Hands-on with the Certina DS Action Diver Titanium
The new Certina DS Action Diver Titanium is a runner up for the “nicest affordable, titanium sports watch on the market” prize. Too bad there’s no such prize…yet.
It seems that finally, Certina has found its rhythm and place both in the watch industry and within the Swatch Group. Certina knows about its position in the Swatch Group but for a long time, it seemed that they were a bit lost as to what is their real strength. Like in many cases, the solution came from the past. Certina has always been a great diver’s watch manufacturer. Vintage or dive watch fans know this for sure. In the last few years, they released a bunch of different watches in their model lines. It was a bit all over the place. With the arrival of the DS PH200M, it seems that Certina has finally found the track they want to go on; to offer affordable but trusty mechanical sports timepieces. Perhaps let’s swap the word “sports” to “active” if that makes more sense.
DS Action Diver Titanium
Certina has four different model lines: Aqua, Sport, Heritage and Urban collections. I reviewed the DS Podium (Sport Collection) a few years back but talked about my thoughts regarding the DS PH200M too (Heritage). This year the brand focused on their Aqua Collection. They strengthened their model list with a bunch of new watches. We’ll review some of them. The first that I’m going to give a closer look is the DS Action Diver Titanium. As its name suggests, this is a relatively simple watch when it comes to design.
On the other hand, regarding the materials Certina uses with it, it’s an exciting piece. The DS Action line consists of 8 models; 2 limited editions (stay tuned) and six regular watches. Out of that 6, only one is coming in titanium. This timepiece, the DS Action Diver Titanium, is the topic of today’s review.
One of the most prominent features of the DS Action Diver Titanium is the material. Titanium is extremely strong, rust-proof and weights about 50% less than steel. The DS Action Diver Titanium is 128 grams (according to my kitchen scale). However, the featherweight does not come in a small package. The watch is 43mm wide and 13.6mm thick. Due to the lightweight, it does not feel bulky on the wrist. Though it’s worth adding that I have a large wrist and even on me, it looks pretty prominent. Sometimes titanium watches can seem a bit outdated, but not the DS Action Diver Titanium. The 120-click bezel is anodized grey aluminium. The pearl on the bezel has the same Super-Luminova mark as the dial. The crown is screw-down, just like the case back. Speaking of which features the Certina diver watches’ famous turtle symbol.
Grey on grey
While the turtle on the back is a nod to Certina’s extensive diving heritage the dial and in general the front of the watch is as modern as it gets. To match the grey tone of the titanium case, the overall color of the DS Action Diver Titanium’s face is grey with a touch of silver and white. The small date aperture is at 3 o’clock, the indexes are all round (except for the 3-6-9-12 markers). There are no numerals on the watch face only on the diving bezel. Every index has a thin silver outline and filled with Super-Luminova just like the bezel. For improved legibility, the second hand is bright red, while the hour and minute hands are the same tones as the rest of the dial. All of them have LumiNova inlays. The DS Action Diver Titanium’s crystal is sapphire with coating on both sides.
An old acquaintance
If you read what’s above 6 o’clock on the dial, you’ll see that the watch is water-resistant to 300 meters. Is water-resistance relevant to the movement? Not at all, it’s just there. Like the words Powermatic 80. If you are a loyal reader of Fratello, this is a term you can come across often. Swatch Group brands such as Certina, Hamilton, Rado, Mido or Tissot all use this movement often with small changes such as a silicon spring or COSC certification. In case of the DS Action Diver Titanium we are talking about the “basic” model. An automatic ETA caliber, the Powermatic 80.111. It has 23 jewels, up to 80 hours of power reserve and a ticking speed of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This caliber is widely used by Swatch Group brands and for a reason. It is sturdy, reliable and relatively easy to service.
What is a titanium watch without a titanium bracelet? If you consider getting the Certina DS Action Diver Titanium, you won’t ever have to know this. The bracelet, which has 21mm wide lug size (I don’t know why), is as rugged as a sports watch bracelet gets. The fold-over clasp has two safety buttons and the name Certina in-between them. However, as you’d expect from a diver, there is a smart built-in diving extension. This is at the bottom of the clasp also secured with two safety push-buttons. Deskdivers can use the extension as a micro-adjustment. The system is pretty similar to the Doxa Expandro clasp I talked about here. The bracelet fits the watch head; it is not too thick or bulky at all. One point worth mentioning is that the links have push pins, so the bracelet is super easy to resize.
What we have not talked about
The only downside of titanium -some say- is that it picks up scratches, marks, and smudges reasonably quickly. Or so you’d think. Wipe the watch with the polishing cloth, and it will look as good as new. I’m talking about surface marks. The DS Action Diver Titanium meets the ISO 6425 standard which clearly states what is considered to be a dive watch. The DS (“Double Security”) system that most Certina watches have is also built into the case of this diver too. Lastly, let’s talk about the price. The Certina DS Action Diver Titanium is going to cost you €975 (830 GBP or $1090) which is still below the magical €1k mark. To me this qualifies as affordable, especially if you think about what you get for this money; Swiss made, mechanical watch with 300 meters water resistance, 80 hours of power reserve in titanium.
If you’d like to visit Certina’s website, click here. All specifications can be found below.