Probably inspired by the high-tech Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed family of mildly skeletonized automatic divers, the new Certina DS Eagle GMT chronograph (ref. C023.739.27.051.00) is equipped with a lot simpler ETA G10.961 caliber: the same quartz movement that powered their 2011 DS Podium Ole Einar Bjorndalen model, but is encased in a lot sportier body.
Like many chronographs introduced during the last couple of years, this Certina DS Eagle combines the 12-hour and 60-minute chronograph totalizers into a single sub-dial, which is neatly placed at 2 o’clock. The solution not only makes it easier to read the chronograph at a quick single glance but also allows to squeeze an extra indicator into the standard tri-compax design.
The extra function in question is, of course, a GMT display at 10 hours. Sporting a large, bright-red triangle on its tip, the GMT pointer, too, is legible enough if you need to know the current time in a country far far away. Perhaps, the only thing that I find lacking here is a layer of Superluminova on the indicator: there are cases when you need to know the time in the second time zone without turning on the light or doing some calculations while being half-asleep.
Although looking like it was ‘inspired’ by Linde Werdelin with their skeletonized chronographs (and, to a lesser degree, the monstrous Hublot King Power Oceanographic 4000), this new timekeeper still doesn’t look like a blatant rip-off.
After all, Certina is a brand that is, first, large enough to not be afraid of speaking its own design language and, second, actually has a means of hiring a team of good industrial designers that would be able to do their job without trespassing any sort of intellectual property.
I especially dig the carbon-fiber inserts in its bezel and the chronograph pushers that are echoed by a black textured dial with its high-contrast white lume covering the hour markers and the skeletonized hands.
Although I have heard and read numerous complaints about the G10 being a ‘throwaway’ movement, I, to be frank, don’t see a problem with that. For starters, a person that buys a quartz watch rarely does it for the movement that powers it: if it’s accurate enough to keep the good time between switching daylight saving time on and off, nobody cares whether the movement is made of plastic or gold-plated steel.
Also, if you don’t happen to live on McMurdo Station, it is often less expensive and less time-consuming to just replace a broken caliber just like you would have replaced a failed USB port on your iPhone.
Certina DS Eagle GMT Chronograph (ref. C023.739.27.051.00) specification
Price: €1200 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, caliber ETA G10.961, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 4
Power reserve: A couple of years
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, second time-zone (GMT)
Case, Bezel, and Crown: Stainless steel
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 46.00 mm
Dial: Black, textured
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black textured rubber band with large steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Screw-down, with Turtle logo