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Tissot – Precision – Robustness – Elegance

History, Mission, Manufacture, Movements, Reputation, Ranking & Pricing

Tissot Brand Review By Alexander – Founder and Owner of swissdiverswatches.com


A Review of Tissot’s history

Tissot Chronograph(Image By Bandan)

Tissot was founded by Charles-Félicien Tissot, and his son Charles-Émile Tissot in Le Locle, in Neuchâtel, in Switzerland in 1853. Today Tissot is wholly owned by Swiss Swatch Group, and it was Tissot, and Omega that jointly created in the 1930s the forerunner of the famous Swatch Group. The headquarters of Tissot are still located in Le Locle in Switzerland.

In 1853, Charles-Félicien Tissot, and his son Charles-Émile Tissot, established Tissot in Le Locle, in Neuchâtel, in Switzerland.

As early as 1853, Tissot started producing pocket watches with a dual-time zone.

In 1858, Tissot sold savonnette pocket watches for the Russian Tzar. This already established Tissot as an internationally recognized brand.

In 1930, as a result of the Great Depression, Tissot and Omega joined forces and established the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH). This is the forerunner of the famous Swatch Group – the financially and industrially single most dominant corporation in the Swiss watchmaking industry.

In 1930, the brand released the first anti-magnetic watch – a great feat in the history of watchmaking.

In 1971, the company produced the world’s first watch entirely made of plastic – a plastic mechanical movement and a plastic case. The watch’s name is Tissot Astrolon.

In 1983, SSIH (founded by Tissot and Omega in 1930) and ASUAG merged into one corporation, and CEO Nicolas G. Hayek reorganized the firm, and renamed it Société de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie (SMH).

In 1985, Tissot made a watch of rock, called Tissot RockWatch.

In 1987, the watchmaker made the famous Tissot Pearl Watch.

In 1988, the company made the famous Tissot Wood Watch.

In 1998, the Société de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie (SMH) was renamed the Swatch Group.

In 1998, Tissot released the famous flagship collection called Tissot T-Collection.

In 1999, the watch manufacturer released the famous touch-screen technology watch – the Tissot T-Touch. This technology is interesting since Tissot offered touch-screen technology before it became generally applied and applicable in other fields such as cell phones and tablets.

In 2013, Tissot released the Tissot Heritage Navigator watch which can keep track of time in 24 cities across the world.

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A Review of Tissot’s mission

Tissot is dedicated to making affordable, excellent, technically advanced, robust, versatile, sporty and elegant Swiss quality watches within the financial reach of most people.

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A Review of Tissot’s manufacture

Tissot is fully owned by Swatch Group and thus utilizes Swatch Group’s movements – automatic ETA movements and Swiss quartz/battery movements.

Two words come to mind when I hear the name Tissot: Precision and performance. Tissot is known to manufacture very accurate and precise movements.

Their watches are mass produced and most of their watches utilize Swiss quartz/battery movements, which altogether explains why Tissot watches are so affordable. Only a minority of Tissot’s watches utilize automatic ETA movements.

Most of their watches are either made of stainless steel or titanium – stainless steel being the most commonly used material.

Tissot is famous for their divers-, and sports watches. They are characterized by a classy and classic look, and added functions such as chronographs and tachymeters.

Tissot is famous for high-tech watches, such as Tissot T-Touch (and within this collection, Tissot T-Touch Sea Touch – the divers watches) that utilize a sapphire crystal glass that responds to the touch of a finger. These Tissot watches that are equipped with a responsive sapphire crystal glass, are equipped with a compass, a barometer, an altimeter and a thermometer.

The company is also a very experimental brand which has manufactured watches in such unusual materials such as wood and nacre! That’s truly unusual.

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A Review of Tissot’s movements

Being owned by Swatch Group, all Tissot’s movements are ETA movements. Most of Tissot’s movements are quartz/battery driven, but there are quite a few Tissots with automatic movements.

Tissot PRS 200:

  • Swiss quartz/battery movement Caliber G10.211.

Tissot Seastar:

  • Swiss quartz/battery chronograph movement, G10.211.
  • Swiss automatic chronograph movement, Caliber C01.211. Important note: This is not the ETA/Valjoux 7750 movement, but rather a lower cost version of it. Caliber CO1.211. is based on Lemania 5100.
  • Swiss automatic non-chronograph movement, Caliber Powermatic 80.

Tissot T-Touch Sea-Touch:

  • Swiss quartz/battery movement E48.301.

The company is known to manufacture very accurate and precise movements. Precision and performance are the two principal words that you should associate Tissot with.

Tissot offers you reliable, accurate and robust Swiss quartz/battery movements or Swiss automatic lower end/generic ETA movements.

The brand doesn’t offer any higher watchmaking or advanced mechanical movements. Tissot is primarily meant to be used as a combined lower tier Swiss luxury Watch, and a beater watch.

