Hands-On: Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium

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As a member of Swatch Group’s expansive portfolio, Tissot has carved itself a niche as one of the org’s most surprising brands. That might sound silly given the fact that Swatch Group includes innovative industry titans like Blancpain, Omega, and Breguet, but hear me out. Because Tissot operates almost entirely under $1,000 (and sometimes well under that), some enthusiasts might expect their watches to be adequate, though not overly impressive. Here at Worn & Wound, we’re champions of watches under $1,000, so we know that not to be the case — there are a lot of great timepieces that exist within this price segment, including those being put out by Tissot. Not only are the watches themselves solid, but, depending on the model, they may be chock full of specs and features that allow Tissot to blow away the competition (and, on specs alone, one might argue that they handily compete against some watches at double the price). I’ll be looking at one such watch today.

The Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is, on the surface, a perfectly competent wristwatch that toes the line between dress and sport quite well. There aren’t any major design flourishes here, but what Tissot does, it does well. But it’s not just the design; it’s also what’s inside the watch that makes it quite a bit more interesting than many comps on the market, and, in my opinion, one hell of a value. 

Let’s take a closer look. 

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$775

Hands-On: Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium

Case
Stainless steel
Movement
Powermatic 80
Dial
Blue
Lume
Yes – Super-LumiNova
Lens
Sapphire
Strap
Steel bracelet
Water Resistance
100 meters
Dimensions
40mm x 48mm
Thickness
11.5mm
Lug Width
21mm
Crown
Push/pull
Warranty
Yes
Price
$775

We’ll start with the case. Rendered in stainless steel, it measures 40 millimeters across, 48 millimeters lug-to-lug, and 11.5 millimeters thick, so it’s in a sweet spot, size-wise, for a lot of people. From the top down, there’s a dominant, polished bezel, and curving lugs that square-off at the end. In profile, there’s a slab-sided mid-case that’s been brushed to perfection, but for the polished bevels that give the case a higher-end look. Slab sides can be a bit of a miss, especially on watches that are overly thick, but the case here is actually quite thin at just 11.5 millimeters, so it works. There’s a push/pull crown on the right side of the case at 3:00, and it’s signed with Tissot’s “T.”

Note the polished bevels along the side of the case.
This is how you do a slab-sided profile correctly.

Overall, I like the somewhat blocky case here. It actually reminds me of a vintage Polerouter Super I once owned, just scaled up. Now, I’m going to sound like a broken record, but personally I would love to see this watch brought down to 38 millimeters, or even 36 or 37 with a slightly slimmer bezel. I think it would work well with the design, and it would remedy the one issue I have with the dial (which I’ll get to in a moment).

The dial is relatively straightforward, but it’s not uninteresting. It’s a metallic dark blue — not quite matte, but neither is it full-on glossy. Regardless, it looks nice, and I’m glad Tissot decided to forgo a sunray finish here, which tends to be a bit of a go-to for Swiss brands operating under $1,000. The applied hour markers pair nicely with the faceted handset. There is a light coating of luminous paint on the hands and along the outer edge of the dial at each marker. Between the markers is a minutes/seconds track, and within that a sub-seconds track. This gives the dial an elevated, sporty look, which I dig. Tissot signs the dial below 12:00, and above 6:00 it reads “POWERMATIC 80” and “SILICIUM” below that.

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A clean look that toes the line between sport and dress quite well.
Faceted hands catch the light.
Sculpted applied markers on the dial.

My favorite dial details are the applied markers. They’re tall and multi-faceted, and each marker has a brushed top-surface and polished sides. This really elevates the dial and gives it some dimensionality, and the way the markers play with the light has had me looking down at my wrist just to admire the effect multiple times throughout my days with the watch.

If I have to nitpick something, it’s the date. No, I’m not a date hater. In fact, I find the complication to be incredibly useful. But a date window needs to be incorporated in a way that doesn’t impede the design. Now, I’ll concede that the window here isn’t that bad. My primary issue with it is that it sits too close to the center of the dial, and that’s a result of a larger case housing a smaller movement. Remember how I wrote that a smaller case would fix my one issue with the dial? This is it. Another possible fix would be to color match the wheel, and place the date down at 6:00 without the metallic frame. Again, this is all highly subjective, but it’s criticism worth offering.

The right amount of lume on a watch of this nature.

Powering the watch is Tissot’s Powermatic 80, which is a branded C07.111, which in turn is based on the ETA 2824. But this isn’t just some rebadged 2824. It features a boosted 80-hour power reserve, and on top of that there’s a silicon hairspring. Now, the use of silicon is getting more common in the watch industry, but it’s still relatively uncommon, and to see it here in a watch that retails for $775 on bracelet is pretty cool.

A boosted 80-hour power reserve and a silicon hairspring give this movement a major value add.

The unit I have in for review comes on an Oyster-style, stainless steel bracelet. It’s not a bad bracelet by any means, but it won’t blow you away either. This isn’t that big of a surprise — I often find that the big Swiss houses don’t pay too much attention to bracelets when the watch is under $1,000, which is a shame because micro-brands certainly do. That said, there’s a lot good of good here. The deployant clasp works well and is comfortable on the wrist. The overall machining on the bracelet is clean, and there is a mix of finishes on the links, though I know that’s highly contentious. The solid end links also fit the case well, and there are two half links for fine-adjusting the fit when sizing the bracelet.

So, what are my issues with the bracelet? Well, it’s quite heavy. That may be because the bracelet largely lacks a taper or because it’s quite thick, but there is a noticeable heft to the watch on the bracelet and you feel it on the wrist. And speaking of a bracelet taper, I really think the watch and bracelet would benefit from one here. Tapered bracelets simply look better on the wrist, and they just make a product look a bit higher-end. Now, I’ll admit that tapered bracelets are more complicated to produce, so I understand why Tissot might choose not to go that route to keep costs and ultimately the price down.

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The watch looks great on its Oyster-style bracelet…
…but I really prefer it on a leather two-piece strap.

When worn, this watch looks great. It fits well, sitting close to the wrist because the caseback is relatively flat, a detail that reduces excess wobbling. In my time with the watch, I’ve opted to wear it on a strap instead of the accompanying bracelet. This watch looks great on leather, and the lighter weight of a two-piece strap versus the bracelet made it far more comfortable for daily wear. One thing to note is that the lugs measure 21mm. I used to hate odd-sized lug widths, but I’ve gotten less critical of this as my own personal collection began to include watches with odd-sized lugs. The easiest solution? I just squeeze in my 22mm-sized straps, and do so without much issue.

Altogether, this is a fantastic package from Tissot. Notwithstanding my issues (and they are indeed my issues) with the bracelet and the implementation of the date function, there’s really nothing major to criticize here. This is a classic and versatile design paired with a powerhouse caliber, all for $775. Switzerland would be wise to do more of this. Tissot

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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