Back in the old days of the watch industry, things were pretty much set in stone for the entire duration of ownership. Sure, there was always the option of changing the personality of a watch by swapping a strap for another, but that was about it. Recently, the trend of watch customization, of watch straps/bracelets that are easily interchangeable, has seen impressive growth and the trend is surely here to stay. Versatility, adaptability to different environments… But the basics, strap/bracelet apart, were always here to stay. Certina today presents a concept that goes the extra mile, a collection of watches that are entirely customizable, with hundreds of possible personalities, and styles that will adapt to all the situations life offers, without the need for tools, in a matter of seconds, and without breaking the bank. This is the new Certina DS+ collection of customizable watches, and we’re taking a closer look at it here, and with a video review.
One watch, an infinite number of possibilities… We’ve all been in a situation where a watch wasn’t really appropriate for the environment. A dive watch isn’t the best when going to an important business meeting. An elegant timepiece with a thin profile and delicate case won’t be adequate for weekend activities. And not only it’s best when a watch is adapted to the current situation, but it can also say a lot about your personality. The right watch for the right place… But, importantly, some don’t want to own or simply can’t acquire multiple watches. But what if there was a way to entirely transform your watch so it’ll suit your personal preferences or the place you’re heading to? The answer; the Certina DS+ Collection.
No tool, no complex operations that require concentration, no risk of damaging the case or the bracelet… And that in a matter of seconds. Today, with the DS+ concept, Certina is launching a new program based on an ingenious three-part design where you can easily change the look of the watch, to suit your current outfit, a special occasion, or just because you feel like it. And that, with a reliable mechanical movement inside and a price that is just about fair, specifically when considering everything you’ll get in return.
The secret behind the Certina DS+ concept lies in a three-part construction, with three separate elements that can be mixed and matched – watch head, watch case and strap – with a typical DIY approach. The technical concept of interchangeability for the case is the main originality. It relies on a special gasket made of bio-sourced material and two crowns (Double Crown, which can be seen as a nod to the brand’s historic Double Security DS). The whole concept starts from a round-shaped central container that includes the movement, the dial and hands, and the main crown. This base watch is available in three different editions, with black/silver dial, silver/gold dial and blue/gold dial.
Then comes the swapping steps. And yes, it’s as easy as it can get. The whole idea lies in a no-tool, DIY concept, with the operation of changing case taking about 30 seconds. How? Well, it’s as simple as setting the time. To secure a new case to the central container housing the dial and movement, you only need to unscrew the two crowns. Then, simply remove the outer case and bring another one into place, and screw the two crowns again. Voila! Altogether, the concept of DS+ is intuitive and easy to use, with a user-oriented conception that feels reliable, secured and perfectly adjusted – as you can see in the video on top, it really is a practical approach, and there is no risk of damaging or scratching parts.
That’s not all, as there are also multiple straps and bracelets options. Of course, being a concept base on easy interchangeability and customization, Certina comes here with a quick-change system to attach the desired strap or bracelet, with a basic yet efficient mechanism of quick-release spring bars. There are choices for a 3-link steel bracelet or a more vintage mesh “Milanese” bracelet, and several straps can be ordered, either in leather or in #tide material, an eco-friendly option made for recycled marine plastic.
From a design perspective, there are four different case styles available. The cushion-shaped Heritage is 43.4mm in diameter, the round Urban is 40mm with a lightly fluted bezel, the Sport is 41mm, it is round and its bezel has 6 screws. Last, the Aqua is 43mm and it is fitted with a unidirectional bezel to time dives. So your watch can get a vintage, formal, casual or sporty look in seconds. And two-tone options are available for the Urban and Sport cases. And surprisingly, for the best, the central container has been conceived with resistance in mind, being rated to a 200m water-resistance… Reassuring, to say the least. And since all dials come with a fair amount of Super-LumiNova, the sporty side of the collection is surely here too.
For now, the Certina DS+ collection is presented in three different kits:
- Aqua & Sport – a dynamic option, with a black dial with sunray-brushed finishing, silver-coloured hands and indexes. The Aqua case with rotating bezel and the sports case with screws are included. Included too are a black and grey #tide fabric strap and a 3-link steel bracelet with a folding clasp
- Sport & Urban – a more elegant edition based on two-tone syles, with a silver dial with gold-coloured markers and hands. The kit includes the Urban case with an all-steel look and the Sport case with a gold PVD bezel. Included in the presentation box are a dark brown leather strap and stainless steel Milanese bracelet.
- Urban & Heritage – a slightly retro option based on a blue sunray-brushed dial with gold-coloured markers and hands. The kit relies on a cushion-shaped watch case with four visible screws and a bi-colour urban case with gold PVD bezel. Part of the kit are a blue NATO fabric strap and a three-row metal bracelet.
Mechanics haven’t been left apart either, since the Certina DS+ collection relies on a reliable and powerful movement, the Powermatic 80 – an upgraded version of the tried-and-tested ETA 2824. It comes with an elongated power reserve of 80 hours and a Nivachron hairspring that ensures superior resistance to magnetic fields. This movement, visible under a see-through caseback, beats at a 3Hz frequency and functions include hours, minutes, seconds (with stop-seconds) and a date.
Last but not least, the kits are not set in stone and evolution has been taken into consideration too. Indeed, thanks to an online configurator, you can easily set up your personal favourite combination at any time and have it sent directly to your home by the Certina Online Shop. Also, all elements can also be purchased individually online.
As is generally the case with the brand, the Certina DS+ is nicely priced. Picture this, CHF 970 for a kit with the Sport and Aqua cases, with strap and bracelet, CHF 940 for the Urban & Heritage kit, or CHF 960 for the Sport & Urban kit, all of this with a Powermatic 80 movement… That’s quite an impressive value proposition. The whole collection is now available for orders. For more details, please visit www.certina.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.