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Fig. 1

Certina, Kurth Frères SA, Grenchen, Solothurn

1888: Founded as Gebrüder Kurth by Adolf and Alfred Kurth in Grenchen. Production of ebauches and watch parts, with just three employees.
1897: Finishing of a new factory building
1906: Introduction of the brand Grana for complete watches (from Latin Granacus = Grenchen).
1934: The Swiss Law for Protection and Regulation of the Watch Market (Uhrenstatut) didn't allow the supply of complete watches and ebauches simulateously. While e.g. Eterna responded with the separation of the movement activities under the name ETA, Kurth Frères gave up the ebauche supply, and engaged stronger in watch manufacturing, and sold complete movements mainly to customers in Switzerland and the U.S.A.
1939: Registration of the brand Certina. Initially it was intended for economical volume models, while Grana was reserved for top models. But it soon proved to be too expensive to hold two brands on the market, and so the brand Grana vanished.
1844: Introduction of the model line Labora, representing economical but rugged watches.
1955: Renamed to Certina, Kurth Frères SA.
1958: Production start of the famous DS line, although it was officially lounged in 1959. DS = double security represents extremely heavy duty watches.
1971: Certina is foundation member of the General Watch Co. (GWC) initiated by the ASUAG; further members: Edox/Era, Endura, Eterna, Longines, Mido, Rado, Rotary, Technos.
1982: Merger of the ASUAG with the SSIH (among others Omega, Tissot), initiated by Nicolas G. Hayek. This trust developed within few years to the SMH (Société Suisse de Micro-Électronique et d'Horlogerie SA), which was renamed to Swatch Group in 1998.

Comments about the data

Certina watches and particularely Grana watches are usually of enhanced grade, and are known for rather rugged cases; this applies of course especially for DS models. Certina was also a movement manufacturer, and watches of other brands with KF movements are found now an then. Especially for the US market there was an intensive cooperation with Illinois.

In older registers Certina calibres are often listed as K.F. calibres or Kurth-Frères calibres. Here all are listed under Certina, even the calibres from times when this brand didn't yet exist.

Collectors site about Certina with main topic DS models:

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