Since the late 1950s and the introduction of the DS concept (in 1959, to be precise), Certina has, as the brand’s CEO mentions here, “been dedicated to offering robust watches for an active lifestyle”. And looking at the brand’s latest introductions, it couldn’t be truer. Certina is also one of Swatch Group’s entry-level brands, which means high quality and lots of cool features. Following one of our favourite accessible dive watches of the year, the DS Action Diver 38mm, the brand now launches a new take on its bolder and more robust aquatic model, the Certina DS Super PH500M. First available in a sharp orange version, it now comes in a more reasonable but no less performance-oriented black edition.
The DS Super PH500M doesn’t come out of the blue; it actually takes inspiration from a historic model born in the 1960s, a watch that was involved in the 1969 Tektite I and Tektite II experiments. Back then, already a strong, powerful dive watch with 500m water-resistance (more than most dive watches of the day), it was largely recognisable thanks to its rotating bezel with 14 facets – a so-called tetradecagon – and its locking device. Also, the dial featured sword hands and large rectangular markers for the hours… all elements that are featured again today for the creation of the modern PH500M.
The new Certina DS Super PH500M is not entirely a vintage re-edition of the historic model. It’s a modern reinterpretation using some of the older watch’s distinctive elements to create a cool and recognisable look with some retro flair. First launched with a bright and very bold orange dial, the brand has decided to add this black version to the collection, introducing something easier to wear on a daily basis, more consensual but still very powerful.
The stainless steel case of this Super PH500M, entirely polished, measures 43mm in diameter with a height of about 15mm. It certainly makes this watch rather imposing at first, but the short lugs allow for more comfort than expected. The overall design, even though modernised, reintroduces elements of the older watch, such as the tetradecagonal unidirectional bezel with black aluminium insert, which still features its locking ‘push-to-turn’ device to avoid accidentally turning the bezel. The case also retains the double-security (DS) technology, dear to the brand – basically, an 0-ring between the case and the movement to provide shock resistance.
Other specifications only confirm what the design suggests. The Certina DS Super PH500M features a screw-down crown and caseback, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and offers 500m water-resistance. In addition, it is also an ISO 6425 certified dive watch. Robustness and quality are the first words that come to mind, but it also imparts a cool diver vibe.
The main novelty this year is the addition of this black dial version. The original 1960s DS-2 Super PH500M was available in two editions, both with black dials, one with orange accents, the other entirely monochromatic. Certina pays tribute to the latter, with a domed and discreetly sunray black dial paired with white markers and hands. For the rest, all elements found on the orange version – sword hands, crosshair, framed date window, large markers – are reincorporated, ensuring the watch retains its great contrast and efficient display.
Under the caseback ticks Swatch Group’s new standard movement, the now-famous Powermatic 80, a strong evolution over the classic ETA 2824, with an extended power reserve of 80 hours, a reduced frequency of 3Hz and, in the present case, an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring. All the elements add a competitive advantage to this new DS Super PH500M.
Contrary to the orange version that is worn on a black accordion-style rubber strap, this black edition of the DS Super PH500M is worn on a NATO-style black and grey strap made of #tide ocean material, a textile made from recycled plastic waste fished from the oceans. It is closed by a steel pin buckle.
Availability & Price
The Certina DS Super PH500M Black dial (ref. C037.407.18.050.00) is now available from retailers and is priced at CHF 860. It can also be ordered online at www.certina.com but only in selected markets.