We’ve featured a few dive watches here for “Watch A Day“, but this one is quite different from the Enicar, Orient and Squale. The Certina DS-2 was a classic concept, water tight and shock resistant, and sold extremely well but is little remembered today. Still, it has wonderful wrist presence and has aged better than most examples of 1970s design.
I’ve written about this watch before, picking it as a “grail” even before I bought it. It’s a good example of the “DS” shock proof case from Certina and has good period details. I purchased this at auction (the only bid) with an incorrect modern box and papers. It’s not clear what year this watch was made, but this reference (5301 300) was produced from 1968-1975.
See Also: Certina DS-2 Dive Watch
The face is a silver sunburst with applied bar markers at each hour. The stick hands are typical for sport watches at that time, though they could never hold much lume. It presents a very simple, pared-down look.
The bezel-less tonneau-shaped case is quite large and tall, with the main body arching over the wrist. It presents a stark contrast to the ubiquitous rotating numbered bezels on most other dive watches.
The “DS” case is built in two parts. An inner case is separated from the visible outer case with a foam rubber spacer to increase shock resistance. This is the origin of the DS name: “Double Security”.
This example is a “turtle” DS-2, which included a lip around the case and inset crown. Combined with old gaskets around the stem, this makes winding, and even pulling the crown, quite difficult. An automatic movement certainly would have been preferable.
The date is semi-quickset, requiring a move back and forth between 11 and 1 to advance. Of course most watch collectors prefer non-date watches for this reason, and the date window detracts from the clean dial.
Although I love the look, the history, and the comfort of this watch, I don’t find myself reaching for it all too often. It’s simply too difficult to wind and set the movement effectively. It’s a shame, really.