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Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Tissot has been keeping busy so far in 2017, with a plethora of new models released including the T-Touch Expert Solar II and the crowd favorite Tissot Ballade featuring a silicone hairspring at an entry-level price. Add to these the Tissot Heritage 1948 chronograph watch, based on the brand’s chronograph models in their museum collection from (you guessed it) 1948.

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Between the Clous de Paris bezel of the Ballade and the recognizably vintage-inspired Heritage, Tissot has continued releasing older generation models with a bit more contemporary flare. This is something we’ve always seen in the industry that has been noticeably more aggressive in the last couple of years in luxury brands as well as the “affordable” market. The Omega 1957 Trilogy comes to mind, as does the Breitling Super Ocean Heritage II. In the affordable realm, Undone has created an entire business model around their most popular vintage designs. Those are just a few examples among many, many others. While some complain that there aren’t enough totally new and contemporary watches coming out these days, it’s hard to deny the charm of the Tissot Heritage 1948.

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The Tissot Heritage 1948’s 39.6mm wide stainless steel case is water resistant to 30m and fitted with a Hesalite crystal. This is an eyebrow-raising move for Tissot. Hesalite is perhaps most widely known for its use on the Omega Speedmaster after NASA requested a material that doesn’t shatter on impact. Being in a zero-gravity environment would cause significant problems if little glass shards were floating around. Using a plastic-ish base, Hesalite is almost impossible to break.

The downside is that it scratches more easily than sapphire, the crystal material of choice for the vast majority of luxury watches today. Essentially scratch-proof, yes, but it can shatter with a very hard impact. Tissot’s original mission back in the day was to create an industrial watch “destined for engineers, technicians, doctors, and sportsmen,” and having a shatterproof crystal was an important place to start. The Tissot Heritage 1948 gives a fair nod to that era of Tissot’s history.

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Inside the watch is the ETA 2894-2 workhorse chronograph movement. This is less common than the Valjoux 7750 integrated chronograph movement and uses a chronograph module built on top of an ETA 2892-2. The automatic movement features a date window at the controversial 4:30 location – a rather contemporary move for a “heritage” watch in addition to the chronograph registers at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. One of my favorite aspects of the watch is the harmony I perceive between the different design elements.

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Looking at the dial straight on, the black seconds hand and black chronograph hands seem to flow with the black logo. The steel leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are silver in color, matching the Roman numeral 12 o’clock index and steel case against a barely off-white dial bringing a culmination of an almost minimalist, but equally uniform design. That is helped by the lack of a tachymeter, telemeter, pulsometer, or any other kind scale that can add a technical or sporty look but undeniable clutter to a watch design. Either way, that kind of addition would probably go mostly unused by owners. With the exception of the rather busy exhibition case back, the watch has a very elegant look, and that is something I find appealing for an arguably dressy chronograph.

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The Tissot Heritage 1948 watch will come with three different strap and bracelet options. Alligator leather straps are available in black or brown, and there is a Milanese steel bracelet. For fans who want to take the retro look even further, I feel the bracelet provides a great option. Personally, though I would almost always opt for a bracelet, I find the black leather far more fitting in this particular case.

Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Overall, Tissot is definitely dipping its cup in the sea of the retro market that is so popular right now, and they are doing a good job at it. As the owner of a number of Tissot watches myself, both sporty and dressy, I find myself continuously drawn to these latest vintage-inspired releases. This includes the Ballade with technical upgrades well within the reach of affordability, and the Heritage 1948 with a significant retro swag that still manages to remain contemporary enough to wear with jeans. The Tissot Heritage 1948 is priced at $1,400 on the leather strap and $1,450 on the Milanese steel bracelet. tissotwatches.com

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Comments

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  • Word Merchant

    Did they have plastic movements in 1948?

    • Mikita

      Vintage bakelite movements, yes.

      • Word Merchant

        Cool. But they should’ve put ‘plastique’ on the dial where ‘automatique’ is now.

        • Sheez Gagoo

          Due to the fact, that this movement is based on a 2892 with a module (I guess it’s build by former Jaquet. SG could by Jaquet very cheap in the early 2000s due to the fact, that Jaquet, the boss had been arrested because he was a mafioso. Interesting story by the way, should be covered once. Jaquet has a new name I forgot already) I’m not sure this movement contains any plastic parts.

