If you’re looking to buy a quality yet affordable watch it’s likely that you will run across Tissot sooner or later. This Swiss watch brand has been making watches for more then a 160 years. However, they aren’t as well known as other major watch brands and therefore people wonder if these watches are any good.
Are Tissot watches good? Yes, Tissot watches are very good. That’s because their watches are Swiss made. Also, they use high quality materials such as 316L stainless steel and sapphire. Finally, they’re priced below $1.000 and considered to be one of the best in their price range.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way it’s time to dive into a bit more detail. Let’s first discuss the quality of Tissot watches in a bit more detail. After that we’ll discuss if Tissot is considered a luxury brand and if these watches hold their value. Finally, we’ll discuss nine of the most popular models to see if they’re worth buying.
Why Are Tissot Watches Good?
As was already mentioned, Tissot watches are considered good watches because of many factors. Below we’ll discuss the most important ones: the fact that their watches are swiss made, the use of high-end materials, their movements, their innovative technology and the price.
First off all, Tissot watches are Swiss made. In the world of watches the ”Swiss Made” label means that a watch is of good or high quality. After all, Switzerland is the country that perfected the art of mechanical watchmaking.
In order for a watch to carry this label it must have a Swiss movement with at least 60% of their added value from Switzerland. Furthermore, the watch must be assembled and inspected in Switzerland.
The loophole is of course that 40% of parts can be sourced from outside of Switzerland. Since Tissot is part of the Swatch Group this does indeed happen. However, since so much of the watch is made in Switzerland Tissot watches are still considered to be of good quality.
Use Of Materials
Furthermore, Tissot watches use materials that are of good quality. Since Tissot watches are normally priced between $300 – $1.000 I wouldn’t expect exotic materials. However, Tissot watches does use materials that are more common but of very high quality.
For example, the cover of the dial is almost always made out of sapphire crystal. This crystal is very scratch-resistant and is considered to be the best material for this purpose.
Also, the stainless steel bands and cases are made from 316L stainless steel. This form of stainless steel is very dense and therefore difficult to break. It’s also very resistant to corrosion which is a big plus. Let’s also not forget that this is the same stainless steel that is used in more high-end watches such as Omega’s.
When we look at the movements of Tissot watches it becomes clear that Tissot mainly uses ETA-movements. This is not a strange fact considering that most companies within the Swatch Group use ETA-movements.
Are these good movements? Well, yes they are. ETA makes movements that are affordable and reliable. However, these aren’t anything special and pretty common quartz or automatic movements. Considering the price at which Tissot watches sell this was to be expected.
Luckily, Tissot and ETA also developed a more interesting movement together that was made especially for Tissot watches: the Powermatic 80. This automatic movement has a 80 hour power reserve before it needs to be manually winded again. Normally an automatic watch has a 36-48 hour power reserve which makes this movement quite special.
Throughout the years Tissot has also been recognized as an innovative watchmaker. For example, they invented the first pocket watch with two time zones in 1853. After that there was the first anti-magnetic watch in 1929. As the name indicates this watch would stay accurate even when it was exposed to magnetic field (which was a major problem at the time).
Other noticeable inventions include the first watch that used plastic in 1971 (Idea 2001). The first watch that used stone in 1985 (Alpine Granite RockWatch). The first pearl watch in 1987 (Mother of Pearl) and the Wood watch in 1988.
These days Tissot also has their T-Touch watches. These watches are special because they have touch-sensitive sapphire crystals. These allow you to control various functions of the watch such as the altimeter, compass, barometer etc. The latest editions have more then 25 functions.
The final reason why Tissot watches are considered to be good watches is because they are very well priced. Almost all of there watches can be bought for under $1.000. That will get you high-quality materials, a Swiss made watch with a lot of history and a proven movement. Therefore, many people think of Tissot watches as the best ones in their price range.
Is Tissot A Luxury Brand?
No, Tissot is not considered to be a luxury brand. The reason for that is actually quite simple. First off all, their watches don’t use many exotic materials. One could argue that true luxury watches use materials such as gold, platinum or diamonds. Tissot watches don’t use any of these materials.
Then there’s also the aspect of craftsmanship. Watches are normally only considered a luxury when there’s a lot of human intervention involved in the process of making a watch. Tissot produces 3.5 million watches a year which means these watches are mass produced. It’s hard to say that mass produced items can be considered a luxury.
