Certina Dive watches

The turtle submerges

The first diver's models came on the market around 1960 after the DS line had been presented in 1959. When the succession line of the DS, the DS-2, was launched in 1968 two versions were available: One was waterproof down to 200m (reference 5801 303), the other down to 500m (reference 5801 123). The DS-2 Super PH 500M was successfully used in the TEKTITE I & II experiments in 1969 and 1970. Furthermore there's evidence that Certina had already provided watches for the earlier Sealab II experiment of the US Navy.

Certina Echo Unfortunately the erroneous information is spread by the History Leaflet of Certina and other sources that the 1000M version (Reference 5801 302) was used in the Tektite I experiment. The article on the right originating from Cerina's proprietary magazine called "Certina Echo" (spring edition 1970) is proof against this rumour. Furthermore the Super PH 1000M was introduced as the successor of the 500M model in the same article. On the picture below taken from a Life magazine article on the Tektite I experiment the Super PH 500M can be recognized on the diver's wrist. The 500M model can be found on other pictures as well.

Life Magazin Tektite I was a federal underwater experiment that took place from February 15 to April 15 1969 in the Lameshur bay of St. John close to the Virgin islands. In this experiment performed by the U.S. Navy, NASA and the American department of the interior in collaboration with General Electrics four aquanauts spent 60 days in an underwater habitat 15 meters below the sea level. Apart from exploring the bottom of the sea the main objective of the experiment was to study the behaviour of the scientists under these unusual conditions. The Super PH 500M was rated according to 13 criteria receiving six times the rating "excellent", five times the rating "good" and two times it was judged as being "satisfying".

National Geographic The Tektite I project was considered a great success and the two diving cylinders each five meters in height and four meters in diameter connected by a tunnel were submerged a second time in the Great Lameshur bay. In the Tektit II project five aquanauts at a time lived in the underwater house in periodes of two weeks on average swarming out for diving excursions. Based on photographs from the National Geographic (edition 08/71) it can be assumed that along with the habitat itself the Certina Super PH 500M was also part of the project again. In the sixth out of a total of ten missions, for the first time an exclusive womens diving team led by marine biologist Dr. Silvia Earle was on duty.

UFO What is less well known: Not only in water but also in the endless expanse of the universe the Super PH 500M was in action. At least notionally... In the cult television science fiction series "UFO" which began broadcasting in September 1969, Ed Bishop alias Commander Ed Straker wore a 500 on the space suit in its foreign operations as you can see on the right. (By the way: once he is stayed in his homely space station he wore a Certina Argonaut chrono). You see, a divers watch might cut a fine figure in space as well!

As a derivate of the DS-2 Super PH 500M the DS-2 Super PH 1000M (Reference 5801 302) was introduced 1970 in Basel. By then all models had the calibre 25-651. In 1974 the reference numbers were changed and this model got the reference 919 1301 41. There were also an identical model under the label „Technos Sky Diver“ available but this model had an ETA 2789 inside. In 1976 the DS-2 Super PH 1000M has been replaced by the almost identical DS-3 Super PH 1000M which had the same reference number. This one had the new calibre 919-1 with the quickset date feature. The DS-3 Super PH 1000M among others was used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). This watches are identifiable by means of the engraved "National Stock Number (NSN)" on the caseback.

Beside this a "civil"-version of the DS-3, water resistant to 300 meters (Referenz 750 1402 41) could be bought. From this model numerous "NOS"-pieces are in circulation. I guess because of the quartz crisis there were still some parts in stock available which later were assembled. It seems that with the same reference number there were another two models with the marking PH 200M available, one of them with a quartz movement.
In those days the usage of one reference number for several models seems to have been usual. The number refers mainly to the case and less on the dial or the movement. The DS-2 PH200M (reference 5801 113) for example has the case of the former DS with the same reference number but the dial was used also for the later reference 5801 303. So, the "second" Reference 5801 113 seems to be a " "

Besides the models of the DS line there were also dive watches with the marking "Argonaut". About these models unfortunately i find out very little by now.

You can find more interesting information about vintage Certina dive watches in the links below.

