First Look at the New Tissot Heritage 1973 Chronograph

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Tissot is reaching back into their archives for the release of a new chronograph inspired by the brand’s racing heritage. The suitably named Tissot Heritage 1973 Chronograph is a modern take on the Tissot Navigator, a distinctly ’70s chrono with a big cushion case and bright orange accents on a panda dial. This new version, while certainly not a replica of the original, takes the best elements of the 1973 version and updates them for the modern consumer.

First, Tissot slightly upsized the case. The Navigator came in at 39mm, and the Heritage measures 43mm. With a cushion style case though, you may find that the watch wears smaller than advertised since the lugs are very short and don’t significantly increase the watch’s footprint.

Vintage Tissot Navigator from the ’70s. Image courtesy of @thejames80.

The next significant change is the dial layout. The Heritage sports a familiar three register design with a love-it-or-hate-it date window at 4:30 (I’m fine with it, given the color matching to the dial and the fact that a racing inspired sports watch can stand to have a design element slightly askew). The Navigator, on the other hand, had a wildly unsymmetrical two register layout, with subdials at 9:00 and 6:00, and date indicator at 3:00. Fairly unusual to say the least, and I think Tissot improved on the original in terms of the dial design, but then again I’m a stickler for symmetry.

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What remains from the Navigator? Well, the panda dial, for one. There’s a reason we see this colorway in so many of these throwback racing chronos — it’s just incredibly attractive. It’s sleek, easy to read at a glance, and calls to mind the checkered flag. It’s not even a little bit original, but if a design element has to be copied from brand to brand, or reinterpreted over and over again, this is a good one to choose. We also get those bright orange accents on the chrono seconds, minutes, and hour totalizers to complete the retro vibe.

The aforementioned cushion case utilizes a mix of brushed and polished finishing techniques, and has curves that should help make it wear comfortably. And, appropriate for a racing watch, the gentle sloping at play in the case lines give the appearance of a something moving at speed.

The Heritage 1973 uses a Valjoux 7753 automatic movement, which is in the same movement family as the more widely used 7750 (the 7753 uses a pusher on the case band for date adjustments). It’s known to be a reliable and robust movement, and can be seen here through an open case back.

As a fan of chronographs, this is an appealing offering from Tissot, which as a brand has been more closely associated with their NBA sponsorship and T-touch line of ana-digi watches than their vintage inspired pieces over the last few years. Tissot, though, is a brand with real heritage and a catalog full of designs worth taking another look at, and I think they’ve done a nice job updating their classic chronograph design.

The Tissot Heritage 1973 will be available in May, in a limited edition of 1973 pieces. Pricing is expected to be $2,250.

Let us know what you think about the new Tissot Heritage 1973 Chronograph in the comments below. Do you like the updated look, or does the historical model win out?

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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