Alongside a new dive watch (Diver X Skeleton) and a new chiming watch (the Blast Hourstriker), Ulysse Nardin just ahead of Watches & Wonders 2021 debuts UFO, a table clock that literally rocks as it displays time on three dials, all under a glass dome.
We’ll provide details about the watches in upcoming posts. Below we help you identify the new Ulysse Nardin UFO.
Teaming with Swiss clockmaker Maison L’Epée, well known in recent years for its whimsical collaborations with pioneering independent watchmaker MB&F, Ulysse Nardin has constructed UFO, a sixteen-pound, 10.3-inch tall aluminum and glass clock built with a rounded base that allows the clock to swing from side to side like mechanical waves around its axis. The UFO swings up to 60° from its axis – an amplitude of 120 degrees, with no affect on its precision.
The UFO, or unidentified floating object, is the futuristic interpretation of what Ulysse Nardin’s designers, engineers, and watchmakers think a marine chronometer should look like in 175 years, according to Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “We always look ahead,” he says. “We wondered what a marine chronometer designed in 2196 would be like.”
The clock’s imbalance and swinging motion is meant to conjure images of the perpetual movement of the ocean. Ulysse Nardin’s 175-year history, which this clock honors, includes more than a century of making award-winning marine chronometers.
Glass and dials
The clock’s ‘imbalance’ starts with a blue half-spherical aluminum base fitted with a tungsten mass. The base and glass bell are connected to a bayonet mounting system, which echoes marine chronometer construction where the top glass could be unscrewed.
Romain Montero, a 26-year-old artisan glass blower who works for the Swiss-based Verre et Quartz, a technical glass-blowing workshop near Lake Neuchâtel, creates each glass cover by hand. The process is labor-intensive, and for each cover finished, two others were attempted without success, according to Ulysse Nardin.
L’Epée requires 663 components, and plenty of time, to build each UFO, with the three trapezoidal dials being among the clock’s most complex components to construct. According to the manufacturer it takes twenty-eight hours to manufacture eight of the dials. Three are placed into the UFO, which allows the owner to display three different time zones at once, each seen from a different angle.
The three blue-hued dials face outward around the top the clockworks, which are fully visible. And among the many spectacular sights within the clock are the six massive barrels that confer an incredible year of power reserve when fully wound with forty turns of a key. Each dial has its wind-up notch, which is also used to the set the time (four notches in total, one for winding up and one for each time zone wound up using a single key).
At the top of the movement L’Epee and Ulysse Nardin have installed a dramatic slow-beat, large-diameter (49mm) brass balance wheel. The size and the leisurely 3,600 bph frequency (one per second) of the balance is meant to both soothe the viewer while also contributing to movement’s ultra-long power reserve. And to put a finer point on the clock’s meditative rate, you’ll find a dead-beat second indicator just below the balance.
Specifications: Ulysse Nardin UFO
Movement: UN-902 caliber table clock, manually wound movement displaying three time zones, hours, minutes, deadbeat second, 675 components, six barrels, extra-large oscillator (49mm),0.5 Hz /3,600 Alt/H, one-year power reserve.
Case: Aluminum and blown glass measuring 263mm (H) x 159mm. Weight: 15.8 pounds, 75 timepieces
Greubel Forsey debuts its first metal bracelet today as it adds contemporary updates to its titanium GMT Sport. The all-new, fully integrated titanium bracelet echoes the new look of the unusual elliptical bezel, complete with the high level of hand finishing you’d expect from Greubel Forsey.
You might recall that when this high-end watchmaker first showed the world the GMT Sport in 2019, the watch’s distinctive ovoid bezel attracted just as much attention as the watch’s new movement featuring such Greubel Forsey specialties as a Tourbillon 24 Seconds and eye-catching three-dimensional GMT globe.
Likewise, the new bracelet here might garner outsized attention given its premiere status for this brand. Greubel Forsey has devised a three-link bracelet finished with many of the same styles we see on the 45mm-by-15.7mm case and bezel, notably straight graining, frosting and top-tier hand-polished beveling.
Greubel Forsey notes that it opted to frost-finish the lugs to better emphasize how the case and bracelet link directly along an uninterrupted row. The somewhat darker frosting continues along both edges of the bracelet as well, underscoring the visual unity of the two components.