        • Mikita

          What a missed oportunity..

  • Mikita

    Not bad. Would have preferred no tilted date and heat blued hands instead of just steel ones.

  • DanW94

    Nice clean design. They did a similarly styled 150th anniversary chrono years ago. The dial’s busier on the anniversary model with the tachymeter and all. I prefer the Arabic number 12 instead of the Roman numeral.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d507b835efcd27d2d2478133f4dbe548415ab8841155b07947dd4612c82c2c0f.jpg

    • egznyc

      Yes, definitely a lot of similarities.

      • DanW94

        It’s been around 15 years or so since the anniversary model, so I guess it was time for a reboot….lol. I like them both but not enough to save and make it my next purchase.

  • simon

    I am curious as to how this watch was developed. Did the head of product development assign the aesthetic design of this watch to two different people? If you showed me only the case back of this watch, I would never imagine that the dial side would look like this……and even more so the other way around. This watch should have had a clean solid case back.

    • Word Merchant

      One pub, two napkins, three week deadline.

    • Lincolnshire Poacher

      Excellent point.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      That’s all covered in the very over used word ” homage ” . Why do people always look for inspiration from the past (in this case, badly).and not have a inkling of forethought.

  • Andrew Buckley

    Not bad (apart from the date window…but that’s another discussion altogether). The Heritage 1936 is on my current wish list. Ironically, it’s pretty much the only Tissot I would consider buying and just about the only Tissot that’s not available in UK retail (despite there being at least a dozen Tissot retailers on just about every British high street). Do the major watch manufacturers actually bother following online forums…or are they too busy exploring the hidden recesses of their own backsides?

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    I don’t know what it really looks like, but looking at these renders it looks cheap. Its a nice size for a vintage chrono, but I’m not keen on the dial. Its okay, but for its money there are better Hamilton’s, Victorinox, Seiko, Citizen and any of a dozen more.

  • Mikita

    I just got an idea that at $1.5k better go full Hodinkee and get some real vintage piece. This Tissot tries so hard that it almost succeeded to go back to 1948. Well, until I saw the caseback.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      You said the H word !

      • Mikita

        My sincere apologies to the community. Don’t know what came over me.

        • Saul Sloota

          You should apologize to the Hodinkee community too. If you submit your apology now, readers should get it just in time for Christmas.

          • simon

            Spot on! I still have comments that haven’t been posted, from 4 months ago.

          • Saul Sloota

            I would give it another month before you complain. You’ll hear back from them by 2019. Then give it another year or so and that comment of yours should be up. Hang in there! 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a782e77c91e1980e347c75eab5da1e1a57c7822cf3d586e8d4d3a68e8e5c0e8b.jpg

          • Sheez Gagoo

            #paymeforagoodreviewthursdaypleaseuseouraccountincyprus
            #browntongue
            #everythingisjustfineisaidEVERYTHINGISJUSTFINE

          • Mikita

            I feel I am persona non-grata at H. 90% of my comments there weren’t posted at all.

          • Shinytoys

            they don’t want the “He said-She said” dynamic, and frankly, I don’t blame them.

          • Mikita

            Sorry, I think I didn’t get you. I simply stopped posting or reading comments there since there is lack of not only lively discussion, but of democraticy: severe moderating makes the forum corrupted. Hodinkee remind me of dictatorship: you must like what we like, or shut up.

          • Shinytoys

            I won’t argue. But it is there magazine after all…I don’t think they are interested in the debate…

          • spiceballs

            H’s brave new world?

      • Saul Sloota

        hard??

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Now you’r just talking silly 🙂

    • John Fisher

      Longines, Tissot, Hamilton all have some really great looking watches then it almost seems like they just cut a hole and put in a date window no matter what…. So irritating and it honestly keeps me from buying many watches from those brands.

  • Tissot seems to be joining Longines, et al, as yet another manufacturer determined to ruin their “Heritage” models with ill-conceived and poorly placed date windows.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Not my cup of tea.

    • spiceballs

      yes – clunk?

