A Vintage Pocketwatch for the Wrist: Tissot Heritage 1936

Many wristwatch brands have incorporated vintage elements into modern designs, but the new Tissot Heritage 1936, unveiled at Baselworld 2016, is one of the most authentic re-creations we’ve seen in a while, paying aesthetic tribute to the re-purposed pocketwatches that served as some of the very earliest timepieces for the wrist.

Tissot Heritage 1936 - front

The Tissot Heritage 1936, as its name implies, echoes the look of a Tissot watch that was in the brand’s collection in 1936 (catalog image pictured below). It was in the 1930s, in the wake of World War I and its impact, that men began to regularly replace their pocketwatches with the more practical wristwatches. However, the earliest wristwatches were simply pocketwatches that watchmakers had modified for wrist wear — by welding arches onto each side of the case in order to slip a strap through them and around the back of the watch case.

Tissot Heritage 1936 watch - Catalog Image

This new timepiece from Tissot reproduces the look of these proto-wristwatches, with a large 45-mm case made of 316L stainless steel; a dial with classical, period-appropriate hands and historical Tissot Logo; and a high-quality brown leather strap with creme-stitch detailing and a standard-issue steel pin buckle. The numerals on the dial and small seconds subdial are also decidedly vintage in character.

Tissot Heritage 1936 - side view


The Tissot Heritage 1936 is equipped with a Swiss-made, hand-wound movement, an ETA Unitas 6498, whose large dimensions would have been right at home in a 1930s pocketwatch. Upon removing the strap, the wearer can open the hinged, hunter-style caseback to reveal a sapphire window that displays the movement. (There is also a smaller, ladies’ version of the watch that contains an ETA 2895 movement.) The inside of the caseback is also an ideal blank canvas for personalized engravings.

Tissot Heritage 1936 - movement

The Tissot Heritage 1936 also continues the brand’s impressive price-to-value ratio, carrying a retail price of just $995. If you’re curious how it looks on the wrist, check out the photo below, taken at our Tissot appointment at Baselworld.

Tissot Heritage 1936 - wrist




No Responses to “A Vintage Pocketwatch for the Wrist: Tissot Heritage 1936”

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  1. David Gardner

    Disappointed in the 45 mm case size. I understand the notion of trying to mimic a pocket watch, but it’s too large for most wrists. Would love to see at no larger than 40 mm. I would buy and wear that size. Otherwise, this is a beautiful timepiece.

  2. Brian Miller

    I’m interested in buying this watch, especially at a reasonable price. It’s no longer on the Tissot or Jomashop websites. Any recommendations? Thanks!

  3. Brian Miller

    I’m interested in buying this watch (especially for a good price), but it’s disappeared from the Tissot and Jomashop website. Can’t find it anywhere online. Anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!

  4. Jeffrey Brandt

    I would like to know how many of the Tissot T104.405.16.012.00 were made?

  5. Love what Tissot does, but that looks like a dinner plate on the wrist. What was the original size?

  6. I like it, but at almost a thousand dollars, it must be submersible and automatic…

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