Now part of the Swiss Swatch Group, Certina have been around since 1888 and you can read about their history on the Certina website.
As far as electric and electronic watches are concerned, they produced the Certina Chronolympic C-Tronic tuning fork watch in the early 1970s; this used the same ESA 9210 as the more common Omega Speedsonic. They also produced the rather strange Biostar.
Certina Biostar Electronic
It employs the ESA 9156 transistorised balance wheel movement…the only watch to use this movement. The 9156 is essentially the same as the very common 9154 but has some added complications for the biorhythms discs.
Biorhythms were “big” in the 1970s and this watch allowed you to look at you Intellect, Emotion and Fitness levels for the current day. To enable it to do this, when you bought the watch, it was set up with your birth date. I’ve included a couple of links below the photo thumbnails where you can see what your biorhythm levels are today.
The sequence of photos below show the movement and watch being re-assembled after a service etc:
After purchase, the watchmaker would disengaged the discs, and then rotate each wheel, through the window in the dial, using a couple of special rubber-tip tools. And you would set the wheels based on your birth date…and, with the wonders on the Internet, you can view what they should be here.
Certina was one of the many watch makers in the early 1970s to produce an electronic model that employed ESA’s 9162 or 9164 tuning fork movement.
Certina Chronolympic C-Tronic
Not only did Certina use the standard ESA 9162/4 tuning fork movements, but they also produced the Chronolymic C-Tronic model that used the ESA 9210 tuning fork chrono movement. Only a handful of makers used this movement: Certina, Omega, Baume and Mercier, Longines and Derby. This is a fascinating and complex movement and I have devoted a page to it: the ESA 9210 Tuning Fork Chronograph movement.
All chronograph tuning fork watches are now very collectible that these two are probably my favorite.