August 1: a regular Monday. The package was supposed to arrive the previous Friday, but unfortunately, there were delays. Now, I was in the midst of the updated delivery window, anticipation having mounted and waned and mounted again. I perked up at the first sound of a delivery truck — it triggers a push and pull between excitement for a new watch, and bracing myself for the disappointment of the wrong type of truck; perhaps just a neighbor’s rented U-Haul. This truck was FedEx; my package was coming via UPS. An hour or so later, another truck’s course signaled by that familiar sound we all know: the truck’s engine laboring, its boxy metal sides shuddering, its roll-up door clapping against itself, all of it coming together in a crash as it thunders over my street’s devastating speedbumps. I look out the bay window, and sure enough, the signature deep brown of the United Parcel Service has stopped in front of the house. I walk to the door, open it, and greet the driver (surprise him, really) as he walks up the path. It’s a big box, which I expected. After all, this wasn’t just a watch. The package had a watch in a presentation box, a pair of Chelsea boots, a duffel, an extra strap, and a watch pouch. It’s the result of a collaboration between Tutima and Los Angeles-based leathermaker George Esquivel, and the only thing grander than its packaging is the full name of the watch: the Tutima x Esquivel Compass Limited Edition Patria Dual Time.
You have to understand that unboxing a set like this is an entirely different experience than unboxing just a watch. The leather goods in the Tutima x Esquivel Compass Edition are all handmade, with the boots made to order for the buyer. Just 25 of these sets will be offered. I can’t fully grasp the experience of actually purchasing, receiving, and opening the box, but imagine getting a package where you have triple the unboxing experience (the duffel, the boots, the watch; the extra strap and the pouch are in the same box as the watch). What hits you first, though, is the seductive scent of all the leather. Good leather, hand-cut, hand-sewn, handmade. This is the best-smelling unboxing I’ve ever experienced. I’d expect nothing less from these two brands. George Esquivel is renowned for his handmade shoes and other leather goods (as far as the product copy, the internet, and my recollection from my brief and glorious time running a style blog tell me). Tutima is the little German brand that could: located in Glashütte, it has formidable neighbors yet manages to stand out. What I found most intriguing was the choice of the Patria Dual Time as the watch for this collection. Esquivel’s design aesthetic is decidedly edgy, while the Patria Dual Time is part of Tutima’s most traditional collection. As I quickly discovered, though, the juxtaposition only serves to elevate both the watch and the leather goods.
If you thought that the Tutima Patria Dual Time included in the set was just one of the brand’s existing models thrown into a box with a bunch of leather things, you’d be a bit off. Tutima’s complicated Patria models are typically only available in precious metals, but for this collaboration, the brand has issued the Dual Time in stainless steel. The less formal steel helps to narrow the aforementioned gap between the leather’s edginess and the watch’s elegance. The 42mm case is polished throughout, and has a softness to it thanks to its rounded silhouette and smooth transitions between facets. In fact, the only element of the case’s design that could be even remotely described as angular or sharp or crisp is the crown guards, which emerge organically from the case and cradle the grooved onion crown. The pull-out crown has a great feel to it and the winding action is incredibly smooth. As one might expect from a watch like this, the water resistance is just 50m, though that’s plenty for most of the occasions where one might wear it.
Wearing it, though, is not as straightforward as one might think. The 21mm leather straps — a brown wraparound and a black NATO — are beautiful, but the decision to include two pass-through straps is a bit redundant. I would’ve much preferred a standard two-piece along with the wraparound. As it is, the straps add no less than 4mm to the case’s 11.2mm thickness. This makes the watch stand tall on the wrist no matter how you do things. However, while I found the NATO unforgiving in its height, the wraparound (once I figured it out) was surprisingly comfortable, and the angle at which it sat gave it a bit of driver-watch utility.
