Tissot Watch Review: Swiss-Grade Watches for Less

(Last Updated On: April 26, 2021)

When it comes to shopping for watches, two of the most important factors to consider are quality and value. Even the most hardcore watch collectors want to get the most out of their hard-earned money. At the end of the day, you want a good balance of quality and affordability. Today, we have a Tissot watch review for you that we believe demonstrates both factors.

Is Tissot a good watch brand?

Tissot is a Swiss watch brand and is actually a subsidiary brand of the Swatch Group. Personally, I’ve only been introduced to Tissot quite recently but I must say that I love my experience with the brand so far. For this Tissot watch review, we’ll talk about the brand’s history, the pros and cons, and highlight the best Tissot watches.

History of Tissot

Tissot Watch Review

Tissot had its humble beginnings when it was founded by father and son Charles-Felicien Tissot and Charles-Emile Tissot in 1853 – it was named Charles-Felicien Tissot & Son then. The Tissot company started as a small assembly shop in Crêt-Vaillant, Le Locle, Switzerland. The brand started as a comptoird’etablissage which means that each component of the watch was worked independently by a network of craftsmen. Later on, Tissot hired these craftsmen to work under one roof.

Some of the first watches made by Tissot are gold pocket watches which were mainly intended to export to other countries and markets. The company also put out complications or pendant watches. During only the first year, the Tissot company has managed to reach and sell their crafts in the United States. After five years, Tissot has officially reached Russia in 1858. By the early 1920s, Tissot shipped luxury timepieces to Russia and several Russian czars have taken a liking to the brand.

In 1907, Charles Tissot helmed the building of the company’s factory in Chemin de Tourelles, Le Locle. The company has one goal in mind: meet customer demands across the globe. As of this writing, Tissot’s headquarters are still located there. In the same location, Tissot made its in-house movements, turning them into a certified watch manufacturer.

By 1910, Tissot expanded by making wristwatches for women. These timepieces gained a lot of attention because they’re made of gold and platinum, some are even embellished in diamonds. Afterward, Tissot offered men’s wristwatches for sale even before they became a staple trend. Although Tissot isn’t known for groundbreaking watch designs, the company stood out because of technical innovations. For instance in 1930, Tissot produced the very first non-magnetic wristwatch in 1930.

Although Tissot did well to survive for more than a century, it was still affected by the Quartz Revolution. Therefore, eventually in 1998, Tissot joined SMH (later became known The Swatch Group).

In modern times, Tissot continues to develop new concepts for watches. The company is still going strong and has sold an estimated number of 4 million watches so far.

Tissot Watch Review: Pros and Cons

What We Love

Storied Watch Brand

If you care about the history of watchmaking, you’ll find a lot to love about Tissot. The company has been around for more than a century, and it has certainly made its mark on the art of watchmaking.

Tissot isn’t exactly at the forefront of groundbreaking innovation but I have to give them the props for always pushing the boundaries. After all, the slogan of Tissot is “Innovators by Tradition.” The brand is always coming up with innovative watch concepts. For instance, Tissot manufactured the very first non-magnetic wristwatch in the 1930s.

So one can say that Tissot’s history has always been tied to watch innovation. Tissot may not have the same impact as other popular Swiss brands such as Rolex and Omega, it’s still a name that comes to mind whenever watch innovation is in the conversation.

Solid Designs

Tissot Watch Review

One of the first things that attracted me to Tissot is the design of their watches. Now, I’m not saying that the designs are mindblowingly amazing but they’re definitely solid. Tissot has numerous collections that are classic and straightforward like the Tissot Everytime and the venerable Tissot Le Locle. These designs are clean, straightforward, and timeless. It helps that Tissot knows how to create high-quality watches with top-notch construction.

However, Tissot also offers several collections of sports watches that are fairly good-looking. Again, the designs won’t exactly have you picking your jaw on the floor but they’re good-looking enough for regular rotation. For instance, the Tissot T-Race Cycling Vuelta 2017 features a sporty design that many sports car enthusiasts should love. Also, the Tissot Seastar is a classic vintage diver that looks even better in person.

