FAQ

Do you have a question for Certina? Here you will find our answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive. If you don't find the answer you are looking for, please send us your query using the contact form.

Servicing

Can my Certina watch be serviced – do you have the right replacement components?

Certina guarantees repairs and the delivery of replacement parts for at least 10 years for standard watches and up to 20 years for gold watches from the date production is discontinued. Certina will do its utmost to ensure that repair of collector's pieces and jubilee watches can be carried out.

Where can I have my Certina watch serviced?

Certina watches should always only be serviced by an official Certina service centre. If the watch is repaired by a
watchmaker who does not have official Certina certification, the guarantee does not apply. You can find a complete list of our service centres under the Find a service centre tab.

How often does a watch need to be serviced?

Like any high-precision instrument, a watch needs to be serviced regularly in order for it to work perfectly. Generally speaking, this should take place every 3 to 4 years. However, the intervals for these services depend entirely on the model, climate and the care taken by the watch's owner.

How much does it cost to get my Certina watch serviced?

You will find a list of prices under the Service costs tab. This will give you an idea of how much a service costs. A wide range of international regulations prevent us from setting exact prices. As a result, the different Certina service centres set their own service prices. However, the non-binding price recommendations on this page apply in all countries with an official Swatch Group AG service centre.

What is the battery life? What does EOL mean?

A battery normally lasts between two and five years, depending on the type of watch, its size and the amount of energy it requires to operate the various functions. For example, a chronograph uses more energy than a watch that only displays the hours and minutes. Many Certina watches (all the Precidrive™ watches) have an end-of-life (EOL) display (three-hand models): when the second hand begins to jump every four seconds, the battery needs changing by a qualified Certina watchmaker.

What does the guarantee cover?

A 24-month guarantee is provided for all watches from the date of purchase, in accordance with the general warranty terms and conditions. Even for general repairs there is a 24-month guarantee for any work carried out.

Guarantee

The international Certina guarantee covers material and manufacturing defects existing at the time of delivery of the purchased Certina watch ("defects"). The guarantee only comes into force if the guarantee certificate is fully and correctly completed with the purchase date, the watch reference and its serial number, and stamped by an official Certina dealer** (valid guarantee certificate).

During the guarantee period and by presenting the valid guarantee certificate, customers have the right to have any defect repaired free of charge. In the event that repairs are improper to restore the normal conditions of use of your Certina watch, Certina SA guarantees its replacement by a Certina watch of identical or similar characteristics. The guarantee for the replacement watch ends twenty-four (24) months after the date of purchase of the replaced watch.

This manufacturer's guarantee does not cover:

- the life of the battery
- normal wear and tear and ageing (e.g. scratched crystal; alteration of the colour and/or material of non-metallic straps and chains, such as leather, textile, rubber; peeling of the plating)
- any damage on any part of the watch resulting from abnormal/abusive use, lack of care, negligence, accidents (knocks, dents, crushing, broken crystal, etc.), incorrect use of the watch and failure to observe the directions for use provided by Certina SA
- indirect or consequential damages of any kind resulting from e.g. the use, the non-functioning, the defects or the inaccuracy of the Certina watch
- damage caused to the Certina watch as a result of it being handled by unauthorised persons (e.g. for battery replacement, services or repairs) or which has been altered in its original condition beyond Certina SA's control. Any further claim against Certina SA for damages additional to the above described guarantee is expressly excluded, except mandatory statutory rights the purchaser may have against the manufacturer.

The above manufacturer's guarantee is:
- independent of any guarantee that may be provided by the seller, for which he carries sole responsibility.
- does not affect the purchaser's rights against the seller or any other mandatory statutory rights the purchaser may have against the seller.

Certina SA's customer service ensures the perfect maintenance of your Certina watch. If your watch needs service, contact an official Certina dealer or an authorised Certina Service Centre as set forth in the enclosed list. They can carry out a guarantee service according to Certina SA standards.

Certina SA CH - 2400 Le Locle, Switzerland

**Special Certina dealers in EU countries

Certina® is a registered trademark

Why does Certina not deliver replacement parts directly to its customers?

For technical and quality reasons, we do not deliver individual replacement parts directly to our customers. The Certina World Customer Service Centre is available to all customers and offers a professional service which meets Certina's high quality standards.

What is the difference between a partial service and a complete service?

A partial service mainly involves replacing the battery in quartz watches and adjusting the rate of mechanical watches, and replacing any spare parts which ensure the water resistance of the watch. A complete service is necessary when work needs to be done to the movement (replacement of worn components and oiling). The complete service also covers the work done in a partial service.

