It may be 2020 but retro divers aren’t going anywhere. In fact, if Certina have anything to do about it, it’s a trend that won’t be slowing down any time soon. Case in point, the DS Super PH500M Special Edition, one of the coolest divers of the year so far.
Every vintage-slanted watch needs a starting point and for the DS Super PH500M that point is a very special watch from 1969. The Tektite I experiment was something out of science fiction, an underwater facility where researchers would further the course of science. It was extreme, it was dangerous and it needed a huge level of diving skill.
Fortunately they were well-equipped, and on each wrist was the Certina DS-2 Super PH500M. As the name suggests, this is the basis for Certina’s latest diver.
The main similarity is the orange, a bright warning colour that lends underwater visibility. It’s not the only retro diver designed in the same way (see most of Doxa’s collection) but it’s a striking touch to an otherwise restrained professional tool.
The 43mm stainless steel case uses Certina’s trademark DS (Double Security) system to maintain a phenomenal 500m depth resistance, while the diving bezel is necessarily unidirectional; you wouldn’t want to knock it the wrong way and run out of oxygen by underestimating your time underwater. Finally, as well as the orange, the dial has plenty of lume across the hands and indexes.
At the heart of the watch is the Powermatic 80 automatic movement with an 80-hour power reserve. Awful name aside, it’s a solid movement with reliability at the fore.
In short, the DS Super PH500M has everything necessary for a serious diving professional, in some part at least thanks to Certina’s association with the Verband Deutscher Sporttaucher, the association of German Sports Divers. If anyone’s going to know what a diver needs, it’s them. In fact, if you happen to be a member thinking of buying this watch, you even get an extra set of NATO straps.
If you’re not, this is still a great diver at a price point typical of Certina, namely incredible. It’ll set you back just CHF 895 – that’s just over £700.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Certina DS Super PH500M Special Edition
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter, stainless steel, unidirectional rotating bezel with pressure protection, VDST engraving on screw-down case back
Water resistance: 500m
Movement: ETA Powermatic 80.611, automatic movement with NivachronTM balance spring
Power Reserve: 80h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Black rubber strap with separate diver extension and pin buckle closure
VDST members receive additional two black NATO straps with Klett closure (regular and extra-long)
More details at Certina’s website.