It is a good time to be Tutima. The recent announcement of their new movement manufacture launched with the Hommage Minute Repeater watch signals a bright future for the German brand. A brand that already has a reputation for making quality timepieces and finely regulating the movements contained within them, Tutima watches tend to fall in three categories at this time. First are their more formal watches, their military and dive watches, and then their classic pilot watch range. Of course these categories blend a bit with the Grand Classic Power Reserve being a fine example.
Pieces like this are a styling hybrid between traditional looking pilot watches and dressy watches. The Grand Classic is a larger range of models with this dial style coming in to forms - the ref. 781-21 on a leather strap and the ref. 781-22 on Tutima's excellent five link metal bracelet.
The case is 43mm wide and sits very nicely on the wrist. The substantial thickness of 15.9mm helps it feel like a larger watch than it is. Inspecting the side case allows you appreciate the very impressive craftsmanship of the brushed steel case and rotating coined-edge bezel. It is all done very well and is impressive for the price of this piece.
Unless you absolutely must get the leather strap, I highly recommend getting the metal bracelet as seen here. It is a very special style and few people do it like Tutima. Sometimes hairs can get caught between the links but that is a small price to pay for the pebble smooth links that glide over your wrist. While the clasp closes with a tension butterfly clasp, it is one that closes very securely. The design of the case and lugs means that even if the strap is worn a little loose the case should still stay on the top of your wrist. Very high marks for comfort in this timepiece.
Over the dial is a AR coated sapphire crystal and, domed though it may be, it does not suffer from distortion issues at angles because the sapphire is the same thickness throughout. The back of the watch features a Tutima branded sapphire display back. Aside from the serial number, there isn't much info on the back of the watch. I would have preferred a few more details about the watch back there.
Tutima likes vintage aviator style parts and we see them with the chronograph pushers and large crown. The screw-down crown features a nice Tutima "T" logo in relief. Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement with a special power reserve indicator module. While this added feature removes the day function, the date remains. The addition of the power reserve indicator makes this 7750 based watch much more desirable than other pieces with this movement.
Unlike other Tutima watch dials the Grand Classic Power Reserve has a more decorative look being two toned. There is no function to the back and white sections per se but they offer a bolder look for those wanting a bit more attention drawn to their wrist. For those who prefer a more utilitarian look there are cleaner Tutima dials available. The dial, however, is impressive with its crisp details and multi-level surface. Tutima also applies a healthy amount of SuperLumiNova lume on the hands and Arabic numeral hour indicators.
Hands are classic aviator style and a matter of taste. The applied hour markers are thick and sit atop a black ring with a concentric circle texturing on it. Tutima features recessed chronograph subdials which have designs based on classic pilot watches and gauges. Of course, I highly appreciate that all hands on the dial are the proper size. For the most part, the dial is very well-done save for the smaller hands that can blend into the dial in certain types of light. The hour and minute hands are always easy to see.
As a modern formal watch based on Tutima's history as an aviator watch brand, the Grand Classic Power Reserve is a compelling watch. It is hard to find this much heritage and quality in a watch at this price: $4,900 on the bracelet and $4,400 on the strap.