Watch Insider: Tissot Offers Automatic 80-Hour Movements at Affordable Prices


At first glance, Tissot‘s Powermatic 80 automatic caliber appears to be just another ETA movement. But as I reveal in this article from my blog, Watch-Insider.com, that impression is way off the mark. Much like Swatch’s new Sistem 51 caliber, this one represents another quiet watchmaking revolution.

Tissot has been working hand in hand with ETA (both are owned by the Swatch Group) on the research and development of this recently introduced automatic caliber. Together, they strove to push the limits in terms of precision, power and, essentially, giving time a new status. The Tissot Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber not only demonstrates great precision but also has 80 hours of power reserve. Most standard watches usually have a mainspring barrel that lasts 36 to 48 hours before needing to be wound up again. However, with a new construction concept that integrates a new spring barrel, Tissot and ETA were able to provide this movement with a greater power reserve, allowing the watch to run for 80 hours before it needs to be wound. As if a greater power reserve was not enough, the companies also found a way of making the movement extremely precise and robust by concentrating on ways to improve the regulator system. One of the factors that contributed to that robustness was a new way of regulating the watch, which involves removing the index-assembly system and replacing it with a new, innovative technology. The high-tech escapement has no regulator; the rate is set at the factory with a laser, making the manual rate adjustments normally required by a mechanical watch unnecessary.

Tissot does not tell officially, but I assume the Tissot Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber, like the Swatch Sistem 51 movement, is also made entirely of ARCAP, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc with exceptional anti-magnetic qualities. For more about the Swatch Sistem 51, read this article on the “Buzz Watches of Baselworld.”

Tissot Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber - angle
Tissot Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber
Tissot Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber - angleTissot Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber - front

How reliable and accurate is this caliber? We will soon find out definitively, when the next figures published by the Swiss testing agency COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). I have heard that Tissot could easily send more than a million Powermatic 80 Automatic calibers to COSC for official chronometer certification. This move would make Tissot the new number one company in Switzerland in terms of COSC-certified calibers, knocking Rolex from the throne. Rolex has been the undisputed king of COSC-certified watches, defending its position year after year by sending more movements to COSC than any other brand. (This does not, however, automatically mean that Rolex also sells the most watches. Click here to learn more.) In fact, Swatch could probably also send its Sistem 51 movements to COSC, and I am confident that they would pass the 14-day test easily. Of course, Swatch would not do this because the expense of testing the watch would make it cost-prohibitive; few customers of the low-priced Swatch brand would pay extra for a COSC certificate. Many Tissot customers, however, would recognize a COSC certificate as a proof of their watches’ accuracy and quality. And a COSC certificate would not increase the price of a Tissot watch dramatically. Below you will find the first Tissot watch equipped with the Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber, the Tissot Luxury Automatic timepiece. Certain models already bear the COSC certification. For more detail on the watch, click here for Mark Bernardo’s article on the watch on WatchTime.com.

Tissot describes the Tissot Luxury Automatic as the very core of what the brand stands for, namely, luxury at an affordable price — and at a range from $1,225 to $$1,575,  I am inclined to agree. What say you?

Tissot Luxury Automatic with the Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber - front and back
Tissot Luxury Automatic with the Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber
Tissot Luxury Automatic with the Powermatic 80 Automatic caliber - front and back

This article was originally published on October 16, 2013, and has been updated.

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18 Responses to “Watch Insider: Tissot Offers Automatic 80-Hour Movements at Affordable Prices”

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  1. Fernando

    I’ve just noticed how similar to Mido’s Caliber 80 COSC this movement is. The inside design is the same, with different materials. Very interesting, because this means a “cheap” Tissot Powermatic 80 has almost the same standards as a COSC movement. They’re all Swatch Group anyway, but for those interested, the P80 models from Tissot seem to be a fantastic option!

    Reply
  2. Fred Kaminski

    My mother has a tissot watch. She say that her pulse is what winds the watch. Is this true? I said to her that moving her arm is what winds the watch. Could you please settle this for us? Thanks, Fred

    Reply
    • any motion that moves the roter on the movement winds up the mainspring, a pulse would not do it, its just basic physics, the roter winds the main spring and, the watch runs from the kinetic force that is released from the unwinding of the mainspring barel and is regulated by the escapement

      Reply
  3. Just order this watch can’t wait till it arrives! This review made my mind up

    Thnaks

    Reply
  4. @Neil. You are asking the point of 80 hours power reserve. I am one of those who would like it. For two reasons. 1) It would last even if I leave on over the weekend and 2) if I get a second watch and want to rotate them, it is useful if they keep going for more than a day.

    Reply
  5. What’s the point of an 80 hour power reserve on an automatic watch that’s worn on a daily basis?

    What’s the point of COSC certification when any high quality, properly serviced and regulated watch can be accurate to within those bounds?

    Amazing how they are trying to sell the fact that the watch can’t be regulated as a plus point.. ;-) I don’t believe that any mechanical watch can achieve the full potential of its accuracy until it has been regulated “on the wrist”, i.e. in a manner that takes account of the personal habits of the wearer, climate etc, however accurate it was when it left the factory. I wouldn’t buy a mechanical watch I couldn’t regulate myself.

    How accurate exactly IS this watch? Can it consistently manage within 1 second a day for example, like my 40 year-old vintage Seikos can?

    What’s the point of a huge case that looks as if it is about twice the size of the actual movement?

    Reply
  6. MrTissot

    As my user name suggests, I am a great Tissot fan. Tissot watches were my first buys. I have 4 of them 2 PRS516 automatics with Valjoux 7750s, a cheaper quartz PRS516 and of course every Tissot fans fav, a T-Touch Expert Titanium. This brand is extremely powerful not only because of total sales output, but also because they are reliable, inexpensive, well made and are responsible up until now for mine and probably many others insatiable watch fetish. This new movement is a great victory for Tissot and the Swatch Group combined if they can get the movements COSC certified. With an 80 hour power reserve, COSC certification and a see-through case back, one could not ask for more. Surely one will be on the cards for a lot of us !!

    Reply
    • MrTissot

      Ohhh !! Have just added the T-Complication Squelette to the collection! Amazing piece for the money.

      Reply
  7. Wit Jarochowski

    Your comments about watch regulating as “a new way of regulating the watch” is not really a new one. As poising the balance could be done by laser beam, but timing such watch is done by rotating the “C” clamps on the balance spoke. This system was use by many brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex and others.

    Reply
    • Steve Cseplo

      That is the whole issue. When can I get my hands on one? Better yet, when will one be in the store so I can test fit it to see if the strap or bracelet will fit my fat wrist?

      I just went through having a store get in a Tissot Visodate PR 516 GL in for me only to be very disappointed. We all were disappointed. The cool bracelet it comes with just didn’t fit my wrist. Beautiful watch, I really wanted it but… Fortunately they were able to send it back to corporate.

      Reply
  8. anil kumar dube

    Tissot fan and i congratulate for its new bench mark.
    May tissot reveal the tech detail of escapape mechinism.
    Best wishes
    Anil dube

    Reply
  9. charilaos.kinezos

    luxury.watches.dont.agree.relaible.yes.good.watches.fot.the.price.i.do.have.4.tissot.watches.all.the.top…watch.brands.use.in.house.movements.the.new.80…hours . power . reserve. its good. step. for.e.t.a
    movements.
    .

    Reply
  10. Don’t name your product “luxury”. It guarantees that it is not.

    On a movement note: this is great news for the average consumer and may well “trickle up.”

    Reply
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