Presented in a compact, cushion-shaped body, the new Certina DS Podium Shape (ref. C025.510.16.033.00) is a nice and affordable unisex watch that looks surprisingly refined for a timekeeper that is offered at a price well below the $1000 mark.
Known for their sporty chronograph, the Swiss watchmaker has a great number of square-shaped watches in its product range. However, this one offers a very nice combination of a slender compact body with nicely rounded angles and a finely decorated dial. While I don’t really like the other versions of the watch (the ones that feature Arabic numerals), this one makes a very good impression on me.
The reason is, of course, the way that the bold, high-contrast Roman numerals are matched by the old-school minute track printed on the bezel flange. The black hands with patches of white Superluminova on them, too, blend very neatly into the whole setup.
In fact, the only thing that is not good about this watch is the ETA caliber F06.111 quartz movement that powers it. Retailing at around €15, this throw-away mechanism somehow cheapens the watch putting it on the same shelf with those numerous “fashion” watches that gather dust in Duty Free areas of international airports. If only it was equipped with something like ETA 2824 or even its Sellita SW 200 clone!
Still, if you don’t care about movements, if the dead-beat central seconds hand doesn’t annoy you, or you just looking for a dressy timekeeper on a very tight budget (it retails at some CHF 565 or around $630 USD, which is a very nice price for a dressy timepiece animated by a quartz mechanism; frankly, I can’t imagine a serious competitor to this very model: they are either powered by self-winding mechanical calibers and thus are a lot more expensive, or just plain ugly) or just looking for a dressy timekeeper on a very tight budget (it retails at some CHF 565 or around $630 USD), this version of the Certina DS Podium Shape may be a very nice choice both for a young man on his first formal occasion or even for a woman who searches for a “substantial” timekeeper to be matched by a business suit.
Yes, measuring just a tad over 38 millimeters wide and long and although quite thin, the DS Podium Shape stays within that unofficial dress watch standard that makes it suitable for just about anybody who prefers formal attire to more casual clothing.
I have spent about ten minutes trying to find what at least one thing that irritates me here. Well, surprisingly I found two. As usual for timekeeper in this price range, the leather straps don’t look really convincing to me and will probably not last long if you happen to live in a moist and warm climate. The other thing that I don’t really like is the setting crown. Although, when it comes to battery-powered wristwatches, crowns are only used twice a year (and only if you happen to live in a country that uses Daylight Saving Time) and, maybe, once in two or three years when the cell dries out, it is still not very good that the part is so difficult to use for those with thicker fingers.
Well, at least it provides good enough grip thanks to its notched design: I have seen my fair share of crowns that are as smooth as a polished knife.
See also: Certina DS Powermatic 80 Limited Edition
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Certina DS Podium Shape (ref. C025.510.16.033.00) watch specification
Price: $630 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, ETA caliber F06.111, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 3
Power reserve: A couple of years
Movement decoration: Gold-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel (ref. C025.510.16.033.00) / Rose gold PVD-plated steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 38.30 mm x 38.30 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Sunray pattern
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black or white leather strap with twin push-button butterfly clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid