It was the year 1927. In all of Europe, an awakening was in the air. Technical innovation, young arts like film and photography, and unprecedented music like jazz made this decade into the Golden Twenties.
Even in Glashütte, world-famous as the city of timepieces since the nineteenth century, the belief in tomorrow was tangible. Here, in the midst of crisis, two companies were founded: Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG (UROFA) and Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG, known as UFAG. Chairman and Managing Director of both was Dr. Ernst Kurtz, a jurist who quickly recognized that it was not the still widely utilized pocket watch to which the future would belong, but the wristwatch. Very soon, his best models had no need to shun comparison to Swiss brands. Because they were especially reliable and durable, they received the name “Tutima”, derived from the Latin word for “safe, secure.” A brand was born.
The first Saxon era
Rapid technical development in the early twentieth century precipitated the rise of the wristwatch. For those who needed to drive a car or pilot an airplane, the possibility of reading the time at a flick of the wrist was of vital importance. It was especially demanded of pilot’s watches that they be able to with-stand stress, easy to use, and precise.
Thanks to their superior technology and craftsmanship, wristwatches by Tutima quickly garnered an excellent reputation. In fact, the pilot’s watch from 1941 became legendary. But just four years later, Tutima seemed about to fold. A devastating air raid only hours before the end of the war destroyed the factory; shortly thereafter, Russian troops occupied the state. Legends don’t die quite that easily, though.
Saxony becomes Lower Saxony
In 1945, Germany experienced its zero hour. However, with gumption, entrepreneurial spirit, and inventive-ness, its people achieved an economic miracle. Like some of the company’s employees, Dr. Kurtz was able to move to the West shortly before the end of the war.CLOSE
Together, they preserved the ideals of the art of Glashütte watchmaking in a Lower Saxon community called Ganderkesee: technical finesse, spirit of innovation, and knowledge of their roots made the new start into a success story, which has been decisively continued by Dieter Delecate since the 1960s. When the Tutima Military Chronograph ref. 798 was voted the official pilot’s watch of NATO in 1984, the brand had once again arrived where it belonged: up there.
The circle begins to close
As the Iron Curtain fell and Germany was reunited after decades of separation, Dieter Delecate began to mature a plan to return to Glashütte. However, in stark contrast to other traditional Saxon brands, Tutima had long since established itself in its new West German home. A quick move was thus not an option. A new factory was at first established in parallel to the one in Ganderkesee, where, in 2008, another milestone was created in the shape of the Grand Classic Alpha model.CLOSE
At the same time, in Glashütte’s former rail station maintenance depot, in very close proximity to the historical factory, the new home of the brand began to take shape. When on May 14, 2008, the new factory was put to work, the circle began to close.
The roots of perfection
The beginnings of watchmaking in Glashütte are deeply entwined with the secluded eastern Ore Mountains: watchmakers had to make almost all their parts themselves. Some of them became independent. It was Dr. Ernst Kurtz who brought the lone wolves scattered across the Müglitz valley together under one roof in a factory at the end of the 1920s, developing modern work structures.CLOSE
It was this spirit that already characterized our philosophy and operating principles during the times of UFAG – and continues to do so now. Today, we design and develop our own watch movements, like caliber 617. This classic movement comprises 166 individual components of the highest quality, produced on CNC tooling machines and traditionally finished by hand. The self-produced spring barrel, gear train, and oscillating system are also utilized in the minute repeater.
Time needs time
On the road to success there are no shortcuts. And thus the creation of a complicated timekeeper calls for one thing above all: a lot of time. Because two to three years of planning and development may pass before a watch becomes a complete Tutima.CLOSE
This boundless passion and patience are the reason that at Tutima, special movement modules such as the chronograph caliber Tutima 521 are created. It is based on caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, and replaces the Swiss caliber Lémania 5100.
The challenge of this module was not only to make sure that it reliably functions without compromise but also to pack it into the smallest possible amount of space. The result is a masterful construction that we have registered for a patent.