By Nancy Olson
I always come back to the same criteria when considering a watch: provenance, aesthetics and mechanics. Yet for the purpose of a timepiece review, it’s important to consider how these benchmarks interface with me—my wrist, my tastes and my needs—but not so important that I can’t extrapolate to a larger sampling. Or a larger wrist. At 42mm, the Tutima Saxon One Automatic shown here is a bit large for me, though it could easily be considered a unisex watch for most people.
All of the watch’s components operate smoothly and are solid to the hand, from the screw-down crown to the substantial fold-over clasp. This coupled with other details found on more expensive watches—like the dual polishing techniques exhibited on the case, the top-stitched and lined alligator leather strap and the personalized rotor visible via the see-through caseback—bestow this watch with great value, retailing at $3,400.
I’ve long been a fan of German watch brands, and Tutima—formally founded in 1927—is high on my list. Its tenacious spirit and history in creating reliable pilot’s watches assures me of the company’s ongoing interest in precision and in quality. Today, the Glashütte-based brand’s timepieces fall into five product lines: Patria, M2, Saxon One, Grand Flieger and Sky.
Aesthetics of the Tutima Saxon One Automatic
The dial of this Saxon One Automatic is described in company literature as “royal blue,” and when light catches it just right, the color is quite dazzling. The rich shade is perfectly complemented by the adjacent blue leather integrated strap, which enhances the dial’s depth of color, I think, and plays well with its highlights.
Faceted hour markers, treated with luminescence (as are the hour and minute hands), lend some sparkle, while the red seconds hand provides a tasteful jolt as it traverses the dial. The day and date are evident at 3 o’clock. Overall, the dial is eminently readable with just enough fuss to keep things interesting and useful.
The 42mm steel case, water resistant to 20 ATM, is a fine example of what magic can happen when brushed and polished finishes expertly coalesce, here accenting the case’s multi-dimensional architecture. The bi-directionally rotating polished bezel features a red reference marker; the remainder of the case and lugs are brushed, while the caseback surrounding the sapphire crystal is both polished and brushed. The deployant clasp on the strap is polished steel.
Mechanics inside the Tutima Saxon One Automatic
The Saxon One three-hand automatic is driven by the Caliber Tutima 330 (based on the very reliable ETA 2836), which powers the hours, minutes, sweep seconds, and day and date. This 25-jewel movement, with a respectable 38 hours of power reserve, is enhanced by polished screws and an 18-karat gold Tutima logo seal on the rotor.
I enjoyed experiencing the Saxon One Automatic for a few days, and I hope to get my hands on one of the Saxon One ladies models (34mm or 36mm) as a result. For the purpose of photos, I took advantage of my son-in-law’s attractive wrist. And he intends to take advantage of my largesse by putting this watch on his wish list for an upcoming birthday. It retails for $3,400.