Tutima Patria Admiral Blue
This magnificent watch stands out from the crowd, courtesy of its enduring beauty and extraordinary movement. Surprisingly, despite its excellence, this German timepiece is comparatively affordable and represents incredible value for money.
This detailed review of the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue includes images, specification details and pricing.
Strolling along the temporary boulevards of Baselworld’s Hall 1 is always a pleasure. In fact, for several weeks beforehand, I become excited about the prospect of what lies ahead.
This year there was much discussion about the Swatch Group withdrawing from the fair, along with other smaller brands, however, the allure of Baselworld continued to shine brightly. Indeed, I felt Baselworld 2019 was the best show ever. The fair was not too congested, there were better catering facilities and several brands excelled themselves, delivering numerous meritorious novelties.
While several of the big brands unveiled sublime new watches, deserving of praise, one of my favourite watches at the fair was a softly-spoken beauty from the independent German brand, Tutima. The Tutima Patria Admiral Blue is imbued with an elegant mien and amazing mechanical integrity, but yet it remains comparatively affordable.
Blue dials have become de rigueur within the world of watches, however, the dial of this watch stands out for the crowd.
The blue enamel dial is created by applying a layer of enamel and thereafter polishing the surface in order to achieve a smooth, blemish free appearance. This process is repeated several times, culminating in a rich, lustrous surface. Appraising the surface reveals a captivating profundity to its appearance.
The hours and minutes are articulated with svelte spear-like hands. The steel hands are manufactured within the brand’s Glashütte atelier.
Positioned in the lower portion of the dial is a small seconds display. A lone, steel hand, again made in-house, traverses a snailed epidermis. The small seconds display is delineated with crisp, white strokes.
Looking at the dial of the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue, there is a ubiquitous sense of restraint. Nothing is bold or conspicuous. Everything is unassuming. The slim, tapering indexes are faceted and glint with the merest suggestion of light.
While the dial talks quietly to the wearer, its dialogue is eminently clear. Quite simply, the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue pairs notable readability with a prepossessing appearance.
Historically, Tutima has only offered its Patria models in 18-carat rose gold. The new Tutima Patria Admiral Blue is housed in a 43mm stainless steel case, immediately placing the watch within reach of a wider audience.
Highly polished surfaces abound, yet nothing appears loud. The gleaming case surfaces beautifully complement the regal hue of the dial.
Unusually, despite the watch exhibiting a high degree of formality, the fluted crown nuzzles within a crown protector. While this design feature usually appears on sports watches, it surprisingly coalesces with the rest of the watch. In addition, the fitment of a crown protector mitigates the risk of impact damage to the winding stem.
The Tutima Patria Admiral Blue is a connoisseur’s watch. Beyond its aesthetic beauty is a movement par excellence. Therefore, it is not surprising that the German firm has elected to fit the watch with an exhibition caseback.
A sense of quality pervades the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue. This is manifest with the quality of materials employed. For example, the hand-stitched blue alligator strap proffers a sumptuous tactility, typically found on costlier timepieces. Tutima may have made savings by using stainless steel instead of gold for the case but there are no other discernible economies to be found.
The gold-plated Caliber Tutima 617 is a hand-wound movement which upholds the best of watchmaking practise.
The Manufacture movement subscribes to Glashütte tradition, incorporating a three-quarter plate. This oversized bridge imbues the Caliber Tutima 617 with additional rigidity when contrasted with a conventional movement featuring several separate bridges. The three-quarter plate and balance cock are adorned with broad banding, similar in concept to Côtes de Genève motif.
Three screwed gold chatons subscribe to horological etiquette. Gleaming screws sit within polished sinks. The transmission wheel and ratchet wheel are embellished with Glashütte sunburst finishing.
The click, which engages with the teeth of the ratchet wheel, is elaborately formed. It is subject to mirror polishing (sometimes called ‘black polishing’ or ‘specular polishing’). The beauty of this type of finish is that its appearance changes depending on its relative position to light, making the surface appear white, grey or black. This is the most challenging form of polishing, usually achieved using a tin plate and diamond paste. The component is manoeuvred over this surface for extended periods in order to achieve a totally flat, blemish free surface. Mirror polishing normally appears on those watches with a five-figure price tag, hence it is surprising to see it on a watch costing €4900.
The balance cock is openworked. It features gleaming anglage, performed by hand. The adjacent edge of the three-quarter plate is, once again, bevelled by hand.
The Caliber Tutima 617 is equipped with a variable-inertia balance. Again, this is highly unusual for a watch in this price segment.
Usually, a movement is fitted with an index-adjuster (raquette). By moving the index adjuster the effective length of the hairspring is increased / decreased, altering the rate of the movement. The problem with this approach is that the hairspring is nipped, impairing its capacity to breathe concentrically which, in turn, compromises accuracy.
In the case of the Calibre Tutima 617, the rim of the balance wheel is fitted with weight screws and four adjustment screws. By loosening or tightening the adjustment screws, the moment of inertia is altered and the rate is increased / decreased. With a variable-inertia balance the hairspring breathes more concentrically, aiding precision.
Another enhancement seldom seen at this price point is the addition of a Breguet Overcoil. Abraham-Louis Breguet, arguably the greatest watchmaker of all time, conceived the idea of raising the outer coil and reducing its curvature. This feature improved the hairspring’s capacity to breathe concentrically, again aiding precision.
Hidden from view, Tutima have bevelled the spokes of the gear train wheels by hand. While this detail will never be seen by the wearer, it demonstrates the German company’s unwavering obsession with quality.
The Tutima Patria Admiral Blue is tastefully understated. Its blue dial and stainless steel case sit together in glorious concert. The allure of the watch will not wane with the onset of years, rather its beauty will endure and remain untouched by changing fashions.
One reason for this timelessness relates to the watch’s muted aesthetics. This timepiece sidesteps avant-garde and the flamboyant styling. It is a paragon of good taste.
Beyond its handsome appearance, the dial proves simple to read. Indeed, there is no ambiguity to mar interpretation. However, beyond its aesthetic prowess, there is a mechanical worthiness seldom seen within this price segment.
Mirror-polishing, impressive anglage, a three-quarter plate, a variable-inertia balance and a Breguet Overcoil are attributes seldom seen on watches costing less than €10,000. Therefore, the fact that this watch possesses these specification highlights while costing a modest €4900 is remarkable.
Beyond the hubbub near the stands of the big brands at Baselworld are some horological gems worthy of mention. I am glad that I discovered the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue and look forward to returning to the show next year, eager to see the next instalment of breathtaking novelties.
- Model: Tutima Patria Admiral Blue
- Reference: 6610-01
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; height 11.2mm; water resistance 5ATM (50 metres); sapphire crystal to the front and sapphire caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds
- Movement: Cal. Tutima 617; hand-wound movement; 20 jewels; power reserve up 65 hours
- Strap: Blue hand-stitched blue alligator strap
- Prices: €4900 (RRP as at 4.4.2019) – German price including VAT