The integrated sports watch is everywhere. The 1970’s inspired architecture has been reinvented by almost every watch brand at this point; the Breitling Chronomat, TUDOR Royal, Baume et Mercier Riviera, and Maurice Lacroix Aikon are just a few that come to mind. There are designs in every price point, case metal and dial colour and yet it’s clear the industry isn’t finished with the genre yet. Swatch Groups’ Certina has launched their own with the new DS-7 Powermatic 80 watch collection.
Of all the integrated sports watches out there, the Tissot PRX is the one that seems to be dominating. It’s beautifully executed, affordable and comes with dimensions suited to all wrist sizes and genders. So, it was a surprise to me to see another Swatch Group-owned brand, Certina, bring out their own version of a metal sports watch.
The Certina DS-7 collection currently comprises of several quartz-powered chronographs and now, a range of Powermatic 80-fuelled automatic time-and-date models. The line-up presents all the necessary design codes of the integrated sports watch. They have barrel-shaped cases, full metal attire and integrated bracelets. At first glance, they’re good-looking watches and well-priced too but have Certina made a decent attempt to differentiate them from their PRX sibling?
There are currently six Certina DS-7 Powermatic 80 watches in total - we’ll get into the differences shortly - with each offering a 39mm wide and 9.94mm barrel-shaped case, sapphire crystal glass on the front and back, a push-pull crown and a 100 metre water resistant rating. The bracelet appears relatively slim, and compared to the PRX, narrower at the junction with the case. How this wears though is yet to be seen.
For the dials, the Certina DS-7 Powermatic 80 watches elect brushed finishing, either vertically or with a sunray finish, alongside applied indexes and hour and minute hands with Super-LumiNova. The seconds hand is kept super slim and a date window is positioned at 3 o’clock.
Now let’s get into the different colourways available. The first model to catch my eye was that with the turquoise, “Tiffany”-coloured dial. It looks very similar to the shade of mint green on my own Tissot PRX and is definitely a shade of blue/green we’re seeing more of recently. This dial comes with a classic non-coated stainless steel case and bracelet. I say non-coated because there’s two stainless steel models with unusual black PVD coated bracelet middle links; these come with a black or dark gradient green dial.
The fourth reference in the Certina DS-7 Powermatic 80 collection is a somewhat classic colourway for Certina. It has a silver dial with a two-toned case and bracelet. Yellow gold PVD is added to the dial’s hardware, bracelet’s middle links and the case’s bezel. There’s also a full gold PVD edition with a tone-on-tone dial for those that want the complete gold attire. Finally, the collection includes a special titanium model with a blue dial.
As their name suggests, the Certina DS-7 Powermatic 80 watches are powered by the Swatch Group’s well-known Powermatic 80 automatic winding movement. Based on the ETA 2824, it delivers an antimagnetic Nivachron balance spring, a weekend-proof 80 hour power reserve and a slower frequency of 21,600bph. The movement is displayed through an exhibition case back.
I’ll be honest, when I first saw the Certina DS-7 Powermatic 80 models, I screwed my nose up a little- and that was purely down to myself being a committed wearer of the Tissot PRX. After taking a little longer to assess the designs and their spec however, it’s clear Certina has gone to some effort to differentiate the DS-7 to the PRX.
For starters, the 39mm diameter will make some difference to those that find the larger 40mm PRX too big. It also is solely powered by the Powermatic 80 automatic movement, and so far, there’s no sign of any quartz models making a debut. Those black PVD-coated middle links are also a bold move, and one that although may not be to my own taste will arguably be admired by others.
Will the Certina DS-7 Powermatic 80 become as popular as the Tissot PRX? I can’t see it happening, honestly. But as a fan of integrated sports watches, I’ll always welcome more design options and price points into the overfilled pot. The Certina DS-7 collection is available to order now from CHF 740.
- Brand: Certina
- Model: DS-7 Powermatic 80
- Price: Starts from CHF 740
- Material: Stainless steel or titanium
- Movement: Powermatic 80 automatic winding
- Complications: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Dial: Turquoise, silver, black, green, gold or blue
- Size: 39mm wide, 9.94mm tall
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