Tufina Istanbul Review – Classy & Quirky

By Frederik Drost
Tufina Istanbul Review – Classy & Quirky
The Tufina Istanbul is one of the most interesting watches from Theorema, offering a unique dial and time telling, with finishing and overall quality above its price point.

Tufina Watches predominantly gravitates towards skeleton dials in their designs, yet the Istanbul model notably diverges from this trend. This watch not only distinguishes itself from other Tufina offerings but also stands apart from the majority of timepieces in the market.

Introducing the Tufina Theorema Istanbul.

Pros & Cons


  • – Exquisite rose gold plated case
  • – Impressively detailed dial with fine printing
  • – Distinctive design


  • – Hours aperture could be bigger, to include previous and next hours


Specs (click to expand)


The Istanbul model captivated me with its design. My affinity for regulator watches and jump hours timepieces stems from their blend of uniqueness and traditional layout. Such designs provide an engaging challenge in time-reading and an excuse for prolonged admiration of the dial.

Note: For those interested in unique time-telling methods, consider exploring my review of the Atowak Windows, the DWISS R1, and the EONE watches.

The Istanbul boasts a design that merges traditional elements with a distinctive flair. It features a highly symmetrical vertical design, contrasted by notable horizontal variation.

The top half of the dial, adorned with rose gold stepped triangles emanating from the center and encircled by snailed lines with printing, is particularly enchanting. The printing bridges the base and the raised figure, achieving a balance between spaciousness and detail.

The case, classic in its essence, is enhanced with sharper lugs than typical dress watches, adding a touch of sophistication. The vanilla white faux snakeskin strap complements the white dial and rose gold accents beautifully, giving the watch a distinct personality, reminiscent of styles worn by celebrities like Nicolas Cage.

I do wish the white dial had a bit more texture or subtle depth to enhance its appeal.§

Time Telling

Discussing the design necessitates addressing the ergonomics of time-telling. The Istanbul model doesn’t feature a Jump Hours complication; instead, it has a rotating disc marked 1 to 12 for the hours. This design choice, likely influenced by cost and durability concerns, presents a unique way of reading time. Surprisingly, it’s easier to interpret than anticipated, except at 12 o’clock when the minute hand obscures the hour indicator—a minor compromise for the price point.

Design Conclusion

The Theorema Istanbul epitomizes a blend of classy luxury with a hint of extravagance. The combination of rose gold and snakeskin strap significantly enhances its luxury appeal, while the simpler elements of the case and dial maintain a grounded elegance. The watch’s proportions are well-thought-out, and a genuine jumping hours version would be a welcome addition.


Case and Crown:

The case and crown are polished to a standard befitting its price range, showcasing a pleasing sheen under light. The crown, adorned with a prominent T logo, offers easy grip and operation. The manual winding feels mechanical and satisfying.

Dial & Hands:

The dial is well-executed, with the raised rose gold elements and glossy black printing aligning perfectly. The hands, while not heat-blued, are skillfully painted in a dark shade of blue, offering good visibility under varying light conditions.

Strap & Buckle:

The genuine leather strap is impressively crafted, with embossed scales that nearly mimic real snake skin. The buckle is functional and branded with Theorema.


The movement maintains time effectively and is backed by a 2-year warranty. I have handled similar movements to these in the past, and theyhold up quite well, although accuracy is not its forte.

The movement has Asian parts and is hand-assembled in Germany where testing is done and all the Made in Germany qualifications are applied according to the EU laws.

The movement’s finishing includes Côtes de Genève, a nice touch for its level.

On the Wrist

With a 43mm case, the Istanbul may appear large, but its slim profile makes it visually less imposing on a 17cm circumference wrist. It remains comfortable, though not recommended for wrists under 15 cm.


The current price of $290 USD / €265 seems reasonable given the dial’s finishing, overall quality, and the strap.


In conclusion, the Tufina Theorema Istanbul is a uniquely designed watch that achieves a traditional jumping hours aesthetic with added flair. Despite lacking a true Jump Hours complication, these are minor drawbacks compared to its overall quality and comfort. In my view, this is the pinnacle of Tufina’s collection.

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