Tiffany blue. Vintage. Sub. All words that conjure hypebeast wishes and caviar dreams. But can you get satisfaction out of a $179 watch that looks like a Doxa Sub 300T took a walk down Fifth Avenue?

I think so?

The Seestern Vintage Sub 300 is a Doxa homage, of that we have no doubt. The piece isn’t quite a replica but it is a near-perfect copy of the original orange-faced Doxa made popular by the Dirk Pitt series of books and it features the Doxa “double” bezel and the odd flying saucer-shaped case. It has a great blue lume on the bold hands and pips and even features a lumed date wheel. It is ostensibly waterproof to 200 meters but I wouldn’t go that deep with it.

This is, to be clear, a new form of fashion watch. It takes the best of a number of brands, including the Tiffany dial, and gives you something that you can wear with relative pride to the beach or a popular gathering. No one with any watch smarts would mistake this for any kind of luxury item but, you know what? Who cares. For $179 you can easily take a flyer on these things and come away happy.

As I’ve noted multiple times on the Hourtime Podcast, I believe these are the new entry-level pieces. While they’re not perfect – I’m absolutely certain this thing will break under hard usage, steel case be damned – they are just fine. If you’re looking for a Doxa and can afford the ridiculous premium associated with modern Swiss brands then by all means, buy a Doxa. If you want a fun watch named after a starfish (“seestern” means starfish in German) then you won’t be disappointed.

Assessing this thing on its own merits isn’t hard. It’s a well-made watch with an acceptable movement and nice case. It wears well and is very comfortable. It actually looks pretty good, if a little too compressed for my taste, and the blue face isn’t quite Tiffany blue as much as just a hair off. I was honestly worried it would look bad but it definitely doesn’t. It runs a solid Seiko NH35A movement, which is another reason why it scratches that entry-level diver itch.

Why should you pick one of these up?

Well, maybe you’re looking for a nice vacation watch that you won’t mind breaking. Or maybe you like blue. Or maybe you’re a diver on a budget. Any of these are valid reasons. This watch is on par with the original Orange Monster, a personal favorite for folks looking for their first “nice” watch and I have no trouble recommending this to entry-level watch lovers.

Again, a real Doxa is a real Doxa. The quality is superior and you pay for the brand. The Seestern is like Danny DeVito in Twins: it’s odd, it’s weird, and no one would mistake it for something that Arnold Schwarzenegger would wear. That said, it’s pretty cool.

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

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