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A Review of Tissot’s reputation

Tissot T Touch Navigator(Image By Minzoblate)

Tissot is one of the most affordable and famous Swiss luxury watch brands on the market, and Tissot is within the financial reach of most people, and it’s a very successful brand. Tissot offers their watches at retailers in more than 160 countries!

As far as ranking is concerned, I’d say that Tissot probably ranks among the top 30-40 brands in the world.

Tissot is a very old brand if this interests you – Tissot was established in 1853, in Le Locle, in Neuchâtel – Switzerland. Tissot however is no longer an independent brand – it’s fully owned by Swatch Group.

In 1930, Tissot and Omega became the co-owners and co-founders of the forerunner of Swatch Group – the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH). Without Tissot and Omega, Swatch Group and its forerunner, wouldn’t exist.

Yes, it’s true that Swatch Group owns Tissot and Omega – and many other Swiss brands for that matter, but the founders of Swatch Group are actually Tissot and Omega. That’s why these two Swiss brands deserve credit, and should take credit for the very existence of this financial and industrial powerhouse. Swatch Group is industrially and financially the single most dominant corporation in the Swiss watchmaking industry.

What is Tissot associated with?

Tissot is primarily being associated with being the official timekeeper and partner of several sports events and organizations such as FIE Fencing, FIM Superbike World Championship, FIBA Basketball, MotoGP (motorcycling racing), and IIHF Ice Hockey, just to mention a few examples.

As far as brand comparisons are concerned:

Tissot probably ranks above Victorinox, is probably equal to Certina, but ranks below brands such as TAG Heuer, Longines, Oris and Alpina.

What characterizes Tissot:

Tissot is very prominent in the fields of advanced functions or added functions, high-technological wristwatches and special materials.

Tissot has consistently belonged to the most innovative watch manufacturers for the last 150 years, and Tissot can take a lot of credit for much of the technological development of watch movements.

If you like high-tech wristwatches, I recommend you to take a look at the Tissot T-Touch Collection, which of course would include the divers watches – Tissot T-Touch Sea-Touch.

Regarding Tissot T-Touch: Tissot has created a sapphire crystal glass which responds to the touch of a finger. These Tissot watches with a responsive sapphire crystal glass, are equipped with a compass, a barometer, an altimeter and a thermometer.

Another interesting aspect of this brand is that Tissot has also manufactured watches in such unusual materials such as wood and nacre! That’s truly innovative!

Tissot relies exclusively on ETA movements manufactured by Tissot’s owner – Swatch Group. Tissot utilizes either Swiss quartz/battery movements or Swiss automatic ETA movements.

What characterizes Tissot is that they offer very affordable versatile all-round Swiss luxury watches, that are robust and well built. Tissot offers a very sporty, classy, and classic design, which means if you’re looking for a design that will probably never go out of style, this brand is the right choice!

Tissot offers a generous collection of watches equipped with chronographs and tachymeters, and the brand offers many divers watches and water resistant dress – and sports watches.

Tissot watches are known to be very comfortable to wear, and since they are so robust and versatile, you can use your Tissot for daily life, extreme sports, and life’s special moments.

Since most Tissot watches are so affordable, it’s debatable whether they are beater watches or luxury watches. Let me put it like this: if you want a combined lower tier Swiss luxury watch, and beater watch all in one, you can’t go wrong with Tissot. To make things simpler: let’s call Tissot a Swiss luxury beater watch!

Tissot is known to make really durable watches. I speak from personal experience: I’ve had a blue faced quartz/battery driven Tissot PRS 200 for almost 10 years, and it has never let me down!

If you desire a prestigious Swiss wristwatch brand, and if you want a reliable, good looking Swiss quality watch, and if you’d like to spend a maximum of $1,000 or less, Tissot is absolutely a brand worth looking at!

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A Review of Tissot’s ranking

My ranking of Tissot: top 30-40 brands.

It’s debatable how you actually rank a brand, and a ranking is never objective, but the best way to turn a subjective ranking into an “objective” one is to rely on certain criteria. My ranking criteria of course are entirely subjective, and they aren’t set in stone.

I use 14 criteria in determining the ranking of a particular brand, such as (1) a long and respected history, (2) limited supply and large demand, (3) reputation/status/prestige, (4) whether the brand is independent or not, (5) pioneering spirit and innovations, (6) impact on watchmaking history and modern culture, (7) general in-house production, (8) whether the brand relies on in-house made movements or not, (9) whether or not the brand makes movement complications, (10) steel grade, (11) build quality, (12) price range, (13) good resale value, and (14) market presence.

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Prices for Tissot Watches

  • Tissot PRS 200 can be found in the $300-$700 price range.
  • Tissot Seastar can be found in the $400-$1,400 price range. Most of these watches however, can be found in the $700-$1,000 price range.
  • Tissot T-Touch Sea-Touch can be found in the $700-$1,300 price range.

Tissot PRC 200(Image By Finlogo)


Tissot Official Website


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