Whether you’re going up in a Sopwith Camel or a 737, Tutima is the brand to beat when it comes to aviation watches. An no aviation watch is more iconic than the Flieger, a massive watch with huge crown designed for aviators of a different era.
The Grand Flieger Classic Automatic is a $2,900 piece with a lot of character. This model, which comes on a grains of rice bracelet, features a 43mm case with automatic movement and a super-lumed face that’s easy to fall in love with.
What Tutima does best is create watches that are a cohesive whole. This entire watch is well-designed, well-thought-out, and made of excellent materials. For less than $3,000 you get a handcrafted piece that literally looks like it could last decades and the entire thing is beautiful and usable in a way only a Glashutte-sourced piece can be.
The Flieger isn’t the most complex watch you can buy. It has a smooth-turning rotating bezel for timing your barnstorming runs and the complications are limited to a day-date window at 3 o’clock. However, like the Tissot Le Locle, the whole thing just works. The price might be too rich for some blood but you could argue that the bracelet alone is worth the price of admission thanks to the beautiful and well-shaped links.
Whether you’re a daredevil or a nervous flyer, this Flieger will bring you some comfort – at least you’ll be able to read the time in the pitch dark over the North Sea at 0400 hours, cold wind blasting over your canopy, the world rising into morning at the edges of the horizon or, barring that, a coach seat on a crowded Delta flight to Minnesota. Either way, you’ll know what time it is.