Tutima – derived from the Latin word for “safe, secure” – isn’t a watch brand that many are familiar with, even amongst enthusiasts. But this Glashütte brand has roots dating back to 1927 and began life as Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG (UFAG). During WWII, its factory in Glashütte was destroyed but the company’s founder relocated to West Germany. It continued to produce watches in West Germany, and finally returned to Saxony Glashütte in 2008.
While the brand has moved into the realms of haute horologerie with minute repeaters, in-house chronograph movements, top-grade finishing, it also retains an accessible collection. The Flieger Automatic is one such watch.
The Case and Dial
Sized at 41 mm, the Flieger automatic is much like many other watches in this category. Stainless steel, open caseback, time and date function run by a stock automatic movement.
The dial bears the features of a pilot’s watch. The night green, anthracite or black dials accentuate the masculine note and assure a clear overview. The numerals and the skeletonised hands are coated with Super-LumiNova, while bright baton-shaped indices and the typical pilot’s watch symbol at “12 o’clock” guarantee optimum legibility. Orange or red markings create fresh and individualistic accents.
Tutima was the first to create the flyback pilot’s watch during WWII, the UROFA 59, and the Flieger collection proudly harkens back to its heritage. Discount the politics and which side they were fighting on, and you get a true Pilot’s watch manufacturer and movement maker.
That said, the Grand Flieger collection with its fluted bezel, squelette hands will make a better representation for those who appreciate the UROFA 59 story. The entry Flieger automatic lacks the same historic presence as the Grand Flieger timepieces.
This three-handed wristwatch encases self-winding Tutima Caliber 330, which is essentially a ETA2836/SW200 movement. The case is pressure-tested to ten atmospheres and equipped with a see-through sapphire crystal caseback. The most unique design of the watch is in the caseback machining.
The 41-mm-diameter, stainless steel case is fit with an antireflective sapphire crystal, a screw- down crown, a date display, and centrally axial hour- minute- and second-hands.
As with most watches in this category, ‘tool’, ‘military’ themed watches with stock movement, the watches are well-constructed and straightforward. But tend to lack a uniqueness or story that a watch lover would want for his watch. The Flieger automatic may have a nice dial, or heritage that requires explanation, but it lacks an aesthetic appeal that instantly sets itself apart.
The watch is priced at $1650 on leather and $1950 on bracelet.
From the same brand and at $1850 on bracelet, an M2 Coastline which also uses a stock movement will be a preferred choice as an entry level watch, primarily for its design. The integrated lugs, full titanium case and Bauhaus inspired dial, with diving specifications to 30 bar is a significantly more unique design.