Overview

ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
Argonaut 220MArgonaut 220M5801 122Certina 25-65137 x 42 x 14Automatic
Date without quickset
Black "Crossdial" dial with printed indices
Water resistant to 220 metres
From 1965
Argonaut 220MArgonaut 220M5801 122Certina 25-65137 x 42 x 14Automatic
Date without quickset
Black dial with printed indices
Water resistant to 220 metres
From 1965
Argonaut 200MArgonaut 200M5801 223Certina 25-65139 x 41 x 12Automatic
Date without quickset
Black dial with appliqued indices
Water resistant to 200 metres
From ?
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
Argonaut ChronoArgonaut Chrono 200M8401 002Certina 29-053
Valjoux 23
40 x 46Manual wind. No Date. Black dial with
two sub dials at 3 and 6
Water resistant to 200 metres
Water resistant to 220 metres
About from 1968 to 1972
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
DS DiverDS5601 013Certina 25-65D: 40.5Automatic
Black dial with appliqued indices
Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1960
DS DiverDS5601 113Certina 25-6537/39 x 45 x 14Automatic
No date
Black "Crossdial" dial with appliqued
indices. Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1964
DS DiverDS5801 113Certina 25-65137/39 x 45 x 14Automatic
Date without quickset
Black "Crossdial" dial with appliqued
indices. Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1964
DS PH200MDS PH200M5801 117Certina 25-651D: 40.5Automatic
Date without quickset
Black "Crossdial" dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1967
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
DS-2 PH200MDS-2 PH200M5801 113Certina 25-65137/39 x 45 x 14Automatic. Classic case from the DS
Ref. 5801 113 from 1964.
Date without quickset.
Water resistant to 200 metres.
From 1969
DS-2 PH200MDS-2 PH200M5801 113Certina 25-65137/39 x 45 x 14Automatic. Classic case from the DS
Ref. 5801 113 from 1964.
Date without quickset.
Water resistant to 200 metres.
From 1969
DS-2 PH200MDS-2 PH200M5801 303Certina 25-65140 x 43.5 x 13Automatic. Cushion case
Date without quickset
Black dial of the Ref. 5801 113 with appliqued indices. Water resistant to 200 metres. About from 1972 to 1975
DS-2 PH200MDS-2 PH200M5801 303Certina 25-65140 x 43.5 x 13Automatic. Cushion case
Date without quickset
Blue dial of the Ref. 5801 113 with appliqued indices. Water resistant to 200 metres. About from 1972 to 1975
DS-2 PH200MDS-2 PH200M919 1402 41Certina 25-65140 x 41 x 14Automatic. Case like DS-3
Date with quickset
Blue dial with appliqued indices
Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1976
ModellReferenzKaliberAbmessungen mmBemerkungen
DS-2 Super PH500MDS-2 Super PH500M5801 123Certina 25-65143 x 48 x 16.5Automatic
Date without quickset
Black "Crossdial" dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 500 metres
From 1968, Used in the Tektite Experiments
DS-2 Super PH500MDS-2 Super PH500M5801 123Certina 25-65143 x 48 x 16.5Automatic
Date without quickset
Black dial, printed orange framed indices
Water resistant to 500 metres
From 1968, Used in the Tektite Experiments
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
DS-2 Super PH1000MDS-2 Super PH1000M5801 302
Ab 1974:
913 1301 41
Certina 25-65143 x 46 x 18Automatic
Date without quickset
Black dial with appliqued indices
Water resistant to 1'000 metres
About from 1970 to 1975
DS-2 Super PH1000MDS-2 Super PH1000M5801 302
Ab 1974:
913 1301 41
Certina 25-65143 x 46 x 18Automatic
Date without quickset
Orange dial with appliqued indices
Water resistant to 1'000 metres
About from 1970 to 1975
DS-2 Super PH1000MDS-2 Super PH1000M5801 302
Ab 1974:
913 1301 41
Certina 25-65143 x 46 x 18Automatic
Date without quickset
Black dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 1'000 metres
About from 1970 to 1975
DS-2 Super PH1000MDS-2 Super PH1000M5801 302
Ab 1974:
913 1301 41
Certina 25-65143 x 46 x 18Automatic
Date without quickset
Orange dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 1'000 metres
About from 1970 to 1975
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
DS-3 Super PH1000MDS-3 Super PH1000M919 1301 41Certina 919-143 x 46 x 18Automatic, Date with quickset
Black dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 1'000 metres
Successor of the DS-2 Super PH1000M
Used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
From 1976
DS-3 Super PH1000MDS-3 Super PH1000M919 1301 41Certina 919-143 x 46 x 18Automatic, Date with quickset
Orange dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 1'000 metres
Successor of the DS-2 Super PH1000M
From 1976
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
DS-3 TaucherDS-3 300M919 1402 41Certina 919-140 x 41 x 14Automatic. Date with quickset
Dial with radiancy pattern, various versions
Appliqued indices
Water resistant to 300m
From 1976
DS-3 PH200MDS-3 PH200M Automatic919 1402 41Certina 919-140 x 41 x 14Automatic. Date with quickset
Various dial versions
Printed indices, Turtleback
Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1977
DS-3 PH200M QuartzDS-3 PH200M Quartz750 1402 41Certina 750
ESA 9361
40 x 41 x 14Quartz movement. Date with quickset
Various dial versions
Printed indices
Water resistant to 200 metres
From 1977
ModelReference no.CalibreDimensions mmComments
PH100M Quartz DiverPH100M Quartz750 3008 41Certina 750
ESA 9361
37 x 44 x 12Quartz movement. Date with quickset
Orange dial, printed indices
Water resistant to 100 metres
About from 1980 to 1983

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Update: 07.01.2011

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