Certina’s solid and accessibly priced DS-1 three-hander is the descendant of the brand’s DS (double security) concept of 1959. Like the hard protective shell of a turtle, DS was designed to make watches more resilient, reliable and water-resistant to external aggressions thanks to the incorporation of O-ring seals. While this might not be headline news in the watch world today, it was a big deal 64 years ago. In 2021, Certina beefed up the resilience of the movement with the introduction of the Powermatic 80 calibre developed by Swatch Group. Keeping up with the latest trend for skeletonised watches, three new Certina DS-1 Skeleton models strip away most of the dial to reveal the mechanics of the automatic movement.
The openworked dial of the Certina DS-1 Skeleton has a large circular cut-out area in the centre, exposing the matte grey bridges supporting the components of the Powermatic 80. Used by other mid-price brands like Tissot, Mido and Hamilton, the Powermatic 80 is as robust as they come. An evolution of the ETA 2824-2, Swatch Group’s Powermatic is a resilient and precise industrial movement with a titanium-based alloy Nivachron balance spring that protects it from magnetism, shocks, ageing and temperature fluctuations. The modern Powermatic movement got its name from its powerful 80-hour supply of energy, a huge step up from the ETA 2824’s average of 38 hours.
Revealing the main components of the movement, including parts of the barrel, the balance wheel and the gears, the dial provides an interesting lesson in watchmaking. A broad white, blue or brown chapter ring frames the openworked area and features the gold PVD hour markers. Far larger than the indices of regular DS-1 models, the arrow-shaped markers are faceted and evoke the style of Certina’s vintage timepieces; the markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock are double for extra emphasis. The date window, a feature of all DS-1 models, has been removed. An anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the dial, and the movement can also be seen through the transparent crystal on the caseback.
The three new DS-1 Skeleton models come in round 40mm stainless steel cases with signature DS protective features like seals and gaskets to ensure the 100m water-resistance and protect the watch from knocks and blows. Viewed from the side, you can appreciate the solid case construction with downward curving lugs and the contrasting brushed and polished surfaces.
Each dial colour is matched to a different bracelet. The blue model comes with a polished and satin-brushed five-link stainless steel bracelet; the white model is paired with a Milanese mesh bracelet, and the brown version with a dark brown leather strap.
Availability & Price
Available in October 2023, the two Certina DS-1 Skeleton models with steel bracelets will retail for CHF 960 and the brown leather strap version for CHF 920. For more information, please consult certina.com.