In-House Movements

When it comes to watches, I’m always partial to watchmakers who make in-house movements. There’s just something cool about having a watch with a beating heart that’s unique and made by hand. This is such a treat with Tissot because they also offer their watches at competitive prices.

However, just to make it clear, not all Tissot watches have in-house movements, not even the majority of their collections do. But Tissot does use high-quality ETA movements for their watches. In some cases, the movement that they use can even be found in more expensive brands like Omega and Patek Philippe.

Competitive Pricing

Although Tissot is a Swiss watch company, they don’t actually offer “luxury watches” at least not in the traditional sense. With the pricing for most Tissot watches, it’s fair to say that it’s a mid-level brand. And that’s actually a boon for Tissot because they offer plenty of high-quality watches that would give more expensive brands a run for their money.

It’s safe to say that Tissot is an “affordable luxury” brand, and that’s fine by me.

What We Don’t Love

Frustrating Warranty Repair

Although this is not from personal experience, there seem to be a few people who aren’t satisfied with Tissot’s warranty repair policies. Tissot provides a warranty repair period of twenty-four (24) months which seems to pale in comparison with other brands. But then again, Tissot is far from being a luxury brand.

Remember that the warranty card is only valid when it’s filled out and stamped by an authorized dealer.

Beware of Counterfeits

This is not exactly a knock on the quality of Tissot watches but a word of caution. Tissot watches are some of the most widely counterfeited brands in the world. Thus, if you’re looking to purchase a Tissot watch, make sure that you do so from a reputable seller/dealer.

Best Tissot Watches

1. Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80

Tissot Watch Review

What’s better than starting with a watch that’s inspired by Tissot’s original factory location?

For starters, the Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 comes in many different variants. But if you want a classic, vintage look that delivers in reliability, the Le Locle Powermatic 80 presents a solid option. I’ve opted for the silver-tone stainless steel case with a black leather strap and it’s a watch that you can easily wear daily.

The design is fairly elegant but it’s not borderline flashy – very easy on the eyes though. The leather strap isn’t exactly the highest of quality but the dial is quite inspired. The overall feel of the watch is outstanding and it uses the ever-reliable ETA 2824-2 with 28,800 beats per hour. At first, I thought the watch might be too small on my wrist but I think the size is just right.

2. Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph

Tissot Watch Review

This won’t be a Tissot watch review without highlighting the brand’s best dive watch. The Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph is a great purchase if you’re in the market for a dive watch under $1000.

Like most Tissot watches, the Seastar 1000 won’t be receiving any awards for design. It’s marketed as “an elegant watch for watersport lovers” but it’s not a piece that I would call as elegant. However, I’ve been wearing this dive watch for weeks and it’s such a treat with how comfortable it is.

The star of the show is certainly the lovely blue tone of the dial and in some angles, it looks purplish which is neat. The dial is very legible even under the harshest lighting conditions – always a good thing for a dive chronograph.

Overall, the Tissot Seastar 1000 is a great sports watch with an equally great price.

3. Tissot Swissmatic Everytime

Tissot Watch Review

Tissot has always been a brand that packs a lot of mechanical and technological punch, and for less. The Tissot Swissmatic Everytime is a testament to that.

The Swissmatic Everytime features a very traditional case shape, it’s rather on the thin side but it doesn’t affect its wearability at all. While the dial looks fine at first look, it does look flat and not very high-quality at all. My favorite from the collection is definitely the black dial.

With that said, the strongest point of the Swissmatic Everytime is the price. There are more expensive variants from the collection but expect to pay no more than $500 for these beauties.

Tissot Watch Review: Are These Watches Any Good?

Tissot Watch Review

To conclude this Tissot watch review, we determine if this brand is worth your investment or not.

All things considered, Tissot is a brand that offers tremendous value. Their watches are Swiss-grade and high-quality for the most part but you’ll struggle to find a model that costs more than a grand. Tissot offers plenty of options as well, so there’s a little something for everyone.

If you’re meaning to check out this brand, we highly recommend that you do.

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