January 8, 2008
by Ariel Adams
I know the first think you see when you look at the new Certina DS-1 is the Tag Heuer Carrera. Yes the hands and face look devilishly similar, and the bracelet might as well being out the Tag Heuer parts bin, not that the Certina has anything to do with Tag Heuer, corporately speaking that is. No, Certina is one of the many Swatch Group brands, and as such can enjoy ETA movements for years to come. Regardless, Certina still loves to “imitate” Tag Heuer designs routinely. Tag Heuer falls under the LVMH group of brands.
Certina watches aren’t too common in the US, being mostly reserved as a low to mid-priced watch for more established watch markets. Regardless, Certina is a respectable brand, with a good level of quality for what you pay. The DS-1 takes you back to a time before digital watches when you needed to have high legibility analog watches, with a sporty flair. When you first digest the Certina DS-1, it is noticeably retro, but enjoys a good deal of refinement in it’s handsome appearance. The operative word here being handsome. This watch will not win any design awards, but certainly has a place in the heart of those highly conservative watch wearers that we all know. For that relative or friend we have that simply cannot accept the idea of a watch that calls too much attention, but at the same time, we cannot bear to see them wearing a Casio or Timex for the rest of their lives. For those people, and the rest of us that was a genuinely “good looking” watch for simple occasions there is the Certina DS-1.
The DS-1 now comes in a variety of colors and on a very Tag Heuer looking metal bracelet or a black leather strap. In addition to the (nicest looking) black face, the DS-1 comes in white, along with a white and gold two tone model (probably the most rare). While the prices are relatively low at $500 – $600, not much is spared in this very popular and formidable timepiece. The front and rear crystals are sapphire, while the case enjoys a mixture of polished and satin finished surfaces.
Inside is a trusty ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. As stated before, because Certina is part of the Swatch Group, it can enjoy ETA movement for years to come, as in 2010 ETA will no longer provide movements to any watch makers outside of the Swatch Group. Available with a black or “ivory” face, you can really see all the places that this watch might fit in, and for a few hundred bucks new, it is a decent investment or gift.
See Certina watches available on eBay here.