HANDS-ON: The Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80 combines great value with hardcore performanceFergus Nash
With the barrage of vintage reissue divers on the market, it can be a relief to see a watch that isn’t afraid to play it bold. The Tissot Seastar 200 Professional is exactly that — a bold 600m dive watch without any pretension that’s fantastic value for money.
Neither the wave dial nor the fumé dial are new concepts, but Tissot have executed both here in a truly stunning way. The etching of the dial is deep and crisp, appearing much more dynamic in natural light than in the shots on the website. The watch is available in three dial colours: blue, green and black. Whether intentional or not, the blue dial evokes the mysterious depths of the Pacific Ocean while the lighter aqua (as pictured here) presents the image of snorkelling along the clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. The smoky black and grey dial is much more on the conservative side, but is also the most inconspicuous should you want to wear it in a formal setting. The Seastar has a classic dial layout, with a large triangular index at 12 o’clock for easy orientation after dark and a lovely big date window at 6 o’clock for symmetry. The large fence-post hands are easy to distinguish, and the extended seconds hand with the signature ’T’ counterbalance satisfyingly reaches all the way to the markers on the chapter ring.
There’s no way around it, 46mm makes for a big watch. The lugs are nicely angled and the bracelet has an inverse end-link, but if your wrists are smaller than average then it’s quite likely you’ll get some overhang. Still, if you’ve got the attitude to pull it off, this watch definitely carries its proportions well. The case itself is nicely finished, with a high-polish ring running around the middle of the case sides, interrupted on the right by the crown’s half-guards and on the left side by the hidden helium escape valve. The lugs are also polished, which combines with the glossy ceramic bezel to give the watch some classy credibility.
Tissot’s Powermatic 80 is the darling child of the Swatch group, originally born from the ETA 2824-2, slowing the beat rate down to 21,600vph and incorporating a more efficient mainspring barrel, in turn increasing the power reserve to a whopping 80 hours. It also uses a Nivachron hairspring for more consistent timekeeping and durability, which is especially helpful as all of these movements are regulated from the factory. Tissot’s engraving extends just past the automatic winding rotor, which forms a rather mesmerising pattern as the rotor spins.
On each of the blue-hue models, the Seastar 2000 Professional comes equipped with a solid 22mm steel bracelet that tapers slightly but keeps the watch balanced. The wide centre links are polished which refines the overall look of the watch, but may be prone to scratches should you take it adventuring in the manner it was built for. If you opt for the black model, it will come on a black rubber strap embedded with the Tissot ’T’ and ready for much more rough-and-tumble action. Of course, being 22mm, it would be incredibly easy to find alternate straps to play around with, including any variety of NATOs and leather.
For $1675AUD (or $50 less for the black on rubber configuration) there isn’t much competition for 600m divers with helium escape valves. Combine that with the 80 hour power reserve, and the Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80 is really in a league of its own in terms of value. In addition, it also looks great, with that choppy wave dial lending the otherwise sophisticated stylings some adventurous character.