The Complete Buying Guide to Tissot Watches

The entry point to traditional Swiss watchmaking.

tisset watches
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A first Swiss watch is a milestone for many. It can be an expensive proposition, but it doesn’t have to be break-the-bank expensive. With a focus on offering an array of designs and price points, Tissot is a major player in the entry-level Swiss watch game that any new or veteran enthusiast should know.

Automatic watches starting under $700 and quartz versions of the same models at even more affordable prices make Tissot a slam dunk of a value proposition. You can even get a watch co-branded with your favorite NBA team, as Tissot is the official timing sponsor of the NBA among other sporting endeavors. The wide array of design and features means that almost everyone from watch collectors to Moto GP fans can find a watch in Tissot’s catalog to suit their needs — for not a crazy amount of scratch.

Founded in 1853 by father and son duo Charles-Felicien and Charles Emile-Tissot in Le Locle, the eponymous brand was a pioneer in many ways throughout the history of watchmaking. Charles-Emile, afraid that the skills of the artisans in Le Locle would be lost through time, stressed the importance of watchmaking schools to the Swiss government.

He was influential enough that he was appointed National Inspector. As part of his travels in this role, the Tissot brand becomes recognized throughout the world in cities such as Paris, Chicago, and Antwerp for their highly accurate pocket watches and their pioneering wristwatches worn by celebrities.

tisset watch poster
A vintage Tissot advertisement from 1972.
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In the early 1900s, the family-owned brand worked to incorporate all aspects of watch production into one factory. This in-house manufacturing allowed for further innovation by the brand. As electricity became more commonplace, magnetism became more of an issue for watchmakers as this invisible force reduces the accuracy of mechanical watches. In response to this modern problem, Tissot created the first antimagnetic watch, something that has become even more important in the 21st century.

In addition to technical developments, Tissot has continued to evolve its design language, as well. From bright colors and unique case shapes in the 1970s to watches made from rock in the 1980s to the first tactile watch in the 1990s, technology and design are at the forefront of this brand. Today, Tissot is a subsidiary of the Swatch Group.

The 2010s and 2020s have been no different for Tissot. The launch of Swatch Group sister company ETA's Powermatic 80 movement, which has 80 hours of power reserve, has brought the cost of entry for Swiss automatic wristwatches with premium features to new audiences. The recently released PRX models have also been an instant hit. The wide variety in the catalog should mean that there is something for nearly everyone.

Tissot Watches Buying Guide

Tissot PRX

The PRX line has been the darling of the entry-level watch space since its still recent (re)introduction. This watch has embraced the integrated bracelet sport watch trend, but at a price point for the masses and mixing in some retro '80s flare. The collection spans smaller quartz versions, automatics, different dial colors, strap options and case finishes, and the range is topped off with a 42mm automatic chronograph. This family is a tour de force when it comes to design for dollar.

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Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
tissotwatches.com
$650.00

Hot on the heels of the initial PRX release came the Powermatic 80 model. Relying on ETA's workhorse Powermatic 80 movement, this model offers everything we love about the design in a 40mm case but packing an automatic movement. You can get it in a range of options from different dial executions (we like the waffle dials) as well as smooth or fluted bezels.

Diameter: 35mm - 42mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80 automatic, Valjoux A05 H31 chronograph
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $375-$1,750

Tissot Seastar

The Seastar collection, as the name suggests, is Tissot’s diving collection. These no-nonsense watches feature all of the technical specifications you would expect from a Swiss diver with at least 300m of water resistance, a uni-directional rotating bezel, and plenty of superluminova. The rotating bezel comes in handy as a backup for your dive computer or timing how long the ribeyes have been on the grill. Like other collections, these watches come in a variety of colors, sizes, and strap options.

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Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80
tissotwatches.com
$725.00

The Seastar 1000 is the entry point to the Seastar collection. This model comes in two sizes, the quartz 36mm and automatic 43mm, both with 1000 feet (300m) of water resistance, as the name indicates. In addition to its size and movement, the 43mm version has upgrades like a ceramic bezel insert. Check out the Seastar 2000 for even more serious specs and just as serious value.

Diameter: 36mm-46mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80, quartz chronograph
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph
Water Resistance: 300m-600m
Price
: $375-$1,025

Tissot Gentleman

The Tissot Gentleman is nearly a perfect everyday watch. Released in 2019, this collection has grown and now features three different metals, a wide array of dial colors, and several bracelet or strap options. The Gentleman can be had with either the grab-and-go convenience of Swiss Quartz movement or the more enthusiast-oriented Powermatic 80 automatic movement. Regardless of the movement choice, the Gentleman line features a 40mm case and a solid 100m of water resistance.

