As much as Basel is about debuting new watches, it’s just as important as a platform for brands to showcase new technological advances and highlight their heritage. Tissot exemplified that approach this year with their updated Ballade line and worn&wound’s inaugural “Most Amusing Watch Name Award” winner, the Tissot Heritage Banana Centenary Edition. While the Ballade breaks new ground in affordable movement technology, the Banana digs deep into Tissot’s archives to spotlight one of their very first-ever wristwatch designs.
First up, let’s take a closer look at the Banana. In order to do that, we need to go back a full century to pre-revolutionary imperial Russia. At some point in 1916, a wealthy Russian collector purchased a gold curved-case, rectangular Tissot, a popular model in Russia at the time. The following year, in August 1917, the collector had the watch shipped back to Tissot’s Le Locle factory for regular maintenance. Two months later, the Russian Revolution began, the Romanovs were killed, and the Soviet Union began to take power.