Monochrome Watches
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Certina DS Action Diver 38mm (Live Pics & Price)

A cool, compact and robust dive watch at fair price

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |
Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

A few months ago, we took a look at the Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80, a watch that impressed us for its quality, its mechanical content, its classic design and mostly, for its fair price. Robust, fully-equipped and designed with a no-nonsense approach, it is a great all-purpose dive watch. Only available until now in 43mm diameter with a modernly shaped bezel, the brand today adds a new, more compact and slightly more retro version of this watch, with the Certina DS Action Diver 38mm. And we give a closer look at it. 

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

There are multiple dive watches in Certina’s collection, including the super-cool, vintage-inspired DS PH200M Blue we reviewed earlier this year. If old-school isn’t your thing, Certina has you covered too, with the DS Action Diver, a contemporary, technical and super-robust aquatic instrument that surprised us, being an accessible watch without concessions on the technical specifications or the quality. Designed as a tool ready for action, its case measure 43mm in diameter and 13mm in height, making it a watch with presence. But also a watch that some would call too large. Certina today adds something new to its collection, something more compact, which can be seen as a unisex offering with a bit of a retro feeling proportion-wise. But… it is still a DS Action Diver, performing in many aspects.

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Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

The main update concerning this new version of the Certina DS Action Diver is its reduced diameter, now with a fairly compact size of 38mm. Versatile, well balanced and suitable for most enthusiasts (and not only men), the watch sits greatly on the wrist, making it a nice option for a jump in the sea but also for daily life. Compared to the 43mm version, the specifications have, however, not changed. The watch remains a proper diving instrument, with a 300m water-resistance, a screw-down crown and caseback, a unidirectional bezel. Relying on the Double Security (DS) concept dear to the brand, it even complies with the demanding ISO 6425 standard for dive watches. Reduced in size, yes… but not reduced in capacities.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

Indeed, the DS Action Diver 38mm isn’t just a scaled-down model. Some aspects have been updated to give this model its own character. While the robustness of the case, with a prominent crown guard module, has been retained, the profile of the unidirectional bezel has evolved, being finely notched now, for a slightly more retro look. And talking about retro style, Certina now offers the option of gold PVD for a cool bicolour style, on both the bezel, the crown and centre links of the bracelet.

The dial of the DS Action Diver 38mm, while having some new proportions due to the reduced size, retains the same design cues as its 43mm counterpart, with triangular and round applied indexes, an angled inner flange for the minutes and oversized hands, with an arrow-shaped hours hand. All the elements are generously filled with white Super-LumiNova, for a powerful luminosity in dark conditions. Depending on the colour, the dial is either glossy lacquered (black) or sunray-brushed (blue).

Four versions of this more compact Certina DS Action Diver are launched, including an attractive two-tone model with a green bezel, in addition to the classic black and blue editions:

  • Steel with black lacquered dial and black bezel
  • Steel with blue sunray-brushed dial and blue bezel
  • Steel with PVD gold elements, black lacquered dial and black bezel
  • Steel with PVD gold elements, black lacquered dial and green bezel

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

At the heart of the watch, under a decorated screwed steel caseback, is a well-known and powerful movement, the Powermatic 80. Based on the architecture of the tried-and-tested ETA 2824, this engine is Swatch Group’s new entry-level automatic offer, with modern features and long power reserve. Equipped with an antimagnetic Nivachron balance spring and boasting a comfortable 80-hour power reserve, it has been designed to withstand everyday use, but also diving conditions, where the precision and reliability of the time display is of critical importance.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

The DS Action Diver 38mm is worn on a solid 3-link, brushed stainless steel bracelet (with or without PVD gold centre links) closed by a deployant clasp with two push-buttons and diver’s extension.


This new compact dive watch by Certina is once again a super-competitive offering, with modern mechanics, solid execution and complete diving package, at a fair price. The look is classic, with nice colours and versatility, and it offers everything you need in an underwater timepiece. The steel models are priced at CHF 755 and the bicolour editions retail for CHF 795.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm

More details at

20 responses

  1. Great size and pricing seems fair (Seiko take note). A bit too much text on the dial for me. The “Powermatic 80” seems a bit necessary. Any word on the wingspan (lug-2-lug) measurement? Liking the green and gold version better, much to my surprise since I’m not a fan of gold (outside investment), but it’s probably because I’m picturing it without the gaudy bracelet and on a brown canvas or leather strap instead.

