1970s Certina Bristol 235 wrist watch

This vintage Certina watch is stunning. It is branded, Certina Bristol 235, and has a good quality 17-jewel hand-winding movement, calibre 25-66, which is working nicely and keeping good time. The movement is clean and is fully signed with the Certina name.

Vintage Certina Bristol 235.
Vintage Certina Bristol 235.

Certina

Certina is a Swiss watchmaker founded in 1888 by Adolf and Alfred Kurth in Grenchen, Switzerland. It has a long history which is well-respected by vintage watch collectors. Initially, they were focused on producing watch components and ebauches. However, Certina expanded into manufacturing in-house movements in the early 1900s, earning a reputation for reliability and quality craftsmanship.

In 1959, Certina introduced the Double Security (DS) concept, a pioneering innovation in watchmaking that combined shock resistance, water resistance, and sturdy case construction. This development propelled the Certina DS models to prominence in the industry, establishing it as a leader in rugged and reliable timepieces.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Certina continued to refine its DS technology, introducing iconic models such as the Certina DS-2 and DS-3. These watches gained popularity among sports enthusiasts and adventurers for their robust builds and performance in challenging conditions. There were other Certina brands during the period, including the Waterking, the Blue Ribbon and the Bristol series.

Movement – calibre 25-66

The Certina 25-66 watch movement is a manual wind mechanical movement that features a sweep second function. This movement was manufactured between 1960 and 1975. The movement has 17 jewels and a power reserve of 46 hours on a full wind. The 25-66 is one of the best manual wind movements ever manufactured by Certina. It is reliable and rugged, especially if it is fitted with the DS (Double Security) feature.

Certina 25-66 movement.
Certina 25-66 movement.

Dimensions

The watch measures 34mm in diameter excluding the winding crown and the lugs. It is a little small for a modern gentlemen’s dress watch, but is exactly what you would expect of a vintage watch from the 1970s. The size would be considered unisex in current times. The case is stainless steel and it is in good condition. There is no damage to the case or crystal, any markings would be considered patina, which is perfectly acceptable for a vintage watch. The inner case back is signed Certina, which is a sign of originality. The winding crown is also signed Certina. The lens is in lovely condition.

The signed dial is in its original finish. It is signed “Certina Bristol 235”. Certina released various Bristol models, which was thought to be an attempt to break into the British market. Names of towns, countries and geographical places can not be registered as trademarks. By naming the brand Bristol meant they would not be in breach of a trademark copyright. Why Certina chose Bristol over other better-known cities is anyone’s guess. There is very little information on the internet regarding the Certina Bristol 235. The 235 possibly relates to the case reference 230-5. There were other Certina Bristol models Certina Bristol models 190, 195, 230, 235 and 228. The watch has its original hands and centre seconds hand.

Summary

It is an amazing vintage watch, in excellent condition and keeping good time. Searching for the history of the Bristol brand was frustrating. The Certina Bristol line is readily available for sale online, but there just isn’t a clear record of its history. What little detail that is there, just seems to be guesswork.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *