Taking Flight With The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph
The German manufacture’s new M2 Coastline Chronograph is reporting for heavy-duty.
The enduring appeal of the pilot’s watch is that they express all the dashing and derring-do of a top gun timepiece while still being practical on the ground. Fortunately, the popularity of pilot’s watches means you can find excellent examples of these military-influenced timepieces at very accessible price points.
Take, for example, the new Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph. Originally scheduled to launch at Baselworld 2020, this cult chronograph is built to withstand any adventure. And its titanium case and highly legible display make it ideal for the rigors of daily life as well.
Tutima is well known for creating sports watches built for any challenge. And this time, the brand turned to aviation experts to create a timepiece that could live up to the brand’s past success with pilot’s watches.
Established in Glashütte, Germany, in 1927, Tutima's chairman and managing director, Dr. Ernst Kurtz, observed the post-World War I obsession with aviation and knew the days of the pocket watch were coming to a close. Pilots and the ever-growing number of motorists needed to check the time quickly and trust in the timepiece's accuracy. Durability and reliability were the bywords of Tutima’s pilot’s watches.
But then, in 1945, just hours before the end of World War II, an air raid destroyed its factory. By the time the dust settled, the war was over, and Glashütte was trapped in Soviet-controlled East Germany.
The company’s founder managed to escape to West Germany and continued producing watches. Most famously, the Tutima Military Chronograph Ref. 798 (a.k.a the NATO) was born in 1984 and voted the official service watch of NATO, and it is still issued to German army pilots to this day.
After reunification, Tutima relocated back to Glashütte, the epicenter of German watchmaking in 2008. The M2 – introduced at Baselworld in 2013 – is a continuation of the region’s and the brand's traditions. The original, three-hand M2 Coastline Chronograph debuted in 2019 as a more affordable take on the M2.
TODAY AND TOMORROW
The 2020 M2 Coastline Chronograph features more than a few upgrades that will please professional users and active amateurs.
Modeled on the brand’s purpose-built pilot’s watch, the famous Military Chronograph Ref. 798 NATO watch from 1984, the new M2 Coastline is a super-solid chrono cased in rugged brushed titanium.
One of the hallmarks it shares with the NATO is its rounded, tonneau-shaped case and its flat pushers integrated into the case to prevent them from getting snagged and broken while in use. The two pushers also feature a black PVD-coated tread for extra grip.
The M2 Coastline Chronograph also has a lot of wrist presence, measuring 43mm in diameter and 15.8mm in height. But the lightweight, highly resistant titanium means that it wears comfortably on the wrist. And for even more robustness, it’s kitted out with a screw-in crown and sealed caseback (decorated with the NATO star), giving it a water-resistance of 200m.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
Of course, legibility is key in the cockpit, and the highly instrumental, black or blue dial with white markings provides superb legibility. These dark dials, with their matte surfaces and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, address the issue of glare and reflection.
This timepiece also says something about its wearer. The Tutima M2 Chronograph with blue dial comes on a brown leather strap with blue stitching and reads as a sportier, slightly retro style of the pilot's watch’s typical look. The model with the black dial comes with Tutima’s popular integrated titanium bracelet, making it well suited for daily wear.
The biggest upgrade to the M2 Coastline Chronograph is Tutima’s new automatic caliber 310, which drives the hours, minutes, central chronograph hand, 30-min and 12-hour elapsed time counters, small seconds, and date function. Based on the ETA Valjoux 7750, this chronograph movement also has a 48-hour power reserve.
For a watch that deserves a lot of wrist time, it is a very good value. The retail price of the blue model (ref. 6430-03) is $3,300, while the black version with a titanium bracelet (ref. 6430-02) is $3,700. For more information, visit tutima.com.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)