Functionally, the bracelet features a fine adjustment system that allows the wearer to quickly loosen or tighten the bracelet’s fit. The watch will also arrive with a blue rubber strap with text in relief and a titanium folding clasp with engraved logo.
While adding a bracelet to the GMT Sport, Greubel Forsey has also removed something: The GMT Sport’s wide, undulating bezel is now free of the raised engraved text espousing the brand’s values. Instead, the elliptical bezel, which curves gently at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock, is cleaner, sporting expert hand-finished horizontal straight graining on top and a hand-polished frame.
Thus, instead of reading words like ‘perfection’ and ‘harmonie’, the wearer can focus on the GMT Sport’s intricate, multi-dimensional dial components and displays amid the bright new blue and titanium color scheme.
Indeed, the new color scheme of this GMT Sport highlights a matte blue finish on the mainplate, bridges, globe, second time zone dial and 24-second indicator ring of the Tourbillon 24 Seconds. The color nicely contrasts with the polished components of the steel and titanium movement components.
In addition, to draw attention to new blue color scheme, Greubel Forsey has decided to skeletonize the highly visible central suspended arched bridge and the tourbillon bridge.
The blue color splashes across the multi-level dial plates, replacing the dark grey hue of the previous GMT Sport. Between the blue plates wearers can check the time via a central hours and minutes display while eyeing a second time zone at 10 o’clock, a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock and the GMT rotating terrestrial globe at 8 o’clock.
The GMT globe, first seen in 2011 and used within the GMT Black in 2015, displays the second time zone (as seen on the auxiliary dial just above at 10 o’clock). When the wearer combines this with the globe’s universal time display, he or she can read the current time anywhere in the world. And of course a wearer can enjoy the whirling Tourbillon 24 Secondes, positioned between 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock, which contributes to the watch’s high level of precision.
Greubel Forsey will make the new GMT Sport with the new titanium bracelet in a limited edition of thirty-three units. The price has not yet been announced, though the previous GMT Sport was priced at $500,000.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Sport
Features: In titanium, blue movement, limited edition hand-wound movement with three patents, GMT, 2nd time zone indication, rotating globe with universal time and day-and-night, universal time on 24 time zones, summer and wintertime indication, cities observing summer time, 24-second tourbillon, hours and minutes, small seconds, power-reserve indictor.
Movement: Greubel Forsey manual-wind caliber with 63 domed jewels in gold chatons, Tourbillon inclined at a 25° angle 1 rotation in 24 seconds, 72-hour power reserve, 21,600 bph,
Case: 45mm (with bezel) by 17.8mm (with crystals) titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal, three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining, 100-meter water resistance. O back is a sapphire disc displaying city names surrounded by 2 rings
Bracelet: New three-row metal bracelet in titanium, folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment, engraved GF logo. Also: rubber with text in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo.
Ten years after debuting its first Legacy Machine, ground-breaking independent watchmaker MB&F debuts LMX, a new dual-dial Legacy Machine that echoes the premiere Legacy Machine, but with new dial angles, a dual-display power reserve indicator and updated precision.
Like the first MB&F Legacy Machine, the new LMX also features two white lacquer dials displaying hours and minutes in two different time zones. But where those dials were flat on that first model, the two white dials on the new LMX are tilted at an angle, much like dials we’ve seen on the MB&F LM Flying T and LM Thunderdome. This meant MB&F needed to add conical gearing to the movement in order to transfer the energy from the horizontal movement to the tilted dials.
Where the first Legacy Machine featured a somewhat traditional dial plate, the new LMX shows off its battle-axe-shaped escapement bridge and components of the gear train. Specifically, MB&F exposes three large wheels, namely the two gears that rotate when setting each dial, plus the gear at 6 o’clock, which is the common seconds wheel.
New power indicator
Also new is a much more complex power reserve indicator. While the first Legacy Machine itself broke new ground with a three-dimensional power reserve display, the LMX offers a nod to that debut with a three-dimensional, hemispherical display that is also customizable.
The wearer can select between two modes of counting down the power reserve. MB&F places two markers on opposite sides of the hemisphere. One features a scale numbered from one day to seven days, and the other scale shows the days of the week.
The new display, likely the first of its kind on a wristwatch, allows wearers to choose their preferred mode of power-reserve indication.
