Homage watches are and can at all times be a sensitive topic within the watch world. Typically shunned, different instances adored – however most frequently ignored, they exist on a razor’s edge of affection and hate. They bring about about problems with authenticity, exclusivity, creativity, and sure another -ivities as nicely. One model could make a watch someday that flies too near the solar, whereas a unique band on one other day can launch a brand new cult hit (or win on the GPHG). Do you have to occur to have the rights to the title of the model that initially made the watch, even when you and your provide chain are far faraway from that model’s historical past, you get a go. Change the title, you is perhaps in for a tough time.
For me, at their finest, an homage watch can put the highlight on a design or story from the historical past of watches that may have been forgotten, or very obscure within the first place. In doing so, they offer new life to one thing previous, spreading the mythology to a brand new era, of which I’m an element.
However, I’m not likely right here to philosophize about homage watches, fairly to check out a watch that’s an homage, and does precisely what I described above. In reality, had it not been for this watch, I possible would have by no means recognized concerning the authentic. More often than not, homage watches are primarily based on references that, as an fanatic, I’m not less than considerably conscious of. Mil-subs, Fifty Fathoms’, Daytonas, and many others. The Synchron Navy, nevertheless, relies on a really uncommon and obscure watch I hadn’t heard of: the DOXA Military (admittedly, DOXA will not be a model I’ve spent a lot time researching).
In fact, when you have been to move to Synchron’s web site, you wouldn’t find out about it both. To not digress, however this launch was one of many extra “insider” releases I’ve seen within the trade. Heck, we didn’t even get a press launch about it, and by the point we knew it had come out, they have been all however gone. So, this evaluate is definitely the primary time the Synchron Navy has graced the pages of Worn & Wound. As for his or her description of the watch, all you get are some odd blurbs concerning the Seventies – “Land yachts, large trousers, large guitar solos, larger hair. And daring wristwatches. The Seventies was a decade that noticed an explosion of fashion…” and a few hyperbole concerning the watch – “The SYNCHRON MILITARY, with richly reproduced colours, and daring, high-contrast dial markings, this new Synchron Navy Frogman Homage represents the head of dive watch utility.”
No point out of the DOXA Military. No point out of what made it particular, or fascinating. Nope. You needed to know to care. Properly, or, like me, identical to the rattling factor – however I’ll get extra to that later. The DOXA Military is a type of watches that has a kind of legendary standing. Rarer than hen’s tooth, as they are saying, allegedly solely a handful have been made, and sure fewer nonetheless exist at this time significantly in good situation. Some say they’ve actual army provenance, others don’t. What is certain is that in all probability, you’ve by no means seen one earlier than, and, like me, probably by no means even heard of it. Fortunately, being in NYC, I used to be in a position to borrow one (of possible only some) from the parents over at analogshift for the sake of this evaluate.
With that mentioned, what I discover most intriguing about it’s its design language. At a look, you wouldn’t essentially assume it was a DOXA. Their signature split-bezel insert will not be current, fairly one that’s extra Omega in taste, nor their brilliant orange dial. The palms are odd blocky shapes, and the dial is a two-tone sector-of-sorts that’s its personal bizarre factor. Consisting of an interior circle in white/cream with black blocks for and index, and an outer ring in black/darkish grey with strips of lume over white rectangles, it’s additionally not what one sometimes associates with army designs, which have a tendency to cut back for the sake of legibility.
Sure, the barrel case is there vis-a-vis the Sub 300, however they have been hardly the one model to make use of them within the ‘70s. And it’s additionally matte black PVD… that early, scratches-just-by-looking-at-it PVD. It’s a bizarre watch. It’s a cool watch. It’s its personal factor, to paraphrase David S. Pumpkins. Again to the purpose, as a watch to make an homage to, I believe it was a sensible choice. It’s an odd blip within the historical past of a well-liked, if still-cultish-brand, that doesn’t seem like 1,000,000 different watches and is so uncommon you’ll be able to’t actually count on to ever personal one (it’s additionally a five-figure watch). However, the story doesn’t finish fairly there.
You see, the model that made the homage, Synchron, isn’t a brand new model both, they usually have an odd relationship with DOXA. An earlier model of Synchron truly owned DOXA for a interval in ‘60s and ‘70s (classic DOXA followers are possible conscious of what’s known as the “Synchron-era”). So, it’s potential they have been the proprietor when the DOXA Military was made. Quick ahead to 2021, and the trendy Synchron is underneath new possession, and each a model, and the group title behind a pair cult-dive watch corporations you’re possible aware of, Aquadive and Aquastar, they usually personal and manufacture Isofrane and Tropic Straps. So, they know their stuff relating to software watches and divers. Nonetheless with me? Properly, it will get a bit weirder because the proprietor of Synchron used to work at… yeah, DOXA.
Does this actually matter? No, however it provides the watch a little bit higher context, and on the very least a take a look at why they could have even bothered to make the watch within the first place. And, to be trustworthy, none of this pertains to why I picked one up. As mentioned, the Synchron Navy, which was produced as a restricted run of 500, bought out earlier than I even knew about it. However, I occurred to see one on a wrist at our Pop-Up store again in August, and simply form of fell for it. A fast search on WatchRecon a couple of days later, and one was mine. So, let’s lastly evaluate it.