Back in the 1960’s Certina made the PH200M dive watch. This is a no nonsense, get the job done, sort of a diver. For being “just” a tool watch, it still looks good. There are still some vintage models floating around out there, but now you can get a new one. Certina has brought it back with their new Certina DS PH200M. I was able to get a hold of one to review, and I am liking it.
The Dial on this Certina DS PH200M is simple but not boring. It’s exactly like the original 1960’s PH200M model. Powering this watch is a Swiss made ETA Powermatic 80 automatic movement with 80 hours of power reserve. This is a simple three-hander with polished hour and minutes hands. The seconds hand is painted red which adds a little pop.
The face of the dial is lacquered black with lumed hour makers. There are red cross hairs in the center which add some visual interest. The besel is a 60 click uni-directional with aluminum insert. This is a diver, and as such, should be simple and uncluttered, but with a couple little touches it stays clear of boredom.
The case on this Certina DS PH200M is made from 316L stainless steel and has a mix of brushed and polished finishes. This measures in at 42.8mm in diameter which to me is a perfect size. Water resistance is 200 meters which is fine for recreational diving. I think one of my favorite parts on this watch is the case back . In the middle of the case back is the Certina turtle logo which is done in a great polished finish; there’s a brushed finish is done on the wavy ring surrounding the turtle.
Visually it looks as though the turtle is swimming around that case back. Totally liking that design. One unusual element on this case is whats used for the crystal. Protecting the dial is not a sapphire crystal like you would see in most watches, it’s made from Hesalite(acrylic/plastic). Hesalite has been around for a long time and provides a nice vintage look. It’s is very lightweight, smudge resistant, and this one has a scratch-resistance treatment.
You don’t just get one strap with this watch, you get two. This watch comes mounted to a beautifully polished Milanese watch band with a polished butterfly clasp. The Milanese band is so smooth and comfortable that you can wear it all day long in comfort. You also get a nice blue nato strap with polished clasp and loops. I tried both straps and find that both are really enjoyable to use. Having two straps to choose from is like have two watches to wear. Love having options.
The Lume on this Certina really looks great. Certina has used Swiss Superluminova, which provides a nice strong glow that lasts. I really like the blue/green glow on this one.
I don’t have anything bad to say about this one. Some people might have issues with the Hesalite being used instead of sapphire, but I don’t have a problem with that. This is a remake of their vintage PH200M, and they kept it authentic. For a price of $840 USD I think it a pretty good deal for a Swiss made watch and two straps. Build quality and finishes are great, and that retro look is cool. Certina does not ship to the US from their site, so if you are intersted in buying one, you can get one at watchshop.com. If you want to know more about Certina, you can check them out at certina.com.
- Brand and model: Certina DS-PH200M
- Price: $840
- Who’s it for: Divers and desk divers alike.
- Would I wear it: Absolutely
- What I’d change: Good the way it is.
- The best thing about it: That turtle case back.
Tech Specs from Certina
- Case: DS Concept Stainless steel 316L Screw-down crown Screw-down case back
- Bezel: Stainless steel 316L Aluminium Turning bezel Superluminova
- Glass: Hesalite Nex scratchguard treatment
- Dial: Black Index
- Movement: Swiss Made Mechanical, automatic winding 80 h Power Reserve
- Water resistance: Up to a pressure of 20 bar (200m)
- Bracelet: Leather NATO Fabric Lining: Fabric