Finally, MB&F has built a new balance wheel for the LMX. The exposed balance, hanging from arched titanium bridges, is for many the primary characteristic of the first Legacy Machine and is repeated throughout the decade-long Legacy Machine lineage. MB&F has built a new balance wheel measuring 13.4mm in diameter with inertia blocks rather than more traditional screwed balances. MB&F explains that this choice “offers greater accuracy to the watchmaker in regulating the heart of LMX.”
MB&F is offering the new LMX in two limited launch editions:
– Eighteen pieces in red gold with black NAC treatment on plates and bridges ($128,000);
– Thirty-three pieces in titanium with green CVD treatment on plates and bridges ($112,000).
Specifications: MB&F LMX
Movement: MB&F three-dimensional manual winding with three mainspring barrels. Power reserve of 7 days (168 hours), new 13.4mm balance wheel with inertia blocks floating above the movement. Balance spring is traditional Breguet curve terminating in mobile stud holder; balance frequency is 18,000bph (2.5Hz), gold chatons with diamond countersinks, superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings; polished arms of the straight bridges exposed on the dial plate, manually finished to a curved “bercé” profile on their upper surfaces.
Dial: Completely independent dual time zones displayed on two dials. Unique hemispherical power reserve with choice of weekday or 7-day indication; rotates to adjust the preferred power reserve indication. Left crown at 10 o’clock for setting time of left dial; right crown at 2 o’clock for setting time of right dial and winding.
Case: 44 mm wide x 21.4 mm in two launch editions: 18-karat 5N+ red gold case limited to 18 pieces or grade-5 titanium case limited to 33 pieces. High domed sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on both sides.
Strap: Black hand-stitched alligator strap with 5N+ gold folding buckle for red gold version, and grey hand-stitched alligator strap with titanium folding buckle for titanium edition.
With this week’s debut, the DB28XP Meteorite, De Bethune has underscored its fascination – and expertise – at using material hewn from meteorites as watch dials.
The independent watchmaker has placed the extraterrestrial material into several of its watches over the years, including as the dial material for the brand’s Dream Watch 5 Meteorite and on the DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite. This latest example highlights the eye-catching dial by framing it with the well-known ‘floating lug’ De Bethune DB28 case, now dramatically finished in matte black zirconium.
De Bethune differentiates its meteorite dials from others by heating the space-borne slice, a process that results in a spectacular blue shade while also enhancing the material’s random geometrical crosshatched patterns.
As the newest example of this technique, the dial on the new DB28XP Meteorite mimics its own celestial origins, complete with varying shades of blue, black and even purple. De Bethune takes full advantage of the scene by adding small white gold pins that appear as stars and planets amid the celestial void.
With this ‘sky map’ in mind, De Bethune will allow each DB28XP Meteorite owner to choose to have the brand customize their watch’s dial by specifying a constellation at a specific date, time and place.
Each customized dial will be placed within the DB28XP case, which here remains 43mm in diameter with its familiar round, ultra-thin crown at 12 o’clock, its hunter-type back and, of course, those dramatic architectural lugs.
The dial’s hour circle echoes the darkened case and is topped by an almost hidden De Bethune signature at 12 o’clock. The watch’s pink gold hands are identical to those on the De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky dial.
With distinctively terrestrial origins, De Bethune’s own Caliber DB2115v7 represents its own mechanical universe. The manual-wind caliber, with its balance visible at the 6 o’clock position, is built with De Bethune’s well-known, award-winning technical proficiency.
Among those proprietary techniques: the use of a titanium balance with white gold weights placed around the rim, a silicon balance wheel, an in-house balance spring with a flat terminal curve and self-regulating twin barrels that ensure six days of power reserve.
Price: $138,000. De Bethune will make ten examples of the new DB28XP Meteorite.
Two years after debuting the first Skeleton X watch, Ulysse Nardin adds diamonds to the distinctive open-worked, manual-wind design to create two Skeleton X Sparkling watches. Perhaps not by coincidence, the 42mm models in pink gold and in titanium have been released just ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Two different metals delineate the new Skeleton X Sparkling collection. One model is made with a white titanium case and with mother-of-pearl decoration on the barrel, all held together with a white alligator strap. Ulysse Nardin makes the second offering with a pink gold case with a black PVD brass barrel cover and a black alligator strap.
Diamonds and silicon
Ulysse Nardin creates the new sparkle here by setting eighty diamonds on the bezel and adding another sixty-nine diamonds to the dial above the Caliber UN-371 manual-wind movement. Despite the eye-catching gleam of these gems, the large X shape that characterizes this collection, created with clever placement of hour markers and, is quite evident… and perhaps enhanced in this newest guise.
The open view of the airy caliber is the primary attraction of the entire Skeleton X collection, despite the new sparkle. A rectangular bridge nicely frames open gearing while the UN-371’s extra-wide blue or black balance wheel (in silicon) vibrates nearby.
At the top of the watch Ulysse Nardin places a decorated barrel cap (mother-of-pearl for the titanium model and black PVD in the gold model).When the spring inside the caliber is fully wound, the UN-371 offers a terrific 96-hour power reserve. And while Ulysse Nardin did not provide a verifying photo, the watch’s power reserve is indicated on the back of the watch.
With Bulgari’s contemporary style clearly evident throughout its record-setting Octo Finissimo collection, the Italian-Swiss watchmaker’s modernist approach to timepiece design is hardly in doubt. This week, Bulgari underscored that approach beyond its ultra-thin family with the new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon, a surprising cutting-edge addition to its Haute Horlogerie collection.
The new watch represents an extension of Bulgari’s well-known mastery of the chiming watch, seeded to a large degree twenty years ago years ago when it purchased Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth, two horological ateliers well versed in complicated watchmaking. That deep knowledge, nurtured and enhanced within Bulgari’s workshops over the years, is the underpinning of the brand’s rise to prominence within the world of haute horology.
The new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon features a three-hammer chime combined with a tourbillon regulator, with both complex technical creations housed in a 44mm black DLC-coated titanium case.
In contrast to the brand’s Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie from a few years back, this newest chiming model betrays few classical design elements on its dial. Rather than a solid dial with markers and numerals, the wearer sees a black titanium grid open to show the watch’s tourbillon and its chimes in action.
And while the three hammers and gongs appear traditional in shape and function, their placement on the dial side is still fairly unusual among chiming watches.
Bulgari says it has hollowed out the titanium case in order to reduce the amount of metal between the inside and the outside, thus enhancing the transmission of sound. The new case design includes three openings, each of which corresponds to a chime.
As Bulgari explains, “Chimes are fixed directly on to the case body for most effective transmission of sound and the case is crafted in titanium to ensure the clearest possible diffusion of sound. The back is also hollowed and revamped with a meticulously crafted titanium grid that protect this resonance zone and allow sound to be transmitted to the outside.”
Bulgari’s new, manually wound Caliber BVL428, which includes 432 components, features hand crafted gongs that Bulgari artisans harden at high temperatures, which gives the metal a bright sound. The melody of the Carillon plays the note C for the hours, the mid-re-C notes in sequence for the quarters, and the mid note for the minutes.
Listening the Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon digitally, and not in person, is pleasing, even uplifting. Given Bulgari’s history of making exceptional chiming watches, I strongly suspect a live performance of the chime will live up to the brand’s grand descriptions.
Bulgari has equipped the movement with one classical barrel ensuring a power reserve of at least seventy-five hours for the movement at full charge. The functioning of the sound mechanism is ensured by a spring that the watchmaker has placed into a barrel-shaped container drilled directly in the bridge.
The watch comes on a black alligator leather strap with a three-blade folding clasp treated with DLC Titanium. Bulgari will offer the Octo Roma Carillon available as a limited edition of fifteen, with each piece engraved individually on the crown. Price: $259,000.
Specifications: Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon
Movement: Mechanical manufacture caliber BVL428 with manual winding, minute repeater, 3-hammer carillon with Westminster chime, tourbillon and a power reserve indicator; 75-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph, skeletonized movement with bridges in black DLC coated titanium (8.35mm thick);
Case: 44mm black DLC-coated titanium with matte finish; open-worked titanium middle-case, specially conceived to enhance sound performances; white gold crown, set with a black ceramic insert; white gold push button to activate the chime.
Dial: Black DLC-coated titanium grid, exposing tourbillon and chiming components.
Strap: Black rubberized alligator leather with black DLC coated titanium 3-blade folding buckle.
Price: $259,000. Limited edition of fifteen pieces.
Arnold & Son offers a spectacular eight-piece limited edition of its Perpetual Moon watch in celebration of the traditional Chinese calendar New Year. As the Year of the Ox (or Buffalo) begins on February 12, the 42mm red gold Perpetual Moon Year of the Ox watch displays its extra-large mother-of-pearl moon at the top of its dial shining on an ox with large horns standing at 6 o’clock.
The ox appears as a miniature 18-karat gold sculpture placed in front of several multi-story pagodas, hand-painted with gold powder. Arnold & Son has generously painted the moon and the pagoda windows with SuperLuminova. Thus, in a dark setting the wearer views a pleasing, miniature evening scene.
In its unusually large aperture, the watch’s moon disc turns as the moon progresses from new to full and back each month. During the day, the moon appears nearly white amid hand-painted constellations, nicely contrasting with the dial’s textured and speckled black background.
Arnold & Son creates that darkness with specular hematite, a mineral the company laminates and layers to heighten its natural glossy appearance. The hematite’s iron composition creates iron, which appear as silvery flakes in a black mass.
Arnold & Son has also incorporated those glittering specks into the double-sided alligator-skin strap. On the strap’s outer face you’ll see them sparkle, embellished with platinum-thread stitching.
The La Chaux-de-Fonds-based manufacture fits the watch with its own Caliber A&S1512, a single-barrel manual-wind movement with an oscillation frequency of 3 Hz, offering an outstanding ninety-hour power reserve. Arnold & Son says that the caliber’s moon-phase display and rotation will remain accurate for 122 years before deviating by one day from the actual appearance of the moon in the night-sky.
De Bethune last week launched the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon, a two-sided watch with a contemporary tourbillon dial that the wearer can flip to show a classical time-only dial.
Like other two-sided watches, the new De Bethune watch means the wearer can choose to expose one of two different dials on his or her wrist.
One side of the 42.8mm titanium watch displays the contemporary design with multi-level elements and delta-shaped bridge for which De Bethune is identified. This dial features the brand’s distinctive central hours and minutes hands and its high-speed tourbillon and a thirty-second indication. Here however, De Bethune altered its deltoid-shaped bridge just a bit to make it perfectly symmetrical, a design meant to create a stark sense of harmony.
On the other side of the DB Kind of Two De Bethune offers a more classical three-hand, time-only hand-guilloché dial, complete with Arabic numerals collectors might recognize from the brand’s DB8 and DB10. Note that the seconds indication on this side is centrally based, unlike the tourbillon-based seconds indication at the 6 o’clock position on the other side.
De Bethune notes that two-dial watches and clocks have a long history, starting with multi-face tower clocks and extending to similarly equipped table clocks. More recently, we’re familiar with the famed dual-dial Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Serious collectors also wear certain two-faced watches from Bovet, Cartier and others.
To devise the new dual-dial watch, De Bethune had to re-design its famed floating lug case to allow the flip-over case to pivot easily, rotate on its central axis and then to click into place securely. This operation is a simple one because the brand equipped each side of the case with a clever rotating mechanism made up of twenty-eight steel and titanium components.
Equally important is the case’s middle section, which swivels naturally and frames the case and the crown. That crown lands gracefully at either 6 o’clock or 12 o’clock, depending on which side of the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon the wearer chooses to view.
Inside the watch De Bethune’s Caliber DB2579 features patented technical flourishes well known to De Bethune devotees. These include a titanium balance with white gold inserts (optimized for temperature differences and air penetration) and a self-regulating twin barrel. For the tourbillon, De Bethune utilizes the ultra-light, 30-second titanium design it first debuted in 2008.
Specifications: De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon
Movement: Manual-wind Caliber DB2579 with five-day power reserve, self-regulating twin barrel (De Bethune Innovation, 2004), titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimized for temperature differences and air penetration (De Bethune Patent, 2016), balance-spring with flat terminal curve (De Bethune Patent, 2006), silicon escape wheel, and ultra-light tourbillon in titanium. 36,000 vibrations per hour. Finishing includes polished and chamfered barrel bridge with shot-blasted stages, polished and chamfered titanium minute bridge with microlight decoration and hand-snailed barrels.
Contemporary single-sided display: hand-polished and blued titanium for hours and minutes with polished inserts, ultra-light De Bethune 30’’ tourbillon in titanium. Hour ring and 30” polished titanium dial with shot-blasted stages, blued polished titanium hour-markers, silvered and relief minute dial.
Classic reverse side display: Hand-polished and blued titanium for hours, minutes and seconds. Dial silvered and relief, with convex levels and guilloché central part.
