Certina has a varied history with many high points. At various intervals they have been a movement manufacture and later full watch manufacture. In the early 60s, Certina went wild for the dive watch. In truth, almost everyone went wild for the dive watch. But Certina did so with daring, unique designs and (technically, though it leans heavily on other well-known movements) ‘in-house’ movements, creating a string of divers that ran through the decade.
This 5601 was their first. DS stands for ‘double security’, a reference to an engineered water and shock resistance. Eight further DS models would follow, but this is the first execution of the first model. The DS has wild nib-styled 3-6-9-12 indices. There’s nothing else that looks like this. Additionally, most DS dials were painted with a chemical which was very susceptible to sun. They all went tropical. Some went tropical more gracefully than others. There’s one alternative later execution on C24 here as an example. The dials are gilt-gloss, a recent but deep fascination of the collector community. At 36mm, the early DS is a svelt proportion and substantially smaller than a four digit sub.
The DS on offer here is very much a strong one. The case has some marks but is quite sharp. Importantly, the dial has gone to a beautiful tropical brown with pumpkin lume. That tone is matched in the handset. Its movement is showing no signs of age. It’s the type of vintage diver that nerds like us lose our cool over.
Find this 5601 DS here from S. Song for 5500 USD.