Tutima Glashuette Watches
The history of Tutima watches and Glashütte is closely connected. The latter developed as a base for the German watch industry in 1845. Almost a century later, in 1927, Tutima rose from the ashes of a bankrupt Deutsche Präzisions-Uhrenfabrik (DPUG). Through the war, Tutima Glashütte evolved beyond pocket watches and made a name for itself by manufacturing precision-driven wristwatches for the German military and air force pilots.
Over the years, Tutima Glashütte has concentrated on mechanical watches with exceptional complications and has stayed competitive even during the quartz influx. There was a time when very few people outside the military circles could even catch a glimpse of Tutima watches, yet nowadays Tutima watches are more accessible to all, starting to catch the attention of watch lovers. A combination of Tutima Glashütte’s heritage and precise timekeeping skills makes all of their watches, from the Tutima Tempostopp to the Sky models, collectibles.
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History of Tutima Glashutte
The Saga Began in 1927
In 1927, Deutsche Präzisionsuhren Fabrik Glashüttee GmbH, a manufacturer of precision pocket watches went bankrupt, and two companies, Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG and Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG were founded. Dr. Ernst Kurtz was the Chairman and Managing director for both. He observed that the future of timekeeping was no longer in pocket watches, but in wristwatches. With the help of a few Swiss watchmakers, Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG prepared the raw movements for timepieces while Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG concentrated on producing finished watches for men.
Tutima Watches and the War
The first watches by Tutima Glashütte were designed for drivers and pilots who needed to tell time without having to take a pocket watch out of their pockets. In 1939, Tutima Glashütte began developing what would become one of the most famous Glashütte watches - the Reich’s air force watch, or the original Tutima Glashütte pilot’s chronograph. Now, a good pilot’s watch should be more than accurate in terms of timekeeping, but should also be able to withstand stress, shock, high acceleration, and so on. Tutima Glashütte achieved that with Caliber 59, the first German chronograph with flyback functionality. Attention to detail and exceptionally high-quality standards balanced by superior technology and craftsmanship made Tutima watches a name to be reckoned with. From 1941 to 1945, Tutima was the official watch of the German Reich air force pilots.
The Move to Ganderkesee and Return to Glashütte
In 1944, the Tutima factory was destroyed in an air raid, but Dr. Kurtz and a few employees were able to make a new start in Ganderkesee, West Germany. The name Tutima was reactivated a few years later. In the 1960s, Dieter Delecate reorganized the company as Tutima Uhren GmbH. While quartz mechanisms were becoming popular in the East, Tutima persevered with their complicated mechanical movements, and in 1985, the Military Chronograph 798 was born. The Military Chronograph 798 watch has earned its place as the standard issue for German military pilots ever since. Encouraged by the renaissance of mechanical watches in the 1980s, Tutima re-launched the original 1941 pilot’s watch with a new Valjoux 7760 caliber.
Germany’s reunification in 1989 triggered Tutima’s move back to Glashütte. Since the company was well established in Ganderkesee, the move was gradual. It was not until 2008 that the move would be completed. Tutima was instrumental in helping Glashütte build back its reputation as the German capital of watchmaking. In fact, Tutima was the first company to launch a minute repeater that was designed, developed and produced in Glashütte. Today, Tutima Glashütte caters not only to the German military, but also produces a line of dress watches and sport watches for men.
Priceless Tutima Watches and Notable Models
Tutima Glashütte watches are loved by watch collectors around the globe. The fact that most of their early watches were available only to men in the military has made them even more hard to purchase. Even today, many of their watch series are still produced in limited editions. To name a few, a rare, early nickeled brass Tutima pilot’s flyback chronograph wristwatch was sold for almost $6,000 at an auction in 2016.
The Tutima Tempostopp dress watch was introduced at Baselworld 2017 after 3 years of research and development. This is by far one of the most well-known models from the Tutima range and one of the most famous watches to be made in Glashütte’s history. The watch boasts Caliber T659 movement housed in a rose gold case and a transparent case back. All the components of this caliber have been conceived in Glashütte, where they are also manufactured and finished. The structure of this watch bears a striking resemblance to the 1940’s pilot watch that the brand first became famous for. It features a chronograph with additive stopping, jumping counter for up to 30 elapsed-minutes, flyback function and 65-hour power reserve.
The Tutima Hommage is considered as the Queen of complications. In 2013, it won the Couture Time Award in the USA. The watch was developed to honor the legacy of Tutima and Dr. Kurtz. At the time of its introduction, it was the first minute repeater to go through all the stages from conception to finishing in Glashütte. One of the features that give the watch its exclusive edge is its precise acoustic time signal. When activated, 2 gongs produce acoustic signals that relay time with minute level precision. It uses the Cal Tutima 800 movement housed in a choice of 18kt rose gold and white gold cases. Some watches have a skeleton dial in addition to the transparent case back that makes the dress watch’s inner workings visible.
Tutima Grand Flieger
When it comes to owning a luxury sports watch, there’s nothing that compares to the Grand Flieger. The current edition draws inspiration from the 1940’s pilot chronograph. It retains the classic design language with a round stainless steel case, rotatable bezel and reference markers. Luminous hands, a larger dial, a water-resistant capability of up to 20 atm and an automatic movement make the watch apt for the present era. There are three ranges in this collection; the Grand Flieger Classic, Grand Flieger Airport and Flieger Automatic. Chronograph features vary amongst the models as do the dial and strap colors.
Other notable collections currently available with Tutima Glashütte include the Patria, M2, Saxon One and Sky. Some are ideal for formal black tie events, while others flaunt a more outdoors look. It does not matter which collection you go for, every Tutima watch boasts durability and exceptional timekeeping. It is a combination of these features and the company’s heritage that makes every model a collector’s delight. These watches not only just last for a lifetime, but also get passed down as family heirlooms.