The DS Action Diver Automatic by Certina is something of a rarity in the world of diving watches. I think that it is the only watch with ISO 6425 on the dial. The brand says that the DS Action Diver Automatic “fulfils all the requirements of the ISO 6425 standard – and is waterproof up to 300 m.” Its water resistance is tested for three hours in water under pressure.
Dial and bracelet variants
It is a really attractive watch. It comes in three variants, blue dial, black dial, black dial with green second hand. Green is the Certina hallmark colour. The date window is discreetly camouflaged into the 3 o’clock hour marker. The unidirectional rotating bezel is divided into minutes divisions, which makes it useful for timing any event and not just dives. Case and bracelet are in stainless steel, while the bezel is in aluminium. Hands and hour markers are coated in SuperLuminova, and likewise the reference triangle on the bezel, and a small circular disc on the second hand which shows you that the watch is running, one of the requirements for a diver’s watch.
Powermatic 80 movement
You can’t see the movement because the watch has a solid case back with an engraving of a turtle, a Certina trademark. The movement is the ETA Powermatic 80 (ETA C07.111), which is self-winding and provides the exceptional power reserve of 80 hours. It is the new version of the ETA 2824-2, The industrial nature of this movement leads to a lot of discussion on watch forums. The main points of debate are whether there are any plastic components in the movement, and the fact that its construction makes it difficult to adjust for amateur watch repairers. The long power reserve is achieved in part by an improved mainspring and barrel and in part by a lower beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per second, 3 Hertz. As regards the plastic components, there seem to be different versions of the Powermatic 80. The ones used by Hamilton don’t have any plastic parts, and likewise the movements used by Mido, whereas there are plastic components in the movements used by Tissot. Personally I don’t think it’s a great problem, plastic has been used in other movements before this one and it helps reduce friction. As regards regulation, most customers will never want to remove the case back and try to work on the movement. The Powermatic 80 has a silicon balance spring and no regulator: its rate is set by laser during production. As there are chronometer-certified versions of the Powermatic 80, you can’t fault the ETA technology. And in a watch like the Certina DS Action Diver Automatic, you can’t see the movement anyway, so the industrial finish of the Powermatic 80 isn’t a problem.
Price and reference
The Certina DS Action Diver Automatic is reference C032.407.11.051.00, and it costs 795 Swiss francs, or 775 Swiss francs in the version with a rubber strap. It’s a great value watch, more expensive than the Helm Vanuatu but better-looking. More information from the Certina website.