Tissot have been a cornerstone of the watch scene for decades. The brand, which is owned by the Swatch Group, is famous for no nonsense, affordable watches which are reliably built and are in more cases than not an ideal first watch for a lot of people. However, outside of a few key models, I would not say that they have ever been a true watch nerds brand. Whilst the brand is of course appreciated by watch geeks, they have never released stuff that I feel speaks to the true nerd community. But this week this all changed.
The watch that they released is an absolute cracker. Previously it was only released in a quartz version, which despite not being as appealing as an automatic one could argue is significantly more in keeping with the 80's style design language. But this week, Tissot answered the prayers of well, me and I assume many other watch nerds, by releasing an automatic. This is not only a momentous occasion because of the sheer fact that it is an automatic, because the automatic that in question is also important. Swatch Group, and Tissot specifically, are known for their development of a movement called the Powermatic 80. This movement is so named because it has a whopping 80 hour power reserve... That is 3.3 days of sitting on your bedside table without needing winding. Now in the grand scheme of movement technological advancements this is nothing overly earth shattering, but the price points at which these amazing movements are being offered certainly is... we will come onto the price later but the value for money considering the movement alone is staggering.
Now, I fully anticipate that a lot of you out there will dismiss this watch straight away because it bears a striking resemblance to a certain few designs by a very famous watchmaker, which lets be honest has been milked to within an inch of its life recently. And whilst I can see where you are coming from, it is actually interesting to note that this watch is not modelled on the Royal Oak or the Nautilus. If there is going to be the argument that it is a derivative design I would actually argue that it bears more of a striking resemblance to the Vacheron Constantin 222. Despite that I am seeing it through rose tinted spectacles, so I frankly don't particularly care whether it is a derivative design or not. And there are a few reasons for this.
Photo Credit: Monochrome Watches...
The first of which is that this design is actually based on watches from Tissot's own back catalogue from the 1970's. Of course there is all chance that the design of it in the 70's could have been based on Gerald's napkin sketch, but the silver lining here is that this is not a Lange & Sohne Odysseus scenario... (another watch which I ADORE by the way).
The second, and most crucial thing to consider here is the price point... Below is a selection of the derivative 'integrated steel sports watch' offerings that are a) currently on the market and b) harkening back to the Royal Oak and Nautilus.
A selection of the other offerings in this category...
The reason why the Tissot stands out is that from the watches above, the most affordable alternative will still set you back £4,300. Whilst it is understandable given the brands in question and as a result the quality, the fundamental reason for them being released is to offer an affordable alternative that you can for the most part walk into an AD and buy. The only slight issue is that £4,300 is still a bonkers amount of money to spend on a piece of metal who's functionality is sadly completely redundant. Furthermore its £4,300 you'd be spending on the Bell & Ross BR05... and why would anyone want to do that? This is where the appeal of the PRX Powermatic 80 comes in, as this stunner will set you back a mere £600...
Photo Credit: Monochrome Watches...
The other huge appeal of the watch is its quality. The heritage of Tissot have led it to be renowned for marrying two of the greatest elements of watches together seamlessly, quality and affordability. This watch (from reading about it and seeing press photos I hasten to add) looks superb. Whilst I have not seen this watch in the flesh yet (It is worth noting that if I had the funds right now id order one in a heartbeat) when I hopefully get to play with one I have no doubt it will be superbly built.
"First unveiled under the name “Sea star,” Tissot later registered the name PRX, where P stands for Precise, R for Robust and the X, here a Roman numeral, refers to the 10 bars water-resistance." Brice Goulard, Monochrome Watches
We spoke extensively about this watch on this weeks podcast, and it says a lot that all three of us unanimously agreed that this watch is an early contender for Watch Of The Year. Whilst that is we know a very bold claim, it is really hard to argue with the overall package with this watch. Whether you get it in white, black or blue, this watch is an absolute home run. Well done Tissot.
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