Under the domed sapphire crystal, the opaline silver white dial of the Tutima x Esquivel Compass Limited Edition Patria Dual Time is a master class in refinement. Despite the coolness typical of silver dials, this one has a warmth at times, likely brought out by the gold faceted indices. There are two real standouts on the dial, though. The first is the handset. The lance-style hands are handmade of 18k rose gold, with polished tops and a very subtle rough finish on the beveled edges. The finishing is not immediately evident when glancing at the watch, but with its raw look, it’s another element that serves to complement the feel of the entire collection. The second feature is the namesake, the dual time subdial. Compared to many modern dual time watches — think of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time or even the artsy Hermès Slim GMT — the Patria Dual Time sticks to its formal guns with a subdial featuring radial grooving, simple printed hour markers, and a blued lance hand that displays a second 12-hour time. What’s most curious about the dual time function, though, is how it’s set. In lieu of an additional pusher, the dual time is set with the crown, but not via an extra position. When setting the local time (the main hands) forward, the 12-hour hand will advance; when turning the local time back, the 12-hour hand remains in place. To set the 12-hour hand, just advance it to where you’d like, then adjust the local time by rolling the hands back. It’s not very intuitive, and even when you get it, it takes a bit more thinking than the typical dual time or GMT. As with such things, though, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it issue, tantamount to bracelet adjustments, but in this case a bit less frustrating and with the benefit of an uninterrupted case profile.
Underneath a sapphire crystal with the namesake compass hand-etched upon its surface is the handwound Tutima T 619 movement. While the etching may reinforce the partnership (the compass can be found on every item in the set), it prevents a perfectly clear view of the movement, which is a shame. The finishing here is beautiful, with the gold-plated German-style mainplate and open-worked balance bridge featuring sharp striping and anglage, polished screw heads, and the going train having its jewels screw-mounted in gold chatons. The sinuous click spring, too, is finished to the same standards. What’s more, Tutima says the finishing is done by hand at the Tutima Glashütte factory. Made in Germany with a demonstrable amount of pride, the T 619 is comprised of 190 components with 20 jewels, a free-sprung Breguet hairspring, and a 65-hour power reserve at 21,600 vph. If your familiarity with Tutima is with its broader offering of sporty tool watches, and you’re unconvinced of the German watchmaker’s ability to produce at a level on par with some of the other brands in its area, the T 619 on display should be all the evidence you need (if more proof is needed, check out the brand’s Hommage minute repeater).
It would be remiss of me to not mention the leather goods included in the Compass collection. This isn’t the first instance a brand has partnered with a leather goods company (recall Hulbot and Berluti, which was just LVMH making a leather watch), but it’s certainly one of the more organic collaborations. George Esquivel often commemorates milestones with watches, and one of his first was a burgundy-dial Tutima. As Tutima tells it, after hearing about Esquivel’s love of watches and history with the brand, the idea for a collaboration soon followed. If you decide to pick up one of the 25 Tutima x Esquivel Compass Limited Editions you’re in for a treat. Using all-natural vachette leather, Esquivel has contributed an overnight duffel bag, a fold-over watch pouch, a pair of its made-to-order Boswell Chelsea boots, and the aforementioned straps. Everything is handmade in Los Angeles at the atelier, Esquivel House, including hand-stitching and hand-staining of all the leather with rich brown and dark accents (including the soles of the shoes). There’s no denying the beauty of it all, and while I’m no expert, the craftsmanship seems superb.
As I see it, there are two ways to do a collaboration. One results in a redesign of a watch, an aesthetic injection that creates a model the watch brand would likely never create themselves, like what happens when a brand teams with Alain Silberstein. Then there’s the more subtle approach, where a watch might be accessorized or tweaked, but remains within the design language of the watch brand (think of the Oris x Momotaro collab). As discussed, the Tutima x Esquivel Compass Limited Edition is not the first time a watch brand has collaborated with a leather brand, but I’ll reassert that it may be the best outcome from such a collaboration. The watch feels like it could be a part of the regular Patria lineup (maybe we’ll see a steel Dual Time soon?), but considered with the entire set, it stands out as unique. There’s no tackiness or gimmicks here, just some beautifully crafted leather goods and a beautiful watch creating a balance between contemporary and traditional design. The Tutima x Esquivel Compass Limited Edition set is priced at $16,900 USD. You can learn more from the Esquivel website.
>Model: Tutima x Esquivel Compass Limited Edition Patria Dual Time
>Price: $16,900 USD (including two straps, watch pouch, chelsea boots, and duffel)
>Size: 43mm diameter, 11.2mm height, 21mm lug width
>When reviewer would personally wear it: When I’m feeling a bit trendy and want a bit of creative contrast in my wardrobe
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Venture capitalist with a flair for edgy western style
>Best characteristic of watch: Hands, movement finishing, the luxurious aroma of leather
>Worst characteristic of watch: Thick pass-through leather straps make it wear tall, 21mm lugs will limit options for most people, unusual dual-time adjustment