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Just Because

Taking the Tutima M2 Pioneer into Icy Depths for a New World Record

How a (Tutima) watch reminds us of the incredible achievements of horology.

| By Gandor Bronkhorst | 3 min read |

Watches are the perfect life companions, we all know that. But sometimes, the reminders of that unconditional love turn up in the most unexpected places. Even if you’re not really a diver, the unimaginable achievements of the freediver Tolga Taskin are worth a  moment of your time. And the Tutima on his wrist turned out to be a reminder of why watches are such fascinating things – and not only for technical reasons.

Mount Everest. The Mariana Trench. The Moon. Mars. Higher. Deeper. Faster. As long as there are challenges, men will respond. And often, their watches will accompany them. Watches have been tested in circumstances that border the unimaginable. Year after year, companies tell us the stories of what their watches are capable of withstanding. And everyone who loves a good watch has at least one time in their live thought: wow, do I really need a watch that could survive 5000m depth/1.000.000 gauss/the Apocalypse?

Well, no. At least, not in a direct way. But there’s more to it.

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The limits of human beings

A couple of weeks ago, German free diver Tolga Taskin dove to a depth of 74.8 metres. He did so under the ice of the Austrian lake Weissensee. But what’s even more astonishing is the fact that he did it without carrying any additional air to breathe. This nearly inhuman achievement required him to hold his breath for two minutes and forty-three seconds. It set him a new Guinness World Record for free diving under a closed surface. And it reminded the rest of the world that humanity is still constantly evolving. Human beings are still constantly exploring the edges of what’s possible, and what’s not.

Tutima Watches - Tolga Taskin Freedive World Record

The other Big Question on everyone’s mind now is obviously: did he have a watch on his wrist? The answer is yes, of course! It was a Tutima M2 Pioneer (black dial, ref. no. 6451-03) with a 46.5mm titanium case and bracelet. It also has an additional soft iron inner case. Inside it ticks the cal. Tutima 521, which is a modified Valjoux 7750. Next to the regular chronograph counters, it has an elapsed minutes hand in the centre of the dial and a 24-hour display. 

This watch obviously wasn’t chosen by accident. Being the direct descendant of the 1984 NATO chronograph by Tutima, it is still the official service watch of German Army pilots. It is reliable, accurate and very sturdy. According to the specs, this watch should be able to withstand pressure of up to 300 metres, so it’s almost unnecessary to point out that the watch survived the dive. 

Built to resist

Coming back to the first paragraph of this article, the 74.8m deep dive by Taskin is a great reminder of what watches are actually capable of. It gives us a frame of reference. What is the absolute limit for a human being, is just a walk in the park for this Tutima.

And that is exactly what is so fascinating about the mind-boggling achievements of watches. It is a strangely appealing idea that a good watch will survive circumstances that would have killed any human being over and over again. I know there is absolutely nothing scientific about these thoughts, it is pure emotion. Comparing the accuracy, reliability and sturdiness of watches to the achievements of human achievements doesn’t make much sense in a direct way. But they are a reminder of how sustainable quality watches are. They are built to resist. 

And they are made to survive all of us. I really can’t think of one more creation that has accompanied us to all of the frontiers that humanity has discovered. That is what these achievements tell us: your watch will go wherever you go. Your watch is your ultimate life companion. You can trust your watch more than you can trust your own head. I don’t want to get too lyrical on this, but thinking about it, it just makes me love watches even more.

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3 responses

  1. You absolutely right . I have 3 “dive” watches and the only one that goes near water is the theoretically least capable, a £17 Casio which survived a dinghy capsize, probably 5 or 6 feet of water. We look at the face and see the watch is capable of 600m and the only way that is going to happen is if I accidentally dropped it over the side when sailing (which is why it is only the Casio that goes sailing ) but feel comforted nonetheless.

  2. @Larosa – I understand your comment, as indeed, there’s a central minute counter, like a Lemania 5100. But we can confirm that it isn’t a Lemania but a substantially modified Valjoux 7750 with a central minute counter.

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