Very rare and early Glashutte Tutima German Luftwaffe Chronograph wristwatch c.1941.
The Tutima brand was formed in 1927 by the creation of two companies based in the German city of Glashutte, UROFA (Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG) and UFAG (Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG). The two companies resurrected the failed Glashütte watch industry, which had collapsed due to the economic crisis that followed WWI. The Managing Director of both companies was a young jurist, Dr Ernst Kurtz, who had the foresight to recognise that the pocket watch would soon make way for the modern day wristwatch.
The two companies began producing high quality timepieces which could rival any of their Swiss counterparts, mainly due to their reliability and durability. Consequently, the companies highest grade watches were granted the name “Tutima”, which derived from the Latin adjective “Tutus” meaning “safe” or “protected”.
The two pusher pilot chronograph began being developed in 1939 and were eventually manufactured by Uhrenfabrik AG Tutima of Glashutte, Saxony and by Hanhart of Schwenningen on the Neckar. These watches were the first German chronographs to have a flyback function. The first examples were delivered to the German government in 1941 and around 30,000 Tutimas had been issued by the end of the war.
The watches were very similar in appearance. Both used a rotating bezel which was aligned with the minute hand via a red dot, or in earlier models, a marker arrow. This enabled the pilot to record a specific flying distance. The chronograph function also made it possible to obtain second precise time intervals of up to 30 minutes.
The watches themselves were not issued with any military markings and were returned to stores when not in use or required by a pilot for operational duties.
As with other military watches, the chronographs were made to a certain specification which included black dials with clear luminous hands and markers with the case backs screwed down in order to prevent any dirt or moisture entering the movement.
After the defeat of Germany in 1945 the Tutima factory in Glashutte was confiscated by Russia as part of the war reparations owed by Germany and later reassembled in Moscow.
Very early examples of these Glashutte Tutima German Military Chronograph watches such as the one for sale with its pointer bezel, gold finished movement and early serial number are extremely rare and highly collectible. As such, the watch for sale represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a rare and historic piece of aviation history.