As the trend for vintage-inspired watches consolidates, brands continue to dig into their archives to find inspiration and breathe new life into past glories. Certina, mostly known for its accessible and robust watches, has also embraced the concept, for instance with the recent and attractive DS PH200M Blue. Just unveiled is the elegant Certina DS Chronograph Automatic, that as you would have guessed, is a modern and handsome re-edition of a Chronograph from the 1940s.
Certina was founded in 1888 in Grenchen and its century-old heritage constitutes an immense source of inspiration. Once again, the brand has drawn from its rich history to produce a remake of an elegant 1940s chronograph.
Although the DS Chronograph Automatic comes in a larger case (42mm versus 36mm for the original watch) and is equipped with modern features, the similarities with the historic watch are evident and it does make for a truly handsome watch. Fashioned out of 316L stainless steel, the case is nicely executed. It measures a respectable 42mm diameter and 13.9mm height, but its profile remains rather thin thanks to the curved caseback and box sapphire crystal.
Together with the ergonomic lugs, this makes for a watch that sits well on the wrist. The crown is large and easy to operate. It is flanked by old-school, rounded rectangular pushers. On the back, the Certina double C logo is framed by triangles inspired by the dial’s indexes. Last, the water-resistance is rated at 100m, comfortable considering the vintage inspiration of this model.
Protected under the box sapphire crystal, the Certina DS Chronograph Automatic displays a truly stylish dial, with a well-balanced bi-compax layout. Silver-coloured and with dynamic applied indexes, it is softly curved (so are the blued hands) which enhances the retro-style of the watch while producing a nice sense of depth. The registers are finely snailed.
Just like the original 1940s piece, the dial is framed by both a tachymeter scale (in blue) and a telemeter scale (in black). Less common than the tachymeter – which allows measuring average speed between two mile or kilometre markers – the telemeter enables you to determine your distance from a phenomenon that is both visible and audible, for instance, a lightning storm. It was also used by soldiers observing artillery. The dial is, altogether, pleasantly complex and faithful to the original watch in style and proportions.
The Certina DS Chronograph Automatic is powered by a modern self-winding movement, the calibre A05.H31. This automatic cam-and-lever chronograph is derived from the ETA 7753, a two-counter version of the tried-and-tested 7750 base. With a diameter of 30mm, it features a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock. Its balance wheel incorporates an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Compared to a classic Valjoux, the power reserve has been boosted to 60 hours.
Good looks & excellent value
All in all, this Certina DS Chronograph Automatic is a really great looking vintage-inspired chronograph for a minimal cost (below EUR 2K). If you are looking for a classically styled chronograph at an affordable price, this would definitively be a watch to consider. Admittedly, it is on the large side for a traditional chronograph, but it sits well under your cuff. And with its convex, silver-coloured dial, it really looks the part!
The Certina DS Chronograph automatic is worn on a leather strap fitted with a quick-release system. A butterfly clasp with double safety push-button secures the watch on the wrist. Price is set at EUR 1,920 or CHF 1,890.
For more information, please visit certina.com.