For one reason or another, Tutima was not part of Monochrome’s team 150 meetings for Baselworld 2017. As we passed by one of its displays however, we were captivated by a particular watch and its movement: a bi-compax chronograph with a perfectly balanced dial and large, optimally spaced sub-counters. We wanted to know more and we were not disappointed, as the Tutima Tempostopp deserves interest… Especially when the back is revealed.
The Tempostopp was unveiled by Tutima to celebrate its 90th anniversary. Following the introduction of an in-house minute repeater in 2011 and an in-house base calibre in the Patria collection, the new T659 chronograph calibre constitutes further proof of how Tutima has invested in its development and manufacturing capacities – and with significant results, especially when you consider how many watch brands are actually capable of developing and manufacturing chronographs in-house (spoiler alert: not many…)
The Caliber T659 is based on the Glashütte UROFA Caliber 59 from the 1940s, which had to be completely re-engineered, as no plans could be found. UROFA stands for Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG, an ebauche manufacture founded in the 1920s in Glasshütte. The director of Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik (UROFA) and the Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG (UFAG) – Dr. Ernst Kurtz – founded Tutima in 1927, to case up its best movements.
The Caliber T659 is a hand-wound column-wheel chronograph with a horizontal clutch, classic movement architecture although certainly not the best in terms of innovation, but the nicest layout when viewed from the back. It measures 33.7mm in diameter and 6.6mm thick and it comprises 237 components. The balance features gold adjustment screws and a Breguet hairspring. It is running at 21,600 vibrations per hour for a comfortable power reserve of 65 hours. The movement is nicely decorated with a matte, sand-blasted finish, gold plated bridges and main-plate, all featuring beautiful anglage. The steel parts are classically straight grained. Overall, a very appealing movement, large, well decorated and exposing most of the chronograph elements.
Flyback chronographs (also known as “retour-en-vol” in French) can be reset to zero and restarted instantly with only a single push of a button. Appreciated by pilots for saving time, this function allows the wearer to immediately start a new timing session without the need for pressing pushers three times in succession (to stop, reset and start the chronograph). This complication was invented by Longines in 1936 and in the late 1930s, UROFA and UFAG were commissioned for German military production – in particular with the production of “flieger chronographs” pilot watches, powered by the caliber 59.
This attractive movement is housed in a Patria case, in 18k pink gold. The Tutima Tempostopp is 43mm in diameter, it features mushroom-style pushers and a distinctive fluted crown protected by a crown-guard. The dial is really satisfying: everything is proportional and in the right place, in particular the large, optimally spaced counters. The center of the dial and sub-dials are slightly recessed, with a concentric pattern. The minute track with numerals discreetly painted in red is a nice touch. The Tutima Tempostopp is worn on an alligator strap closed with a gold pin buckle.
The Tutima Tempostopp is a limited edition of 90 pieces. It retails for EUR 28,600, which may sound like a hefty price tag in relation to other brand offerings, but it is indeed worth every penny. For more information, visit www-tutima.com.
Technical specifications – Tutima Tempostopp
- Case: 43mm diameter x 12.95mm thickness – 18k pink gold case – sapphire crystal with antireflective coating – sapphire case back – 50m water resistant
- Movement: calibre T659 – manual winding – 33.7mm x 6.6mm – 65h power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/h – 28 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds, column-wheel chronograph (flyback)
- Strap: alligator leather with pin buckle
- Limited edition of 90 pieces
- Price: EUR 28’600
- Reference: 6650-01