Founded in 1919 in Grenchen and now in the hands of fourth-generation descendants of the Schluep family, Titoni has a tradition of producing mechanical timepieces at affordable prices. With nine collections for men, the Airmaster is not, as its name might suggest, a pilot’s watch but rather a classic all-rounder in stainless steel with a discreet 1960s vibe. Released earlier this year, the time-and-date Airmaster Glacier Turquoise flaunts a trendy blue dial in a tone that is often described as “Tiffany Blue”.
To give you an idea of the reliability and international scope of Titoni’s watches, the brand (then named Felco) supplied the US Army with 30,000 watches during the Second World War. In the 1950s, the Swiss brand incorporated the five-petalled Chinese meihua flower (plum blossom) as its logo and reached out to Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern markets, producing the official timepiece for Nairn Transport Company bus drivers covering the Damascus-Baghdad desert route.
Titoni’s current line-up is well represented and includes the ultra-robust 600m water-resistant Seascoper with a chronometer-certified movement, a luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet known as the Impetus, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, a dress watch, Line 1919, with the brand’s in-house automatic movement. The hand-wound Airmaster was launched in the early 1960s as a robust steel calendar watch culminating with the 1969 ref. 307-345 Rotomatic with an automatic movement and a red date launched in the wake of the Moon Landing.
Crafted entirely in 316L stainless steel, the case has a diameter of 40mm and a thickness of 9.70mm. Alternating brushed surfaces with polished flanks, the streamlined case design has smooth, rounded edges and a thin stepped and polished bezel, providing an expansive view of the dial. The conical grooved and polished crown with the brand’s meihua flower engraved in relief has a double security system, and the caseback is sealed to ensure 50m of water resistance.
The eye-catching colour of the enamelled turquoise dial, which many will associate with Tiffany’s iconic colour, features a mix of polished Roman numerals (at XII, III, VI and IX) and elegant diamond-cut pyramid-shaped indices that taper to a fine point. The minute track, the name of the brand at noon and the inscription Airmaster Automatic and Swiss Made are all picked out in black, like the numerals inside the date window at 3 o’clock. Titioni’s flower logo is applied to the dial at noon. The hour and minute hands have a thin streak of luminescent material, and the central seconds hand has a blunt tip.
Stamped with a sailing boat to suggest the power of the air (Airmaster), the caseback hides an automatic Sellita SW-200 movement. With a frequency of 4Hz/28,800vph, the movement delivers a 38h power reserve.
The Airmaster Glacier Turquoise comes on a five-link stainless steel bracelet with brushed external links, polished internal links and is fitted to a folding clasp with push buttons. It retails for EUR 990 and can be ordered directly from the brand’s website at Titoni.ch.