German-made Tutima is a brand we are fond of here at ATimelyPerspective. In fact, we have covered the brand and its watches time and again — in articles that range from its daring aviation aerobics (here) to its top-of-the-line high-horology pieces (here).
Recently, we got the opportunity to get up close and personal with the brand’s recently unveiled M2, a watch with quality technical components that is backed by an impressive history and legacy. After wearing the M2 Pioneer for some time, I realized that I was enjoying wearing the watch not only for its technical prowess and looks, but also because I understand the purpose behind each intricate detail that goes into making this a perfect pilots watch.
Before we delve into this watch, we want to reiterate a bit of the brand’s heritage and growth. Tutima was born in Glashütte — a breeding ground for craftsmanship capable of rivaling the Swiss watch market — in 1927. By the early 1940’s, Tutima (whose name is derived from the Latin origins meaning “safe” or “protected”) had narrowed its focus to make outstanding pilot watches for the German army. Post World War II and the Berlin Wall saw the cessation of German watch building for the brand in Glashutte, but it continued operations in West Germany. In fact, a determined spirit and drive for aviation innovation bred Tutima’s Military Chronograph, Ref. 798, which was unveiled in the early 1980’s and, in 1984, was voted the official pilot’s watch of NATO, reinforcing the brand and its position as an exceptional German watch producer. In the past few years, Tutima has focused on rebuilding its Glashutte roots, establishing a new state-of-the-art Manufacture and developing new product consistent with its heritage. (You can read more about the company’s growth and its ventures in the past two years to create an all new factory in Glashutte here.)
Now, as part of its all-new collection of German-made watches, Tutima brings forth the M2 line of timepieces: the M2 Pioneer, an extension, if you will, of that 1984 NATO Military Chronograph, and the M2 Chronograph without notched bezel.
The M2 stands by the same classic principles of reliability and function as Tutima has offered in all of its pilot watches, but has a few added improvements reaching new heights in a professional pilot’s timepiece. The in-house-made automatic chronograph, Calibre Tutima 521, is housed inside a pearl-blasted solid pure titanium case. The mechanical movement is complete with a power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound by the M2’s screw-in crown. Many features on the 46mm case are purposefully designed to make this an ideal pilots watch (including anti-glare treatment, notched bezel and more).
This watch is pressure resistant up to 15,000 meters (49,000 feet) above sea level, and will astonishingly remain accurate through vibrations, blows, shocks and forces up to 7 g’s coming from any direction. With its treatment of mu-metal (a nickel iron alloy) the M2 features a soft inner iron case that safely blocks the movement from all magnetic field streams that would otherwise harm the watch’s accuracy. In an effort to eliminate all glare and reflective surfaces, the sapphire crystal has anti-reflective treatment on both sides. At times, a sleek watch can be nice with attributes to catch the eyes of passersby, but the sheer ease of use, legibility and bold beauty of the M2 greatly outweigh any chic elegance factor that you might get with other watches. This is perhaps one of the first features that struck me when wearing this watch.
Most other chronographs might feature the minute totalizer in a sub-dial, but Tutima gives it a leading role in the M2. This watch offers easy chronograph readability via hands for its long chronograph central seconds counter and its central minute counter that are front-and-center on the dial. Each chronograph hand is distinguished by orange markings at its base. The hour totalizer subdial sits at 6 o’clock and is marked with orange numbers surround by Super-LumiNova dots for easy legibility both day and night. The continually running seconds are found on a subdial that rests at 9 o’clock ,while the 24 hr dial sits at 12:00. There is also a date window, complete with Super-LumiNova font that takes its spot at the 3 o’clock position.
The bezel is unique in that its bidirectional rotation provides you with the ease and assurance to quickly update your timeline without completely rotating the bezel for a small time adjustment. A very handy tool for a pilot to instantaneously change plans.
Viewing the M2 Pioneer at night is particularly fun. Since this watch is adorned with Super-LumiNova coating around the bezel (with an additional large dot at 12 o’clock) as well as within each large hash mark and on all of the timing hands, reading the time in darkness becomes completely effortless.
Other case-specific details to this watch include its smooth-factor. In other words there is nothing protruding from the watch case. The chronograph pushers are designed on a hinge system. Much like opening a door, to start/stop and reset the chronograph you must push down on the side farthest away from the hinge. This adds an element of durability ensuring the pushers will never break or get caught on dangling threads or wires.
There are 2 different models of the M2. The M2 Pioneer contains the bidirectional bezel, while the M2 Chronograph is set with a classier look and excludes the aforementioned bezel. Both are shipped with a pure titanium bracelet and an additional kevlar strap with pure titanium folding clasp along with the tools to change the straps. Having only the opportunity to wear the M2 Pioneer with the kevlar strap I can attest to the lightweight comfort of the strap.
It’s safe to say that for $6,900 retail, the M2/M2 Pioneer gives you an amazing chronograph timepiece with a spectacular story behind it. It seems many pilot watch lovers concur; the Pioneer watch is already on backorder after being on the market for just over 100 days. Advertised as a watch “For men who feel at home where the air gets thinner,” these watches will have you wondering which one to strap on your wrist first.