactly a rara avis. Certainly, a little bit more unusal for a 1950s watch, but there's tons of them... Mass production.


OK, so that's a bit of what I have found out. I'd encourage everyone, who has any info, to keep improving this short guide to Doxa. With the Doxa forums not exactly willing to identify watches posted there, and a lot of almost masturbatory SUB worship going on (understandable, but please, there is a lot of great non-SUB vintage Doxa stuff out there!), someone has to at least try to provide a basic set of info...

The Brief Guide... (as seen here) has been slightly updated by me due to having acquired more relevant info over time.
The original thread can be found here:
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f295/brief-guide-vintage-doxa-2911258.html
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Re: A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by koimaster » December 15th 2016, 2:19pm

At one time Doxa was a decent company making some decent watches. The new version is a marketing company which has hijacked the history of the original firm to serve their own purposes. The new company is no different than Invicta in my opinion. After years of threats from them (doxa and rick) which are well documented they finally admitted the dive watches they made were in fact forum watches. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=32291&p=337542&hilit=doxa#p337542


Along with Invicta, Doxa was offered $$ to provide proof they had a real Swiss factory and not a drop box. I still have my money.

The numerous false claims about Orange dials being better underwater have also been debunked here. The underwater photo is at 8 meters I believe.

-%20Mako%20colours%20with%20no%20strobe%20at%2014m%20full%20sun.jpg



375830_479656585408274_2106409612_n_zpsbhoojwuz.jpg


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32064&p=335363&hilit=doxa#p335363

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f34/new-do ... 11009.html
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Re: A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » December 15th 2016, 5:00pm

Well, they pretty much shared the fate of many other almost legendary companies (like Cyma)- the name remains, but the company and the watches are not even close to being the same thing anymore. My interest with Doxa watches ends on the Synchron-signed pieces with HF (36 000 vph) ETA movements.

For that matter, Invicta used to make good watches... Until circa 1970s. It hurts to merely look at the fucking abomination that company is nowadays.

As to that "Nazi" piece with the "Legion Condor" stuff, it's a Ukrainian or Bulgarian (my money would be on "Ukrainian") fake/franken- conversion from an open-face configuration pocket watch, likely powered by a modified FHF or Venus ebauche. The only Doxas made for the Nazi German military were fairly ordinary DH, D or DU-signed pieces, a decent overview of them can be found here:
http://www.time514.com/GermanX.htm

By the way, who's Rick? I never managed to pay any closer attention to the contemporary Doxa company, and my activity in the Doxa forum on WUS is limited to helping out folks, who accidentally post in the pretty much dead "non-SUB" section instead of the Vintage and Pocket Watches sub-forum.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
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Re: A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by koimaster » December 16th 2016, 11:19am

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:Well, they pretty much shared the fate of many other almost legendary companies (like Cyma)- the name remains, but the company and the watches are not even close to being the same thing anymore. My interest with Doxa watches ends on the Synchron-signed pieces with HF (36 000 vph) ETA movements.

For that matter, Invicta used to make good watches... Until circa 1970s. It hurts to merely look at the fucking abomination that company is nowadays.

As to that "Nazi" piece with the "Legion Condor" stuff, it's a Ukrainian or Bulgarian (my money would be on "Ukrainian") fake/franken- conversion from an open-face configuration pocket watch, likely powered by a modified FHF or Venus ebauche. The only Doxas made for the Nazi German military were fairly ordinary DH, D or DU-signed pieces, a decent overview of them can be found here:
http://www.time514.com/GermanX.htm

By the way, who's Rick? I never managed to pay any closer attention to the contemporary Doxa company, and my activity in the Doxa forum on WUS is limited to helping out folks, who accidentally post in the pretty much dead "non-SUB" section instead of the Vintage and Pocket Watches sub-forum.


553653_479656578741608_1389659564_n_zpssfc6pt4m.jpg


Movement inside of the Doxa. Got it many years ago from an uncle who took it off a dead German outside of Brest, France. As to Rick Marei, well he has a big idea of himself

http://www.doxawatches.com/The-SUB-Re-Surfaces.html

He is also the guy who has the domain that the watch forum BDWF is hosted and which has crashed numerous times. It is known that if that forum ever steps out of line, it could just disappear in a few seconds with 10 years worth of work and information going with it. The guy has threatened me with legal action more than once over the years because we have been active in disproving the BS claims made about some of the Doxa watches. Even better is the bragging about Jacques Cousteau. My father served in WWII as a French Marine. Cousteau was a traitor to France and the "exploits of heroism" for the Vichy Govt are in fact bullshit. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=24538

He runs the Doxa forum at WUS like a little Nazi himself. I was banned at WUS by him for a thread on watch dial colors underwater and it was a real test, not the strobe light tests these people use.

