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Certina’s DS Action Diver has been one of the most popular watches in the entire collection for years. The Swiss traditional manufacturer has shrunk the latest edition of the sporty diver to a compact 38 millimeters. I put the watch novelty in the green-gold garb through its paces. Here’s what you need to know!

The diver’s watch rethought

Diver’s watches are big, clunky and perhaps rudimentarily elegant. These are the prejudices that friends of divers often have to listen to. And as great as the advantages such as good readability, sportiness and robustness may be, you have to admit that the criticisms are partly justified. The dream diver’s watch would have to be able to combine good readability and sportiness with compact dimensions and a little more elegance. The good news is that such a watch has recently become available.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
A compact diver. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

At the beginning of 2021, Certina has introduced a new offshoot of its successful DS Action Diver in four different color variants. The new model is the compact edition of the successful diving watch. The watch measures just 38 millimeters in diameter. At the same time, Certina emphasizes that the new DS Action Diver meets the requirements of ISO standard 6425 for true diving watches. The rest of the specifications are astonishing. On board are, among other things, a modern automatic caliber with up to 80 hours of power reserve, insensitivity to magnetic fields and a water resistance of up to 300 meters. Certina packs all of this into a very classic dive watch design with gold and green accents. Sounds more than exciting!

The first impression of the Certina DS Action Diver

Certina’s DS Action Diver is now in front of me on the table. The combination of a green bezel and a stainless steel bracelet with gold PDV links is not often seen at watches. It is in any case more unusual than the blue-silver design, which I decided against this time. Certina currently offers a total of four different color variants. So, if gold-green is too daring for you, the more common color combinations might be more to your liking.

Right at the start, the compact size of 38 centimeters in diameter is striking. For me, someone who tends to test and wear larger watches, this is quite unusual. However, the design definitely appeals to me. With the gold-colored bracelet links and the green bezel, the Certina DS Action Diver makes a very noble impression and does not look too kitschy or even cheap. Nothing negative can be said about materials and workmanship either.

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Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
The colors are unconventional. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

The small diameter becomes visible on the wrist at the latest. However, that is nothing bad, on the contrary. Nevertheless, the Certina DS Action Diver is conspicuous due to its appearance. A look that might not necessarily give colleagues at a business lunch the idea that you’re wearing a functional and standardized sports diver on your wrist. The Certina DS Action Diver knows how to skillfully hide these characteristics. So we have to take a closer look at the watch.

The DS concept in the case of the Certina DS Action Diver.

The case is fully manufactured according to the so-called DS concept. DS stands for “Double Safety” and describes various protective devices according to which the Certina DS Action Diver is built, just like any other Certina timepiece. The case is Swiss-made and manufactured of high-quality 316L stainless steel, whose brushed surfaces emphasize its robust character.

To emphasize its sport-oriented DS concept, Certina decorates its case backs with a stylized turtle, the three-dimensional surface of which is brought out to a particularly high standard on the Action Diver. The tortoise shell has a long tradition at Certina. It stands for durability and resistance – two attributes that I can definitely attribute to the case of my Certina DS Action Diver! The look is refreshingly different and appealing.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
Details of the bezel. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

The crown also stands out positively, with a gold-plated finish that matches the other gold elements of the diver’s watch well. “DS” is embossed on the top. For water resistance, the crown is screw-down, of course. When it is in position one, it is topped by a crown guard on the side, securing it on dives. I particularly liked the fluted sides, which make it much easier to use.

High quality materials guarantee ISO standard 6425

To live up to the well-chosen materials and DS concept, Certina also relies on hard sapphire for the watch crystal, which is supposed to protect the dial from sharp objects, shocks and pressure. In addition, the crystal is mirrored on one side. Pay attention to this equipment when buying your diving watch. The readability is noticeably improved this way.

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The workmanship is great. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

The six-fold screwed case back, the sapphire crystal and the screw-down crown guarantee the Certina DS Action Diver water resistance to a depth of 300 meters. Thus, the timepiece meets the diving watch ISO standard 6425. 300 meters diving depth is interesting for real sports divers. Those who want to wear the watch primarily at business meetings need not worry about it so much. However, this water resistance is certainly an impressive specification.

