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.