Certina began life in 1888, set up by two brothers, Adolf and Alfred Kurth. As could be expected back in the late 19th century, the main focus of the day was pocket watches, and the Kurth brothers were determined that their watches would be the best money could buy.
As time passed and new fashions swept the nation, a new type of watch caught their eye - the wristwatch. The brothers soon realized that if they were to remain in the watch making business for the long term, then they needed to produce what people wanted, and the wrist watch was definitely the order of the day.
In around 1905, they started producing wrist watches. Because at the time men had yet to embrace the new fashion, they made and sold women's models. The fashion soon spread however, and men's watches were soon part of the product line. Rather than emulate their women's designs, their men's watches were completely different, comprising of sporty and masculine models that appealed to a more masculine nature.
The actual name of the company, "Certina" did not become the official name of the company until the company's 50th anniversary, in 1938. Derived from the Latin for "sure", the brothers considered this an apt name for their range of watches.
Certina watches have been designed very much with sports and rugged pursuits in mind. They patented a novel idea for a type of shock-absorber for their movements in the mid 1900s, a feature that has been emulated by many great watch designers around the world. The Company is now part of the huge Swatch group of companies, although the brand is still sold under the original name.
A great number of Certina wrist watches have a smaller seconds hand set at the six o'clock position on the dial and almost all have "Certina" on the dial, so they are fairly easy to spot. Collectors of rugged military watches will like the prices that the older watches fetch - they are still very affordable.
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