  2. @Matti – we only had the watches for a short moment (enough to do photos) but without a tool to measure the L-2-L. It should be about 46mm

  3. @Brice
    Thanks for replying. Oh, I typo’d in my previous post. I meant the ‘Powermatic 80’ text on dial seemed *unnecessary*

  4. Hi there, what did you think of the Lume? My only gripe with the regular one was, how weak the lume was. Thank you in advance 🙂 Cheers

  5. Looks too much like seiko MM200. Find the swatch group divers too generic due to inspired design elements from other watches in the genre. I like the Mido ocean star the most of the mid tier Swatch group offerings.

  6. Nice to see smaller watches occasionally. I have some 42mm watches but today it’s a 36mm. This looks very similar in style the the Longines featured recently but with a more balanced dial and nicer handset and a much more attractive price. The Logines may be a more “premium” brand but I would be very happy with the Certina.

  7. Glad they wrote “Divers Watch” on the dial. With the bezel, crown guards & 300m printed right next to it, I would never have known.

    Otherwise I think it’s a nice entry watch with BB58 lovers on a budget will enjoy.

  8. Does anybody know how the crystal of the watch is? Flat or domed?

    @Judah Somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there is a subtle distinction between a “diving watch” and a “diver’s watch”, which likely why they chose to put the text on the dial. While the former is simply a watch that is fashioned after the design language that is commonly associated with dive watches, the latter is a diving watch that is ISO certified. Therefore, having “diver’s watch” on the dial suggests a watch to be of higher quality, not unlike the “Swiss made” moniker. (Of course, one can debate how useful this marketing term is, given that most people will not be aware of its meaning, and it already says ISO 6425 on the back.)

  9. Very nice, does it have the on the go adjustable clasp like the bigger brother (also with 2 push buttons on the side)?

  10. Love this piece, looks awesome at this price point. It is much better than Steinhart or Squale which runs on ETA 2398-2 / Sellita SW200 which only have 48 hrs power reserve.

  11. The black version looks like Rolex Submariner which is lack of uniqueness. The original 43mm diameter is too big while this one 38mm appears to be too small. Why not making it 40mm instead?

  12. I absolutely love this watch. Mine arrived today and it’s perfect. I had the 43mm version from a few years back and while I love it, it was way too big for my small wrists. I am pleased to see the quality is still top notch here

  13. Great review! Do we know when and where we can purchase? I am in the US. I find the reduction from 43 to 38mm to be quite a nice aesthetic, it packs a lot of features that I have been searching for in a Swiss made watch.

  14. While i appreciate Certina launching these, i am dismayed that they didn’t even include a Blue-Gold two tone variant. I mean since you are already doing two-toned variant already, why no Blue-Gold?

  15. Yes, two of them. Got the black version two days ago. Excellent watch, good value for money

  16. Just bought the black green & gold one in NY sale and agree with all positive comments above. Vendor seems to have set the likely arrival date at dispatch but I never bother setting these as even I can remember the date all day, add one each morning and count up to 28-31. Part of its charm is the tiny date window that discreetly replaces an hour marker. A few gentle forearm waves and it was Off, straight out of the box, and continued ticking quietly to itself when left behind in the drawer for a couple of days. Not very lumy is the perfect dive watch for those of us who go down there to chill out with the fish, turtles and thingies. We like to turn off torches sometimes even at night – some watches would shut down a basket star. It seems the black dial / green bezel / gold & green steel version isn’t the popular colour choice (it wouldn’t have been mine online, although all versions are well thought out and attractive (this was the only one left on the vendor’s sale page) – but on a wrist its excellent European proportions, colours and finishes turn out to be charming and very liveable. Brand and core info in a small tidy font on the dial are supported by more detail on the back – I disagree there’s too much of either. Some of us just don’t want to browse tec docs. The pleasant turtle emblem is comfortable to wear. A rather smart social/work/scuba watch. I don’t understand ‘entry level’ – are your other automatic watery watches all Rolex / titanium / reines de Naples perhaps? This one is quite rich enough to be worn socially, at work and on diving holidays and I can’t see the point of seeking and paying more.


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