In Grenchen, brothers Adolf and Alfred Kurth open their first movement and supplies factory for the watchmaking industry, with three employees in a workshop annexed to the family home. The creation of complete timepieces begins a few years later, in parallel to the production of discrete highquality watch movements.
For the first time, a brand name is used. Adolf and Alfred choose to call their watches “Grana”, short form of “Granacus”, the latin name for Grenchen. The first wrist-watches appear on the market, for the larger part ladies’ models as men still categorically reject the idea of wearing time on one’s wrist. For their exceptional performance, the two founders receive the Milan Fair’s prestigious gold medal. Later, in 1910 in Brussels and four years later in Bern, the Grana brand name takes two further awards.
The factory is transformed into a full manufacturing facility able to produce every component of a watch, including Grana’s own complete movements.
Creative pioneers in their field, the Kurth Brothers create a mechanical first: the digital watch. Driven by a standard spring movement, rotating disks bearing inscribed numbers are used to display time.
By this time, 500 employees work in the factory and its offices, with a daily output of 1000 watches. CERTINA greatly expands its operations and facilities to become one of the most modern and best equipped watchmakers of its time.
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, Hans and Erwin Kurth and their engineering and technical teams set their objectives on creating a unique market niche based on a concept defined by quality. From that effort springs the idea of a specially suspended movement inside a highly reinforced case, appropriately named DS or “Double Security”.
Self-winding (automatic) watches of that era withstood shocks of only 1,8 –2,2 meters. The innovative CERTINA DS raises that figure to 6 meters and the level of water resistance to 20 bar (200 m), placing the company at the forefront of its trade.
The CERTINA DS claims new heights on the Himalaya. A successful first climb of the Dhaulagiri (8,222 m) is made by a Swiss team exclusively equipped with CERTINA DS watches, which withstand all changes in pressure and altitude.
In its Sealab-II experiment, the US Navy does a scientific study on the life of dolphins, with the participation of important researchers such as the Norvegian Sem-Jacobsen and the astronaut Carpenter.
The CERTINA DS is a trustworthy partner, which once again proves its outstanding resistance under difficult conditions.
A Japanese expedition to Mount Everest is equipped with CERTINA watches. During this expedition, the great Japanese skier Miura and his CERTINA DS-Chronolympic complete one of the most daring downhills in the history of skiing, from 8000 m to 7000 m. CERTINA’s rugged equipment resists perfectly to all changes in temperature and records the key moments of the expedition.
The CERTINA Biostar is the world’s first watch to display human daily biorhythms. At a glance, one can follow one’s physical, mental and emotional rhythms.
CERTINA expands its line of chronographs and launches the regatta chronograph Chronolympic. Its tremendous precision allows the timing of different and highly demanding sporting events.
The company sponsors the Swedish National Hockey Team and every player is given a Certina DS watch. Before 7,000 spectators, the Swedish hockey star Rolle Stoltz propels a puck and its speciallymounted internal CERTINA DS watch at a speed of 120 km/hour into a goal.
CERTINA now employs 900 persons and annually produces 600,000 precision watches.
At international jewellery watch fairs, CERTINA is ranked first for a watch of great innovation, a whitegold timepiece covered in diamonds, which claims both the “International Diamonds Award” and the “Golden Rose”.
By this time, CERTINA produces 375,000 watch components per day and makes use of 53,000 rubies.
The Belgian Roger de Coster is 500 cc World Motocross Champion for the third time, wearing a CERTINA DS 288.
The unscratchable DS-Dia-Master in tungsten carbide is one of the year’s attractions. The wrist of American Heavyweight Champion Muhammed Ali, alias Cassius Clay, is chosen to display this new CERTINA show piece.
The CERTINA Dia-Master Quartz with its precise measurement of solar and stellar positions proves to be indispensable equipment on an international Trans-Saharan geographic expedition.
Car manufacturing giant Volvo celebrates its 50th Anniversary and orders for each of its 64,113 workers an engraved CERTINA watch to commemorate the occasion.
Once again, a CERTINA jewellery watch is awarded the prestigious “Golden Rose”. “Chloé” is a composite creation, of a watch and a double bow in white-gold set with 395 diamonds.
After 20 years of existence, the CERTINA DS reaches the millionsold mark. Its great success is due in part to its technical features and also to a constant adaptation of its designs to current fashions.
CERTINA joins the SMH* Group formed by the merger between ASUAG and SSIH.
CERTINA becomes the “sport” brand within the SMH Group. Its new “Cascadeur” line spearheads the collection. Its character is the boldest to date, with a bracelet shaped like a motorcycle chain, a hyper-resistant case and a sapphire glass protected by two metal bars. The brand begins a strong association with motor sports, most specifically with motorcycle racing.
CERTINA becomes official timekeeper of the International Motorcycling Championship and sponsor of World Champion Mike Doohan.
CERTINA’s new brand ambassador is none other than Alex Crivillé, who uses a custom DS PRO Digital to clock his best laps.
CERTINA broadens its market by demonstrating that a watch can be at once sporty and elegant. SP for sport, EL for elegance, the SPEL timepiece is born, a subtle name game of meanings between attraction and fascination.
True to its alliances with motor sports, CERTINA becomes the Swiss co-pilot to Rallye World Champion Colin McRae. The new CERTINA DS Ultimate gets a great deal of attention, not least of all from our competitors.
Continuing its strong commitment to motorcycling, CERTINA becomes the priviliged partner of Sete Gibernau, one of the serious contender for the world title in Moto GP, and Thomas Lüthi, very talented Swiss driver in the 125 cm3 category.
Once again, CERTINA reasserts its steadfast experience in sporty designs with the release of its DS 3 1000 m. This innovative self-winding diver is a friendly wink back to the Seventies, sure to please all active gentlemen of this new Millennium with its contemporary touch. The DS 3 1000 m meets the most stringent requirements for underwater exploration and aquatic sports, with a tested waterfastness to 1000 meters.
2005 – A Year of Blazing Success! CERTINA joined the Sauber Petronas Formula 1 team as Official Sponsor.
Thomas Lüthi, sponsored by CERTINA since the start of his career in 2001, became World Champion of the 125cc Class on October 6, 2005.
The DS Podium: uncluttered elegance and style, in a clean composition that simply radiates aesthetic perfection.
Continued partnership with the new BMW Sauber F1 Team. New Formula 1 star Robert Kubica becomes a CERTINA Ambassador.
CERTINA is proud to be an official partner of the BMW Sauber F1 Team, and jointly celebrates its excellent 2008 season results, especially its historical one-two finish by drivers Kubica and Heidfeld in Montreal. The exciting race marked the first-ever top-podium finish for the BMW Sauber F1 Team and helped them close the FIA season with 11 podium finishes and with a brilliant 3rd place in the constructors’ championship.
The DS Multi-8 is launched, with its new ETA quartz multifunction movement and 8 highly-useful functions.
CERTINA becomes official partner of Ole Einar Bjørndalen, most successful biathlete in sporting history.
CERTINA celebrates its 125th anniversary, as one of the longest-established watch brands in Switzerland. The year is highlighted by a new Corporate Identity for the famous sportwatch brand, and a new logo showing a subtle return to its roots.
The brand continues its commitment to motorsport and is now Official Partner and Timekeeper for the FIA WRC - World Rally Championship.