The DS, short for double security, is Certina’s bread and butter diver. The double security moniker was a reference to a case design incorporating water and shock resistance. In essence, a water resistant case with a rubber cushion inside. The early 5101, 5301, and 5601 DS divers were steel bezel-ed with clear dials. The DS only really started to look like diver once this chunky rotating bezel and sword hands were introduced. This is that initial, easily-recognizable diver.
In 1968, Certina released two true dive watches. They were this PH200M (PH200M stands for Pression Hydrostatique 200m, the new and impressive water resistance on offer) and a DS2 PH500M. The 500 was used in Tektite I & II experiments, where four aquanauts spent 60 days underwater. This brave task made for easy advertising. Certina was quickly in the public eye. Though the 500M was most widely known, I think it’s fair to say this PH200M is probably the more classically beautiful watch. Its traditional case proportions and simple dial have aged well. There’s a bit of vintage SM300 in the crown proportion and sword hands, but that’s no bad thing. The subtle crosshair dial, bracelet, bezel font, and cal 25-651 are all Certina.
This example is lovely. The case has light scratches, as I’m sure does the bracelet. Importantly, its dial is incredibly well-aged. The tritium lume in the bezel, indices, and hands have all aged evenly. The matte black dial’s crosshair is still visible with concentration. The patina here is exactly what one would want. It comes recently serviced with a guarantee from a well-trusted retailer.
Find this DS PH200M here from The Archiwatch for 5900 EUR.