The dressy 2013 Certina DS Powermatic 80 (ref. C026.407.16.087.01) is destined to compete with the recently presented Tissot Luxury Automatic collection. Powered by the same self-winding Caliber ETA CO7.111 (also dubbed as Powermatic 80), this one features a similar dial layout and boasts the same impressive power reserve of whole 80 hours.
Being a next-gen version of the (almost) legendary ETA 2824 ebauche, the new movement features several changes that include longer mainspring, and a low-friction escapement wheel. The mechanism is also 25 percent slower beating at just 21,600 vibrations per hour that alone allowed to increase the power reserve by at least ten hours. Although some may consider it a trade-off (some persons, for example, don’t like how the seconds hand moves less fluidly than it is the case with timekeepers that have their mechanisms working at standard 28,800 vph,) I don’t see any problem here since there are lots of high-end calibers beating at the same frequency.
As far as I know, there is even a version of the DS Powermatic 80 that is available in an officially COSC-certified chronometer version, although this particular variation of the mechanism is of a more plebeian pedigree if you don’t mind the expression. Also, if technical specs are not what interests you while choosing your next timekeeper, I must admit that the mechanism compensates the lack of a COSC certificate with great looks (see below.)
Some enthusiasts are even angry with ETA for cheapening out the original ETA 2824 workhorse movement with plastic parts and having the number of working jewels reduced to just 23. Yet, in return for slightly shorter lifespan, you get almost two times power reserve of the original and that may sound like a good deal for a person not planning to pass this relatively inexpensive wristwatch to his or her (at a size of just 40 millimeters, this gadget may appeal to a lot broader audience than only the male population in their 20s or 30s) grandchildren.
Plebeian or not, it is elegant mainly thanks to its black cambered dial and vintage-styled hour and minute hands that are accompanied by stick-shaped hour markers and three Arabic numerals. Treated with rose gold PVD coating, the elements also feature thin strips of Superluminova that make it readable at night. The mechanism, by the way, too, looks great with a new oscillating weight that now comes in a PVD-treated full-black version with the usual Certina Turtle printed in bright white. Bridges are also redecorated but in a more modest fashion.
With its carefully chosen proportions of 40 x 11 millimeters, the polished stainless steel body is, too, of just the right size for a piece of accessory, which is supposed to be worn with formal attire, although I can easily imagine one to be used with more casual dress.
The only thing that looks like a marketing gimmick here is, of course, the “limited edition” part of the name.
Planned to be produced in a total run of 5000 pieces, it will be light years away from becoming a true rarity. Well, nobody can seriously expect that from a timekeeper, which will be priced below the €1000 mark. Still, it is sort of pleasant to know that your new toy isn’t one of those models that are churned out for years without any modification to their exterior and are sold by hundreds of thousands of pieces.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 3.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Certina DS Powermatic 80 (ref. C026.407.16.087.01) specification
Price: $870 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA CO7.111 (Powermatic 80), low-friction escapement, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 23
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 80 hours
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 11.00 mm
Lug width: 20 mm
Dial: Black, cambered
Numerals: Arabic, rose gold PVD-plated, luminous
Hour markers: Rose gold PVD-plated, luminous
Hands: Rose gold PVD-plated, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap with stainless steel butterfly clasp and two pushers
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective