Tutima, founded in Glashütte, Germany, in 1927, celebrates its 90th anniversary with a new version of the Tutima Fliegerchronograph made in the 1940s. At the time, the Fliegerchronograph was a landmark piece, perhaps the first German-made flyback chronograph. The flyback function was given the name Tempostopp at the time, and this has been used for the new watch. The 2017 Tutima Tempostopp has a new movement entirely developed and built by Tutima, Calibre T659. No drawings of the original Urofa 459 calibre could be found and so the T659 was redesigned from scratch.
Pink gold case
The watch is a beautiful piece, in a pink gold Patria case 43 mm in diameter and 12.95 mm thick. The dial is classical and functional, with a complete fractional seconds scale on the outer chapter ring, a dial with subtly differentiated levels, and two subdials, one for 30 chronograph minutes, one for continuous seconds. As befits a celebration piece, it is far more decorative than the 1940s original, which perhaps is a better expression of its pilot’s watch use at the time. Comparing the original with the new Tutima Tempostopp shows that the characteristic pilot’s watch features have been removed, such as the black dial, and cathedral-type hands with luminescent paint. Personally I think that there would be room to make a new version of the Fliegerchronograph, with its distinctive fluted rotating bezel that has a red marker that would allow additional timing or countdown readings.
The “Tempostopp” flyback function enables the chronograph to be instantaneously restarted while it is running with just one press of the 4 o’clock pusher. Another significant feature of the new movement is that the chronograph minute counter jumps instantaneously at the end of each minute. This makes taking readings easier.
Hand-finished movement parts
The T659 movement is lovely to observe through the sapphire caseback. The chronograph functions are operated by means of a column wheel, with horizontal clutch. The balance runs at 21,600 vibrations per hour, 3 Hertz, and the manually-wound mainspring provides a power reserve of 65 hours. Movement decoration is excellent throughout, with many gold-plated parts, hand-polished bevels and pins, and Glashütte stripes on steel parts. In total it comprises 236 components.
Price and reference
The Tutima Tempostopp is reference 6650-01, a limited edition of 90 pieces. Each costs €28,600.
In the photo below, a period photo of the Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik (UROFA). This, along with the Uhrenfabrik Glashütte, was where the brand made its watches up until the end of the Second World War when the city was bombed. Tutima was originally the name reserved for the marque’s finest watches.
Below, Dr. Ernst Kurtz, pioneer of Glashütte watchmaking and director of Urofa and the Uhrenfabrik Glashütte.