The Tissot Heritage 1973 Chronograph is One of 2019’s Most Underrated Releases

Despite its mass market presence, it sometimes feels like a majority of Tissot releases fly under the radar to most watch enthusiasts. Back in April, the Swatch Group-owned brand announced a vintage-inspired chronograph that references the Tissot Navigator, a watch that Tissot introduced in the early 1970s and was worn by the Swiss Formula 1 driver Loris Kessel. The new limited-edition watch is placed within Tissot’s enthusiast-targeted Heritage collection and is called the 1973 Chronograph after the year the Tissot Navigator was first released.

Tissot once again worked with Kessel Racing, this time partnering with Ronnie Kessel, the son of Loris, to create and market the watch. Limited to a total of 1,973 pieces (you get one guess as to where they got that number from), the watch comes in an attractive and very vintage-inspired cushion case that is sized at a more modern 43 mm by 14.9 mm and features extensive brushing and beveling throughout.

The dial is sandblasted and features black subdials at the 3, 6, and 9 position — interrupted by a color-matching date window at 4:30 — in the popular panda-style orientation. Orange accents on the chronograph functions carry over from the Navigator design as well and offer a pop of color to the monochromatic appearance. Running along the periphery of the dial is a black tachymeter scale. Water resistance is specced to 100 meters.

Inside the watch and visible through a mineral glass caseback — sapphire crystal is used for the domed front — is an automatic Valjoux 7753 caliber that beats at 4 Hz and offers up a 46-hour power reserve. The rotor design is a bit spartan with some light brushing and an engraving of the Tissot logo. The 7753 movement has a bit of a quirk when it comes to date adjustment as you have to use a dedicated tool to access a pusher that is flush with the case at 10’clock to move it forward.

The Tissot Heritage 1973 Chronograph is placed on an overstitched black calfskin strap that is a close reproduction of a design that Tissot invented and patented in the 1960s. The watch will be priced at approximately $2,250 when it’s officially released later this summer.

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  1. Tom Khong

    I love the cushion case chronograph, unlike those in the speedmaster lines. However, the deal breaker may be the stiff $2.2 grand for a Tissot and the non-column wheel movement. 1973 pieces is not really limited.

  2. Patrick Thomas Thompson


    Marco and Marc have it just right. The size is fantastic. 39mm, 40mm or even 41mm would be just too small for a man’s sport watch. Tissot researched this watch and made it purposeful to its task. Bigger is better for the task and events this watch is meant to perform in.

    If your wrist is so small that only a diminutive dress type watch works for you, then perhaps you should limit your comments to sports watches in that size range. It’s like complaining that you don’t like the sport of basketball because you are too short to play.
    Frankly, I am tired of so call watch enthusiast commenting negatively on watches just because the watch in a review is too large for their wrist and taste.

    Perhaps some self-editing and objectivity should be brought to the table before you offer your opinions. We are reviewing and watch not your lack of wrist size.

  3. To my eyes, this is a great looking watch. The first “nice” watch I ever got was an early ‘70’s Wakmann chronograph (looks like a Breitling Datora of the same time; Valjoux 7734 manual wind with two registers at 3 & 9 with date at 6). The shape of the case and the brushed/polished finish look exactly like my Wakmann. I’ve had the Wakmann for over 45 years and still love wearing it. If I no longer had my Wakmann, I would have to get the Tissot to fill the nostalgic gap. I wish the comments section would allow an attached photo to show how well Tissot replicated the case of the Wakmann.

  4. Ekkehard Oelz

    Its a grest looking watch . However the seeet spot in terms of size should be around 41mm . This would make it similar in size to other watches of that era , but would also cover the more modern look in terms of size.

  5. + : Retro look, domed sapphire (front), orange arrow chrono center hand…
    – : 43 mm (too large, better 41), snap on case back, and mineral crystal on it.

  6. Sorry, I find it rather ugly. But if you like it then buy.
    We all have our own tastes and likes – which is why we love watches.

  7. Steve Galper

    Love the look of the watch, too large! The sweet spot for sport watches is 40 mm.

  8. The “modern” 43mm size is why it’s off of a lot of radars. If they made that thing in 39mm, it would be awesome. At 43mm, I’d never consider it.

    • Marco Balcazar

      I don’t agree. Size is perfect for a chronograph. Most importantly its retro look. Exactly what one would expect.

      • Marc Kuzev

        I agree Marco; watches under 40mm are too small for sportsmen, sport watches which should be 42-45mm. This is just right.
        The design is good – though I would prefer dark blues instead of the blacks.

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