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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.

CASES
Doxa has been using chrome plated, 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 or chrome? WALK AWAY!:rodekaart

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.
Heard about specimens with bumper movements- never have seen a Doxa with one, so I cannot prove that these have existed.
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 forum not exactly willing to identify watches posted there, and a lot of SUB worship going on (understandable, but please, there is a lot of great non-SUB Doxa stuff out there!), someone has to at least try to provide a basic set of info...


Additional note from 12.2.2019:
Since I have been receiving a lot of inquiries about identifying/authenticating vintage Doxa watches, I would kindly ask all those interested in knowing more about a particular Doxa watch to post the inquiry in this thread, or in the main section of the Vintage forum (F11). Due to time constraints resulting from personal and professional matters, I cannot always be there for everyone, even though helping people is one of the main reasons - if not the main reason - for which I am here. I will have a look at your inquiry whenever I have the time. At times, it might take a while - please be patient. If need be, please subscribe to the thread, in order to be notified of any new posts in it.
 

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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.

CASES
Doxa has been using chrome plated, 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 or chrome? WALK AWAY!:rodekaart

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.
Heard about specimens with bumper movements- never have seen a Doxa with one, so I cannot prove that these have existed.
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 forum not exactly willing to identify watches posted there, and a lot of SUB worship going on (understandable, but please, there is a lot of great non-SUB Doxa stuff out there!), someone has to at least try to provide a basic set of info...
Fatastic!!
 

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Hey mkws ,
Was looking for data on Doxa Movement I was looking at and found your post.

listed as cal. 8 3/4. 1250
"Heard about specimens with bumper movements- never have seen a Doxa with one, so I cannot prove that these have existed.
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."

 

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Discussion Starter #5
The movement is an AS 1250:
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: AS 1250

Great that you have posted it here- I've seen ads for 1950s Doxa automatics, however since I have never seen one in the wild, I couldn't confirm the usage of bumpers by Doxa. Now it is confirmed, that they did use them.

I believe there are some Doxa automatic watch ads (for what might be bumper automatics alright) in bobbee's great Eclectic Adverts thread.

Did you see the serial of the watch? If to believe the good Doctor, it'd be no earlier than 1953...
 
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That's a serial following the undocumented code- I've found more and more specimens, which prove the existence of that code earlier than I thought it was introduced. Could be a separate serial number code for gold cases made by particular case makers/foundries. Got to research it more.
 

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Great write up M.
Here is an advert from 1956 for the Chezard-powered "dead beat seconds" model.

I like how the crown can stop the second hand by pushing it in! This turns it into a virtual chronograph, similar to the "chronostop" type watches.






zz1956 doxa.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Great job finding that ad, Bob! The dial on it looks like an example of the Doxa logo as described in point 2 in the DIALS section of the Guide.
 
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A small breakthrough here, chaps- just found evidence of something more unusual: a full steel Doxa case from the 1940s.

Doxa full steel case back.jpg
Photo: courtesy of member jholmgren

So far, of Doxa watches made before 1960 I have seen mostly chronographs feature a full stainless steel case. So a small correction to the "cases" part- there were full steel cases used in time-only Doxa watches.

 

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@MKWS I was hoping you might be able to help with this one.

I was looking at this vintage Doxa 2 register Chrono, it seems to be a nice piece and would be a nice addition to the collection.


Vintage Men's Doxa 2 Meter Chronograph Watch With Light Brown Dial | eBay

It looks original, I don't see any glaring issues with it, but I thought I would submit it to the Doxa experts here before I pulled the trigger. The pictures of the movement are admittedly crap, but the signature is legible, and there doesn't appear to be any major errors. The dial also looks to be aged, but no more than what would be expected from a 60 year old watch.

Part of what concerns me is the fact that there is a very similar one currently listed on Analog/Shift for $5900 and this one is priced nowhere near that.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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First of all, don't use Analog Shift as a resource, let alone the probe of average prices- they're as horrible fleecers as Hodinkee, and this means: pretty damn bad.

