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.
Among the newest of Tissot’s 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.