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Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium
tissotwatches.com
$775.00

The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is quite the mouthful of a moniker, but also quite the watch. As its name suggests, the automatic model in the Gentleman stable features the Powermatic 80 movement and is equipped with a silicon (silicium, if you're European) hairspring. Excellent finishing with a clean, classic design, this watch looks the part in a way that its price tag normally wouldn’t.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80 Silicium
Configurations: Time and date
Water Resistance: 100m, 330ft
Price
: $350-$1,495

Tissot Classic

The Tissot Classic family consists of timeless designs for dressier settings — and although they're separate collections, to be honest, the Classic, Carson, Le Locle and Tradition all kind of fill the same role. So, we're consolidating and highlighting a model from each of those to illustrate what's generally on offer.

You'll find both Swiss quartz and automatic movements here and a variety of sizes, dials and strap options. In keeping with dress watch traditions, most watches in this collection lack the likes of lumed dials or the water resistance associated with sport watches. The Tissot Classic watches offer an affordable way to get a classic dress watch.

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Tissot Classic Dream Swissmatic
tissotwatches.com
$495.00

The Classic Dream is Tissot’s entry-level dress watch. Coming in at under $300 for the quartz model, it also offers one of the lowest entry points into a Swiss-made automatic movement. The Swissmatic movement, developed in conjunction with parent company Swatch Group, provides an excellent value offering at just $525 with three days of power reserve, and a Nivachron spring with magnetic resistance.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement
: Swissmatic
Configurations: Time and date
Water Resistance: 50m
Price
: $495-$525

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Tissot Carson Premium Gent Moonphase
tissotwatches.com
$375.00

Slim and sophisticated, the Tissot Carson is an entry-level dress watch that can be had with either a quartz movement or Powermatic 80 automatic. Offered on both a stylish leather strap or five-link bracelet, this dress watch has elegant dial options to suit more formal occasions. To add a bit of flair to the austere dress watch, quartz versions of the Carson also offer a moonphase (as shown above) or chronograph complication.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement
: Swiss Quartz, Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and date, moonphase, chronograph
Water Resistance: 50m
Price
: $325-$750

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Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80
tissotwatches.com
$575.00

The Tissot Le Locle, named after the brand's home city, should be on the list of anyone looking for an affordable Swiss automatic dress watch. All models run on the Powermatic 80 automatic movement and feature an attractive hobnail pattern on the inner dial, contrasted by a smooth finished ring for the hour markers. The case is perfectly sized for all wrists at just under 40mm. Offered on both strap and a seven link bracelet, this dress watch will easily fit under the cuff, coming in at 9.3mm thick.

Diameter: 39.3mm
Movement
: Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph, perpetual calendar
Water Resistance: 30m
Price
: $575-$850

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Tissot Tradition Powermatic 80 Open Heart
tissotwatches.com
$750.00

With mostly larger case sizes of 42mm, quartz movements and an "open heart" model, the Tissot Tradition is a collection we feel is aimed more at the general consumer than the enthusiast. The quartz models come in three styles: time and date, chronograph, or perpetual calendar The sole automatic on offer in the Tradition line features the Powermatic 80 movement, as we've seen in other collections, but here with an "open-heart," offering a view of the oscillating balance wheel straight from the dial.

Diameter: 40mm-42mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph, perpetual calendar
Water Resistance: 30m
Price
: $300-$750

Tissot PRS 516

Inspired by designs made popular in the 1960s, the Tissot PRS 516 primarily draws inspiration from Tissot’s motor racing heritage. The motorsport ties for Tissot run back to 1958 when Swiss driver Harry Zweifel sent Tissot a signed picture stating that his Tissot is with him in every race.

The importance of timing in motorsport-inspired Tissot to debut the original PR 516 line in 1965, with a bracelet design inspired by the holes seen in race car steering wheels. The original PR 516 was dubbed “Particularly Resistant” as the suspended movement made it more protected from lateral and axial shocks. Over the years, Tissot has sponsored racing teams across various disciplines from Alpine, Porsche, Ensign, Lotus, and Sauber.

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Tissot PRS 516 Powermatic 80
tissotwatches.com
$695.00

The current PRS line consists of three models: the PRS 516 Powermatic 80, PRS 516 Chronograph, and the PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph. Featuring a Day and Date complication, the PRS 516 Powermatic 80 features a fixed steel bezel graduated for five-minute increments. This watch comes on either a three-link steel bracelet or racing style leather strap and features a display case back, allowing the wearer to see the movement's racing-inspired rotor.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Powermatic 80 automatic
Configurations: Time and day/date
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $695

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Tissot PRS 516 Chronograph
tissotwatches.com
$650.00

The quartz PRS 516 Chronograph offers the benefit of a chronograph function with the increased precision of a 1/10th second tracker in the top-right totalizer. With a quartz movement, this piece comes in under $500 and offers a wide array of bracelet/strap and color combinations. Featuring a closed case back and 45mm case, the PRS 516 Chronograph offers 100m of water resistance, perfect for any post-race celebrations. Those who must have an automatic chronograph have options, too, costing close to $2,000.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement
: Quartz
Configurations: Time, chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $650

Tissot Heritage

Tissot has a rich back catalog of designs from previous eras. The heritage collection is home to modern takes on these watches from yesteryear. Offering a “greatest hits” compilation of sorts, Tissot continues to pay tribute to watches that have help cement the brand in the minds of consumers.

