Sunday, May 21, 2023

Omitted History

Courtesy of DOXA
With DOXA's recent launch of the SUB 300T Clive Cussler, I was once again reminded of the short memory of the watch buying public (no offense), and the reality that well placed (i.e. funded) press campaigns can go a long way to paint vivid and compelling stories that while not not false, often leave out some key details. 
Courtesy of Bernard Watches

While it is wonderful that the Jenny family is putting some money and effort into the DOXA SUB collection, I continue to be fascinated by the painting out of Rick Marei's efforts to relaunch and promote the DOXA SUB. Well, gentle reader, as I was there for a lot of this let me try to set the record straight, or at least shed some light on a topic that lived in the shade far too long.

It was Rick Marei who went to the Jenny family and secured the rights to design, produce, and sell the DOXA SUB through what would become the reimagined Synchron group. While it is convenient to paint out his contributions, it is an inconvenient truth that without Rick Marei, the SUB would have remained dead and burried.

I also find it fascinating to see this new partnership with the Cussler estate. As the person responsible for promoting and marketing the SUB from 2007 - 2010, it would have been greatly helpful not to have to try and do it for $0 marketing funds ; )

But we were lucky, because Clive Cussler was always amenable to help us (Synchron). He was a subtle, but genuine ambassador for the SUB. Beyond the invaluable publicity received by DOXA via Clive Cussler's novels, it was Rick Marei (and those of us who worked with him at Synchron) who endeavored to form and maintain a friendly (but definitely grass-roots and under funded) partnership with Clive Cussler. There was a Clive Cussler edition of the 750 SUB back in the earlier part of this century. This had no noticeable branding beyond a not-so-prominent bit of extra engraving on the case back, and if memory serves it was a basic flourish added to an existing production piece to help goose along some sales. I do not know whether or not Mr. Cussler received anything beyond a watch (i.e. royalties). 

There was, of course, a Dirk Pitt model based on the 600T. There was the NUMA -
Courtesy of Worn and Wound
Which came in a few flavors. Blue (above) and a turquoise dialed version (below) -
Courtesy of Worn and Wound
And I vividly remember a rather undignified bullocking I received at BaselWorld 2009 from Rick Marei over his refusal to use turquoise for any other DOXA SUB as turquoise was spoken for (although he refused to say for whom it was reserved). If nothing else, while not demonstrating any real managerial brio, it did underscore his commitment to all things Clive Cussler. 

I continue to find it fascinating how nearly 20 years of history can magically vanish. It is true that the "winners" write the history, and that's fair enough. But at the same time, I believe in giving credit where it is due, even if it reveals a sin of omission.

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