When in 1888, brothers Adolf and Alfred Kurth set up their watchmaking facility at the foot of the Swiss Jura Mountains in Grenchen, little did they know how quickly it would flourish. It was not until the 1930’s however that the company went under the name of Certina. Before then it was known as Grana. The brand’s logo, the turtle was developed in the 60s and still symbolises values of robustness and longevity today.
The first Certina watch developed from the DS concept was launched in 1959. With remarkable resistance, these wristwatches have stood the test of time and equipped the wrists of deep sea divers, mountaineers and daring adventurers. Certina watches developed from the DS concept offered anti magnetic, anti shock, and water resistant housing, no mean feat for a watch of its time.
In 1969 Certina took part in the US Navy's Sealab II underwater project. Tested beyond imagination, the timepiece performed flawlessly under great depths of the ocean when tested by divers and scientists. The Certina DS-2 Super PH 500 M also took part in the Tektite underwater experiment, achieving the best scores when worn on the wrists of four scientists in an underwater residential tank for a period of two months.
In 1970 the Certina DS-2 Chronolympic watch accompanied a Japanese expedition to Mount Everest and was worn by Japanese skier, Miura as he descended 1,000 metres from an altitude of 8,000 metres. Just a year later, the Certina Biostar was developed, which displayed the wearer’s emotional, physical and mental biorhythms. In 1976 the Certina DS DiaMaster, a scratchproof watch with an incredibly robust case design caught the attention of sports enthusiasts and explorers with a design equipped with a tungsten carbide case. It was stylized on the wrist of famous heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali.
Over the last 40 years, Certina has gone through some important changes. It worked with Rado in 1975 and joined the Swatch group in 1983, refining its focus on creating sports watches in the form of the Cascadeur models with a strap inspired by the look of a motorbike chain, and two extra strong rods made from metal, which stretch across over the top of the watch’s sapphire glass lens for added protection. In 2004 the Certina DS-3 1000m cemented the brand’s respectable position within the dive watch industry. With a 1000 meter water resistant design, the watch reached record breaking achievements, suiting the needs of professional and leisure divers alike.
When in 2005 Certina became the official sponsor for the Sauber Petronas team, the DS Podium watch was worn by Formula 1 motorcyclist Thomas Lüthi, boasting a sporty aesthetic combined with unbeatable precision. In 2012 Certina celebrated its 125th anniversary and tied this in with a completely clean, fresh identity. The Powermatic 80 automatic calibre was also developed with an impressive 80 hour power reserve, along with the Certina C01.21 mode, which was also met with resounding success in the form of a reliable and eye catching chronograph design.
Continuing forward, Certina still remains strongly involved within the motorsport industry and is now proud to call itself the official timekeeper for the FIA World Rally Championship. The company has built its name on a foundation of reliability, performance and longevity, placing itself amongst some of the most durable timepieces in the Swiss watch industry, but anchoring itself in sporting above all.