Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
First Look

The new Certina DS Action GMT is an Accessible Flyer GMT (incl. Video)

Incredible watch content at an affordable price, including a Flyer GMT complication... What more could you ask for?

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

The accessible automatic GMT Sports watch is becoming one of the most competitive categories of the industry, with heavy players like Seiko (even in the affordable 5 Sports range), Citizen, and Mido offering compelling watches, and newcomers and micro-brands such as Lorca or Jack Mason also hitting hard. New to this field is Certina, unveiling the new DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 collection. And for an unquestionably fair price, it combines great quality, sports watch credentials, style, robustness and, rare in this field, a movement with flyer GMT complication. Sounds promising, right? Well, let’s have a closer look at it in this article and with our latest video review. 

Before we dive into the details of this DS Action GMT, let’s talk GMT watches… While most readers must be familiar with the idea of these traveller’s watches – most of the time a watch with an additional 24-hour hand displaying a second time zone – there are actually two distinct ways to make a GMT watch. It’s all about home time and local time adjustment. Named Office GMT or Caller GMT on one side, and Flyer GMT, True GMT or Traveller’s GMT on the other, they perform the same function overall; however, how you set the time is different. The Office GMT has an independent 24-hour hand, and the Flyer/Traveller GMT has the ability to adjust the main hour hand (local time) in one-hour increments. And when crossing borders and travelling through time zones, the Flyer/Traveller GMT is by far the most practical. If you want to understand all the details about this GMT distinction, you can read our in-depth article here.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

It’s important to note that there aren’t that many Swiss-made mechanical movements that have Flyer GMT functionality in watches below EUR 1,500, and this is where Certina comes in with strong arguments. Contrary to many watches equipped with an ETA 2893 or a Sellita SW 330 (classic movements with Caller/Office GMT complication), the Swatch Group has decided to develop an accessible Flyer GMT movement based on its already compelling Powermatic 80. Already seen at Mido with the Ocean Star GMT, this calibre now finds its way into Certina’s collection with a fully equipped and super-robust sports watch.

The Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 collection relies on the brand’s Double Security system, which explains the DS designation and consists of compelling divers, GMT watches and day-date models. This new DS Action GMT combines the robustness of a dive watch with the added versatility of a GMT function, making for a very attractive package and a typical go-anywhere, do-anything weekend/summer/adventure watch.

Its 41mm wide case tops out at 14mm in height, giving it a great deal of presence. It’s on the thick side, and you will certainly feel this watch on the wrist, but during my time, it never felt unbalanced or uncomfortable. The robust look and feel of the DS Action GMT are also backed up by its more than sufficient 200m water-resistance. The watch features a screw-down crown protected by guards, a screwed caseback and sapphire crystals on both sides.

The dial has raised indices and hands finished with Super-LumiNova. In addition to the central hour & minute hands, there’s a triangular-tipped GMT hand to indicate home time. This points to the two-tone sapphire crystal insert with a 24-hour scale on the bidirectional rotating bezel, effectively creating a third timezone indication. As you can see, we’ve had the black and green version for this video, but the bezel insert also comes in black and brown, with a black dial combined with several gold PVD coated elements, or in red and blue, with a blue dial to match.

The DS Action GMT is powered by the Powermatic 80.661 automatic movement. This movement allows you to adjust the local hour hand in one-hour increments and in both directions, with the date jumping back and forth when you cross midnight if needed. This makes all the difference when travelling, as an Office GMT would only adjust the GMT hand to your local time, most commonly on the aforementioned 24-hour scale. Certina did well in opting for a flyer GMT movement, something that sets it apart from the crowd of other accessible sports GMT watches.

The green/black and red/blue Certina DS Action GMT models come on a fully brushed stainless steel three-link bracelet with a quick-exchange system and a folding clasp. While it doesn’t feature an “on-the-fly” micro-adjustment system, the clasp features three holes to adjust the length of the bracelet with precision. The black/brown model with gold accents comes on a leather strap with a pin buckle.

Released as part of the permanent collection and now available from the brand and retailers, the Certina DS Action GMT Powermatic 80 collection is priced at CHF 1,040 or CHF 1,070, depending on the dial colour – an undoubtedly competitive price for a watch that comes with such list of specs and features. This could well be this year’s surprise entry in the accessible GMT watch segment. For more details, please visit

Leave a Reply