April 17, 2019
by Ariel Adams
For 2019 Tutima introduces the Patria Steel, which is especially attractive in the Patria Admiral Blue version. Featuring in-house movements, the steel versions of the Patria are a new level of value which should make them very appealing to timepiece enthusiasts. It was back in 2013 that Glashütte, Germany-based Tutima first introduced the Patria watch collection. The Patria heralded in a new era for Tutima that began with the introduction of its first in-house minute repeater in 2011 with the Tutima Homage Minute Repeater. The new era of Tutima was intended to introduce a higher level of in-house production, as well as a higher-end appeal for the historically sport-leaning German brand. At the time, it was imagined that prices for Tutima products would go up and the company, overall, would go more upscale. A few years later, after many changes in the watch industry, we see a Tutima that has its feet in two product worlds — with a healthy blending of high-end construction and accessible prices, which, taken together, benefit the consumer.
The Tutima Patria Admiral Blue ref. 6610-01 (also available in gray or white dial versions of the Patria steel) is based on the Patria Small Seconds collection which uses the brand’s simplest manually wound time-only movement. Tutima produces fancier versions of this movement with other features, such as a power reserve indicator and second time zone. That said, you get a real piece of haute horology with the Patria steel, and the Admiral Blue dial is actually in baked enamel. The caliber 617 movement is very nice to look at, produced in typical German-style with a 3/4 plate and gold chatons to hold the rubies in place. The movement further features a good level of hand-finishing and is properly sized so the case is viewable through the sapphire crystal caseback on the watch. The movement operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with a power reserve of 65 hours. The manually wound movement features the time with a subsidiary (small) seconds dial.
What appeals to me about the Tutima Patria Steel isn’t just the price or quality, but rather the style and personality. The watch is dressy, but not boring or overly conservative. The sculpted 43mm-wide case has nice elements such as a built-in crown protector and is water resistant to 50 meters. At this contemporary size, it is noticeable and bold — important because people wear watches to be seen. Tutima clearly did some extra work to ensure that the dial is legible. They used the right combination of blue-colored dial with polished house-made steel hands that have a carefully done flat polishing on the top to help create more visual contrast, as opposed to glare. The result is a beautiful steel and blue color palette that also functions nicely as a legible timepiece (the German way…).
Dress watches are harder to sell than sport watches these days, mainly because sport watches tend to have more daily appeal for a lot of luxury watch buyers. Dress watches are prettier but often offer fewer opportunities to wear them unless you are wearing a suit or formal attire on a regular basis. A 43mm dress watch like this can double as an elegant looking “jeans and t-shirt watch,” given its size and the personality it offers. I feel that most of today’s more successful dress watches belong in this category because they are more fashionably versatile for owners. Price is also important; most people don’t consider $20,000-plus gold watches to be suitable for casual wear. Quarter that price and offer the case in steel, and now you have something with a lot more “daily appeal.” This is why I think Tutima should be able to be so successful with the Patria Steel, especially in this lovely Patria Admiral Blue form with its matching blue alligator strap and enamel dial. Tutima indicated that the Patria Steel (notably the Patria Admiral Blue) will debut with an introductory price that might go up later. That price is 4,900 Euros, and a timepiece like the Tutima Patria Steel Admiral Blue sounds like a bargain at that amount. Learn more at the Tutima website here.