Tufina Watches is a watch brand that seems to have split reviews and opinions online. But behind the brand, there seems to be a sincere love for watches and an honest history.
I am here to set the record straight and review one of their watches for the watch it is, and the price they are asking. Nothing more, nothing less.
I present to you the Tufina Theorema St. Petersburg
Disclaimer : This watch was sent to me for free for this review.
Pros & Cons
- Reference: GM-121-5
- Case material: Stainless steel rose plated 5 microns (316L)
- Case dimension: Approximately 40×45 mm without crown
- Special features: Incabloc-type shock protection
- Movement: In-house automatic
- Mechanics: 20 ruby jewels
- VPH: 21,600
- Lens: Sapphire Coated
- Hands: Skeleton hands double colors
- Clasp/Buckle: Standard clasp
- Band: Genuine cow leather band
- Included: Original Theorema box with Booklet & warranty card
- Warranty: 2-year warranty
- Water-Resistant: 3 ATM
- Brand: Theorema
- Manufactured: Made in Germany
The hands also seem to have taken some inspiration from Richard mille with their sharp sword shape and colored tips. But this case has more notches and beat-blasted areas, giving it a different feel and some depth.
Even the skeletonized dials is usually part of Richard Mille’s MO, but that is where the similarities end.
The skeletonized movement and rotor is classically decorated with rounded engraving called intaglio or incised engraving, where the form is normally cut into the metal using a burin, but seems machined here.
Overall, this model is my favorite of the St. Petersburg collection as i love the mix of rose gold and blue tones. The watch plays well with both its dressy feel and sporty look, making it an interesting design i can appreciate with casual clothing, but it might be too big to wear with a suit, in my opinion.
Case & Crown
The crown is easy to grip, is well-finished, and produces a nice solid click when pulled out. It is a pleasure to manually wind or set the time.
Dial & Hands
The chapter ring has white printed minute markers and lume dots every 5 minutes. Some of the dots have minor print mistakes worth mentioning, but not really visible at a normal time-telling distance on the wrist.
The hands are not heat-blued, but rather painted, giving them a very glossy look and light blue hue in bright light. The same goes for the second hand. I have seen better hand finishing in this price range, but also a lot worse.
However, the red and white paint on the hands is well applied, with crisp edges and a good texture.
The movement is the final layer, and although it is machine engraved and polished, it looks pretty good on the wrist at a normal distance.
Strap & Buckle
The strap has its good and mad moments.
On one hand, the strap is nicely padded and the fake crocodile pattern is thick and deep. The feel and look is just right for this price range.
The downside with the strap is that it’s very rigid and needs a proper bending before being worn, and is preferably work loose.
The lume is quite cool with a mix of green and orange colors. It is not very potent and i have seen better lume on watches in this price range, but the fact it has some is still nice and fun to make glow under a bright lamp.
I have handled similar movements to these in the past, and they hold 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.
Asian parts do not necessarily mean bad quality, as i have owned a Seagull Chronograph for years and i have heard many accounts of people enjoying their Thomas Earnshaw or other brands with Asian parts for years.
This specific watch actually holds time pretty well, within the same tolerance as a SEIKO NH35 or better and showed a +/- 7 to 10 seconds a day.
Since there is a warranty on these watches, I wouldn’t worry too much about these movements.
Tufina watches, and specifically, the St. Petersburg sits in the middle of the Price/Quality scale. Many of the elements of the watch are custom and the movement is finished, albite it being machine finished. This is based of the current price of 369 USD.
If you like this kind of design with skeleton engraved movements, Tufina is a good place to look. In the grand world of microbrand watches, there is plenty of worse deals and better deals
On the wrist
The watch is also extremely light, which helps with comfort and makes up a lot for the stiff strap.
Tufina watches have some audacious designs and skeleton engraved movements at a reasonable price.
The St. Petersburg is a good blend of sporty and dressy, with just the right amount of colors and polished rose gold colored metal. It’s fun to wear and keeps you staring at the all movement and static parts of the visible movement.
Quality-wise, for the price tag is not a bad option if you like his type of design. In conclusion if you like these types of skeleton mechanical designs, Tufina is a solid choice.