Everything you need to know about Certina and their key modelsSean Roberts
I remember the first time I visited the Certina website. I had just been made aware of the DS Action GMT and wanted a rundown of the specifications. While there, I ended up browsing their other offerings and as I jumped between their different collections, one thing became clear. Every single reference, regardless of whether it was a diver or had a dressy appearance, came with a minimum of 100 metres of water resistance. For any other brand, such a feat would be quite a revelation. Yet for the self-proclaimed “Sports Watch Brand”, this is nothing new.
The company was founded by the brothers Adolf and Alfred Kurth as a movement and components manufacturer in 1888. They started producing watches under the name Grana (short for the Latin name of their Swiss town of Grenchen) in 1906. In 1939, the Certina name was born and since then, the company has enjoyed quite a few accomplishments. From producing the first digital mechanical watch with rotating discs displaying hours and minutes, to their innovative Double Security (DS) Concept (explained here) that provided previously unheard levels of protection to the movements within. This is why in the 1960s the brand took on the logo of the turtle shell, a perfect representation of their goal to create the most robust watches out there. If these goals align with what you want in a watch, here are four Certina watches you should absolutely check out.
Certina DS-1 Big Date
Originally released in 2019 in green, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the DS Concept, Certina decided to follow-up with two new colour dialled versions in 2020. And of those follow-ups, this beautiful blue dégradé version absolutely stands out. Coming in at a reasonable 41 mm, the watch manages to skirt the line between sporty and dressy. Its main features are the big date located at 6 o’clock, the Nivachron Balance Spring Powermatic 80 movement within and the DS concept applied to its construction. All this can be had for only CHF 830.
DS Chronograph Automatic
Want a vintage-themed, robust chronograph? Look no further than the DS Chronograph Automatic. A re-edition of a 1940s chronograph from their archives, the watch boasts a beautifully vintage dial. The hands are blued and go well with the blue Telemeter scale. The boxed crystal gives it a period correct look while adding the scratch resistance of sapphire. With curved down lugs, the 50.5mm lug to lug plays well with the 42mm width and 13.9mm thickness. And at CHF 1890, you get the look of vintage watch without the issues it may bring, all at a reasonable price.
DS Super PH500M
Take a second and imagine what the ideal dive watch would be. High visibility colorway. Great lume. Meets International Organization of Standardization (ISO) standards for a diver. High water resistance. Now open your eyes and take a look at the DS Super PH500M. A reinterpretation of one of their 1960s models, the DS-2 Super PH500M, this new version does the original justice. It measures the same 43mm as 1960s watch. The simple monochromatic color scheme provides great visibility under water. The lume is bright Super-Luminova. The watch meets ISO 6425 standards and is water resistant to 500 metres. I’ve chosen this black version instead of the orange dialled version because it is a closer representation of the watch that inspired it. Price of admission here is only CHF 860.
DS Podium GMT
Looking for a watch that is a one stop shop for all your needs? A 12-Hour Chronograph? GMT? Date? Made of titanium? The DS Podium GMT, reference C034.654.44.087.00 may be the watch for you. With a plethora of features, packed in its 42mm case, the watch truly squeezes everything out of a quartz. Furthermore, the watch has Certina’s trademarked Precidrive quartz movement inside, allowing it to not only reach COSC standards, but to blow past them; delivering a rate of +/- 10 seconds a year. All this precision is attainable at CHF 780.