Case: 42.8mm by 9.5mm titanium with crown at noon on the front, at 6 o’clock on the back, and integrated into the case. Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs (De Bethune Patent, 2006). Case turning mechanism that can be clearly positioned on the front or back. Water resistance to 30 meters.
Omega kicks off the New Year with a gift to legions of Speedmaster fans. The watchmaker this week releases a Speedmaster Moonwatch with a new caliber, new bracelet and clasp, a newly detailed minute track and a choice of Hesalite glass or sapphire crystal material (for new steel-cased models).
Still very much the Speedmaster Moonwatch fans have come to revere since its qualification by NASA for manned space missions in 1965 and its trip to the moon in 1969, the new generation Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is now equipped with co-axial, manual-wind caliber 3861. Omega has used the caliber previously only in a few limited edition Speedmasters.
First seen in 2019, the co-axial caliber 3861, with its silicon balance spring, will now protect the Moonwatch from extreme magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. This is a much higher level of protection than that offered by the caliber 1861 Omega utilized for decades to power its Speedmaster Moonwatches.
In addition, Omega now ensures that the entire watch is certified as a Master Chronometer, the brand’s own high-level specification that promises accuracy to five seconds per day.
On this update, Speedmaster fans will recognize the historical Speedmaster’s asymmetrical case, stepped dial and double bevel caseback. Closer inspection reveals the dot over 90 and a dot diagonal to 70 on the anodized aluminum bezel ring, both details expected by Speedmaster purists. Fans will however note a difference within the minute track around the dial, which is now split by three divisions, as opposed to the five divisions used on previous models.
Around the wrist, Omega has added a new five-link brushed steel bracelet and a new Omega clasp (with new oval pusher) set with a polished brand logo on a satin-finished cover. You might have seen this bracelet previously on the recent Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watch.
In a 42mm steel case, Omega offers the new watch with either a Hesalite crystal ($5,950 for a strap and $6,300 on a bracelet) or with a sapphire crystal and clear caseback ($7,150 on a bracelet and $6,800 on a strap). A 42mm Sedna gold model ($34,800 on a gold bracelet and $24,600 on a strap) and a Canopus white gold model with silver dial ($45,300 on a bracelet and $30,400 on a strap) are also available.
The Glashütte-based maker of acclaimed pilot watches spreads its wings with new models that update its vintage-inspired Grand Flieger and M2 collections.
The town of Glashütte is renowned for its history as the center of German watchmaking. While that history was interrupted for decades between and following two world wars, when the village’s deep horological knowledge base dispersed to points West – or to extinction – Glashütte has again become the focus of the region’s watchmaking activity.
After being founded in Glashütte in 1927, Tutima re-joined the former East German town in 2011, fully sixty-five years after it was forced to move away. During those years away, Tutima intensely developed a focus on pilot’s watches, starting with the now-famed 1941 pilot’s chronographs known for their fluted steel case, large crown, red reference marker and, most critically, their flyback function, an unusual feature at the time.
It was that wartime aviation design that propelled Tutima to fame among aviators and, eventually, pilot watch enthusiasts. Tutima’s Grand Flieger collection today directly references that 1941 design.
Much later, in 1985, Tutima received a contract from the German army to build a new military watch with particularly stringent specifications for accuracy, shock resistance, pressure resistance and legibility. Answering that request, Tutima developed the Military Chronograph 798, known as the NATO Chronograph, which in its modern guise within the current Tutima M2 collection remains standard equipment for German military pilots.
GRAND FLIEGER AIRPORT
Today, Tutima references the milestone pilot watch from 1941 within its Grand Flieger collection. The line now includes three-hand models as well as more traditional chronographs. The Tutima Grand Flieger Classic, for example, sports its vintage look with military inspired styling, including the historical fluted bezel. Tutima has modernized the pilot watches to perform according to current, more stringent, technical standards. These models at 43mm in diameter are larger than the original Flieger deigns from the 1940s, and their updated automatic movements are now fully visible through the transparent caseback.
Within its Grand Flieger collection, the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport is a dressier option that maintains the line’s overall aviation feel, but with a smooth rotating bezel with 60-minute markers rather than a fluted bezel. The crown remains of the screw-in variety, and all timepieces in the Grand Flieger line are water-resistant to 200 meters.
