The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 is a cracking sub-A$2,000 true GMT The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 is a cracking sub-A$2,000 true GMT

The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 is a cracking sub-A$2,000 true GMT

Jamie Weiss

Let me get this out of the way first: I have a soft spot for Certina. My first “nice watch” was a Certina, bought during my first trip to Switzerland, so it’s a brand that was incredibly formative in sparking my love for watches. Certina’s also pretty easy to like as the brand offers exceptionally tasteful, sporty designs at eminently reasonable price points – and all of their watches feature their signature “Double Safety” O-ring gasket system for extra water resistance and robustness.

 

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For 2024, Certina has updated the already pretty compelling DS Action GMT, shrinking down its case while also making it more functional with the addition of a bidirectional GMT bezel. In short: it’s better than ever.

The case

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80

The previous generation automatic Certina DS Action GMT features a 43mm case diameter, which is too big for many watch lovers (the quartz DS Action GMT does have a 41mm case diameter, but beyond not being mechanical, it also doesn’t feature a GMT hand and rather just a GMT subdial, which is a bit hard to read). For this update, Certina has shaved 2 mm off the automatic DS Action GMT’s girth, making it far more approachable.

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 bezel

As I mentioned earlier, the most substantial change the new DS Action GMT brings to the table is a new bidirectional GMT bezel with a sapphire insert – the previous generation had a fixed internal bezel. This means you can track a third time zone, significantly boosting functionality. The bezel itself is pretty aggressively raked, sloping down from being flush with the crystal, helping it slip under a cuff, and features a nice notchy action.

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 range

Each of the three variants of the DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 feature bicoloured bezels: blue and red (commonly referred to as “Pepsi”), black and green (or “Sprite” if we’re following Rolex naming conventions) and black and brown (let’s call it “Root Beer”), the last of which is extremely subtle.

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 profile

The new Certina DS Action GMT’s case itself features classic sports watch proportions with brushed surfaces and a stubby crown guard. The Pepsi and Sprite variants are totally stainless steel, while the Root Beer variant features yellow gold PVD highlights.

The dial

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 dial

The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80’s dial is pretty straightforward: the Sprite and Root Beer models feature glossy black dials, while the Pepsi has a blue sunburst dial. Additionally, the Sprite and Pepsi models feature GMT hands colour-matched to their bezels (green and red respectively); the Root Beer has a white GMT hand. An un-magnified date window sits at 3 o’clock, and there’s plenty of Super-LumiNova to be found on the handset and indices.

The bracelet

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 bracelet

The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 comes mounted on a brushed steel three-link bracelet with a safety clasp if you opt for the Pepsi or Sprite, whereas the Root Beer comes on an aged leather strap with a pin buckle, which suits its two-tone look at the expense of its wet weather activity suitability.

The movement

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 movement

As you may have guessed, the Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 is powered by the ETA Powermatic 80.661, a GMT version of the Swatch Group’s popular Powermatic 80 movement, which features an 80-hour power reserve. The 80.661 also features a Nivachron balance spring for extra anti-magnetism and accuracy, although, unlike some Powermatic 80 variants, it’s not COSC-certified.

The verdict

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 lume

Really, the best thing about the Certina DS Action GMT is its price tag. At CHF 1,070 on a bracelet (~A$1,860 as of publishing), it represents exceedingly good value: a proper mechanical Swiss GMT with an 80-hour power reserve and 200 m of water resistance? That’s a winning formula.

Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 pricing & availability

The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 is available now from Certina retailers. Price: CHF 1,040 (black/brown model on leather), CHF 1,070 (black/green or blue/red on steel).

Brand Certina
Model DS Action GMT Powermatic 80
Reference Number C032.929.11.051.00 (black dial, black/green bezel)
C032.929.26.051.00 (black dial, black/brown bezel, gold PVD highlights)
C032.929.11.041.00 (blue dial, blue/red bezel)
Case Dimensions 41 mm (D) x  13.8 mm (T)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 200 metres, screw-down crown
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Black or blue
Bracelet Three-link steel bracelet with safety clasp or brown aged leather with pin buckle
Movement ETA Powermatic 80.661, automatic, Nivachron balance spring
Power Reserve 80 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date, bidirectional GMT bezel, GMT
Availability Available now
Price CHF 1,040 (C032.929.26.051.00)
CHF 1,070 (C032.929.11.051.00 and C032.929.11.041.00)