Hands-On Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80 Special Edition Review
We already talked about a DS-1 briefly when we reported on their event just this past month.
Bert wrote that piece focusing on the occasion, the new DS-1 Big Date and its technical improvement, the Nivachron hairspring. That watch came out to mark the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the DS (Double Security) system and the first Certina DS that came to the market in 1959. However, Certina’s list of novelties for 2019 did not end with the Big Date. There is one more watch to talk about, the Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80. Now, this is not a new model line by any means. The brand already has several models out under such a name. However, this new DS-1 Powermatic 80 is the latest special edition with a brand-new look and a package that offers the watch on a strap and the bracelet. Or the other way around, as you like. So, let’s have a closer look at it, shall we?
Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80
The latest Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80 is very similar to its predecessors with only a few subtle but significant differences. One of them being the color of the hands, the other is the bracelet. We will talk about them below. First, let’s look at the case and talk about the size in general. The DS-1 is 40mm in diameter, 47.3mm from lug tip to lug tip but only 11.3mm thick. The material is 316L steel, mostly brushed except for the upper side of the lugs, those are brushed. The watch has a thin bezel which makes the dial look much bigger optically. The domed sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating, though it does not really change the look of the watch or the dial from any angle. Large crown with no guards (as it was with the first DS) stick out of the case.
You can set it in 2 positions (1st for the date, 2nd for the time setting) and it is not screw-down. If you turn the watch over, you won’t find steel back as you have it on the DS-1 Big Date 60th Anniversary. A huge display window takes up space on the case back that lets you adore the Powermatic 80 caliber. Around the window, one can find the usual information about water resistance (100m), model name, reference number and so on. There is no mentioning of the watch being a special edition. Both on the bracelet and the strap, the watch wears great. Not too heavy but has enough weight to feel its presence on the wrist. The Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80 is as comfortable as it gets when worn.
Silver and blue
If you compare the dial design of the original Certina DS from the late 50s or early 60s to this one, the resemblance is striking. Not necessarily in the details more in the overall simplicity of the looks. The DS-1 Powermatic 80 has a silver dial, slightly domed with beautiful sunray finish. Everything is printed on it in black aside from the applied silver-colored hour indexes. You can find the date window at 3 o’clock, albeit the earliest DS models did not have a date. Beautiful blued dauphine hands help you with the time. They are the only pop of color in the silver-steel-black color scheme. The look is elegant and straightforward that is so versatile that you can pair it up with literary any strap or bracelet there is.
What can I tell you about the movement that you do not already know? If you read our previous reviews on other Powermatic 80 powered timepieces (like this one or this one), you know it all. If this is the first time you hear about this caliber, here are the facts. The ETA Powermatic 80(.621) is a self-winding, Swiss movement with time and date indication. It ticks at 21,600 (3Hz) and has a power reserve of up to 80 hours. That’s pretty much it. Now, if you are interested in how the movement looks like you can have a look at it through the display window on the case back as I told you earlier. Don’t expect anything fancy though; there is no decoration on the movement other than some polishing on the automatic rotor. Not that you need any, really.
Milanese or Mocha
Lastly, let’s talk about the reason why the DS-1 is a special edition. When you purchase the watch, it comes with two options; a mocha brown leather strap with steel Certina buckle and vintage stitching and a Milanese steel bracelet with deployant clasp. I wore it on each option for a few days, and I can honestly say that both of them are equally comfortable and the DS-1 looks fantastic on them. You can wear it with jeans and a t-shirt as well as a suit, and it goes well with most outfits. If you want to change them, you can do it easily with the quick release spring bars built into both the strap and the bracelet. It is a simple but smart solution and makes changing the bracelet to the strap super easy and fast. As a side note, I love the shape of the buckle on the strap.
Now that you saw the significant features of the Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80 only one thing is left to talk about, the price. Well, if you are looking for a sub-€1,000 watch, you came to the right place. As a matter of fact, the price tag is much friendlier than that. For the new Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80 with the Milanese steel bracelet and the brown leather strap, you have to pay €730 (in Germany) or CHF 730. Now what’s affordable and what’s not is a subjective thing. However, if you look at what the DS-1 offers you for this price, it is indeed a great deal. Say that you are looking for a dressier option that can still be versatile enough and won’t break the bank. The DS-1 Powermatic 80 is worth checking out.
If you’d like to visit Certina’s website, you can do it by clicking here.