The new Certina DS Rookie (ref. C016.417.22.057.00) quartz chronograph is essentially the old DS Action chronograph introduced back in April 2009 and is now packed in a slightly smaller, more elegant case.
While the last year’s model was offered in a massive stainless steel body 42.5 millimeters in diameter, the new version measures only 40 millimeters wide, which makes it more appropriate to be worn with a casual dress.
The lack of the rotating diver’s bezel, which is now replaced with a black PVD-coated fixed part, also increases the timekeeper’s visual appeal since the new bezel may be especially interesting for those dreaming about a watch with scratch-resistant ceramic parts but lacking the means to obtain one.
Featuring the same dial layout and virtually the same design language, the chronograph is also powered by the same standard-issue Swiss-made ETA G10.211 quartz movement.
The G10.211 caliber is built on 4 functional jewels and offers a rather standard set of functions, including analog hours and minutes indication, as well as a small jumping second at 6 o’clock; small date at 4 o’clock, and chronograph counters for 1/10 second, 60 seconds and 30 minutes with “add” and “split” functions.
As usual, it is operated with a pair of PVD-treated push-pieces located at 2 and 4 o’clock and partly protected from occasional bumps and scratches with a set of nice-looking guards that also protect the crown.
Being 29.8 mm in diameter and 5.12 mm thick, the movement is rather large, so Certina has a fairly good excuse to put it in a mid-sized 40 mm stainless steel body.
The mechanism, by the way, is not a cheap one.
Third-party retailers sell the movement at a price hovering around $45-$55, so, as you can see, Certina didn’t try to cut corners here and there trying to shave a couple of cents out of the production cost. Perhaps, the only problem with this mechanism is that it, as far as I know, is not a repairable one.
If something goes wrong after the warranty is expired, you will have to pay just that $45-$55 plus labor to get the piece going again. The same goes if you buy one second-hand only to find out that it gains ten seconds per month: a rare occasion, but, too, has a detrimental effect on the timekeeper’s resale value.
Again, not a problem, but just keep it in mind if buying used.
I am not on the Certina PR department’s payroll, so I won’t bother you with an extended ode to the Rookie’s “bold styling” and “contagious energy.” However, I must admit, that, available at a price of some €450, the chronograph is a decent choice for those not willing to spend a couple of Grands for a quartz-powered Longines Conquest.
Certina DS Rookie Quartz Chronograph specification:
Price: €450 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber ETA G10.211, quartz, diameter 29.8 mm, height 5.12 mm, Swiss Made
Functions: Chronograph, date
Power reserve: 48 months
Case: Stainless steel
Case size: 40.00 mm
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Bracelet in stainless steel
Back: Solid steel