Welcome to another Sunday Morning Showdown. The temperatures are rising, and the Sun is showing its face more and more often. It’s time to get ready for summer and choose the right dive watch to wear. Today, we’re putting two vintage-inspired divers up against each other, both of which could serve very well as your next summer watch. One is the recently introduced 39mm Doxa Sub 200T, and the other is the Aquastar Model 60 re-edition. Get ready to vote for your favorite.

Both these divers have been inspired by watches from the past. They’re capable of resisting an underwater depth of 200 meters, and they both have a retail price of around €1,500. Other than that, Mike and Daan can surely find enough differences to get this battle underway.

Last week, on Sunday Morning Showdown…

But first, we’ll take a look at what happened last week between the Omega Seamaster 300M 2254.50 and 2531.80. It was the battle of Sir Peter Blake vs. James Bond. The 2245.50 can be called both clean and boring simultaneously. The 2531.80 is often seen as a bit messy, but that’s also one of its fortes. As always, the comments were quite even between the two, but the votes eventually showed a “slight” preference for the black 2254.50. With the help of its tapering bracelet and large sword hands, it won 60% of the votes, making it the clear winner of last week’s Sunday Morning Showdown. Let’s see which watch will win this week’s installment.

The Professional Sub 200T with the Iconic dial (left) and the sunburst version (right) flanking the bigger Sub 300T

Daan: Doxa Sub 200T

A couple of years ago, I wore Doxa’s Sub 300 Searambler for a while. I have to say, I liked it a lot, especially that quirky design with the large case and the tiny dial in the middle. However, I felt it was a bit big for my 17cm wrist. Also, at €2,790, it was a bit expensive in comparison to the €950 Seiko SPB317, an alternative I was also considering at the time. In the end, I felt the Seiko suited my wrist a lot better, so I went with that one.

Doxa Sub 200T Sharkhunter Professional Searambler

I have to say, though, that the new 39mm Doxa Sub 200T almost makes me regret that decision. At 10.7mm thick, it’s quite a lot slimmer than the SPB317’s 12.3mm profile. And let’s not even mention the exact difference between the lug-to-lug measurements of both these watches. The Doxa simply crushes the Seiko with its 41.5mm lug-to-lug span. Finally, I also greatly appreciate the colorful accents on the Doxa Sub 200T. They help make it the perfect summer watch, particularly on a matching rubber strap.

The perfect summer companion

That summery vibe is exactly why I’d choose the Doxa Sub 200T over the Aquastar Model 60. Don’t get me wrong; Aquastar did a great job with this re-edition. I also like its more angular beads-of-rice bracelet and the fact that both a Tropic rubber strap and a NATO strap are also included in your purchase. However, a diver’s watch in this price range should also excite you a bit, right? At €1,590, the Doxa Sub 200T does exactly that with its quirkier case design and colorful accents.

From all the options available for the Sub 200T, I’d choose the Searambler with its silver sunburst dial and bright orange accents. Of course, I’d buy it on the bracelet, but I’d also purchase the fitted orange rubber strap to make it feel even more summery. Oh, and it’ll also come in handy when we’re celebrating King’s Day here in the Netherlands. Sure, you could also put a colorful strap on the Model 60, but unfortunately, there aren’t any colorful accents on the dial or bezel to match.

The more original, standout option

What I also really like about the Doxa is how it stands out among many other dive watches. The Model 60 is a very nicely done skin diver. But when you start looking around, you’ll find so many other skin divers available from a wide variety of brands. They all took their shot at the classic design, and none of them are 100% the same. In the end, though, they do look fairly similar, of course. That’s not something you’ll say very quickly about the Sub 200T.

The C-shaped case with the traditional no-decompression bezel and tiny dial in the middle just has so much character. It sits on the wrist like a little shield and will certainly make a few heads turn while you’re wearing it. Plus, in the new 39mm size, it’s such a wearable watch right now. Just as Thomas said in his hands-on article, it’s now ready to serve as your daily wearer as it won’t get in your way. All right, Mike, let’s hear it from your side.

Aquastar Model 60 6

Mike: Aquastar Model 60

I can’t deny that this is a tough matchup between two formidable divers with vintage roots. Undoubtedly, Doxa has an attractive and wearable watch in its Sub 200T, but I’m stumping for team Aquastar Model 60 for several reasons. If we start with what I don’t love about the Doxa, it’s relatively simple. For my money and small wrist, I’m still a believer in the original Doxa Sub 300. The watch that essentially “started it all” for Doxa is the go-to version, and it fits beautifully. I understand the reason for a smaller 39mm form factor, but in the same manner that I’d turn tail and run from a 37mm Submariner, I see the 200T as a diet version of the real thing.

Aquastar Model 60 Greenwich Edition

Once we turn our attention to the Aquastar Model 60, we’re greeted with an incredibly clean and straightforward diver suitable as a daily watch. With this piece, black, navy, or dark green dials are an option. Granted, there are only 100 pieces of the green and blue, but there are still some available for just US$990 on a strap! Any choice nets its owner a lasting color ready for more than summer. Plus, there are subtle differences between the watches. The black version, on sale for US$1,390 with a bracelet and two straps, is quite faithful to the original with its pad-printed luminous hour markers. The green and blue editions add a higher-end touch with polished metal surrounds at each index.

The movement matters

Whereas the Doxa uses an automatic Sellita SW200-1 with 38 hours of power reserve, the Aquastar Model 60 brings two interesting choices to battle. The serial-production black model uses the La Joux-Perret G100 with 68 hours of power reserve and four adjustments. That’s a nice option for someone who opts to put this watch down for the weekend or trade it out for something else during the week. The limited green and blue models use an interesting movement in the guise of a new-old-stock ETA 2824-2. I’d say that both of these are more thoughtful choices than the Sellita.

Aquastar Model 60 4

A familiar case from an originator

Daan is 100% correct that there is a plethora of skin divers on the market today. This once-ubiquitous case design has come back in force. Even if the resurrected Aquastar Model 60 wasn’t the first to market this time around, it was one of the earliest users (if not the earliest) when it debuted in 1957. Therefore, if a skin-diver-style watch is attractive to you, the Model 60 is a highly authentic choice.

Aquastar Model 60 1

A beauty on the wrist

As a dyed-in-the-wool wearer of vintage watches, I’m insanely picky about the modern watches that grace my wrist. I despise clunky watches that feel ungainly or like an extra appendage. Thankfully, the 37mm × 47mm Aquastar Model 60 qualifies as one of the most enjoyable recent watches I’ve worn. The stock 19mm beads-of-rice bracelet isn’t fancy with its stamped clasp, but it’s light and comfortable. I also enjoy it on a Tropic strap. Best of all, this watch works in every situation because the bracelet dresses it up and a rubber strap makes it ready for the beach or pool.

In the end, either of today’s competitors are laudable choices if a well-sized retro diver is of interest. Both brands are steeped in history and bring good, useful specs. Now the choice is yours. Which watch will you choose for summer and beyond?

Doxa Sub 200T vs. Aquastar Model 60