Introducing: The New Certina DS Action Diver 43mm
About a month ago, Mike and I visited the Swatch Group office in Eschborn, Germany. It was an excellent opportunity to meet our friends from the company who we had not seen in a long while. Furthermore, they were gracious enough to present us with some of their latest creations from the first half of 2023. The new Certina DS Action Diver was among these beautiful timepieces, 43mm in full black. Mike and I were both blown away by the piece. I decided I needed some alone time with it when it became available.
The Swiss brand has a lot to offer, but for me, it was always the divers that I paid close attention to. When it comes to vintage, Certina used to have some heavy hitters in its collection. Alarm watches, chronographs, and even biorhythm readers were among the brand’s complications. In recent years, though, we remember Certina for its incredible diversity. The DS Action and PH lines have a ton to choose from. Among the most successful, to name just a few, were the DS PH200M and its successors as well as the DS PH500M and many DS Action models. So when the new-watch season comes, we can be sure that the brand will have a fantastic diver or more in its lineup for us watch lovers. This time, we are taking a closer look at the DS Action Diver 43mm, whose name does not say much, but its design does.
DS Action Diver 43mm
As its name suggests, the new DS Action Diver 43mm is not a small timepiece. The watch is a substantial piece at 43mm wide, 52mm from lug tip to lug tip, and 11mm thick. It comes on a black NATO strap to add a few millimeters to its thickness. In the end, we have a 15mm-tall watch that, despite sitting nicely on the wrist, is not tiny by any means. As someone with a larger wrist, I don’t necessarily mind it. Having said that, this is as large as I’d go with a timepiece. I also need to mention that it feels somewhat smaller because it is all black. This includes the bezel’s ceramic inlay, and the numerals are not filled with Super-LumiNova. It makes me wonder how visible it is underwater since there’s only a lume pip for orientation.
On the wrist
Even on the NATO strap, the watch does not feel unbalanced. It sits nicely on the wrist, and the matte PVD-coated stainless steel case has the typical DS Action design. The watch has an ISO 6425 certification, so it is considered an “official” diver’s watch. And this Certina DS Action Diver 43mm also exceeds the ISO requirements. For instance, it has a 300m water resistance rating compared to the 100m ISO standard. As you would have it with a true diver, the watch has a screw-down crown and case back. While the inlay is ceramic, the unidirectional bezel is steel with 120 clicks. Lastly, the case back sports the iconic turtle logo that we have seen on Certina divers for decades. Fans of the brand know what DS stands for. Certina’s legendary double-security system provides extra protection to the movement.
Inside the new Certina DS Action Diver 43mm, you can find ETA’s Powermatic 80.611 caliber. We are talking about an automatic movement with a Nivachron hairspring and 80 hours of power reserve. Since a diver does not need many complications, we can only find one — the date. The Powermatic 80.611 is a time-and-date-only caliber with 23 jewels and a 21,600vph frequency. To sum it all up, we have a Swiss-made caliber with 80 hours of power, enhanced antimagnetic properties, and a date at 3 o’clock in a true diver that you can take down to 300m deep.
Black and white
Aside from the dial, you won’t find another color other than black on the Certina DS Action Diver 43mm. The dial is black lacquer with white Super-LumiNova-filled indexes. As far as the design goes, it is the same as most DS Action timepieces. You can find round indices all around other than at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. The watch is highly legible thanks to the bold indexes and thick hands. I only found the seconds hand a bit hard to see, even with the lollipop on it. Not that a scuba diver would use it too often, I guess, but still. Another feature many might ask about is the crystal. We don’t have a domed glass here, but it’s sapphire and has an antireflective coating.
Before I give you my thoughts, let me talk about the price. Certina is known for offering a lot of bang for the buck with its dive watches. At €990, I consider the DS Action Diver 43mm excellently priced for what you are getting. Yes, it is a large watch, and the NATO makes it a tad thick, but I’d still consider it a very competitive option for a diver. I found the watch easily wearable, despite us sometimes overusing that term. It does not feel uncomfortable, even after a week on the wrist. Indeed, it is not an under-a-cuff type of timepiece, nor do we expect it to be. On the contrary, this Certina is a sporty dive watch with a ton of character and an incredible overall feel. I hope I’ll never see it on a bracelet, but it’s a winner on a strap.
If you would like to visit Certina’s website, click here.