Once upon a time ...

This is a brief overview of the history of Certina, focusing on the 1960s and 70s and the watches described on this site. The complete story can be found on the Certina website.
  • 1888
    The brothers Adolf and Alfred Kurth open a movement and supplies factory for the watchmaking industry in Grenchen, Switzerland.
  • 1906
    For the first time, complete watches are produced, and the brand name "Grana" is used.
  • 1924
    Registration of the brand "Certina" at the Federal Office of Intellectual Property on 15 February. Over the years, more and more watches will be produced under the name Certina.
  • 1938
    The Grana watch factory celebrates its 50th anniversary with its 250 employees.
  • 1947
    The first self-winding movement – the KF 360 – is produced.
  • 1948
    The company’s 60th anniversary. It has 350 employees and opens its first foreign affiliate in Germany.
  • 1951
    Certina’s first self-winding rotor movement – the 25-45 – comes on the market.
  • 1954
    Certina delivers self-winding movements to the American watchmaker Hamilton.
  • 1955
    The company's name is changed from Kurth Frères SA, Fabrique de montres Certina, to Certina, Kurth Frères SA.
  • 1959
    Production of the famous DS line (DS means “double security”) begins, and it is officially launched in 1959. Over the next nine years more than 300,000 timepieces are sold.
  • 1960
    A Swiss team exclusively equipped with Certina DS watches, climbs the Dhaulagiri (8,167 m above sea level).
  • 1963
    Certina now employs 800 people and produces 500,000 watches annually.
  • 1965
    In its Sealab-II experiment, the US Navy does a scientific study on the life of dolphins, with the participation of important researchers such as the Norwegian Sem-Jacobsen and the astronaut Carpenter. The Certina DS is a trustworthy partner, once again proving its outstanding performance under difficult conditions.
  • 1968
    Certina launches the DS-2 line, the successor to the popular DS line.
  • 1969
    The Certina DS-2 Super PH 500M is used during an underwater project called Tektite I. The Tektite I project – which is conducted from February 15 to April 15, 1969 in the US Virgin Islands – involves four marine scientists living and working out of an ocean-floor habitat at a 49-foot depth. The collaborative project involves the United States Navy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Department of the Interior, the General Electric Company, and other government, industry and academic organizations. The Certina DS-2 Super PH 500M gets top marks for its performance.
  • 1970
    The next-generation Certina DS-2 Super PH 1000M makes another successful trip underwater, as part of the Tektite II Project.
    That same year, a Japanese expedition to Mount Everest is equipped with five Certina DS-2 Chronolympic watches. During the expedition, the Japanese skier Yuichiro Miura completes one of the most daring downhills in the history of skiing, going from 8000 m to 7000 m. Certina's rugged equipment perfectly resists all changes in temperature and records the key moments of the expedition.
    Certina co-sponsors the "Canaris Project,” which involves sending an enormous two-by-three-metre polyester egg weighing 350 kg across the Atlantic. The egg is equipped with a camera to film the voyage as well as two Certina DS chronometers to record time. The egg is considered to be the first artistic creation ever to have made the unmanned trip across the Atlantic.
  • 1971
    Certina becomes a founding member of the General Watch Co. (GWC) initiated by the ASUAG. Additional members are Edox/Era, Endura, Eterna, Longines, Mido, Rado, Rotary and Technos.
    The Certina Biostar is the world's first watch to display daily human biorhythms. At a glance, one can follow one's physical, mental and emotional rhythms.
  • 1972
    Certina now employs 900 people and produces 600,000 watches annually.
  • 1973
    The Belgian Roger de Coster – wearing a Certina DS 288 – is 500 cc World Motocross Champion for the third time.
  • 1975
    The Certina DS Diamaster comes on the market.
  • 1976
    The unscratchable DS Diamaster, in tungsten carbide, is one of the year's attractions. The American Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) is chosen to publicly wear and display this new Certina show-piece.
    Muhammed Ali
  • 1977
    The car manufacturer Volvo celebrates its 50th anniversary and orders engraved Certina watches to give to each of its more than 60,000 employees.
  • 1979
    Just twenty years after its first release, the Certina DS line reaches the milestone of one million Certina DS watches sold.
  • 1983
    Certina joins the SMH Group formed by the merger between ASUAG and SSIH.
  • 1998
    The SMH Group changes its name to Swatch Group.
  • 2003
    Certina’s company headquarters is relocated from Grenchen to Le Locle.
  • 2013
    Certina celebrates its 125th anniversary. On this occasion, the following short film is released which provides an excellent overview of Certina’s history and accomplishments.

Last updated on: feb 02, 2016

The author of vintagecertinas.ch is not responsible for any contents linked or referred to from his pages.