Hands on Review: The Titoni Master Series Power Reserve Chronometer6:09 pm
On a flight to New Delhi, I happened to meet an old couple who shared the same enthusiasm for watches as I do. The lady had a rare (probably discontinued) Omega on her wrist, gifted by her husband in the 1960s. The gentleman, on the other hand had a gold Titoni ‘Master Series’, which surprised me because I didn’t know much about the brand myself, but the gentleman convinced me that this was, by far his most reliable (and lucky, if that counts) watch he’s ever owned. That day I learned that love and admiration for a brand like Titoni (which honestly I didn’t know much about) is still alive in the hearts of seasoned Indian watch lovers and hasn’t lost that ‘vintage’ soft corner yet.
Finding that kind of love and admiration for a brand like Titoni in India is understandable. The brand, though 100% Swiss, traditionally has sold almost 90% of its watches in the Asian and American market, but that doesn’t make them a lesser watchmaker. Titoni, for almost a century has been creating watches in Grenchen and are still a 100% family owned watch brand that make and source all their parts from Switzerland. In fact, Titoni arrived in India right after we gained Independence in 1947 but chose to leave the country in 1975 when national Emergency was declared. Their exit from India is probably why the love (and maybe awareness) for the brand was never there among us (the young watch aficionados).
Titoni returned to India in 2017 with over 220 different watches, spread over 12 different collections, but the Master Series was the one that caught my fancy, because apart from being ‘Swiss Made’ it is their only Chronometer Certified offering. COSC Certifications as you know, are not easy to get as only 3% of all Swiss watches made can achieve that feat! The Master Series collection has several special complications to offer but the one we’re going to review today is the Master Series Retrograde Power Reserve watch.
The most used complication of our time:
Power Reserve Indicator, also known as ‘Réserve de Marche’ or ‘Gangreserve’ display has a simple task assigned to it, but also the most important task of all – telling you how much juice is left in the tank. The complication made its debut in pocket watches back in the day and it was a problem-solving complication back then, simply because it told the wearer when to wind their watch. Today it might not hold much importance versus a ‘moon phase’ or ‘perpetual calendar’ but its sheer presence is reassuring to the wearer. It’s a complication that has its own appeal.
The Master Series – Case & Dial
The Master Series Retrograde has an ‘extraordinary’ dash to it, without much bling or being too ‘dazzling’. It’s a watch that was made to make a strong impression on the wrist. The dial features a unique guilloche black pattern, with skeleton leaf shaped hands with luminous inputs. The dial is complimented with ‘leaf-style’ faceted hour indexes and a big Arabic 12 at the 12 o’clock position. Something I did not expect from this watch is its powerful luminosity: it’s a lot brighter than most watches I’ve known about or worn. The date display under 12 o’clock somehow fits well into the overall look of the dial. Featuring two different discs, the date changes spontaneously at midnight.
The case is a slender 39 mm with an overall thickness of 10 mm, but it wears and looks a lot bigger. The size is ideal for someone with thin wrists, and thanks to the lugs, it snuggles on perfectly. The case made of stainless steel has a polished finish.
The Power Reserve Indicator:
The Power Reserve indicator of the Master Series is designed with a little extra dominance, occupying the 6 o’clock position with bits of 5 and 7 o’clock as well! The ‘juice in the tank’ is indicated by a skeleton leaf hand and no, this one doesn’t have any luminous indications. The Power reserve counter is also underlined by the “Officially Certified Chronometer” badge that is proudly shown by the brand.
Swiss Made COSC Certified Movement:
The Master Series Retrograde is based on an ETA 2892 with Soprod 9090 module and is COSC certified. The watch even comes with its individual certificate inside the box, issued by COSC, which means the movement has gone through the Swiss watch industry’s most rigorous of tests. As I mentioned before, only 3% of all the Swiss Made watches produced get this certification and it’s obviously a big deal for this watch. Complications include a simple time, date and power reserve. Speaking of power reserve, this watch has a 42-hour power reserve, when fully wound.
Genuine Leather Strap:
I would have expected an alligator leather strap on this watch, I mean it’s just a personal preference, however, what you get with the Master Series is a genuine hand-stitched Leather strap which is of great quality and is secured by a stainless steel push buckle. The case and strap combine to give it an extremely comfortable wear.
“The Master Series is the ultimate expression of the fine art of watchmaking. Exquisite design combined with the greatest horological precision.”
For someone on the lookout for a reliable ‘power reserve indicator’ watch, one couldn’t really ask for more at this price point – a handsome dress watch made of the highest quality and to top it all, chronometer certified. In terms of looks, it’s easily a watch that deserves more than a glance with its unconventional dial design.
The Master Series Power Reserve is a courageous effort by Titoni in delivering an extremely well-made watch for just INR 219,000. To put things in perspective, a watch with similar offerings from other luxury watch brands would be almost double the cost in the market.
It even comes with a special box along with the COSC certificate and a nice picture book labelled “90 years of Titoni”, something that would help familiarize the owner with the brand’s rich history and heritage – a nice old school touch forgotten by most brands today. In fact, the watch, its overall branding, packaging and presentation has this very old-school yet reassuring feel to it. Something I’ve felt for the first time from any watchmaker, and maybe that’s what Titoni lovers in India have felt for a long time.
Did you like the watch? Let us know in the comments section below!
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