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Tissot Heritage Visodate Powermatic 80
tissotwatches.com
$675.00

The original Tissot Visodate debuted in 1953, the same year Tissot celebrated its 100th anniversary. The original watch featured a date change at exactly midnight, a first for a wristwatch in 1953. What sets this line apart from others in the catalog is the vintage logo at 12 o’clock. The logo has been used in the past by Tissot on several heritage models, or re-releases of classic watches from the back catalog.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement
: Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and day/date
Water Resistance: 30m
Price
: $650-$675

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Tissot Heritage 1973
tissotwatches.com
$2,100.00

Another noteworthy model in the heritage collection that leans into the motorsport theme looks forward to the decade after the previously mentioned PR 516 made its debut. The Tissot Heritage 1973 chronograph comes straight from the 1970s with a tonneau case shape, panda dial, and Rallye strap. Slightly smaller than its stablemates, the Heritage 1973 has a 43mm case that measures 14.3mm thick. Offering a tri-compax chronograph, the 1973 allows the wearer to track running seconds, up to 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours, perfect for an endurance race.

Diameter: 43mm
Movement
: Valjoux A05.H31 automatic chronograph
Configurations: Time, date, automatic chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m, 300ft
Price
: $2,100

Tissot T-Touch

Continuing to push forward, Tissot unveiled the T-Touch collection over 20 years ago. Before the era of connected devices, touchscreens, smartphones in our pockets, and wearable technology, the original T-Touch offered a tactile screen integrated into its crystal in 1999. Over the years, Tissot has added connectivity, Bluetooth, a ceramic bezel, and more to this high-tech wristwatch.

While these watches have grown in both size and functionality over the last 23 years, they are still a serious piece of equipment for adventurers and weekend warriors alike. With multiple useful features and a solar energy source, its no wonder these watches end up on the wrists of adventurers and TV hosts (the Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond can be seen sporting his older model on many of their destination episodes).

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Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar
tissotwatches.com
$1,150.00

Lightweight titanium helps the current T-Touch Connect Solar weight to a minimum as its overall footprint on your wrist is a larger 47.5mm. Tissot’s version of a connected watch, this beast can track everything from your steps traveled, the direction you are heading, the air temperature and weather trends, altitude, and display incoming calls, notifications and more. Powered by natural light, this watch is perfect for an outdoor adventure that could last for multiple days at a time. The functions are controlled by a touch-capacitive crystal, as well as more traditional chronograph style buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock.

Diameter: 47.5mm
Movement
: Swiss connected solar quartz with 25 separate functions
Configurations: Connected multifunction watch
Water Resistance: 100m, 300ft
Price
: $1,050 - $1,150

Tissot Chrono XL

Characterized by large Arabic numerals and hands filled with superluminova, the Tissot Chrono XL shoots for supreme legibility, day or night. The Chrono XL is also one of the watches that features color and strap options for your favorite NBA team.

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Tissot Chrono XL
tissotwatches.com
$375.00

As the name mentions, the Chrono XL features a large case with a big dial that only increases its visual presence. The quartz chronograph movement offers precision timing with a 1/10th second subdial and 30-minute totalizer. Running seconds and date round out the information conveyed dial side. Offered in multiple finishes and dial colors, the Chrono XL can be styled with either a modern or vintage look.

Diameter: 45mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz chronograph
Configurations: Quartz chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $375 - $495

Tissot Supersport

The Supersport collection straddles two design languages. The Supersport Chrono bills itself as a forward-looking timepiece, offering a range of references to speak to the wearer’s personal sense of style. The Supersport Gent, on the other hand, picks up on vintage styles that have become popular again in modern times. Both of these watches are stylish options that come in affordable packages.

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Tissot Supersport Gent
tissotwatches.com
$325.00

The Supersport Gent borrows from skin-diver designs of the 1960s. The rotating bezel features a color-matched aluminum insert perfect for tracking elapsed time. The Swiss quartz movement and 44mm case update these classic good looks for modern tastes. The 10mm thickness will also keep the Supersport Gent comfortable on your wrist, no matter the occasion.

Diameter: 44mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz
Configurations: Time and date
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $325-$375

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Tissot Supersport Chrono
tissotwatches.com
$400.00

While the above Gent borrows from the past, the Supersport Chrono has a more contemporary feel. Bold angles and sharp lines separate this chronograph from other designs in the Tissot catalog. The 45.5mm case features the same Swiss quartz chronograph movement found throughout the Tissot lineup which keeps overall thickness under 12mm. The Supersport Chrono features recessed subdials, hour markers set into the rehaut, an angular bracelet, and an aluminum bezel. Bold color options help this chronograph stand out even more.

Diameter: 45.5mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz chronograph
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m, 300 ft
Price
: $400-$475

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