Paulene L.

Many a time, people today consider watches as redundant. Why buy and wear one when you have a phone to check time? But for some, mostly men who have limited choices when it comes to what women consider jewelries, watches add another element of personality to an individual’s outfit. More than that, watches can say a lot about the wearer—from being punctual and someone who values people and their time, to being stylish and someone who prefers specialized convenience. Regardless, behind the many outward functionalities of watches are centuries worth of ingenuity, creativity, and intricacy just as demonstrated by the Swiss luxury watchmaker Tissot.

Articles on Tissot

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Differentiated by decorated gold and excellence

Tissot Savonnette Pocket Watch

Tracing back to 1853 in Le Locle, Switzerland, Tissot was born out of a collaboration that produced unique watches during the time. Charles-Félicien Tissot, a gold case-fitter, and his son Charles-Émile, a watchmaker, combined their expertise to make intricately embellished gold pocket and pendant watches that have become popular mostly in the United and the Russian Empire. Until 1917, Tissot’s biggest market was the Russian Empire and even made pieces for the Tsar’s court.

The brand’s current headquarters on Chemin de Tourelles was established in 1907. The mechanical production enabled the production of watches marked with detailed precision. Being able to produce its own movements since 1917, Tissot started to offer high-quality watches at an affordable price. When Edouard-Louis Tissot arrived in 1953, the brand further improved its technological capability with the introduction of a “single caliber” principle in 1959, enabling the more efficient production of manual or automatic watches, with variations in complications.

Influenced by trends and exceptional ideas

Tissot Le Locle Automatic Black Dial Watch.
Tissot Le Locle Automatic Black Dial Watch. Photo: SzB

For the last 160 or so years of its existence, Tissot came to be well-known as a watch brand that always welcomed changing popular trends, incorporated unusual materials, and catered to different segments of the market (women, men, and teenagers), coming up with innovative pieces grounded in true technological prowess.

In the 1910s, the brand introduced its first wristwatches, made from gold, platinum, and diamonds, for women. Right after, Tissot released a version of the same trend for men. The watchmaker was highly influenced by Art Nouveau and Art Deco during the time. From offering multiple designs for different occasions to creating collections for teenagers and using new materials such as fiberglass, Tissot was able to stick in people’s minds by providing exactly the wants and needs of wearers.

The brand enhanced its pioneering image by introducing one of a kind, iconic watches such as the RockWatch, made of alpine granite; the WoodWatch, made of wood; and the PearlWatch, made of mother of pearl. It was also the first brand to produce the world’s first tactile watch, the T-Touch and solar-powered watch, the T-Touch Expert Solar. The novel and exciting concepts further attracted buyers and enthusiasts.

Underwent merges and reached new heights

Tissot PRS 516 Automatic watch.
Tissot PRS 516 Automatic watch. Photo: Nor Gal

For watch collectors today, 1930 was a pivotal moment as Tissot and Omega merged into a new entity called Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère—the first Swiss watchmaking association. In the same period, Tissot offered more value by providing a one-year guarantee. The iconic model, Tissot Navigator, was released 20 years after the merger, in 1951. By 1998, Tissot has been member of the Swatch Group.

From the Tsar court many years ago, Tissot has been associated with many personalities today including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Nelson Mandela, Deepika Padukone, and Angelina Jolie, as well as the visit of the prince and princess of Monaco in 1960. It has also fostered relationships with organizations such as Formula 1 teams Ensign, Renault and Lotus, as well as worldwide-known racers like Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx, and Clay Regazzoni.

Today, Tissot can be bought in over 16,000 locations across 150 countries and sells more than four million watches worldwide. True to its slogan “Innovation by tradition,” Tissot has always been able to stay ahead of the curve and offer ingenious watches that not only is great for the brand but also for the health of the watchmaking industry in general. With its passion for leveraging and combining technologies with the right amount of heritage and imagination, Tissot is a brand that guarantees watches can even last a lifetime.

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