Sistem Tissot? Swiss Mechanicals at Quartz Prices

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It’s not the clean design that makes the Tissot Everytime Swissmatic so special. And it isn’t that it’s powered by a Swiss-made mechanical movement. It’s the fact that all of those things can now be had in a watch from a big Swiss brand at less than $500 retail. Tissot—one of  Swatch Group’s entry-level brands alongside the likes of Mido, Hamilton, and Certina—has made a splashy entry into the below-$500 price point with the Everytime Swissmatic. At $450 with a bracelet or $395 with a leather band, the Everytime Swissmatic is an aggressively priced offering coming in at less than half the MSRP of Tissot’s next family of mechanical watches.

Brands like Seiko have dominated the affordable mechanical watch market for years, scooping up die-hard followers along the way. Micro-brands have also been operating at this price point, as have digital, fashion and smart watches. And during that time, the vast majority of big Swiss watch manufacturers have been happy to stay relatively upmarket.

Just a handful of the variants of Tissot’s Everytime Swissmatic.

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The Everytime Swissmatic is no less than big Swiss’ move at an affordable price point that it has not been in quite some time. Swiss mechanicals—other than the fun and quirky ones made by Swatch—have largely been reserved to higher price points. And while Tissot has dipped into the under-$1,000 market before, the Everytime Swissmatic is priced like a Swiss quartz watch despite it being powered by a mechanical movement.

The design of the Everytime Swissmatic is simple and timeless. The dial has minimal design elements. Only “TISSOT 1853” and “SWISSMATIC” are on the dial—there’s nothing loud. Just simple indexes and a small date window at the three o’clock hour.

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If you’re eagle-eyed, you will note that the Swiss-made mechanical movement powering the Everytime Swissmatic is a reimagining of the one used in the groundbreaking Swatch Sistem51. Sistem51 made waves a few years back for being the world’s first mechanical movement that was entirely assembled by machines. It was made with only 51 components that were all held together with a central screw.

While the movement used in the Tissot Swissmatic is an adaptation of the Sistem51, brand representatives for Tissot explain that the current iteration was designed exclusively for Tissot. In this configuration, the mechanical automatic movement has a three-day power reserve. The components of the movement are manufactured and assembled by modules and soldered in Boncourt, Switzerland.

Side-by-side.

The 40mm Everytime Swissmatic comes in a variety of styles. The dial is available in both black and white. The case is available in either stainless steel or stainless steel with a rose gold PVD coating. The watches come paired with a vintage-style bracelet, a smooth or textured leather band, or a woven nylon strap. The Everytime Swissmatic has a sapphire crystal and is water resistant up to 30 meters or 100 feet.

Altogether, this is an interesting approach by Tissot, and we’ll be curious to see how the collection performs for the brand. If it does well, it’s not hard to imagine more products like this in the future. The Tissot Everytime Swissmatic is now available. Tissot

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Christian discovered his love for watches around the same time he discovered he could make a living as a writer. An award-winning journalist, Christian has covered everything from presidential campaigns to princess tea parties. Now, he's combining his passion for vintage watches with his passion for writing. Christian lives and works out of central Pennsylvania.
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  • Ayreonaut

    They appear to have saved money by using tiny little hands found in the parts bin.

    • BeardieTheDuck

      I think the basic Sistem51 is a lot of fun and, while I don’t have one, I can understand why someone would buy one rather than a similarly priced Seiko 5. With a sub-$100 watch, for a lot of buyers service is not part of the value prop anyway, so the ability to service (as you can the Seiko) matters less.

      In the range of about $500, though, it’s very different. Even staying within Tissot, why would someone get this over a Vissodate? This seems like a decision that makes a lot of business sense for the producer, in that the cost of production must be considerably lower than that of their other watches at the same price point.

      I also read somewhere that Tissot’s version of the Sistem51 movement uses metal parts instead of plastic and runs at a higher beat… both of which would increase wear and tear (maybe this is the point, as it’ll mean a shorter interval before people send the watch in for a movement swap).

  • gw01

    WOW… that is really competitive!

  • Yan Fin

    Now, it would be interesting if/ when this movement will be available for microbrand makers.

    • BJ314

      That would be pretty revolutionary. And a great way to generate more revenue for Swatch.

  • BeardieTheDuck

    Selling a Sistem51 for over $400 is perhaps the best example I’ve seen yet of the Swiss reality distortion field.

  • chenpofu

    Is it possible to service this movement?

    • That is a very good question! Let me try to get that answer for you, but if I had to take a guess a service here would likely entail sending the watch back and having the movement swapped out. -Ilya

  • Nick Shepherd

    You can already get Tissot Automatics, with an ETA 2836, for £380, so I don’t see that this is such big news.

  • I’m mostly interested in this push downmarket as but one example of a larger trend that we’ve seen over the last few years across many brands. I’ve personally never been all to into the Sistem51–just not my cup of tea. And it’s hard to gauge what improvements the Tissot version of the movement has over Swatch’s. But if they’re willing to offer mechanical movements at this MSRP, maybe it’s just another sign that the Swiss are finally understanding that Swiss = Luxury = Expensive might not be an effective formula in 2017. Just my $.02. – Ilya

  • jimf42

    the most interesting thing I see is a 3 day power reserve in a sub 500 watch.

  • Warsh

    Sorry, but I don’t get why this is newsworthy. Tissot already makes some very affordable mechanical watches like the Visodate. And other brands like Seiko already sell mechanical watches (some with VERY nice dials) for $150 or so. To say nothing of the many micros in the $300-$500 segment.

    • BJ314

      Because the Sistem is probably damn near bulletproof. Which means low maintenance, low development costs, etc. The Visodate isn’t $500 purchased by an AD. And it needs way more service than this movement over a lifetime.

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Interesting, very very interesting.

  • Michael Happe

    This is a very good move for Swatch group and Tissot in particular. Having a watch automatic.
    With the Sistem51 (Swissmatic) they know that the watch is not meant for running a lifetime but can attract fashion lovers looking for cool product at a good price. I remember that Swatch with they Sistem51 gives a longevity of 10 years , is this good of bad ?

    • BJ314

      The average non-watch guy who pays $500 probably owns it for 10 or even less years then discards it. They don’t buy to collect. They don’t anticipate or care about increased or sustained value over time.

  • BJ314

    Jesus, you just ruined my day. lol

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