Then there’s also the aspect of price. As stated Tissot watches normally have a price tag of less then a $1.000. In the world of watchmaking these watches are considered good quality but by no means a true luxury. Compare these watches to a Rolex ($3.000+) or a Patek Philippe ($15.000+) and it’s hard to consider Tissot a luxury brand.
Do Tissot Watches Hold Value?
No, Tissot watches do not hold their value and there’s a very good reason for that. That’s because watches in general aren’t very good at holding their value. When bought new most watches will lose 10-20% of their value per year in the first three years. After that depreciation will normally stabilize.
However, that still means you’ll lose 30-60% of your money in the first three years. Some of this loss will be earned back throughout the years depending on the popularity of the watch. However, when you buy a watch there’s no telling if it will become popular.
If you’re looking for a watch that holds it value it’s best to buy a second-hand one. The reason for this is the fact that these watches have already lost most of their value and therefore won’t lose a whole lot more.
However, if you do really want to buy a new Tissot watch it’s best to buy a limited or special edition one. Generally speaking these watches are better at holding their value than regular models. However, there’s no guarantee and you will most likely still lose quite a bit of value in the first years.
A Review Of Different Tissot Models
In order for us to really see if Tissot watches are good we’ll have to dive into a bit more detail regarding their models. Below I’ve compiled a list with 9 of most recognizable Tissot models. We’ll discuss what makes each watch special and how good it really is.
The Tissot Le Locle is a great looking dress watch. Especially the design of this watch is what catches your eyes at first. The 39mm dial is a bit smaller than the more common 40-42mm size but the engraving that Tissot has applied to it is very stylish.
When you combine this with the roman numerals and the fact that they have used sapphire glass then you have one great dress watch. Furthermore the back of the case is made out of glass. This means you’re able to see the movement doing it’s work which is a neat feature.
When we look at the movement of the watch it becomes clear that it’s an ETA 2824-2 movement. That’s a good movement but nothing spectacular. However, the added benefit of this movement is that it’s a so-called Powermatic 80. As we already discussed that means this automatic watch has an 80 hour power reserve which is phenomenal for an automatic watch.
T-Touch Expert Solar II
We already discussed the T-touch system in the beginning of the blog but the Expert Solar II is the watch that actually uses this system. The sapphire glass that is used on this watch is touch sensitive. The digital display that is part of the dial is therefore possible to display six functions: altimeter, barometer, compass, timer, stopwatch and alarm.
Besides these neat functionalities the watch also looks very interesting. This is mainly because the dial of the watch is part digital and part analog. This makes the Expert Solar a pretty unique watch. Furthermore the Expert Solar II is also charged by natural light which makes it more convenient then previous battery powered T-Touch watches.
The PRC 200 is a bit different because this watch specifically is a chronograph. More importantly, it’s a high-quality chronograph for under a $1.000. Most chronographs normally cost a lot more but this movement was developed by ETA especially for Tissot watches. Therefore, they cost a lot less.
The chronograph itself is pretty straightforward and that’s what I like about it. There is a date window at 3 o’clock and a 6 hour totalizer at 6 o’clock. Furthermore there are running seconds at 9 o’clock, and the 30 minutes counter at 12 o’clock.
The watch is available with a black or a white dial. Also, the back of the movement is made out of glass (just like the Le Locle) which means you’re able to see the inner movements of the watch at work.
I can’t complete this list without putting a Tissot Visodate on it. The reason for that is that this watch is inspired by vintage design, the 50’s to be exact. That makes this watch my personal favorite when it comes down to style.
The dial of the watch is very simple. It’s black with stainless steel hour markers. The hands of the dial are also made out of stainless steel but their pointy design really gives it an old-school look. The same can be said about the retro Tissot logo that can be seen at the 12’o clock mark.
Finally, it also has a day-date display at the 3’o clock mark. If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired, automatic Swiss watch with a 40 hour power reserve then it’s definitely worth it to check the Visodate out.
Besides the automatic watches that we’ve discussed above Tissot also makes several quartz watches. Quartz watches are a lot more reliable than automatic movements and also a lot cheaper. However, by many they aren’t considered to be as interesting as automatic watches. Furthermore, there’s also less craftsmanship that goes into them.
However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t very good and that their design isn’t something you would be interested in. Notable examples of good Tissot quartz watches are the Tradition, Quickster and T-race.