Monochrome Watches
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The Very Retro-Cool Certina DS-2 Powermatic 80 Collection

As far as retro-inspired watches go, Certina just launched quite a cool one.

| By Robin Nooy | 3 min read |
Certina DS-2 Powermatic 80 collection re-edition 2022

When first introduced in 1968, the Certina DS-2 marked the start of a new era in Certina’s watchmaking history. The watch was known for, at the time at least, its robust construction and impressive reliability. The double-security system, which DS stands for, by the way, kept the movement safe from shocks, dust, and water. It made the DS-2, following the DS-1 from 1959, quite a success, with countless versions to follow. Fast forward 54 years and Certina reintroduces the tonneau-shaped watch under its Heritage Collection. An appealing mix of vintage style and modern mechanics, this is the Certina DS-2 Powermatic 80 Collection.

The original DS-2 from Certina came in many guises. It was available with manual wound or automatic movements, and with various complications. You could have a simple time-only version, or expand its indications with a date, a day-date and even two- or three-register chronograph displays. The dials came in many colours and with slight differences between each generation. While sizes may vary depending on the exact model, they all share the same overall shape. Here you can see an original DS-2 from the early 1970s, owned by me, side by side with Certina’s new DS-2;

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The case looks to be very close to the original 1968 DS-2, in terms of overall shape but also in terms of size. It measures 40mm by 38mm, and 12.65mm in height. The tonneau-shaped stainless steel case has integrated lugs, a flat top surface and a domed sapphire crystal. This combination gives it that remarkable 1960s-1970s style that remains quite popular today. An update compared to the old DS-2 is the screw-down crown, adorned with a vintage Double-C logo. The biggest change in design is replacing the beloved turtle caseback for one with a sapphire crystal.

In total there are four different dials available. The first one is a simple black-lacquered dial, while the remaining three are sunray brushed in silver, blue or black. The hour markers are applied and look rather close to the original DS-2 models. Even the minute track is close to vintage specimens of the DS-2, although mine has longer markers. Time is indicated with relatively straightforward hands, with Super-LumiNova inserts. The framed date window at 3 o’clock reveals the white date disc underneath. The dial also features applied double-C and DS-2 logos, similar in style to the original DS-2 watches.

As its name suggests, the new DS-2 collection is powered by Swatch’s ETA 80.611 automatic movement. This movement was introduced several years ago and poses a heavily updated version of the good-old ETA 2842-2. It uses a Nivachron anti-magnetic balance spring, a longer power reserve (80 hours) and a reduction in frequency (21,600vph instead of 28,800vph). It can be seen through the caseback, with a view of the Certina-branded rotor.

The new Certina DS-2 collection gives you several options in terms of style. The black lacquered dial version comes on a stainless steel mesh bracelet while the other three come on a black or blue textile strap. Regardless of which you opt for, you end up with a rather fun watch with an interesting mix of vintage design and modern materials and mechanics. Depending on the strap the Certina DS-2 retails for EUR 870 (sunray brushed dials, textile strap) or EUR 940 (black lacquered dial, mesh bracelet).

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10 responses

  1. How come if they do not create a one on one reissue, it never looks as good as the original? They allways manage to do worse. The original looks balanced (dial), the new one needs thinner hands, same date window and the same longer minute markers and please, stop using a dial as a billboard, leave the powermatic 80 out for it belongs on the back… People back in the day had a more refined taste when designing so it seems.

  2. What perplexes me is that the specs show the movement’s a C07.611 (Powermatic 80.611), which has 25 jewels. The manufacturer’s photos show the watch equipped with…a C07.111, which has 23 jewels due to the non-jewelled synthetic escapement…

  3. I often see a beautiful watch photo and get all excited only to read the caption and discover what I’m looking at is the original from yers ago.The new one is always worse.

  4. @Mike – indeed, thanks for this comment. We’ll get in touch with the brand. And in any case, we should have the watch for photos soon, so we’ll be able to have the answer to this question.

  5. Why do they always, always blow up these 36-38 mm retro watches to 40 mm, ruining the proportions in the process?

    They inflated the price quite a bit too, this costs 25% more than a DS PH200M, which comes with two straps too, and as much as a more complicated DS PH500M.


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