Tutima Patria Admiral: Blue Blazes For Every Day
by Martin Green
The blue-dialed version of the Tutima Patria Admiral Blue was introduced at Baselworld 2019, and during a recent trip to Glashütte and environs I had the opportunity to wear it for a couple of days.
What occurred to me during this time was that some brands – like Tutima – seem to be less fazed by trends or a constant pursuit of even larger market share. They just do what they do best. Tutima is a perfect example of this.
The brand has an astonishing pedigree that includes making pilot chronographs for the German air force’s military pilots as well as being one of the initial brands in the watch industry to embrace titanium.
And both of these elements still constitute pillars of the collection: the pilot’s chronographs are still there, complemented by more modern-day military watches and divers crafted in titanium. And just like their vintage counterparts, they’re no posers; already in 1985 the German army had contracted Tutima to develop and make a military chronograph. In titanium.
Tutima: a Glashütte staple
Being from Glashütte, Tutima is also a brand that has had its share of adversity, but like some of its neighbors somehow always seems to come out stronger.
After World War II wreaked havoc, the brand was forced to continue its legacy outside of its native Glashütte, which disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. When the brand finally opened up a manufacture again in the German town near Dresden in 2011, a lot had changed, with German watchmaking in the area enjoying an unprecedented renaissance.
Brands like Nomos, Glashütte Original, and A. Lange & Sohne were already present, which allowed Tutima to fit right in. It made its mark not only with the manufacture building, but also with an extraordinary watch: the Tutima Hommage was the very first minute repeater completely designed and produced on German soil.
This watch marked a new era for Tutima in more than one way as it also introduced a new family of watches (the Patria collection) paying tribute to the beginnings of the brand while highlighting fine craftsmanship. Traditionally, the majority of this line’s watches are only available with gold cases.
While the gold cases amplify what precious objects these watches are alongside putting a focus on their heritage, it is great to see that Tutima now offers the Patria time-only model in a stainless steel case.
This material has two advantages: the stainless steel case makes this Patria far more accessible than its gold-encased siblings, and perhaps equally important it also makes the watch more versatile.
Tutima Patria: cool blue goes everywhere
Where the gold-encased models have traditional silver dials, the stainless steel Patria comes with more colorful examples, in particular one in a deep blue.
In a way, blue has also become a tradition of sorts these days in high-end stainless steel sports watches, yet the Patria is not a member of that club.
While a few modest design changes could have very well made that an ambition, Tutima distinctly chose for the Patria to become more of an everyday dress watch.
And it does so by making the watch a bit of a hybrid. Its manual-wind movement, elegant dial, and refined alligator skin strap are evidence of the more elegant side of life. However, the stainless steel Patria case is also 43 mm in diameter and features a crown guard.
What could quickly have become quirky comes perfectly together in a beautiful creation that is entirely at ease when combined with blue jeans, but goes equally well with the cut-to-the-bone double-breasted suit that you ordered from your tailor last time you were in Milan.
Tutima Patria: the buddy factor
For a watch collector the Patria very disturbing as it is one that you keep on your wrist. As a result, there is a high probability that you will neglect a significant portion of your collection.
A clever case design allows it to wear very comfortably despite its generous size. It also never fails to impress.
The design of the dial is very pure and potent. Less is more, but small details, like the shape of the hands, prove to be very powerful.
Usually, the appeal of even some of the most exceptional watches tends to wear off ever so slightly, but even after a couple of days on the wrist the Patria continued to provide a wow-factor every time I looked at it.
Tutima Patria: the beauty of seeing less
Most of the Patria’s movement is, according to good Glashütte tradition, hidden behind a three-quarter plate. In this, it mirrors the purity of the dial side perfectly.
In a way, ensuring that less is visible does not make it easier to create as it puts far more emphasis on what is seen. Tutima, perfectly aware of this, demonstrates mastery through a variety of subtle details.
Just like the watch itself, its Caliber 617 movement does not scream for attention. Tutima kept the balance cock quite sober, giving it only a small cutout whose outline is amplified by a chamfer (which makes that element exponentially more difficult to do perfectly). The three-quarter plate is also sober yet beautifully decorated.
While in this age of standardized ruby bearing jewels there is no actual need for chatons anymore, Tutima has used three of them as a nod to the history of the brand. Thick Glashütte ribbing offers the finishing touch on the movement, nicely offsetting the polished screw heads.
The Tutima Patria is one of those very few watches where everything seems to be on point. For a watch journalist, especially in this day and age, this represents a small nightmare: while you weren’t paid or compensated in any way to do so, and in fact traveled to the manufacture on your own dime to do the story, your review of the watch might be viewed as suspiciously enthusiastic.
Fortunately for me, it is also not an option to write it in any other way as this would conceal how I honestly feel about the watch.
The only thing that I would have wanted to see changed is the “Made in Germany” verbiage on the dial. As a proud brand from Glashütte, I feel this should simply be in German.
For more please visit www.tutima.com/watch/admiral-blue.
Quick Facts Tutima Patria Admiral Blue
Case: 43 x 9.7 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound manufacture Caliber 617 with screw balance, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, power reserve 65 hours, Glashütte three-quarter plate
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds