CERTINA DS-2 Super PH500M
Very rare Certina DS-2 Super PH500M divers watch from 1969. Ref. 5801 123. Professional diver model used by the US Navy and NASA in the TEKTITE I and TEKTITE II underwater experiments. All parts fully original and in good condition. Certina cal. 25-651 movement was serviced in 2017. The watch comes with an original, rare Certina steel bracelet and a new, sturdy Tropic rubber strap. Case size: 43 x 48 x 16.5 mm.
The TEKTITE I (1969) dive was a project by the US Navy. The project involved an underwater habitat consisting of two cylinders, located in Great Lameshur Bay in the US Virgin Islands, 15 meters below sea level. Four scientist-aquanauts spent 60 days in this underwater habitat for research purposes. The Navy wanted to study the long-term biological effects of pressure on humans in a pressurized space and during decompression. In addition to Certina, Rolex was also involved in the experiment. The first Sea Dweller models equipped with a helium valve were tested during the project. These watches were apparently tested only in dry conditions inside a pressurized diving bell, as well as when the scientists were on ceremonial duty. A sturdier tool was always used during diving missions, this being the Certina PH-500M during the TEKTITE dives.
The TEKTITE II (1970) dive was a joint project by NASA and the US Navy. In addition to marine research, the purpose was to study how humans would survive in a small, pressurized space with no exit. NASA wanted to study how humans would behave under exceptional circumstances similar to space flights. The TEKTITE II diving team consisted of five women, four of whom were specialized in marine research and one who worked as an engineer for the habitat.