Just a few months ago, Tutima expanded the Grand Flieger Airport collection with a new chronograph and a new three-handed model, both sporting an eye-catching new ceramic bezel. Tutima has now added a contemporary touch to the collection by incorporating an ultra-hard scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that is colored to match the dial.
To launch the newer look, Tutima offers a dégradé ‘military’ green dial and a classic blue hue, both color-coordinated with the dial and strap. While black dials are traditional for pilot watch purists, these newer Grand Flieger Airport debuts offer a contemporary option for pilot watch enthusiasts.
“Tutima, a brand with a strong historic background creating true pilots’ watches, is a purist in regard to the design of these watches. Our goal is to deliver some of the most beautiful yet highly legible dials in this segment of the market,” explains Tutima USA President Gustavo Calzadilla. “The use of green and blue dials in the new Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph and Automatic models challenged us to introduce color options that are fun and contemporary but still respect the legibility needs and aesthetics traditions of a true pilot’s watch.”
The strap’s design extends those options. It’s made from grey Cordura textile and secured by a stainless steel deployant clasp. Both models, cased in 43mm steel, are also available with a steel bracelet.
Inside each three-hand watch Tutima fits its reliable ETA-based automatic Caliber 330, with a gold seal on its rotor. Within the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport chronograph, the ETA-Valjoux-based Caliber 310 powers the counters (12 elapsed hours, 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes) plus the day/date display. The chronograph’s hour display is particularly easy to read with red numerals circling the subdial. Prices: Chronograph: $3,900 (on a strap) and $4,300 (on steel bracelet). Three-hand: $2,500 (on strap) and $2,900 (on steel bracelet.)
As the heir to the NATO Chronograph favored by German military pilots since its debut in 1984, the Tutima M2 collection emphasizes strong legibility, reliability, enhanced water resistance, pressure-resistance for use to 15,000 meters above sea level, and shock resistance rated to protect its movement from acceleration up to 7G in all directions.
The M2 Coastline Chronograph, the newest watch within Tutima’s M2 collection, echoes the curved case of the famed 1980s NATO models. Its large push buttons are integrated into the rounded case, which Tutima pressure tests to 200 meters of water resistance. In line with the entire M2 collection, the M2 Coastline Chronograph case is made of satin- brushed, ultra-light titanium with a screwed back, which is decorated with a wind rose. The titanium push buttons are additionally black PVD coated and finished with a non-slip surface.
“The Tutima M2 is the new generation of our original NATO Chronograph, and is considered the most rugged, utilitarian professional chronograph in the market,” adds Calzadilla. “The new M2 Coastline Chronograph introduces a new alternative within this collection, a smaller case diameter with a new movement at a price point not available before in the M2 lineup. All without sacrificing the Tutima’s high-quality standards.”
Inside this newest member of the M2 family Tutima places the ETA-based automatic Tutima Caliber 310 with 48-hour power reserve, date display, hour-, minute- and small seconds hand. The chronograph tallies up to sixty elapsed seconds, thirty elapsed minutes and twelve elapsed hours.
The M2 Coastal Chronograph is available with titanium bracelet or, optionally with a strap of leather, rubber/leather or rubber/Cordura.
Tutima also makes a three-hand, day-date version of the M2 Coastal Chronograph.
Like the chronograph, this watch also measures 43mm in diameter and is cased in brushed titanium. Inside Tutima places automatic caliber T330, an ETA-based automatic movement upgraded by Tutima.
Because the bracelet version is also fitted with the same handsome titanium linked bracelet, the all-titanium option for this watch wears lighter than the chronograph, but offers a similar easy-to-read dial and clear link to its historical predecessors. As Tutima professes: “Nothing detracts from this watch’s operational readiness. Protruding parts have been deliberately avoided – another time-honored trait of the high- performance M2 line.”
Prices for the Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph collection start at $3,300 for the blue-dialed model with a leather strap. The three-hand Tutima M2 Coastline with day-date indicator is priced at $1,950 for the titanium-bracelet model and $1,850 for the leather-strapped editions.
Calzadilla notes that since its origins in 1927, Tutima’s philosophy has been to produce high quality timepieces of great value.
“While in recent years the brand has embarked on manufacturing in-house movements, we have kept our promise and commitment to always providing options with a strong value driven proposition. With timepieces starting at $1,600 today, newcomers to the brand can access a beautiful timepiece with German engineering from a company with tradition, expertise and an outstanding track record for designing and manufacturing trusted professional watches.”