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Hands-on – The New Certina DS PH200M Blue


Part of the value-brands owned by Swatch Group, Certina has a long tradition of robust watches, incarnated by its proprietary DS concept (for Double Security). Among the multiple sports watches manufactured by the brand in the past, one easily stands out from the crowd, the DS PH200M. Re-edited in 2018 in a retro-styled package, this watch is enhanced today with new looks, top-tier materials and mechanical upgrades… and still an accessible price. Let’s have a look at the new (and handsome) 2020 Certina DS PH200M Blue. 

Let’s get straight to the point. The 2018 version of the Certina DS PH200M was already a very pleasant retro-styled dive watch. Well, the 2020 edition, with its multiple upgrades, its subtle visual evolutions, new colour combination, higher-end materials all around, and mechanical upgrades hits the spot and earns a lot of points. Handsome, beautifully executed and still price far below the 1K mark, there’s a lot to love here.

The Certina DS PH200M is the worthy successor of one of Certina’s most important historical timepieces – which shares the same name – and is a modern interpretation of this beloved 1960s rugged dive watch. As part of the brand’s Heritage collection, it shows a nice mix between vintage design elements and modernity in its proportions, materials and mechanics.

Everything starts with a classically shaped stainless steel case, entirely polished and measuring a respectable diameter of 42.8mm. Being vintage-inspired, it remains rather discreet and pure, with an oversized winding crown that screws-down. In respect of the DS Concept (for reliability, robustness, anti-magnetism, shock-resistance), the watch is water-resistant to 200m and features a screwed caseback – which now has a sapphire crystal to offer a view on the movement.

Compared to the 2018 edition, which features a flat, black bezel insert, the 2020 Certina DS PH200M is equipped with a new, convex-shaped ceramic insert, giving more depth and appeal to this already nice retro-diver – it somehow echoes old-school bakelite inserts. The ceramic inlay is dark blue with an engraved 60-minute diving scale engraved filled in with a gold colour.

In line with the design of the historical model, this new version of the DS PH200M features a dial with multiple details. To match the bezel, the dial is dark blue with gold-coloured elements, such as the polished lines of the central cross-hair, which also frames the date window at 3 o’clock and the hour markers at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock. The hands are well-sized and generously filled with white Super-Luminova, offering a great contrast both night and day.

Powering the Certina DS PH200M Blue is Swatch Group’s modern movement, the automatic Powermatic 80.611. This calibre, explained in details here, is an evolution of the ETA 2824 with a focus on precision and power reserve. Indeed, instead of the usual 38-hour power reserve it now comes with a comfortable 80-hour range of energy, achieved thanks to a reworked kinetic chain and a frequency reduced to 3Hz. Also, it is equipped with an anti-magnetic Nivachron™ balance spring – a titanium-based alloy that is highly resistant to magnetic fields, shock, ageing and temperature fluctuations. This combination of features and increased power reserve represent excellent value in a highly competitive landscape.

Strap, Price and availability

The Certina DS PH200M Blue is worn on a grey-blue NATO strap, closed by a steel pin buckle. It is equipped with quick-release spring bars. The present blue version, which is expected in stores in July 2020, will be priced at CHF 880.

Note that the Certina DS PH200M will also be available with a black dial/bezel, as well as with a black PVD-coated case, and with options for a Milanese steel bracelet or a brown calf leather strap.

More details at

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