If you're in the market for a great dive watch, chances are a few things will be non-negotiable. First and foremost, it needs to have a great water resistance rating. In addition, good legibility is a must, along with a healthy dose of lume, to make it easy to read in dark environments.
Beyond that, though, there's room to experiment a little. And in a market filled with Rolex Submariner lookalikes, the new Certina DS-2 Turning Bezel range is standing out with a classier case design.
The tonneau-shaped design – essentially just a fancy name for a curvy rectangle – has proven popular in recent years. High-end designs from manufacturers like Richard Mille have given the tonneau a sportier standing, but it has a long-standing history in classier dress watches.
Finding one on an affordable dive watch is rare though, and lends this model an extra bit of personality to differentiate it from the masses. It's subtle, too, with a more square frame than other popular tonneau designs.
The new DS-2 Turning Bezel comes in a couple of variants. The standard model comes in a stainless steel case, on a matching steel bracelet. There's also a special edition model made in partnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. That one uses titanium for the case, and comes on a blue, grey and black striped NATO strap made from #tide ocean material. The #tide initiative re-routes ocean bound plastic, turning it into a variety of materials, including yarn, which is used on this strap.
Elsewhere, the watch features 200m of water resistance and a 41mm case diameter with a 20mm lug width. It sits just 11.7mm tall, too – perfect for slipping under a shirt cuff. Inside, a Powermatic 80 movement keeps things turning. That's a top-notch movement, used in popular pieces like the Tissot PRX range, and features an 80-hour power reserve.
The steel variant comes with either a grey or a blue dial, while the special edition features a black dial, each with a matching bezel. Super-LumiNova is used for lume, painted on all three hands, the hour markers and the arrow marker on the bezel.
In terms of price, both variants are attractively positioned. The steel version comes in at £945, while the special edition sits at just £880. That's an awful lot of watch for less than £1,000.
Personally, I think the special edition is the variant to get your hands on. Not only does it do some good for the planet, the combination of titanium and a fabric strap should make for a really lightweight watch – perfect as a daily wearer!