The specimen sold on Analog Shift has what appears to be a legit case with a serial pointing to 1945. As to the movement, "Doxa calibre 190" tells nothing without a picture of it, which these fleecers didn't even bother to post. Doxa never made an in-house chronograph movement, so it has to be a Venus, Valjoux or Landeron.

That specimen is by no means worth 5900, looks like whoever appraised it, got off his meds all too soon. "Circa 1950s." By Jove, they have no idea of how to date a watch...

So, returning to the watch you have found on the Bay- in my opinion, it's a frankenwatch. And the seller is even more slow-witted than the Analog Shift fleecers. "The movement is a Valjoux." Oh, bollocks. The guy has no clue how to ID a movement- it's a Landeron 48 or a derivative of it. The case is a complete bogus, no Doxa markings on it, no serial, nothing. It's chrome-plated, the case back inscriptions leave little doubt as to that, yet he goes with claiming it's stainless steel. The movement and dial appear to be legit. If the case was legit as well, the current bid of 500 would be a bargain with all the hype going on these days, but sadly it is what it is- a frankenwatch.
 
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I looked at that Doxa chronograph on eBay carefully in the past and noticed something interesting; tell me what you think. I believe the case is actually steel, but the case-back is a replacement that somehow fits. The photos show a lot of polishing and damage to the lugs and the back edge of the case, but no base metal is visible. Look at the movement photos and the edge opposite the crown, there's a huge chunk taken out of the back of the case, and it looks like solid steel. OK, the photos are really dark so it's hard to be sure, but I would have expected to see some base metal given all the damage and polishing. Still a crappy franken, but to me, this added to the puzzle.

Edit: Sorry to hi-jack, but regarding the Analog/Shift watch, although it is not mentioned in the listing, I believe the watch is cased is what is known as a Spillman case, with the faceted lugs. These are desirable, and often house a Valjoux 22 in my experience (no way to know in this case, unfortunately). So maybe the asking price is only inflated by 100% instead of 200% ... No, who am I kidding, it's still inflated by 200%. ;-)
 

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Could it be, say, a replacement back from another watch? Yes, but only if that case isn't by Doxa, and has been made for Doxa by a manufacturer, who would have supplied different companies with cases identical to the extent, at which case backs are actually interchangeable. I literally don't know what could get the case chipped as badly as it happened to the bottom edge of the case of the specimen on eBay, especially if it was steel. Not to mention, that the light in the photos makes hard to tell if it's brass or steel. Could also be a "light alloy" case, like the ones used for Omegas made for the British military. With the only element that can identify the case, that being the case back, missing or identifying the case as non-Doxa, the watch is a franken.

There's no telling if the watch on Analog/Shift has a Spillman case or not, and if it houses a Valjoux or not, since there are no pictures of the movement, let alone of the inner side of the case back.
 

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I have a few:

doxagrafic2.jpg doxa1.jpg doxafront.jpg doxaback.jpg The last one is a WWII soldier's watch. And then I have a movement that I don't know where it came from. At one point I was collecting them now I'll probably sell them:
doxa.jpg
 

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That's a nice Grafic you've got.

The other two are redials.
 

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MKWS & Dan,

Thank you so much for your input. I'm glad I didn't bid on it. I think the seller may have had some such inclination as he never responded to the request for more and better pictures. I'd seen the Bring a Brains, but I wasn't aware Analog/Shift fell into the same category, their prices did seem pretty extreme though. Based on the report you started the thread with, I was looking for case back engravings, but with the pictures shown I really didn't know enough to make a determination on my own. Again, thanks guys.
 

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Lance: I'm not sure if this was clear or not, but if the case-back says "STAINLESS STEEL BACK" instead of just "STAINLESS STEEL" (or "FOND ACIER INOXYDABLE" instead of "ACIER INOXYDABLE"), that almost invariably means that the main part of the case is NOT stainless.
 

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