The new Tissot Chemin des Tourelles collection aims to make classic design contemporary (Live Pics)Zach Blass
Zach, what would be a great first watch for me to buy? This is a question I get asked all the time, and the answer almost always leads to a discussion about Tissot. Upon the introduction of the PRX, were anyone looking for a sporty yet elegant and cost-approachable go-anywhere-do-anything watch, it could not be beaten in the under US$1,000 segment. But, while it may surprise us within the watch community, not everyone is looking for an integrated steel sports watch. In fact, in a world where wrists are largely dominated by the Apple Watch, some people are instead looking for something that carries a more timeless and traditional aesthetic. Something that would serve as a foil to their smartwatch. Well, the new Tissot Chemin des Tourelles collection, perhaps, does just that, with a classic format refined with a more contemporary aesthetic and a Powermatic 80 calibre that presents movement specifications that deliver excellent bang for your buck.
The Chemin des Tourelles collection will now be comprised of 16 configurations that range from AS$1,175 to AS$1,400. To accommodate all genders and wrists, the watches are available in 50m water-resistant, mixed-finished, stainless-steel cases that are 34mm, 39mm, and 42mm in diameter. Versatility is a key component of the design, not only in sizing but aesthetic as well. A polished bezel ultimately lends itself to enhancing the sophistication of the dial, and while brushed lugs might engrain a sense of sportiness the semi-detached and curving lug design brings things back into an elegant perspective. If you want your watch to look its best regardless of what you’re wearing, a more decorous watch will always be able to dress down better than a sports watch will dress up. The bracelet rides the line between casual and formal well too, with polished links running in between brushed links that are themselves given polished chamfers.
It would appear the aim was to present a collection with a design framework that is timeless, but with certain detailing and colour options (silver, white, blue, green, mother of pearl, ivory) that reflect the desires of the modern marketplace. For example, the dials are largely split into full sunburst configurations and those with sunburst-finished central medallions framed by clous de Paris stamped outer rings (also distinguished from the full sunburst dials with applied Roman numerals at 12′, 3′, 6′, and 9′). This kind of approach should appeal to plenty of buyers, providing a lot of options that range from mid-century sleek to traditional refinement.
The references which include the clous de Paris, also known as a hobnail pattern, around the perimeter are especially dynamic under lighting and will surely be more eye-catching. If you’re not the kind of person who wants their watch to be noticed, then the alpha hands and needle-like applied indices should be more than enough to feel characterful on the sunburst dials.
Regardless of size, each and every configuration has a 6 o’clock date complication and is powered by Tissot’s pride and joy – the automatic Powermatic 80 calibre, with a beyond weekend-proof 80 hours of power reserve and Nivachron anti-magnetic balance spring. They achieve this hefty power reserve in an affordable movement by a combination of slowing down the beat rate to 21,600 vph and a re-designed mainspring, however you still get the old-school charm of a mechanical sweep. The watches are offered on either a leather strap, or jubilee-like bracelet, and Tissot offers a wide variety of factory leather strap options that can be purchased separately as well.
Tissot Chemin des Tourelles pricing and availability:
The Tissot Chemin des Tourelles collection is available now for purchase via the Time+Tide Shop and other authorised retailers. Price: A$1,175 – A$1,400
|Chemin des Tourelles
|34mm (D) x 10.5mm (T)
39mm (D) x 11.2mm (T)
42mm (D) x 11.3mm (T)
|Stainless steel, stainless steel PVD rose gold
|White, silver, blue, green, ivory, mother of pearl
|Sapphire crystal and caseback
|Stainless steel bracelet or leather strap
|Automatic Powermatic 80 calibre
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date
|A$1,175 – A$1,400