September 27, 2010
by Ariel Adams
If you are a fan of watches made to be instruments, then please don’t pass up the German greats. One of the best is Tutima. Located in Glashutte, nearby A. Lange & Sohne, Glashutte Original, and Nomos, Tutima is an historic watch brand with a serious outlook on the matter of making timepiece. While many Tutima watches have a good handsome look to them, these timepieces are functional machines – with a keen eye on making the time easy to read all in a very reliable watch case.
I have next to no complaints about this watch. If anything, it is too serious. This is a quality that often differentiates Swiss and German watches. German watches are “angular” and sober. Proudly ready for action like a well-trained dog. Swiss watches have a more social quality to them, much of the time focusing on aesthetics and “art” as much or more than “mere.” Unlike a German guard dog, Swiss watches are more like a lady. They take longer to get ready, and strive to gather attention like a beautiful woman walking down the lane. For 2010, Tutima spiced up the hardy DI 300 model with this nifty black and yellow dialed version. Functionally the same as the outgoing collection, the watch features the new 2010 style rotating diver’s bezel, and that cool dial that fans have come to enjoy.
Of course I am reminded of the “bumble bee” forged carbon Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch. Maybe it is just because of that bold yellow flange ring. Tutima is an excellent dial maker, not only in design, but quality. For the price, there are few brands that make dials so crisp and rich. Only brands like Sinn are competition for this style. The dial is matte black with white lume hour indicators and hands, with proper minute markers. I first thought that the hands were too short, and they sort of appear that way, but they aren’t when trying to use the watch. Tutima might benefit from lengthening them just a tad bit, but there is no lack of easy reading here. The placement of the Arabic hour numerals on the flange ring is great. There are few other watches so keen on telling you the time. I have to praise the SuperLumiNova lume application for being so bright. Tutima properly has the day and date on black colored discs to match the dial. The handsome deep-set dial is further benefited from a properly AR coated sapphire crystal over the face.
The design of the case makes is such that you can only comfortably turn the bezel but twisting it from the sides. I believe that this is a security mechanism to prevent erroneous turning of the bezel. The bezel has a nice hint of gloss that contrasts with the matte dial, while the very slightly glossy yellow flange ring is an intermediate texture between the dial and the bezel.
In all titanium, the case is very well rendered in both manufacture and design. A bit retro – it wears a bit small even though it is almost 44mm wide. The case features of a lugless design where the bracelet (and available rubber strap) fit directly into the case. The case is water resistant to 300 meters, and is very comfy. Part of that has to do with how light it is due to the all titanium construction. The titanium is done well in an all satin finished style that fits the tool-like personality of the DI 300 watch.
You’ll probably recognize the style of the bracelet from other German watches. Sinn again, has something similar. It is light, flexible, comfortable, and handsome. Not exactly sexy, but it is handsome. The locking fold-over deployment clasp has a micro-adjust feature for the bracelet, as well as a fold-out diver’s extension. One little thing is that the fold over lock clasp on the deployment can get a little loose. It has never actually detached from its closed position for me, and the bracelet always feels secure overall, but that little swinging clasp might due from a tiny little refinement. But like I said, it never actually did come off, and it is a very minor issue. Not like the bracelet ever felt like it was gonna come undone.
The DI 300 uses a Swiss ETA 2836-2 automatic movement with a day/date complication. I experienced it keeping good time, and I really liked the smooth integrations of the day and date indicator indicators. The sweep seconds hands is fashionable with a needle style and in yellow.
The caseback has a respectful looking Tutima logo that adds to the heritage feel of the case. Tutima is mostly a classic aviator watch brand, but they do dive watches properly. As straight forward as the DI 300 looks, it is “sexy” for most German dive watch standards. I personally like this watch a great deal. It is comfortable to wear, easy on the eyes, and highly reliable as a legible timepiece. The black and yellow dial is one of the best that Tutima has released for this collection in my opinion, but there are a number of other color versions (and another dial choice that you might be interested in. This specific model is know as the DI 300 SE Ref. 629-08.
Price for this all titanium, German watch with a Swiss movement is very aggressive. The Tutima DI 300 SE on the bracelet is a solid $1,800 – proving that Tutima makes a serious watch that isn’t looking to bargain for higher prices with unnecessary frills. It helps the brand feel honest, and reliable (a lot like the watch itself).
Thanks to Tutima for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.