Certina - Where is the love?

Certina was founded in Switzerland (tick) in 1888 (tick) by Alfred and Adolf Kurth; brothers with suitably stout watchmakers names (tick). Plenty of horological boxes ticked there.

They have a rich history of building quality timepieces with a smattering of innovation thrown in. (tick, tick)

In 1936, they developed the world's first mechanical digital watch. (tick) Unfortunately, at around the same time, another Adolf was starting to make a nuisance of himself in Europe and that may have somewhat overshadowed Certina's achievement.

In 1959, Certina, who were now in the hands of Hans and Edwin Kurth (generations of family ownership - tick), introduced the Double Security (DS) system which increased both shock protection and water resistance by suspending the movement inside a reinforced case. In your face G-Shock. (tick)

1971 brought with it the Biostar, the first watch that was capable of displaying human bio-rythyms. In your face Apple. (tick)

Certina sits squarely between Tissot and Longines in the Swatch group's pricing structure (don't get me started on that). Our strange little watch community heaps praise, love and respect on both these brands but Certina; not so much and I can't really think why.

With so many horological boxes ticked and, most importantly of all, Muhammad Ali among their list of owners, why are Certina seemingly so undervalued?

Is there a brand with a richer history that gets less love?

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I feel that way about Mido.

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That is a very good question, and I have only guesses.  Reviewers haven't missed out on them - they get good press, but still not a lot of love amongst enthusiasts.  I suspect there are a few drivers:  Not a very large, easy to purchase presence in North America, The Swatch group not prioritizing them in advertising, and enthusiasts turned off by Swatch ownership.  But, as you suggest, those are pretty thin reasons...

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Certina's alright, but that's about it.  Just a budget brand sold by Swatch.  I have a Ti DS somewhere.  It's ok, decent, but nothing more - lacking personality like a Hamilton.  But it was sold to me extremely cheap by a noted collector at a time when I was down on my luck so I treasure it and will never sell it.  Even if I can find it.

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I think the problem is the Swatch group. The first time I saw the Certina DS I thought it was a Tissot. There is simply not enough brand differentiation, which is essential when you are sourcing from the same suppliers as the rest of the watch group.

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jason_recliner

Certina's alright, but that's about it.  Just a budget brand sold by Swatch.  I have a Ti DS somewhere.  It's ok, decent, but nothing more - lacking personality like a Hamilton.  But it was sold to me extremely cheap by a noted collector at a time when I was down on my luck so I treasure it and will never sell it.  Even if I can find it.

Not quite sure they qualify as a budget brand. Tissot is more the budget brand on the Swatch group catalogue. Hamilton are similarly priced to Certina (and in my experience, inferior) and they both get far more love.

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I got yer Certina love right here. LOL. My favorite. They are not marketed in the US so they must be sought out. I can't find a brand that provides more value. Just yesterday the battery in my HAQ DS-Action chronometer went so low it started skipping seconds. I was amazed when I opened it - I forgot to take pics but it was built like no watch I'd seen, most impressive. Disclaimer: I've never opened a watch costing more than a thousand dollars so take my anecdote for what it's worth. So nice to see a fellow fan of the brand here. Cheers!

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Certina is not meaningfully retailed by Swatch in the US so the out of sight, out of mind factor depresses Certina awareness in the US. That said, Certina makes some neat references and is worth focusing on for anyone who is looking for something a bit out of the same old same old with the benefit of an ETA movement. When I went on to Chrono 24 this morning, there were a total of 1,142 Certinas listed. When I did the location screen seeking only US Certina listings, there were only 17 Certinas listed by US sellers.

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I love Certina watches, they are beautiful...but not famous in the US...sadly a brand with not the presence and recognition they deserve. 

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This might be controversial but to me Mido, Tissot and Certina are all clones of one another and the brand just doesn’t have as much appeal to Hamilton which mechanically is similar. 

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I only like the DS Action Diver and DS Action lines of Certina watches.