"My watch has stopped. I took it to a retailer to have the battery changed. I just received the estimate from the retailer, who is suggesting a complete service. Why? "

To determine why a watch has stopped, a thorough analysis of the watch is required. A quartz movement - like all types of watch movement - has to be serviced regularly. After a thorough analysis, a certified Certina watchmaker can determine why the watch has stopped and say what maintenance that needs to be done on it.

How the watch functions

What does Powermatic 80 mean?

In addition to being highly accurate, the innovative Powermatic 80 automatic calibre has a power reserve up to 80 hours – almost twice as long as comparable models. This means that a fully wound watch left unworn for three days, for example over the weekend, will still not need resetting, as the Powermatic 80 mechanism continues to run.

What is the difference between a chronograph and a chronometer?

A chronograph is a timepiece which, in addition to displaying the time, is equipped with a stopwatch mechanism to measure and record elapsed time. Depending on the model, the measured time is shown either by an analogue display with an hour, minute, second and even a 1/10 or 1/100 second hand or by a digital display. A chronometer is a watch that has obtained an official rate certificate from the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), which certifies that the movement has passed a range of precision tests in different positions and at different temperatures over a 15-day period. Certification can be granted both for mechanical and quartz movements.

What does Precidrive™ mean?

Precidrive™ is the name of an innovative technology that makes Certina watches extremely accurate. Watches with Precidrive™ quartz calibres achieve true chronometer precision. With a variation in timekeeping of just +/-10 seconds per year, a Precidrive™ watch is 8 to 10 times more accurate than a conventional quartz watch.

What does COSC mean?

COSC stands for “Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres”. This official control is used to test the rate precision of watch movements. Only those movements that pass the various tests are awarded a COSC certificate and then dispatched.

What is a unidirectional bezel?

A unidirectional bezel only turns one way to prevent any danger of false manoeuvre. This is especially important when being used to measure diving times as even if the bezel is knocked and moved it will simply indicate the diver has less air or decompression time rather than more.

What is a COSC-certified quartz chronometer?

To earn the title of chronometer, a watch must be equipped with a movement that has obtained an official rate certificate from the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). To obtain this, precision tests in different positions and at different temperatures must be carried out. These tests take place over a 15-day period.At Certina, all quartz chronometers are equipped with the innovative Precidrive™ movement which, with a deviation of +/- 10 seconds per year, easily achieves the required precision ratings.

Why is the 4 o’clock Roman numeral on my watch represented with 4 strokes (IIII) when the cor-rect number is IV?

The “correct” Roman numeral is IV, but the IIII can also be used. Several explanations are possible as to the reason for this interpretation of the Roman figure. One thing is certain: It has been like this for more than four centuries. On a watch, IV and VI be easily confused, especially when the numerals are upside down. In the 16th and 17th centuries, many people were illiterate. Time was therefore displayed mainly on public monuments like churches, temples and towers. And it was easier to add up four strokes than to read a foreign numeral. For Certina, this usage is now also preferred for decorative reasons, since IIII sits nicely opposite VIII.

To what depth are Certina watches water-resistant?

Certina sport watches set the standard in water resistance. For water sports, a timepiece with a minimum water resistance of 10 bar (100 m) is recommended. All Certina sports watches are equipped with the "DS" concept and tested to a minimum pressure of 10 bar in accordance with the relevant ISO standards.
It should also be understood that water resistance cannot be guaranteed for an indefinite length of time. It may become compromised by ageing of the seals or impacts to the crown or push-buttons. Certina therefore recommends that you have the timepiece regularly checked for water resistance by an authorised Certina Service agent, and have any faulty components replaced. Do not attempt to open the timepiece yourself under any circumstances.

What are the precision tolerances for Certina mechanical watches?

The accuracy of the watch depends on the movement and on the individual habits of the wearer and can therefore vary. A qualified Certina watchmaker can adjust the rate precision of a watch to be within Certina tolerances. The majority of watches that do not have a chronometer certificate have average precision tolerances of between -5 / +30 seconds per day. To qualify for the “chronometer” label, a mechanical movement’s average variation in rate must be between -4 / +6 seconds per day.

Which specification must a watch meet to be given the ISO 6425 diver's watch certification?

To meet ISO standard 6425 for diving watches, a watch must have a device for preselecting a period of time. Furthermore, it must be guaranteed as readable from 25 cm away in darkness and operate effectively in water. Also, bracelets, crowns and other components must be resistant to external forces, seawater and thermal shock. In addition, this type of watch must have magnetic field protection and be water resistant to a given diving depth and 25 percent beyond (e.g. 20 m = 20 bar + 5 bar = 25 bar) and shockproof.

What are the precision tolerances for Certina quartz watches?

Certina quartz movements are produced in accordance with Certina’s highly renowned quality standards and manufacturing methods. Ambient temperature (20°-25°) can affect the precision of quartz movements and lead to variations of between +/- 80 to 85 seconds per year.

