Tissot is a brand that hardly needs any introduction. They’ve existed for 160 years and are available globally. They have large ad campaigns, famous brand ambassadors and just about everything else you’d expect from a large watch brand. And large they truly are, as they are part of the mega Swatch group. But despite their scale, their heritage and their Swiss Made credentials, they manage to keep prices in the accessible range. And not just for their most basic line, but for some very interesting mechanical watches including chronographs, COSC grade movements and today’s topic, an 80-hour power reserve.
Amongst the newest of their line are a few series of watches that wear the moniker “Powermatic 80” on their dial, which indicates the presence of an 80-hour power reserve movement, specifically the new and exclusive ETA C07.111. I’ll get into it in more detail later, but for those who are new to affordable mechanical movements, an 80-hour power reserve is a remarkable and novel feature for Tissot to include in their watches. Typical movements from ETA, Selitta, Miyota, Seiko, etc… have power reserves in the ballpark of 40 hours, as do many high-end in house calibers from luxury brands. There are also brands out there with much larger power reserves, such as IWC who have a 7-day reserve, Panerai who have an 8-day and Vacheron Constantin who have a whopping 14-day movement. And you can imagine the prices of those watches.
Now, Tissot has watches under $1,000 dollars with double the power reserve of the typical sub $5,000 watch. And while that is fascinating to us watch enthusiasts, it’s a bit strange as a feature for a mass-market watch. Why? Well, first off most average consumers, who don’t read nerdy watch blogs, wont know that 80 hours is special. Without a very well informed sales person, they wont understand that in order to achieve more power reserve the movement needs to have a slew of changes that, in the case of the C07, amount to greater efficiency. Secondly, it’s a very pragmatic feature with no visual component. There are no buttons to push, no hands to watch move, no bells or whistles, just a longer lasting movement. In other words, it’s hard to show off. As Tissot says in their own newsletter, you can take it off on Friday and it will still work on Monday, implying that this your formal office-watch. While that is a smart sales point, is it enough?
So, clearly watches with this movement must also succeed aesthetically, and if the look of the new Luxury line is any indicator of the direction that Tissot will be taking, then I think they will do just fine. Modern, sleek and refined are all words that come to mind when you first see the new steel dial Luxury Automatic on a bracelet. It’s a monochromatic dress watch with subtle but eye-catching details and a few surprises that make it really standout. The Luxury Automatic goes for $895 ($850 on a leather strap) making it a great value for a Swiss Made watch with an 80-hour movement; so let’s take a closer look.
Tissot Luxury Automatic Powermatic 80 Review
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: ETA C07.111 (Powermatic 80)
Dial: Silver / Steel
Water Res.: 50m
Dimensions: 41 x 48mm
Thickness: 9.75 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Crown: 6 x 2.75 mm
The Luxury Automatic has an exceptionally interesting case design that isn’t quite like anything I’ve seen before. It’s all stainless steel and measures 41 x 48 x 9.75mm, making it on the large size for a dress watch in terms of diameter, but still quite thin. From the top, the case has a simple design with a thin polished bezel encircling the dial and short, but appropriate angular lugs that give the watch a touch of masculinity. Immediately, the finishing stands out. The bezel has a clean polish, and the top surface of the lugs are brushed. The outer edge of the lugs have a slight chamfer, which is then polished, and the sides of the lugs are brushed again. The polished edge adds a hint of controlled glimmer that speaks to the Luxury name and ties the lugs and bezel together.
Running along the side of the case is a very unique detail in the form of a textured metal surface. The steel, which has a satin sheen, has been stamped to create a woven pattern. I’ve never seen a case with a texture like this, and I have to say it’s a clever way to make the sides of the case more interesting, giving the overall design a complete feeling. You can tell the case also has a more complicated construction to it than normal. The bezel and case back flare out ever so slightly past the side, which is an applied piece, and the lugs appear to be attached in yet a different manner.
On the right side at 3 is a small push-pull crown that measures about 6 x 2.75mm. It’s textured along the side making it easy to grasp for turning, though the thinness makes it a bit difficult to pullout to set the time. On the flat side is a polished “T” in an etched matte area, which is well executed. Flipping the watch over you can take a look at the display case back, which is primarily polished steel. Along the steel are various details presented in a straightforward manner. Naturally, the highlight here is the movement, which can be seen through the large aperture.
All-in-all the case alone, between the quality finishing, texturing and build, makes the watch a worthwhile design. Its unique use of pattern mixed with finishing gives it an elegance befitting of a dress watch, while also making it engrossing enough to be worn regularly. The watch also features a sapphire crystal, which is to be expected at this price, but it happens to also be very anti-reflective, which is good to see (or not see, as the case might be).
The dial of the Luxury Automatic isn’t printed so much as built. It’s a series of metal plates, faces and markers that come together to create a dial with a lot of depth and texture. It’s a bit tricky to describe, but it appears that the main face of the dial is matte silver with a slightly blasted finish. On top of this is a flat ring with a darker steel color that has radial brushing. The outer edge of the ring has a long chamfer that creates a second surface on the ring that reflects light differently.
Penetrating the ring from the outer edge is a series of steel markers that represent the hour index. Each marker then has a chamfer on the side closer to the edge with a similar effect as the chamfer on the ring. Then, on the very outer edge is a printed index of small black lines for the minutes and “Swiss Made” in small letters. At 3, just inside of the ring, is a framed date window with black text on white that integrates well into the dial. Lastly, there is a bit of text in the center area, which is printed in black.