5 sleeper hits from Tissot that you need to considerBorna Bošnjak
Having worked for Tissot selling their watches for two years before joining the T+T team, I’d like to think that I have a comprehensive grasp of their offering. Purchasing trends were easily noticeable during that time, but what was also apparent is that some great watches were criminally overlooked. With models such as the PRX taking the watch market by storm, I’d like to bring light to some less appreciated options from Tissot.
Tissot Heritage 1948 ref. T66.1.712.33, T66.1.722.33, T66.1.782.33
A well-proportioned automatic chronograph from a reputable Swiss brand is not an uncommon sight. But one that doesn’t require a lifetime on a waiting list, and to top it all off, won’t break the bank? That is what the Heritage 1948 does amazingly well. An impressively domed Hesalite crystal tops the applied markers and framed sub-dials with circular graining, the Heritage script logo the finishing touch. Powered by the tried-and-true ETA 2894-2, it offers a solid 40-hour power reserve while maintaining a high beat rate of 4 Hz to retain a smooth sweep of the second hand. Whether you choose the fine mesh bracelet or one of the two leather straps, it remains a wonderfully understated and underrated option at 39.5mm.
Price: $2,325 AUD on a leather strap, $2,400 on the mesh bracelet.
Tissot Heritage Porto Mechanical ref. T128.505.16.012.00
More than 100 years after its release, an Art Nouveau-era design is revived as the Heritage Porto Mechanical. The tonneau-shaped case and funky numerals hark back to the period and accompany a gently curved case which comfortably hugs most wrists despite its tall appearance. Wire lugs help wearability further, and you’ll want to wear it, as the domed sapphire crystal offers wonderful dial distortions. A manually wound ETA 7001 sits within the 31mm wide case and has 42 hours of power reserve. Being a manual movement, the watch retains a svelte 10.5mm thickness.
Price: $1,650 AUD
Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 ref. T120.407.11.081.01
With its wispy grey and silver tones, this Seastar reminds me of vintage dive watches with faded dials and ghost bezels. The sunburst dial and ceramic bezel are a tonal masterclass, and shift from light silver to a dark, rich grey colour. As part of a new colourway release, this Seastar also features a much-needed bracelet update, with a flat three-link number as opposed to the jubilee-style models that preceded it. The upgrade is extended to the clasp, which is no longer pressed, but milled and with push buttons. A component that did not need an upgrade is the impressive Powermatic 80, which continues to power the Seastar.
Price: $1,200 AUD
Tissot Heritage Memphis ref. T134.210.17.011.00, T134.410.37.051.00
Namesake to the design language spearheaded by Ettore Sottsass in the 1980s, the Memphis incorporates that postmodernism throughout its features. Bold, geometric shapes and stylised lugs are reminiscent of the plastic laminate material popular with the movement. Available in two different case sizes and three material finishes, all models are accompanied by an alternative strap. Powered by an ETA quartz movement, it’s 8.3mm slim, with a limited-edition number engraving on the back.
Price: $625.00 AUD for 41mm models, $600.00 AUD for 34mm models
Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium Green T127.407.11.091.01
While the Gentleman family enjoyed deserved success, most of the focus has been on the blue dial variant. This one carries on the recent trend of going green, without seeming like a desperate attempt to stay relevant. The shade is dark enough to match the rest of the Gentleman’s aesthetic, accented by the silver highlights of the crosshair and the bevelled, applied indices. The case and Powermatic 80 movement perfectly encapsulate that “go-everywhere-do-everything” feel with its 40mm diameter and 100m water resistance. Read our review of the 18K gold Gentleman here.
Price: $1,250.00 AUD
The quest does not end here
If the five watches we outlined above don’t quite suit your fancy, do not fret. This is by no means an exhaustive list of every underappreciated Tissot. While being part of a large conglomerate means passing on more advanced tech such as silicone balance springs and exclusively manufactured movements, it can lead to catalogue bloat. But whether you’re after a reissue of a famed model or something distinctly modern, there’s plenty more to explore in the Time+Tide shop.
From a former Tissot employee, with love.