Certina S.A. is a Swiss watchmaker founded in Grenchen, 1888, by Adolf and Alfred Kurth, and currently an affiliate company of the Swatch Group.
Certina was founded in 1888 when Adolf and Alfred Kurth opened in Grenchen their first movement and supplies factory for the watchmaking industry. At the start Certina's staff consisted of three employees working in a workshop that was connected to the family home. Certina did not begin producing complete watches and timepieces for a few years which they then did alongside their work producing movements for other companies. By 1938 the company had expanded and 250 employees celebrated the 50th anniversary of the company.
Certina continued to expand and by 1955 the company had 500 employees working between the factory and offices, producing 1,000 timepieces every day. Certina worked up a new business plan that expanded its operations.
By 1972 Certina employed 900 people and produced 600,000 watches every year.
1983 Certina became a member of the SMH Group (Swatch).
In 1971, the owning family opted to join General Watch Co, the newly created sub-holding of ASUAG, in order to consolidate their efforts with others. The introduction of cheap and reliable automatics and Quartz watches from Japan (under the rules of their strategic management: see Strategic management ) stopped Certina's expansion. The restructuring involved the abandonment of their own manufacture of Certina calibres, and by the end of the 1970s, Certina operations were moved to Biel/Bienne and the entity Edox & Technos. Under the new management, Certina managed to hold on to some of their properties, especially in the Scandinavian countries. Upon the merger of SSIH and ASUAG companies, Certina became a member of a new managerial entity, together with Mido and Tissot, which became known as Le Locle, (the newly elected Unesco World Heritage Site in Switzerland ).
The first wristwatches : were already produced by the company in 1938 : predominately ladies watches, because men still preferred pocket watches.
Digital Watch: 1936 Certina was the first company to produce a digital watch. It was driven by a spring movement. Rotating disks bearing inscribed numbers were used to display the time, instead of hands.
DS (Double Security) Line: In 1959 Hans and Edwin Kurth set themselves the objective of creating a new marketplace niche based on quality through engineering and technical design. Thus Certina created the concept of suspending the watch movement inside a highly reinforced case, which they named DS for "Double Security". The Certina DS were the first watches to increase shock protection and water resistance to 6 m (previous watches were set at 2.2 meters). The Certina DS watch was taken up the Himalayas by a team who climbed the Dhaulagiri and the watch withstood all changes in pressure and altitude.
Biostar: In 1971 Certina introduced the Biostar, the world's first watch that displayed human biorhythms.
"Scratchproof" : Certina went on to produce many world firsts, including the "unscratchable" DS-DiaMaster in tungsten carbide.
Recent collection of Certina include Titanium, 316L high grade stainless steel, sapphire glass, its own DS feature (such as the current "DS Podium", "DS First" or "DS Action") and ETA Swiss made movements are standard features. It currently offers collections, classified under the names "Automatic", "SPORT Classic", "SPORT Elegant" and "SPORT Xtreme", including some models claimed to perform up to 200 m underwater.
The 2000s (decade) saw many new partnerships with motoring companies including Colin McRae, Sete Gibernau, and finally the Sauber Petronas Formula One team, renamed Sauber Formula One team, of which Certina is currently engaged in a sponsorship.
Certina was timekeeper of the Motorcycling Grand Prix in the 1990s.
Certina sponsors the 2014 World Rally Championship.
In 1906 the Certina brand name was used for the first time, with Adolf and Alfred choosing to call their watches "Grana", the short form of "Granatus", the Latin name for Grenchen.
In 1938 the company adopted the name "Certina", taken from the Latin "certus", meaning "assured", "certain", as their trademark for the export and marketing of their watches.
In 2014 Certina changed their red logo with a new logo. The new logo uses a turtle symbol, to symbolize protection against water and shocks. The change in logo and brand colours was because Certina wanted to move to a more expensive and higher quality segment. Differentiating it from Tissot, another brand in the Swatch Group family. The impact of the changes in the brand has been the integration of better and more accurate movements like the PreciDrive in new releases.