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Watch Freek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Certina Ds-1 Vs Relio Solstice

Some may think this is a strange comparison, but I believe there are similarities that make this comparison worthwhile. The Relio is a sports watch with a dressy element, whilst the Certina is a Dress watch with a sporty element. They both have high beat movements, and their dimensions aren’t a million miles apart either.

I have made videos regarding both of these watches, so please consider watching them. Of course, if you have any questions regarding either of these, please leave your questions below.

Dimensions –
Certina – 39mm case, 20mm lug, 48mm lug to lug, 12mm deep, 124 grams.
Relio – 38mm case, 20mm lug, 46mm lug to lug, 12mm deep, 128 grams.

It must be said, that whilst the Certina’s case size is only 1mm larger, it wears a lot bigger than the Relio.

Both watches come in very similar boxes, they are even both black. Both are made from a combination of cardboard and wood, and both are fitting of watches of this price. The packaging is perfectly acceptable, but at the same time doesn’t knock me off of my feet.

Certina -7
Relio -7

Brand Perception
This Relio’s first attempt at producing a watch, and whilst it has received some great reviews, Certina are a Swiss brand that has been around since 1888. Certina wins this one hand’s down.

Certina – 9
Relio – 6

Movement /Crown-
The crown on the Relio is a screw in and engages very well, the crown on the Certina is a simple push crown. Both are signed and well knurled.

Certina use an ETA 2824-2. A quality Swiss made movement with an excellent reputation for reliability and accuracy. The Relio also runs a high beat movement, but it’s the Miyota 9039. It’s fantastic movement, but it has a unidirectional movement, and the accuracy isn’t as good when the amplitude is low. The Certina also wins this section.

Certina - 9
Relio - 7

Both have a sapphire crystal, but the Relio has a better application of anti-reflective coating. The Relio also has a sapphire case back, compared to the Certina’s mineral crystal. Both are very well finished, although the brushing on the Certina is a little better. However, the case sides of the Relio make it a little more interesting. The case back on the Relio is screw down, whilst it is only of the push fit variety on the Certina. This one was hard to call, but I think the Relio just takes it by a point.

Certina – 8
Relio - 9

As far as lume goes, the Relio is excellent, and the Certina disappointing. To be fair though, the Relio is a more sporty watch, so this is to be expected.

The dial on both watches is excellent, but in a very different way. The two tone grey dial on the Certina exudes class, whilst the red fume on the Relio is just out and out pretty. Purely because of the lume I am going to award the Relio an extra point

Certina – 8
Relio - 9


Both bracelets are extremely comfortable, to a point I don’t notice the watch is even being worn. The tolerances are both excellent, and all the links are solid. However, The Relio has screw pins, whilst the Certina only has push pins. I would have been happy if the Certina had a pin and collar system, but I just don’t trust push pins, and as result I have used some thread lock to secure them. The clasp on the Relio is far superior, as it has double pushers and six micro adjustments, as well as being fully milled. The clasp on the Certina is arguably its weakest point, and although half milled, there isn’t much more I can say about it. It only has three micro adjustments, and is a friction clasp. This quite easily goes to the Relio

Certina – 7
Relio - 9

Water Resistance-
The Certina has a water resistance of 100m, and the Relio 150m. The fact the Relio has a screw down back and crown would make it a far better watch to risk in the water. However, Certina have used good quality seals and gaskets and are confident the watch won’t let anyone down.
Certina - 7
Relio - 8

Price & Value For Money
This is a little difficult, as we have to build in brand reputation and the Swiss factor for the Certina. The average retail selling price for the Certina is around the £500 mark, although it is possible to get it for less if you look around. In fact, I could have imported one from the States and got it for less than £300. The Relio cost me £340 after duty and VAT. Taking everything into account, I think I will declare this one a draw.

Certina – 8
Relio - 8

Well the final score is Certina Ds-1 63 and the Relio Solstice 63. I hadn’t set out to make the competition a draw, but it’s no surprise how it’s turned out. The Certina is a beautifully made Swiss watch, albeit not without flaws, and the Relio is a fantastically thought out timepiece. It could be argued that the Relio is technically better, albeit the Certina has a better movement, however the Swiss factor is always worth a few extra points to many. If you want a small sports watch that looks good in most situations, you will find it hard to beat the Relio, if you want a classic dress watch with a sporty feel, the Certina may be the watch for you.

If I were asked which one I would keep, I would have to say both, and then sell the wife.


Super Moderator
13,766 Posts
Whoa, that was an incredible battle Wiggles !! 😎😎

Afonso honestly feel that it being a tie at the end of the
day was not a surprise. (y)(y) Because just looking at
the both of them, you could really tell it was going to be
a tough contest. With both giving you the same watch
happiness in different ways, and I think that is what made
the comparison so neat.

Both of these watches have different personalities, but
are able to do do the same things. Which is be sporty,
and elegant, AND makes you, or us smile ! 😀

Such a great head to head !! ..Thanks so so much !!!
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