HANDS-ON: The Titoni Airmaster delivers classic vibes and a dial in ‘glacier turquoise’Fergus Nash
Having produced watches under the names Felca and Felco throughout the 1920s to ‘50s, the brand morphed into the more modern-sounding Titoni in the slick age of the 1960s and ‘70s. Although it’s extremely difficult to find original examples of them that haven’t been refurbished or frankensteined into other parts, the first generations of the Titoni Airmaster kept the brand alive and solidified their identity with the plum blossom logo. In more recent decades, the Titoni Airmaster has been one of their most expansive ranges, currently covering at least 36 references with different dial and case configurations. We got our hands on this 40mm model, featuring a classy and colourful blue dial.
Bridging the gap between the twisted lyre lugs of the 1960s and the modern edge of today’s cases, the Titoni Airmaster manages to feel traditional and contemporary at the same time. The bezel and space between the case and bracelet are incredibly thin, leaving heaps of space for the dial to breathe and making the bracelet feel a bit more integrated. The lugs are quite slender, but the strong brushing on their surface and polish on the harsh and swooping chamfers makes them feel much more robust. The crown is also quite an ornate detail, with a strong conical shape, thick grips, and the plum blossom signature.
Although the appearance of the large dial diameter makes the watch look quite large, the outer proportions are actually very friendly to the wrist. The 40mm diameter is moderated by a 47mm lug-to-lug length, although the 21mm lug width may make things difficult if you like to play around with straps. Thankfully the stock bracelet has solid links with comfortable curves on the underside and a nicely milled clasp, with tasteful alternating finishes on the tops of the links.
This version of the Titoni Airmaster has a particularly classic vibe, with sharp applied hour markers and bold Roman numerals at the quarters all in polished, glinting steel. The hands are a very slim alpha shape, and feature a small sliver of luminous paint for viewing after dark. There is a date window next to the 3 o’clock numeral, making sure that nothing is awkwardly cut off or replaced to keep the symmetry in check. The overall appearance aims for a dressy style that still has details such as the Airmaster script to retain everyday appeal.
What really solidifies this Titoni Airmaster as a watch from this decade is the Tiffany-blue dial, which Titoni have called “glacier turquoise”. Although there’s not as much hype surrounding this colour currently, it’s still a great choice for a watch which can capture a summery atmosphere at the same time as fitting in at the office. There are also references available with a navy blue dial and red printing, a standard black and white, a brushed anthracite dial with rose gold details, and another with a brushed silver dial.
As a brand who want to offer value for their luxury Swiss watches, the Sellita SW200-1 is an easy choice for a movement. These off-the-shelf calibres have exponentially grown in popularity since the ETA 2824 had its sales restricted to prevent a monopoly, and they’ve earned a great reputation as a direct replacement. They grant the Titoni Airmaster a beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, a power reserve of 38 hours, and they have an abundance of available replacement parts for affordable servicing. There is no display caseback on the Titoni Airmaster, instead depicting an etching of the Airmaster script logo and a sailboat.
The Titoni Airmaster pricing and availability:
The Titoni Airmaster is available from Titoni authorised dealers. Price: US$1,125
|40mm x 47mm
|Blue, navy, black, silver, grey
|Available from Titoni authorised dealers