Out of all the brands within the Swatch Group’s mechanical watch portfolio, Tissot is likely the most well tuned into the global mass market. You can find Tissot watches in department stores around the world. You’ll see Tissot ads on TV as well as on the New York subway. If you follow sports, you might know them from partnerships with the NBA and with MotoGP Racing. Because of this sort of brand penetration, many enthusiasts skip over Tissot news throughout the year due to its ubiquity and lack of a “cool factor.” This shouldn’t be the case. Thanks to the brand’s large appeal, it’s afforded the opportunity to experiment and create watches across the spectrum without adherence to any sort of strict brand identity or guidelines. Among the Tissot collections, you’ll find dress and sport watches aplenty, but if you look a little deeper you’ll find watches like the Lepine Pocket Watch, released at Baselworld this year, that offer a modernist take on a traditional timepiece, among dozens of other new models.
Here’s a list of five 2018 Tissot models that, while might not be a right fit for you, are worth learning about and should be appreciated for the diversity of watches available that are well executed and are priced quite attractively.
The Tissot Heritage Antimagnetique was the most discussed watch of Baselworld 2018 for the brand. The brushed dial and stylish vintage-inspired look made it a talking point for pundits and collectors as they wandered the fair halls. The hand-wound piece is based on the antimagnetic watches that Tissot produced in the 1930s and ’40s. Tissot was one of the first brands to bring anti-magnetism to market and the watches were generally known for their clean dial configuration, steel case, thin hands, quality movement, and price accessibility compared to its more luxurious competitors. On today’s vintage market, these watches have gained some attention in recent years, but have remained relatively inexpensive compared to the brand’s historical chronographs, likely due to their mass production. The new watch (Ref. T119.405.16.037) has a large, 42-mm polished steel case with sharp, faceted lugs, and a slim signed crown. Its domed, silvery dial is outlined by a thin bezel that gives it a wider appearance, with an outer black chapter ring, large printed Arabic numerals for the hour markers, and a prominent vintage-style Tissot logo with the “antimagnetique” script below it toward the 12 o’clock position. The piece is powered by the ETA 6498-1, a manually-wound movement with a 46-hour power reserve and, interestingly, an antimagnetic resistance that is only about standard for watches today (about 64 gauss). Although the 42-mm Antimagnetique Heritage has yet to hit stores, it will retail for $995 once it does. You can read more here.
The Seastar has always been one of Tissot’s more popular models and the new Seastar 1000 Gent Automatic does nothing to change that. Boasting an attractive blue-to-black faded dial that recalls sinking to the depths of the ocean and 1000 feet of water resistance, the updated Seastar is an ideal and affordable diver. Inside the watch is the robust Powermatic 80 caliber that the Swatch Group has been using in many of its brands recently. Other noteworthy details include the requisite screw-down crown and caseback, the ceramic rotating bezel, the chunky hour and minute hands, and the option of either a stainless steel bracelet or a snug rubber strap. The dial color here is definitely the highlight; the value, with the Powermatic 80 movement and ceramic bezel, is sky high. It’s priced at $695.
Tissot Everytime Swissmatic
Tissot received a lot of praise after releasing the first Swissmatic series last fall. With a Swiss automatic movement available for under $400, even the most conservative collectors were enticed by its comprehensive value proposition. This new update in a rose gold PVD casing continues to flesh out the concept with its simple design and three-day power reserve. The 40-mm watch comes with your choice of a leather, fabric, or synthetic strap and is a little more expensive than last year’s model at $495.
The new MotoGP limited edition really surprised me the first time I viewed it. Originally, my interest in the piece was close to zero due to the fact that I’ve never been a fan of motorcycle racing, its size (almost 48 mm in its largest iteration) was much too big for me, and the movement found inside was quartz. However, after seeing the watch in person, I was impressed largely for two factors: the mixture of textures throughout the dial, bezel, strap, and case and the 1/10 of a second counter at 2 o’clock. It’s not necessarily a new complication but it is rare and it surprised me and added to the legitimacy of a watch that wouldn’t have grabbed my attention otherwise. The Tissot T-Race MotoGP 2018 is limited to 8888 pieces and is priced at $750.
Tissot Chemin des Tourelles
At first glance, the Tissot Chemin des Tourelles seems like a fairly typical Tissot dress watch. And, that might have been true if it weren’t for its historical significance. Chemin des Tourelles is the street in Le Locle where the brand was founded in 1907 and still maintains its headquarters. It’s a crowd pleaser with a nice blue dial tint and multiple different complications available including a date, chronograph, and GMT. Some models, like the above, have an eye-catching clous de Paris detailing running along the outer edge while others are perfectly clean. There’s also a variety of dial and case materials available to change up its appearance. Overall, the Chemin des Tourelles is a wide-ranging collection that appears to be well on its way to becoming a flagship line for the brand. Inside, you’ll find a COSC-certified version of the Powermatic 80 caliber. Prices range within the collection but most can be found for around $1,000.