The 6402-01 version of the Tutima Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph comes on a very handsome black leather pilot-style strap with white contrast stitching. This will look good on most people, but I encourage people to opt for the matching seven-link “bead-style” steel bracelet. These are less common to find on watches today, and Tutima is among the only brands to keep offering them. I call these bead-style because the small links look like small soft steel beads – and they feel that way to the touch.
These bracelets are very comfortable as they have more axis points than most other bracelet given the small size of the links. They also have a unique, classically masculine look to them, which is what a lot of guys want when wearing tool watches that they subliminally hope will not come across as male jewelry. Better yet, Tutima charges only $400 more for the steel bracelet. I recommend getting the Grand Flieger on the bracelet, and if you later want a strap you can add that to your collection as well.
While Tutima does produce their own “made in Glashütte” in-house mechanical movements, pieces like the Grand Flieger contain base Swiss ETA movements. I don’t find anything wrong with that, but I will say that I think some customers might finding the pricing closer to that of a watch with an in-house movement, versus that of one with a sourced movement. Taking the Tutima M2 collection as a reference (which does contain an in-house-made movement), the price premium is only about $1,000 for in-house versus non-in-house. In my opinion, the Tutima watches without in-house movements might benefit from being a bit more aggressively priced given typical consumer sentiments.
With that said, it isn’t as though Tutima just plops in a stock ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph and labels it their caliber 320 movement. Rather, Tutima is famed for their meticulous regulation and decoration of the movements. You can see the movement through the rear of the case, including the custom Tutima automatic rotor. I will say that if you want a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 movement at its very best, then get one that has been carefully regulated by a German watchmaker like Tutima.
To that end, this is among the rare officially certified German Chronometer watches (DIN norm 8319). This is a similar, but slightly more intense certification than the Swiss COSC. I talk more about German Chronometer certification in the aBlogtoWatch review of the Glashutte Original Senator Chronometer here. Operating at 4Hz (28,800bph), the caliber 320 movement has a power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound. Going back to the topic of the Tutima Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph being a Chronometer, Tutima oddly decided to indicate that on the watch by engraving the term “Chronometer” into the left-side of the case. At the least, it adds some character to the timepiece.
Watches like the Tutima Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph 6402 collection have the most appeal for lovers of “classic-style” watches seeking an otherwise modern wearing experience. I wouldn’t call this watch so much a vintage-style timepiece as much as it is a modern watch using traditional design elements which for the most part continue to be relevant. Many modern pilot watches are a bit too techie or aggressive-looking for many tastes.
The softer, organic lines of this more elegant look lends itself well to an all-purpose tool watch that you can wear casually or even more formally. Tutima knows that aesthetics and wearing comfort go a lot further than history or purpose in a timepiece, and while they focus a lot of their communication on their esteemed history making military pilot watches, at the end of the day, it is the pleasant experience to wear and use their timepieces which makes them good options for watch lovers.
Those on a bit more of a budget might opt for the non-chronograph version of Tutima Grand Flieger which is the 6102-01 (strap) and 6102-02 (bracelet) which are priced at $2,500 and $2,900, respectively. I’ll note that those watches are not certified German Chronometers. Moving up to the reference 6402-01 and 6402-02 Tutima Grand Flieger Classic Chronometer, the prices are $5,100 and $5,500 (as tested), respectively. tutima.com
>Model: Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph 6402-02 (as tested)
>Price: $5,100 on a strap and $5,500 on the steel bracelet
>Size: 43mm wide, 16mm thick
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Lover of elegant, vintage-style German pilot watches who wants something sturdy, modern, and reliable for regular wear.
>Best characteristic of watch: Wears comfortably and boldly but isn’t brash or too loud. Lends a refined yet active personality to the wearer. German Chronometer certification is a rarity, and appreciated in the overall package.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Modern take on a the traditional dial will not suit all tastes, though Tutima should be applauded for taking some design risks (albeit minor). Despite quality and value, price will feel high for many consumers.