The Tutima Sky features a day-date display, vivid dial hues and 70s themed design codes. As Angus Davies explains, this watch may be modestly priced but the quality of its construction is readily discernible.
Located in the German watchmaking capital of Glashütte, Tutima operates from a former railway maintenance depot. The building was lovingly restored over a three year period and now provides a pristine environment suitable for making fine watches.
Tutima has long been associated with the making of pilots’ watches, a brand speciality dating back to 1941 with the advent of the legendary Flieger Chronograph. Over the years, the brand has made numerous pilots’ watches including the Tutima Military Chronograph ref. 798 which was voted the official watch of NATO in 1984.
To coincide with the opening of the firm’s new Manufactory, Tutima released the Hommage Minute Repeater. Considered one of the most difficult complications to realise, this model showcased the German firm’s technical virtuosity. Moreover, it provided a prelude to the brand’s Patria family, a range of models encompassing sublime high-end finishing.
The Saxon One range includes both chronographs and day-date options as well as an array of ladies’ models. The distinctive styling of each model fuses sporty aesthetics with elegant styling. Indeed, these are watches that look perfectly at ease whether paired with casual or formal attire.
In 2019, Tutima unveiled its Sky model. Inspired by watches of the 1970s, this day-date watch is offered in four dial colours, grey, blue, green and red. Recently, I was offered the chance to wear a Tutima Sky model of my choice and I plumped for the unusual red dial version, a shade seldom seen elsewhere in watchmaking.
As previously mentioned, my chosen model was supplied with a red degradé dial, the central area of which appears slightly pink in some light conditions and pale burgundy at other times. Near the periphery, the pink / red tones assume a darker shade, ultimately transitioning to black. This graduated shading delivers much visual interest and endows the dial with a sense of luxury.
The dauphine-style hour and minute hands, lined with luminescent fill, converse with trapezoidal batons. A minuterie frames the dialscape and incorporates luminescent dots adjacent each index.
Two apertures, revealing the day and date, are positioned adjacent the crown. When advancing the day display, the disc flits between English and German, however, this is only evident at the setting phase. A supremely slender central sweep seconds hand kisses the minuterie and proves effortlessly simple to read.
Interestingly, despite the flamboyance of the chosen dial hue, the Tutima Sky has a ‘dressy’ appearance. Usually, watches that subscribe to such formality eschew luminescent details, but, having worn this watch for 10 days, I found the nocturnal gleam to be very useful.
Measuring 41mm in diameter, the stainless steel case should suit most wrists. With a height of 13mm, the watch could never be described as ultra-thin, however, I never found it to be cumbersome and appreciated its ability to nuzzle beneath the cuff of a shirt.
Every facet of the case is highly polished, save for the caseback which combines brushed and frosted elements. Sometimes when a brand presents each surface in a highly polished, gleaming form, a watch can appear a tad ostentatious. Thankfully, I never felt this when wearing the Sky.
The crown has a generously sized fluted grip, aiding manipulation and its vertical flank is adorned with the brand’s logo.
The Milanese bracelet is overtly retro. Looking back at watches of the 1970s, there were two styles of bracelet that I never liked, expansion bracelets and Milanese bracelets. The reason being that both of these bracelets had a knack of trapping wrist hairs, torturing my hirsute arms. Thankfully, I never suffered any pain when wearing the Tutima Sky. It would appear that the German brand has conceived a mesh design that is kind to hairy wrists.
Furthermore, I found the Milanese bracelet to be supremely flexible, enveloping the wrist comfortably. The folding clasp performed perfectly, proving simple to open, courtesy of two push pieces, while at the same time the watch always felt steadfastly affixed to my wrist.
The model is fitted with an exhibition caseback affording views of the self-winding movement within.
The Tutima Sky is equipped with the automatic Calibre 330. This movement employs an ETA base but with some personalisation by the German brand. The most obvious example of this is the oscillating weight which incorporates the brand’s ’18-carat gold seal’. In addition, the Calibre 330 features polished screws.
The movement is regulated with an index adjuster which alters the effective length of the hairspring. Assuming the mainspring is fully wound, the watch will run autonomously for 38 hours. The Calibre 330 is fitted with 25 jewels.
Dial colours are very much a matter of personal taste. Often brands ‘play it safe’, favouring popular choices such as white, black and, increasingly, blue. When a watch firm ventures off-piste and embraces unusual shades, the risk of commercial disaster is greater. With this in mind, I applaud Tutima for its courage, daring to employ hitherto rare dial colours. Personally, I adore the red degradé option. Moreover, the dial shade, hands and indexes deliver a sumptuous appearance that would befit a far costlier model.
Beyond the dial’s aesthetic charms, it is eminently legible. Where some dials can prove busy and confusing, the Tutima Sky’s display converses clearly with the wearer.
The case is interesting for many reasons. The style of the case and bracelet ensemble evokes thoughts of the 1970s, however, its size, measuring 41mm in diameter, is consistent with modern-day tastes. While the case is suffused with gleaming surfaces, it never feels outré or excessive. The exhibition caseback indulges curious eyes, allowing site of the automatic movement.
In the brand’s literature, it refers to a ‘domed’ sapphire crystal, however, it is not to be confused with the glass box variety. Quite the contrary, the sapphire crystal on the Tutima Sky is only slightly cambered, granting distortion-free views of the dial.
The Milanese bracelet was a revelation. I freely admit I have never been a fan of this style of bracelet for the aforementioned reasons. Nevertheless, with Tutima’s version of this bracelet, my preconceptions have been overturned.
The Tutima Sky has a recommended retail price of £1290 (RRP as at 4.9.2020). While Tutima makes costlier models which proffer a higher level of refinement, this model proves remarkable for delivering much for a comparatively modest sum. Each touchpoint rewards the fingertips with a sense of quality. The dial, case and bracelet are beautifully executed. Furthermore, with its reliable automatic movement, this model promises years of faithful service.
Quite simply, Tutima invites prospective wearers to be nostalgic and have fun with colour while enjoying a serious piece of German watchmaking.
- Model: Tutima Sky
- Reference: 6105-26
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 41 mm; height 13 mm; water resistance 10 ATM (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and exhibition case back
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; day; date
- Movement: Calibre 330; self-winding movement; 25 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
- Strap: Steel Milanese bracelet with steel folding clasp
- Price: £1290 (RRP as at 4.9.2020)