Tutima Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph – The German Pilot’s Watch Modernized

By rolex
May 28, 2021
7 min read

Emphasising key characteristics of Tutima’s memorable pilot chronograph of 1941, the 43mm Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph is a determinedly built, top quality companion for life’s ordinary missions. The first flyback chronograph to be delivered in Glashütte, Germany for the Luftwaffe, the unmistakable accreditations of the first Tutima Flieger Chronograph – like the coin-edged turning bezel, the one of a kind red reference marker on the bezel, the black dial and iridescent house of prayer style hands – are steadfastly reproduced for the individuals who appreciate the feel of WWII pilot’s chronographs but appreciate current engines. 

Our interest with pilot watches

Apart from all its repulsive results, war has consistently been an impetus for innovative progression. Objects that populate our non military personnel lives, things like microwaves, Nescafé, channel tape, disposable razors and the preparation for the web, were totally considered during seasons of war. Despite the fact that wristwatches had made their debut on ladies’ wrists, it was the setting of war that at last raised the wristwatch as a genuine extra worn by genuine men. With regards to wristwatches that were really planned as devices for men in wartime circumstances, the cachet takes off considerably higher. This probably goes far in clarifying the undying ubiquity of pilot’s watches (Flieger in German).

The honor of the main wristwatch imagined explicitly for a pilot goes to Louis Cartier. In 1904 Cartier reacted to a solicitation by his companion, the spearheading Brazilian pilot A. Santos-Dumont, who had complained about the difficulty of removing a pocket watch while steering his airplane. He required something that he could look at without taking his hands off the controls. An attractive wristwatch for sporting adrenaline junkies – with none of the attributes we partner with wartime pilot’s watches – the Cartier Santos introduced the age of the pilot watch. For a really all encompassing audit of the set of experiences and development of pilot’s watches, if it’s not too much trouble, counsel our 5-section arrangement here .

German Flieger watches

The creation of devoted pilot watches truly took off during the between war period. By World War II sequential creation of pilot watches was in progress prompting the birth of the strong enemy of attractive B-Urhen watches for Germany’s Luftwaffe. Delivered by four makers in Germany (A. Lange & Söhne, Wempe, Laco and Stowa) and one in Switzerland (IWC), the B-Urh would become the model of the pilot’s route watch.

But the B-Urh was not by any means the only competitor for wartime commissions and Tutima’s Flieger Chronograph of 1941 arose with a particular stylish and capacity. Situated in Glashütte, Tutima (initially two separate brands UROFA-UFAG) supported its bets on the rising prevalence of the wristwatch.

The first flyback chronograph to be delivered in Germany, Tutima’s Flieger was fitted with caliber 59 with two pushers, a brass case with a coin-edged pivoting bezel and an interesting red reference marker, a black dial, iridescent house of God style hands and a larger than usual crown. With just about 30,000 pieces delivered available, Tutima’s unique Flieger Chronograph is exceptionally pursued by gatherers. In the same way as other German watch brands in Glashütte, Tutima’s establishments were crushed during an air strike toward the finish of WWII and any operational apparatus that endure was appropriated by the Russians.

What’s comparable, what isn’t?

In 2013 Tutima delivered the Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph. A more contemporary interpretation of the first Flieger, the Grand Flieger Classic has numerous the characteristics of its progenitor with some plan refreshes that bring it into the 21st century. The Flieger-style case references its progenitor with its famous coin-edged pivoting bezel and bright red reference marker to follow slipped by times. Bigger than the first Tutima watch, the Grand Flieger tips the scales at 43mm with a case stature of 16mm.

It is unquestionably a BIG watch, but numerous aficionados of pilot’s watches would contend that this is exactly the point; the well known B-Urhen watches, for instance, created for Germany’s Luftwaffe accompanied tying 55mm cases. The mystique, in my eyes, of a pilot’s watch lives in its larger than average measurements and unmistakable apparatus arranged styling.

Featuring a blend of cleaned and silk brushed completions, the tempered steel case has a consoling strength and the indents on the bezel are very welcoming to the touch. The two cylinder pushers behold back to the first but the onion crown is more tightened and stylised because not a ton of men will be controlling the crown with bulky gloves. The dial side is ensured with a domed sapphire gem with hostile to intelligent treatment on both sides and the caseback uncovers the development through a sapphire crystal.

If you take a gander at the left half of the case, you will detect the word Chronometer carved into the metal, because the development, which we will cover in a matter of seconds, has accomplished Germany’s likeness the COSC-chronometer certificate. With its screw-down crown and caseback, the watch has a robust water-obstruction of 200 metres.

Legibility is paramount

As you would anticipate from a pilot’s watch, the dial accentuates legibility with bold differences in black, white and a scramble of red. The matte black background includes enormous Arabic numerals and classic basilica style hands which are marginally more limited than the first – all treated with lume that shines green in obscurity. The most obvious distinction with the first is the format of the two chronograph sub-dials, for this situation vertically adjusted and enlarged.

The 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock (with a little red hand) and the 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock stand apart from the matte background with a more obscure, glossier shade of black and really attack the encompassing numerals for a more contemporary look. What is fascinating to note is the end of the numerals on the 60-second section ring, most likely a plan decision to keep the dial as cleaned up as possible.

The chronograph seconds hand is chosen in red and stands apart unmistakably against the white markers. Another smart plan decision is the hyper-circumspect running seconds pointer set at 9 o’clock and we need to concede that even the date window is genuinely all around disguised against a dim background.

A Valjoux 7750 development, with Chronometer status

Underneath the 43mm case is an altered Valjoux 7750 programmed development (Caliber Tutima 320) with a cam-impelled chronograph with a 44-hour power save. Tutima has modified the rotor with a brilliant seal and, fortunately it has obtained Chronometer status for the development from Germany’s likeness the COSC. Like the COSC but more tough in certain respects, Germany’s DIN 8319 15-day tests are performed on assembled timepieces.


A convincingly executed recovery piece – to try not to utilize the word vintage – Tutima’s Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph fulfills our wistfulness for WWII flight chronographs and doubles up as a strong companion for ordinary mileage. With its 200m water-opposition and chronometer-confirmed programmed development, this is a brave off-road vehicle. Concessions to innovation as the vertical sub-dials and top quality wraps up bring the watch solidly into our century. The lone doubt we have respects the value, which is on the lofty side for a watch with a changed Valjoux movement.


The Grand Flieger Classic Chronograph (Ref. 6402-01) comes on an attractive pilot’s calfskin tie with white sewing and a collapsing fasten and retails for EUR 3,900. More subtleties on tutima.com .