How can I ensure that my Certina watch functions as it should?

You can find tips on the right way to handle your watch under “Instructions for use”. Furthermore, we recommend that you take your watch to be serviced at an official Certina service centre every four to five years.

How much is the power reserve for a self-winding mechanical Certina watch and how does it work?

A self-winding mechanical Certina movement depends on the wrist motions of the wearer for its operation. When fully wound, the watch has a power reserve of 38-42 hours. Since the watch's self-winding mechanism is directly linked to the wearer's activity, 10 to 12 hours' wear should be sufficient to generate a power reserve of 20 hours or more, which ensures that the watch will continue to run throughout the night. However, if a watch has not been worn for several days and its power reserve has thus run low, we recommend you wind the watch manually for around 15 rotations of the crown (clockwise) to ensure the best possible rate from the outset.

What is a tachymeter and how is it used?

A tachymeter is an instrument for measuring speed. It is a chronograph with a graduated dial on which speed can be read off in kilometres per hour based on a 1000 metre distance. How to read the tachymeter: Only the central chronograph seconds hand is used. For longer durations, the indications of the timers (minutes and hours) also count. Example for calculating the speed of a car: The chronograph indicates that the distance of one kilometre has been covered in 30 seconds. The corresponding point on the tachymeter scale indicates 120. The speed is therefore 120 km per hour.

What is the difference between a self-winding and a manual-winding movement?

The difference between these two movements is the way in which the watch is wound. Manual-winding watches must be wound every day by hand using the crown, whereas self-winding watches are wound by an internal rotor which responds to wrist movements.

What is the "DS" Concept?

"DS" stands for “Double Security”. The concept can be identified by the toughened case, a sapphire crystal, special seals in the crown, the stem and case back. This process confers on the watch an exceptional resistance, even under extremely demanding conditions.

Materials

What does PVD mean?

PVD are the initials for Physical Vapour Deposition. It is a sophisticated process, performed under vacuum, which deposits microscopic particles on the products by ion bombing or sputtering, to form a protective coating on a substrate. Very thin layers (1 to 3 µm) of impurity-free components can be made which possess high levels of hardness (nitride, carbides, etc.) and which are hypoallergenic.

Does the dial and hand of my watch contain radium or tritium?

Radium was abandoned by Certina a long time ago, followed by tritium some years ago. Tritium has been replaced by a new luminescent material called Super-LumiNova that is used in the manufacturing of our dials and hands. Super-LumiNova is phosphorescent and consequently has no radioactivity whatsoever. The Super-LumiNova material takes its luminescence from daylight or any artificial source of light. The watch should therefore be exposed to bright light in order to ensure the luminescence of the dial and hands in the dark, i.e. during the night. The luminescence decreases after some time but it is restored as soon as the watch is exposed to bright light.

Can I wear a Certina stainless steel watch if I am allergic to nickel?

The materials Certina uses are subject to very strict tests in order to prevent an allergic reaction. The stainless steel (316L) used in Certina watches contains a small amount of nickel, but this is not released and so there is no danger for persons with a nickel allergy. However, Certina recommends that persons who have a sensitive reaction to stainless steel should buy a titanium or gold watch or one with a PVD coating.

What is titanium?

Titanium is a metallic element found in the earth’s crust. The element occurs as a bright, lustrous metal or a silver-grey or dark-grey powder. Its compounds are found in practically all igneous rocks and their sand deposits. Hardened titanium is 30 percent stronger than steel and nearly 40 percent lighter, but more expensive. Titanium resists corrosion; when exposed to the atmosphere, titanium forms a tenacious oxide film that resists salt water corrosion. Titanium is hypoallergenic.: it is nickel-free.

General information

Where can I get a Certina catalogue?

Every official Certina representative will be happy to hand you a catalogue if you ask for one at a point of sale, otherwise you may also request the catalogue by email. It will then be sent to you as quickly as possible.

Where can I get a user manual?

The user manual can be found under the “Customer Service” tab or under “Collections”, on the page displaying your watch model. Alternatively, you can contact our official representative in your country.

Are Certina watches sold over the Internet?

Certina does not sell any watches on the Internet. Certina merchandises its watches exclusively through our worldwide network of authorised wholesale and retail distributors. Therefore, any purported Certina watches offered for sale, particularly on the Internet, by a seller who is not authorised by Certina, could be counterfeits or of dubious origin. They are therefore not guaranteed by Certina.

How can I be sure I am buying a genuine Certina watch?

You can be sure you are buying a genuine Certina watch if you follow these steps:

- buy a Certina watch only from authorised Certina retailers
- ask the retailer for the credit-card size guarantee, duly completed and including the watch reference and its serial number, purchase date and their full company name and address.

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