Certina Introduces Two Very Different and Intriguing Dive Watches to DS Action Diver Lineup

Certina continues to be a deep-cut watch brand for us folks here in the United States, but for our friends across the Atlantic (and the watch nerds located stateside alike), the value oriented brand remains a fixture amongst the watch community. There’s plenty to enjoy from Certina’s catalog and since their return to the U.S. market in 2021, they’ve hit the ground running with successful releases that include the DS PH200M, the DS Action GMT and in my opinion, the best-kept-secret midsize diver out there with the DS Action Diver 38mm. Sure you’ll occasionally get a curveball from the brand with a dress watch or two, but Certina is at their best when they operate within the lane of their DS Action line. In a span of a couple of months, Certina has bolstered their bread-and-butter collection with the addition of two intriguing divers – a serious, blacked-out DS Action Diver 43mm and a proper midsized titanium offering with the DS Action Diver 38mm.

The DS Action Diver is a straightforward, no-fuss diver solidified by traditional design, a “Diver’s Watch” designation meeting ISO 6425 standards and an 80-hour power reserve equipped automatic movement. What separates the new DS Action Diver 43mm from the rest of the line is its stealthy appearance. The stainless steel case is layered with a PVD coating, all around from the lug ends to the crown guard tips and caseback. From the photos provided, it seems that any light hitting the case falls flat, but the bezel’s outer-rim, however, catches a slight glimmer with its polished edge. Like the case, the bezel is constructed out of stainless steel, but the insert is fashioned out of ceramic providing an added layer of scratch-proofing. The ceramic insert displays its zero marker, diver’s markers, and elapsed time display in relief – another feature that distinguishes this particular DS Action Diver.


Although legibility might be a concern for the blacked-out bezel numerals, the stark white accents won’t be an issue for the dial’s hands, markers and date window. Looking more closely, the hour hand, minute hand and each marker have charcoal surrounds. The detail is subtle, but as a whole, it’s a necessary one with a watch that largely shares the same shade. The matte black case, a darker gloss dial and the textured charcoal surrounds keep the watch’s features from bleeding into one another but still retains its sober design that an all-black watch typically emanates.

In addition to the Certina logo and wordmark, they ensure that anyone reading the dial knows that the brand has deep roots in horological history with the company’s lineage tracing all the way back to“1888”. Above the 6 o’clock marker, is a “three-liner” text that pays homage to Certina’s “Double Security” Action namesake, as well as highlighting its Powermatic 80 automatic movement, and 300 meters of water resistance.

The DS Action Diver 43mm is on the larger side as far as case widths go and the 52mm lug to lug sure doesn’t help either. But the magic of the color black is that it’s slimming, which could work to this DS Action Diver’s advantage. Slipping in between each spring bar is a black pass-through strap with reinforced stitching for the pin holes, matching PVD-coated hardware and a signed buckle.

The beauty of the DS Action Diver line is that in addition to the wide array of dial colors offered in 43mm, Certina also has a core collection of smaller divers with the DS Action Diver 38mm. Perfectly proportioned between a 38mm case width, 45mm lug to lug and a thickness that sits a touch above 12mm, the DS Action Diver 38mm hits all the midsize sweet spots.

The latest entry into the DS Action Diver 38mm line and what is now becoming a staple in every brand’s core lineup, is a titanium diver. Paired with a steel bezel and a ghosty aluminum insert with a brownish tinge, as well as a set of powder blue hands and markers, the DS Action Diver 38mm titanium diver has a bit more panache than your average black dial diver watch. Certina also opted to forgo the partial marker at 3 o’clock for a sole date window which is a welcomed change and gives the entire dial a cleaner presentation.

Throw in an all-titanium bracelet with a dive-extension clasp, and you’re looking at an enticing value proposition considering that the only sub-39mm titanium watch with an accompanying titanium bracelet out on the market right now is the Tudor Pelagos 39, which is more than four times the price of a DS Action Diver 38mm. Sure you’re getting an in-house movement, a more intuitive clasp adjustment system and overall, better quality with the Pelagos 39; Tudor did hit a home run with that watch after all. But that said, the edge in power reserve, more compact case proportions (DS Action Diver: 38mm width x 45mm lug to lug x 12.2mm thickness vs Pelagos 39: 39mm width x 47mm lug to lug x 11.8 thickness) and overall flair goes to the DS Action Diver.

As the landscape for appealing sub-$1,000 watches gets wider and wider by the day, lesser-known watch brands have their work cut out for them to offer up something unique and interesting. Whether Certina was already on your radar, or not, the brand continues to maintain relevance. Now it’s only a matter of time until the word really gets out. The all-black DS Action Diver 43mm Ref. C032.607.38.051.00 retails for $985 and the DS Action Diver 38mm titanium diver Ref. C032.807.44.081.00 retails for $1,011. Certina is currently not represented here in the United States but their products are available through select online retailers – check out the full retailer list here. Certina

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.