Tutima, Leading Horology, Leading Sociology: #MeTutima Was Pushing #MeToo A Decade Ago, But It Was All At Sea
by Ian Skellern
I was fortunate to have recently visited dual poles of German watchmaking, Dresden and Glashütte, on a small press trip organized by Dubai Watch Week. The more time you spend anywhere, the more things you learn, and while I’d been to Glashütte a couple of times before, unlike our editor-in-chief Elizabeth Doerr (see Made In Germany: The Glory Of Glashütte), I had never visited Tutima.
And I was surprised.
Surprised by surprise
What surprised me about Tutima the most was that I was surprised at all. While every medium-sized watch manufacture thinks it is special (and there may well be some aspects), Tutima was different.
From the entrance: surprise!
The heaviest machinery, like CNC machines and automated lathes, usually goes on the lowest floor of any manufacture. At Tutima the machinery is in the basement, nothing new there.
What was new for me is the glass floor in the reception area opening directly onto the machines below and flooding the subterranean room with natural light.
There’s no hiding the fact that Tutima has a glass floor, but it’s where it should be: below and stopping from falling rather than above and stopping from rising.
Developing movements (part 1: chronograph): surprise!
While chronographs are one of the most ubiquitous complications, the reason that the vast majority of chronos are powered by Valjoux 7750 or derivative calibers is that chronograph movements are extremely complicated: making a good one is extremely difficult.
And that’s just a standard chronograph; flyback chronographs are even more complex still.
So naturally, Tutima developed the Tempostopp, a modern flyback chronograph with a rich history (see Tutima Tempostopp Flyback Chronograph: A Moving Homage To The History Of Glashütte).
Developing movements (part 2: chiming): surprise!
Glashütte, the town, is small. Really small. To say you throw a stone out of the window of one watch brand and hit another is no exaggeration. In fact, you could probably hit two brands with one throw.
The German watch brands in Glashütte are cheek to jowl in town; the watchmakers and staff intermingle; they intermarry; and they interchange working between brands. Can you imagine trying to keep a secret?
Can you imagine trying to keep a secret about developing the first minute repeater to be fully conceived, designed, manufactured and produced on German soil?
And keep that secret for years?
Even when your competitors can literally look through your windows and your watchmakers are likely to be sleeping with your competitors each night.
Tutima did just that before presenting the Hommage Minute Repeater (see The Tutima Hommage Minute Repeater Chimes ‘Happy To Be Home’). Not only was the repeater a massive technical achievement, but to even consider that the whole project could be conducted in secrecy, and then pull it off, highlights a different way thinking.
Tutima doesn’t do what others expect; it does what it thinks is right. And while it’s taken a lot of the world far too long to wake up to women’s rights and the success of the #MeToo movement, Tutima has been quietly promoting women for a decade by sponsoring an all-female professional sailing team competing on a DK46 racing yacht.
Vielen Dank an Blondsign by Eike Schurr für den schönen Zusammenschnitt unserer Saison 2013 ;-)!!!
Posted by TUTIMA Sailing Team on Thursday, February 6, 2014
The titanium gray DK46 racing cruiser is skippered by Kirsten Harmstorf with an all-woman crew of experienced World and European Championship sailors. At the recent Kiel Week regatta held in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the largest sailing event in the world, the Tutima sailing team notched up a first, third, and fourth.
Tutima is winning both on land and sea.
On seeing the female crew, Ken Kessler (Revolution UK editor-at-large), a colleague on the press tour, coined the term #MeTutima. And it seems apt.
Back in 2009 when Tutima first started supporting the all-woman sailing team, it was not following fashion, fad, or social movement. The brand simply did what it thought right, independently of surrounding pressures. It supported a great idea proposed by a great person, and that philosophy has (to date) resulted in sailing success, a beautiful flyback chronograph, and Germany’s first full-fledged minute repeater.
Quick Facts Tutima Hommage Minute Repeater
Case: 43 mm, pink gold or platinum
Movement: manually wound Caliber 800
Functions: hours, minute, subsidiary seconds; hour, quarter-hour and minute repeater
Limitation: 25 pieces
Quick Facts Tutima Tempostopp
Case: 43 x 12.95, 18-karat pink gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber T659, reverse-engineered and improved homage to Urofa Caliber 59, integrated chronograph with column wheel, free-sprung screw balance, hand-engraved balance cock, 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency, 65-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes; flyback chronograph with jumping minute counter
Limitation: 90 pieces (celebrating 90 years of Tutima)
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Also published on Medium.