In 1970, a five-man team embarked on an expedition to the top of Mount Everest. Each of them wore a Certina DS-2 Chronolympic – a resilient chronograph designed to brave the elements and keep accurate time.
On the way down, one member – Yuichiro Miura – descended 2,000m on skis, reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour. It was later immortalised in a documentary called "The Man Who Skied Down Everest".
Why is that important? Well, because the DS-2 Chronolympic is the predecessor for this, the new Certina DS-2 Chronograph Automatic. The DS-2 line has seen a number of new models recently, like the Certina DS-2 Turning Bezel which launched last month.
It's a big pair of shoes – or skis – to fill, but the DS-2 Chronograph does it brilliantly. It's packed with tasteful updates that bring a classic model into the modern day.
For starters, the new release uses an automatic calibre, rather than the manual-wound movement found in the original. The movement also makes use of a silicon hairspring, making it resistant to magnetism and corrosion, while offering a more lightweight solution than metal. There's 68 hours of power reserve on offer, too, and an impressive 200m of water resistance.
On the face, Super-LumiNova is applied to the hands and indices, for visibility in the dark. The dial sits within a 43.4mm x 40.5mm tonneau-shaped case. That's made of stainless steel, and is coated with yellow gold PVD coating on one of the two models.
That yellow gold variant sports a green dial with a duo of white sub-dials, while the stainless steel variant features a blue dial, with white sub-dials and accents in bright red and yellow.
The dial at the 9 o'clock position covers running seconds, while the 3 o'clock sub-dial tracks up to 30 minutes using the chronograph. There's also a date window at the 6 o'clock position on both models.
The gold variant comes on a brown leather strap, which is imprinted with a crocodile pattern. The steel variant comes on a matching blue fabric strap, with yellow stitching to match the accents on the dial.
Overall, this looks like a great addition, not just to the Certina line, but to the watch world overall. Chronographs are expensive, there's no getting around that. But this should offer more competition at the more affordable end, which is only ever a good thing. It's a nice, retro alternative to its Swatch Group stablemate, the Tissot PRX Chronograph, too.
Both variants should be available at all Certina dealers this month, and pricing starts from £1,885 in the UK.