Hands-On: Certina DS Action Diver STC 60th Anniversary Review
The Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy 60th Anniversary special edition, the topic of today’s review is a special piece.
To start with, this is the first DS Action Diver we’ve reviewed on Fratello. Well, it’s the first steel model anyway as we’ve already taken a closer look at the DS Action Diver Titanium (review is coming soon). The DS Action Diver line consists of mostly steel watches, and the STC is such a watch. It is also more than just another colourway with the DS Action Diver line. As a special edition, the watch raises awareness for the amazing work that the Sea Turtle Conservancy is doing. More than that, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the timepieces goes to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. This is how Certina raises awareness and supports a great cause. After all, the turtle has been their logo for decades.
Sea Turtle Conservancy
The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest sea turtle organization in the world. It is a non-profit association in Gainesville, Florida that was established in 1959. Their main goal is to save and preserve as many turtle species as possible while raising awareness for these wonderful creatures. They started their work in Costa Rica but quickly expanded. STC now does research and conservation in Central America as well as the Caribbean. 1959 marks an important milestone in Certina’s history too. This was the year when the first DS (Double Security) watch, the reference 5101 013, came to the market. It was a game-changer for the brand as the DS system (which I talked about here) was a new venture in the industry at the time. Contrary to popular belief the very first Certina DS watches did not have the legendary turtle logo on the back.
DS Action Diver STC
From the 1960s onwards, with the introduction of a new movement and hence new references, the turtle appeared on the case back for the first time. So, let’s start exploring the new Certina DS Action Diver STC with the case back. The case back is polished, while the rest of the piece is brushed. There is indeed a turtle on the back, but this is a very different animal than the one you can see on standard Certina models. The case back features the logo of the Sea Turtle Conservancy with the usual information about the DS Action Diver STC all around it. Things like the model name, Swiss Made, the reference number of the piece (C032407) even the ISO number (6425). Said digit certifies that the watch meets the ISO standards that define a diving watch.
The front is simple, 316L steel with polished steel, 60-click bezel, aluminium insert and Super-LumiNova pearl. One odd thing is that the pearl has a traditional yellow glow while the indexes on the dial are more turquoise. As you would expect from a diver, the crown, as well as the back, are screw-down. The diameter of the watch is 43mm which is relatively large. The thickness is 13.3mm so it sits relatively high on your wrist. Yet, it wears well and is not bothering at all. Surely, this is not a watch you can wear under the cuff, but as a diver, this is not the aim of the Ds Action Diver STC. I found it comfortable and well-balanced weight-wise. The black dial and the rubber strap also shrink the watch optically. Overall it is a great piece, easily readable and looks nice on the wrist.
Touch of turquoise
The DS Action Diver STC has a very simple dial. The main colour is black with large Super-LumiNova coated indexes. Every index is round but the ones at 3-6-9-12; they have long triangle-shaped indices. All indexes, circle or triangle, have a faint silver-colour outline. The date aperture is at 3 o ‘clock. Just like the indexes, the logo and name are also pretty prominent just below the 12. Over 6 one can read the model name and the water resistance (300m). The only little details that break this black, silver and white tranquillity is a splash of turquoise colour that we can find on the seconds hand. This is a nod to the Sea Turtle Conservancy; turquoise is their main colour. It gives a pop of colour to the dial and makes it more legible.
Just like the Titanium DS Action Diver, or many other models we’ve reviewed for Fratello Magazine, inside of the DS Action Diver STC is a caliber we all know. It’s ETA’s pride and joy, the Powermatic 80 movement. This is a Swiss made self-winding mechanical caliber that has up to 80 hours of power reserve. 3+ days should be enough for you to keep the watch in the rotation without having to worry about the movement running down. You can wear your other watch(es) for 2-3 days straight and come back to the Certina after that. The Powermatic 80.111 has 23 jewels inside and a Vibration per hour of 28,800. You can wind it with your hand and it has a hacking mechanism. This means that the movement stops as soon as you pull the crown out, allowing you to set the exact time on the watch down to the seconds.
Rubber or steel
There are two DS Action Diver STC special editions; this one on the rubber strap and an identical version on a bracelet (which is a previous release, from 2017). So even if you are a steel-on-steel guy, you don’t have to worry. However, the model I received comes on the rubber. We are talking about a curved black rubber strap. As delivered, the strap is super long, so you have to trim it by cutting the rubber shorter and then reattaching the clasp. It is fairly easy to do but if you are not handy with these tools you should ask your AD to do it for you. The strap has a double folded deployant clasp with two security pushers. There are two other pushers towards the bottom of the clasp. That’s for the diving extension – or micro-adjustment – whichever you prefer. I must say this extension is a clever tool for divers as well as everyday wearers.
It’s not only the watch but the packaging is also special. The DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy comes in a custom turtle-shaped box with turquoise inlay and there’s a plaque inside that marks the 60th anniversary of STC. There is a special keyring in there too with the legendary Certina DS logo. More important than the box or accessories however is the fact that you not only going to get yourself a cool timepiece but support a great cause while doing it. Which leads me to the money. If you would like to get the DS Action Diver STC on a rubber strap, the price is €855 (CHF860, GBP 695, $960). On Certina’s website, you can still see the previous model with the bracelet. However, the 2019 novelty is this one on the rubber strap. So, visit your Certina AD and check out the DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy.
If you wish to visit Certina’s website, please click on this link.