While much of the watch world was focused on LVMH Watch Week, and the plethora of novelties from Zenith, Bulgari, and Hublot, the Swatch Group’s Tissot was quietly releasing one of its more interesting timepieces in recent years. The updated Tissot PRX 40 205 draws its inspirations from a similar watch released back in 1978, with an integrated steel bracelet, a flat, barrel-shaped case, a quartz movement, and very familiar dial details and color options. The name PRX, according to the brand, was first applied to the initial model, with “PR” standing for “Precise and Robust,” and “X” for 10 atmospheres (equivalent to 100 meters) of water resistance.
The PRX 40 205 is Tissot’s latest dip into the neo-vintage styling that has brought it recent success in watches like the Heritage 1937 Chronograph, Heritage Petite Seconde, and Heritage Antimagnetique. Last year saw a slight break from that trend, and even this PRX eschews the “Heritage” prefix, but this model indicates the brand isn’t done with such historically inspired designs just yet — especially when they also adopt other rising trends such as blue dials and steel integrated bracelets.
Measuring 40 mm by 40 mm in diameter and 10.4 mm thick, the steel case adopts the flat, barrel shape of its vintage forebear and is secured to the wrist via an integrated bracelet. The watch is finished primarily with brushing, though some polished elements are seen, most noticeably on the rounded bezel surrounding the dial. A straightforward, Tissot-signed crown is placed at the 3 o’clock position, slightly sunken into the case and helping provide the PRX with its signature 100-meter water resistance.
Underneath the flat sapphire crystal lies an appealingly uncomplicated dial, available in three colorways and textures: sunray blue, vertically brushed silver, or sunray black. On the outer edge of the face, the simple tick-mark minute ring is punctuated at each hour position with an applied, lume-filled index. A bevel-outlined date window is located at 3 o’clock. Tissot’s logo and its 1853 founding date are found toward the top of the dial and a bold “PRX” script is located in parallel above 6 o’clock. Sweeping above are two lume-filled hands for the hour and minute, while a slim stick pointer for the running seconds.
The radially brushed, solid caseback is rather utilitarian in style compared to what we often see from Tissot for its mechanical models. However, this likely has to do with the movement used inside, which — like its historical predecessor — is a quartz caliber rather than a mechanical one. Dubbed the Quartz EOL, it’s based upon the ETA F06.115, with the “EOL” in its name standing for “End-of-Life” When the movement’s battery begins to run low on power, the second hand starts making four-second jumps to demonstrate that it needs changing. The watch will continue to keep accurate time until the battery is exhausted — after about 68 or 94 months, depending on the exact battery used.
Perhaps most significantly to the overall watch market, the PRX 40 205 is the first — if not the only — watch in the sub-$500 price range from a major Swiss brand that offers the combo of integrated steel bracelet and blue dial. That the watch does so with other key and interesting elements — like a legitimate historical claim, various color options, what appears to be great finishing for the price, and a solid water resistance — is further evidence that it’s likely to strike a chord among consumers on a budget.
The Tissot PRX went on sale directly through the brand last week, priced at $375, and quicky sold out in each colorway shortly after. Tissot has set up a waitlist for each of the models, found here, with sales expected to resume in the next month.
To learn more about the new model and its vintage inspirations, you can visit Tissot’s website, here