The New Titoni Airmaster Models
A more utilitarian, legible tool-watch design brings Titoni's Airmaster one step closer to its name.
Founded by Fritz Schluep in 1919 and still in family hands, Grenchen-based brand Titoni has a long tradition of producing classical Swiss-made watches at affordable prices. Among the nine collections for men is the Airmaster, a line-up of three-hand stainless steel models with day and day/date functions designed for everyday wear. Launched in the 1960s, the Titoni Airmaster was not, as its name suggests, a pilot’s watch or purpose-built for a specific activity; it was designed as a reliable, versatile, everyday timekeeper. Now featuring Arabic numerals, a more sober design and an emphasis on legibility, the new references are the closest you can get in the collection to a pilot’s watch.
The four dial colours – matte white (silver), matte black, sunray-brushed green and sunray-brushed blue – are not the real novelty here. There are other models in the collection with silver, black and blue dials; the only new colour is green. What sets these models apart from existing Airmasters is the deliberate paring down of decorative flourishes on the dial. Instead of the dressy applied Roman numerals or refined tapered baton markers and hands found on other Airmasters, these new references look more robust, more tool-watch oriented.
The most conspicuous difference of the new Titoni Airmaster models is the use of clean, legible Arabic numerals and a more pronounced and luminous minute track that promote a certain pilot’s watch spirit. Legibility is also enhanced by incorporating thicker hour and minute hands capable of holding more Super-LumiNova. There is still a date window at 3 o’clock and the Chinese meihua flower (plum blossom) logo at noon, but the overall look is more utilitarian. The conical crown with the brand’s meihua flower engraved in relief has a double security system to ensure 50m of water-resistance, and the dial is protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
Crafted in 316L stainless steel, the three-part case has a diameter of 40.5mm and a height of 9.30mm. In yet another departure from the dressier models, the case features more brushed surfaces for a sportier, more utilitarian look. The bezel and flanks, for example, are touched on top and have polished bevels. Perhaps the most elaborate element of the watch is the five-link bracelet. The top surfaces of the wider outer and central links are satin-brushed, while the two links in between display a bright polished finish.
Fitted with an exhibition caseback, the movement is an automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement. With a frequency of 4Hz / 28,800vph, the movement delivers a 38-hour power reserve, and the 18k gold-plated rotor is decorated with a diamond-cut pattern.
The Titoni Airmaster can be ordered directly on the brand’s website and retails for EUR 1,100 or CHF 1,050.
Ruined by the date window
A date window inside the arabic numeral.
And the watch is ruined. Shame.
A nice affordable Swiss watch with a complication also a choice dial colors.
I began watch collecting in the 80’s with the purchase of a Titoni Airmaster from Dr. Wayne Lee in Penang, Malaysia. I have several other Titoni models now and consider them an outstanding value in every respect.
Sorry, but this really is a step down for the Airmaster. Screened arabic numerals instead of applied steel baton markers on the dial is a cheap, easy, and unattractive substitute. Lets face it, swiss watches really are superfluous commodities. Applying screened arabic markers further cheapens the cachet of an already semi luxury brand. ( one can easily choose brands like Oris, Mido, Raymond Weil, Maurice Lacroix among this price range instead of Titoni ).