A Swiss-made automatic movement

In order to guarantee maximum robustness and safety on the inside just like on the outside, a Nivachron™ hairspring is at the heart of the Certina DS Action Diver, in addition to the movement. This anti-magnetic hairspring ensures precise rate accuracy and is insensitive to magnetic fields that can throw a movement out of sync.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
The bezel. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

The movement itself is an ETA Powermatic 80,611 automatic movement, which is Swiss-made and also known for precision and durability. Perhaps the most impressive feature, however, is the power reserve. It’s a whopping 80 hours! Most automatic movements offer about the half of that. So, in theory, you do not need to wear the watch for more than three days without having to rewind it afterwards.

The dial – classic and functional

The dial, which is very classic for a diver’s watch, offers good readability and a timelessly chic design. Those who have also chose the gold-green color combination will wear the watch with a black lacquered dial. The stylized indices and the hands are polished and have a golden frame that adds extra accents. And yes, even with a diameter of only 38 millimeters, the hour indices and minute track are perfectly readable. To ensure that the time can be read perfectly even in the dark, Certina has coated the indices and hands with Super-LumiNova® luminous material, the best on the market. As expected, the result is flawless in the dark. At 3 o’clock, a rectangular, small date window is inset.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
The dial has a good readability. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

Framing the dial is the green bezel, which is made of lightweight aluminum with an emerald green finish. This diver or countdown bezel is unidirectional, meaning it can be rotated on one side. The clicks snap cleanly into place and give a feeling of high quality. And indeed, after a little time to get used to it, I’m now very enthusiastic about green and gold.

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The bracelet of the Certina DS Action Diver.

The stainless steel bracelet picks up on the golden accents of the watch and presents itself in a bicolor design with gold-colored PDV links. As befits a good diver’s watch, Certina has given the bracelet a clasp with a diving extension. If you’re wearing a wetsuit, you simply press the pusher on the folding clasp. This gives you a few extra centimeters, making the watch easy to wear even with a wetsuit.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
The diving extension of the clasp. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

Speaking of wearing – I don’t have a bad word to say about the wearing comfort. In general, a stainless steel bracelet is the best choice if you want to wear the watch in the sea and in the pool as well as to a business lunch.

My conclusion about the Certina DS Action Diver – small but mighty!

Those who previously thought that diving watches were bulky timepieces that had to be worn on the wrist like measuring instruments will be proven wrong with the Certina DS Action Diver. Certina’s new diver in a small format has two faces. In business, the watch with its chic look becomes a noble companion on the wrist. But the Certina DS Action Diver shows its true face under water. Here it becomes a real sports diver and can score with functionality, robustness and accuracy.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
A watch with two faces. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

You can choose between four different color variants at these recommended retail prices.

C032.807.22.051.01 Black dial, green bezel, bicolor for GBP 720,00

C032.807.11.051.00 Black dial, black bezel, stainless steel for GBP 670,00

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm
Check out the other colorways. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

C032.807.11.041.00 Blue dial, blue bezel, stainless steel for GBP 670,00

C032.807.22.051.00 Black dial, black bezel, bicolor for GBP 720,00

With this selection, everyone should find what they are looking for. If 38 millimeter diameter is too small for you, you can reach for the conventional models in 43 millimeter format.

Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®
The crown. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®
Details of the indices. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

More about the Certina DS Action Diver:

Click here to buy the watch

Official homepage of Certina

For more photos and info, check out Certina’s official press release here: Certina DS Action Diver 38 mm

Technical Details

NameCertina DS Action Diver

Reference numberC032.807.22.051.01

BrandCertina

Categorydiving watches

Price from£ 720

WarrantyN/A

Case Material316L stainless steel

Diameter38.00 mm

HighN/A

Watch Glassanti-reflective coating / Sapphire Crystal

Watch TypeAutomatic

Waterproof30 bar (300 m / 1000 ft)

Movement NameETA Powermatic 80.611

Power Reserve80 hours

Functionsdate / hour / Minute / second

Dialblack

Indicesdots

Special FeaturesSwiss Super-LumiNova®

Bezeldiving bezel / green / PDV coating

Bracelet Colorgolden / grey

Bracelet Material316L stainless steel / PDV coating

Clasp316L stainless steel / diver extension / folding clasp

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