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f137/how-g ... 428-2.html

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=23301&p=232273&hilit=color#p232273

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=24519&hilit=color
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Re: A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » December 16th 2016, 3:23pm

Well, the text on the Doxa site reeks of cheap marketing, but then again, I haven't yet seen any watch company put anything critical of themselves on their website. Albeit it does sound like he's not exactly the model of modesty.

As to that watch... Now I'm baffled. I see these flood out of Ukraine by the ton, with listings constructed in a way, which aims at catching the buyer with his pants down through very indirectly admitting, that it's in fact a POS cobbled from an "orphaned" movement and completely new dial, case and hands. They started admitting it recently, only a year ago they were still trying to sell that stuff as the real McCoys...
Here are some examples, my eyes hurt from merely looking at them:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DOXA-Vintage-1930-s-Military-Style-Grand-Prix-Swiss-Watch-/172442362530?hash=item28265da2a2:g:gUcAAOSwImRYToFs
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Big-Military-DOXA-Swiss-Wristwatch-Laco-Aviator-Pilots-WWII-/132031517293?hash=item1ebdb1126d:g:ymUAAOSwo4pYQHQU
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DOXA-LOCLE-MILITARY-DIAL-ORIGINAL-SWISS-BRANDED-CASE-MOVEMENT-/112208896435?hash=item1a202be1b3:g:ynwAAOSwFNZW1I3w
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Watch-DOXA-REGULATEUR-Military-Swiss-ANTIQUE-Wristwatch-Steel-1906-S-/282285845364?hash=item41b98c2b74:g:CR8AAOSwImRYSvxB
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DOXA-Military-Style-Swiss-vintage-mens-mechanical-wristwatch-/222325924553?hash=item33c3a862c9:g:BW8AAOSwGYVXAjDl
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Doxa-Oberkommando-der-Marine-German-Navy-WWII-Vintage-1939-1945-SWISS-Mens-Watch-/282285902915?hash=item41b98d0c43:g:ql8AAOSwFV9XzDeK

I would especially suggest looking at the last one- it's an identical dial style, only different inscriptions (Oberkommando der Marine instead of Legion Condor). It's a fantasy watch, the Kriegsmarine has been issued a white-dialed version of the DH spec, with KM markings on case and dial. Naval artillery would have had pocket chronographs (I've seen a specimen by Leonidas- stamped on the back with an issue number, and unfortunately also the Reichsadler) with a telemeter scale (IIRC). The seller admits that it's a conversion with a repainted dial. So I really don't know what to make of the story behind the Legion Condor watch- is it a test of sorts? Also, in the field, a DH/DU would be far more useful, being waterproof and- unlike British ATPs and WWWs- shockproof, as the specifications required the use of Incabloc. Non-lumed hands also make little sense, the only non-lumed milwatches from the WW2 period that I know of were the RAF-issued 6B/159 spec Omega and Longines, and Weems second-setting watches.

I see only a part of the movement in the picture. Looks like a Venus ebauche, but I can't be sure without seeing the balance cock.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
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Re: A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by koimaster » December 16th 2016, 3:34pm

385734_479656525408280_1402519151_n_zpslopt4kcz.jpg



Test watch? perhaps. I was not there so I can only tell you I received it as a gift from My Uncle Francis back in 1963 while I was visiting family in Treboul, France.

As to the doxa guy, he is a tool and many of the claims made by the modern Doxa are bogus. Now I happen to agree that vintage ones, just like vintage Invicta watches are far better made and had real history behind them. So many current brands have fake history tales made up to justify their history when there are no true ties to the past except the name.
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Re: A Brief Guide to Vintage Doxa

Post by John_1970 » February 23rd 2023, 2:39am

Hello. For as long as I can remember, there has been a DOXA watch in our family. Originally it had a delicate leather strap but was adapted by bracelets. I am looking for information on what model this is and what years it was produced. Link to photos below. Thank you for your help.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... share_link
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