Social media watch culture has built itself a sizeable influence in the watch industry at large. Not only is social media feedback creating a direct impact on the products watch companies create, but brands across the industry are also beginning to pick up on memes and trends within the community with hashtags such as #SpeedyTuesday and #BlueWatchMonday making their way into official watch designs and marketing materials. One of the most popular of these hashtags is #FliegerFriday, turning the end of the workweek into a de facto celebration of all things pilot watch. German tool watch specialist Tutima has seized upon this, leveraging its long history of aviation timepieces to create the ultimate limited-edition watch for #FliegerFriday. The limited-edition Tutima Flieger Friday Chronograph channels the influential 1941 Tutima Flieger Chronograph into a remarkably faithful modern interpretation, marrying classic wartime aesthetics with up to date finishing and build quality.
Tutima aims to make the Flieger Friday Chronograph as visually accurate as possible to the 1941 original and starts this process with an identically sized case at 38.5mm in diameter. While 38.5mm is petite for a pilot chronograph in this day and age, this compact diameter helps to sell the vintage look. All the visual hallmarks of the original Flieger Chronograph case are carried over here, from the signature fluted bezel with its red highlight stripe, to the simple brushed straight lugs, to the beefy pillbox crown flanked by stout piston pushers. Although the style of the Flieger Friday Chronograph’s case is purely vintage-inspired, Tutima has made sizeable updates to the design in terms of quality. Of course, the original nickel-plated brass case material is replaced with brushed stainless steel, while water resistance is improved to a respectable 100 meters and a sapphire display caseback offers a glimpse into the hand-wound movement within.
The dial of the limited-edition Tutima Flieger Friday Chronograph is likewise focused on updating the quality of the 1941 original while keeping the look as faithful as possible. The cathedral hands and simple printed Arabic hour numerals are perfect examples of this, following the vintage form exactly while adding a generous fill of modern Super-LumiNova. The railroad scales surrounding the chronograph subdials add a further vintage look, driving home the early 20th-century inspiration. Overall, the dial feels open and cleanly utilitarian in initial images, with enough ‘40s flair to give it a distinctive personality apart from other pilot chronographs. Like the case, the dial is not 100 percent accurate to the original Tutima Flieger Chronograph design, but here the changes are less about modernizing build quality. The first change is in the spacing of the two chronograph subdials relative to the outer seconds track, with the current Flieger Friday Chronograph moving these subdials slightly inboard relative to the original. This is a minor adjustment, dictated by the layout of the movement inside the case, but the other change is less easily explainable. While the dial remains nearly text free like the original, the Flieger Friday Chronograph opts to use Tutima’s modern logo at 12 o’clock. While this is a small change, the original ‘40s style logotype may have led to a more cohesive look.
In keeping with the 1941 original, Tutima powers the Flieger Friday Chronograph with a hand-wound chronograph movement, namely a modified version of the ETA Valjoux 7760. Tutima’s dedication to historical accuracy shines through in its modifications to the 7760 movement, altering the layout to preserve the 9 o’clock running seconds and 3 o’clock 30-minute register of the original ‘40s Tutima Caliber 59 movement. Decoration is largely confined to a gold-plated and striped bridge, producing a striking two-tone effect through the display caseback. Performance is solidly modern, with a 48-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate.
Tutima completes the retro pilot look of the Flieger Friday Chronograph with a heavily distressed leather strap in saddle brown. Extensive contrast stitching in dark khaki helps to reinforce the vintage look, while also adding in a touch more pilot watch style.
With a dedication to authenticity in nearly every aspect, the limited-edition Tutima Flieger Friday Chronograph will likely stand as a social media standout among vintage pilot watch enthusiasts. Only 25 examples of the Tutima Flieger Friday Chronograph will be made, available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $3,450. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.