  • otaking241

    Beautiful lugs on this watch and married to the case in a very harmonious manner. Caseback is weird…not sure how I feel about it but at least it’s somewhat unique?

    4:30 is objectively the worst position for a date window and should be verboten on any watch, especially this otherwise elegant retro chrono–the cockeyed number there totally throws off the balance of the rest of the dial. Date window delete or inset at 6 o’clock would improve this immeasurably.

    • I can think of a worse position for the date — at 10:30 !

      • Saul Sloota

        11:59

    • Yeah – the case back loose like some cheap ass Chinese automatic.

  • SuperStrapper

    Attractive watch and I really like those trusted lugs. Size is a bit waif-ish but being a chrono it likely wears a little bigger. I don’t know that the date windows necessary, but I’m not butthurt over it either. Price is good for what you get. Modular chronos are not ideal, but thisbi s a proven and reliable one.

    Shame, the hesalite makes it an absolute deal breaker. What a silly decision that was. A boxed sapphire would probably look great, and add to the vintage aesthetic.

  • PR

    Hesalite works ONLY for the speedy, for reasons I’m still not clear on, I think the sapphire speedy looks just fine. Heck the only reason I haven’t picked up a Max bill yet is bcos of the plastic crystal (yes I know its not hesalite but still). With the high quality curved box crystals many brands are putting on their watches, its not like they create a lot of distortion like stuff from a while ago. Otherwise okay looking piece, wont really stop to look at it in a display though.

    • Mountainous Man

      It’s a trade off. Since I actually use my Aqua Terra in just about any situation, rather than treating it like jewelry that I’m afraid to scratch, I wish it had Hesalite. Breaking the crystal is my most common concern about the watch.

  • BNABOD

    I am not a fan, the crooked date is just a huge no no for me. I think it looks awful on the BP FF and I think it looks awful here. the price is fine but not for me.

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    This is a great value piece…..and it’s a chrono! The designs are good and can be improved upon but give them a little credit! Silicon is also great part which is seeming to be overlooked!

    • Sheez Gagoo

      No, the silicon hairspring is in the Powermatic 80 movement, to find in the Tissot Ballade. But it has a plastic escapment.

      • Pat Ryan

        I don’t believe it?

        • Sheez Gagoo

          Truth hurts…

          • Shinytoys

            it is painful in this case….maybe it’s a very advanced racing plastic or spaceship polymer 🙂

          • JosephWelke

            Probably Delrin, which is very stable and self-lubricating.

  • Hmmm

    Nice looking watch for a good price. I like the size and the plastic crystal doesn’t bother me in the least. My Speedmaster is very durable and a quick bit of Polywatch has the crystal looking like new.

    The date at 4:30 is meh, but unfortunately that’s the norm these days. I can overlook it.

    All in all, a nice piece from Tissot. Street price will make this hard to resist.

  • Ross Diljohn

    Yes but at half the price.

    • What? This is a great price for a Swiss automatic chronograph from a well known brand. You think it should retail for $700? At least the street price will be closer to your desires.

    • Shinytoys

      I think the prices are more than fair considering their build quality and components…they can’t make them for free…

  • Yan Fin

    Replace hands with blued, add applied logo and I will consider it. Date is awkward, but at least same background as the dial, so I can tolerate it.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    I like it
    A “Classic” style from a good marque.

  • Saul Sloota

    I think the subdials should be a little bigger.

    • Yep – everything could be moved outward a bit.

  • Chaz

    Handsome watch. I’ll take Hesalite any day. Check out my Explorer II after a drop landing at just the right angle…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/43d3a2c403ac1652016561311baae5b6a9ba33a184f2a9f230544d77fa4cdb08.jpg

    • Sheez Gagoo

      This to painfull to look at. Like the ketchup on Trumps steaks. Sad. I feel with you.

    • TrevorXM

      Dropping watches and phones is not a good idea and needs to be avoided. As long as you have a sapphire crystal watch on your wrist, you will not be able to break it without destroying your wrist. Hesalite gets scratched to hell in no time under heavy wear. Which is why manufacturers all switched to sapphire long ago except for vintage style watches like this Tissot (legit) or the Speedmaster Moonwatch (legit) or cheap-ass Seikos (a con).

      • Mikita

        Which Seikos use hesalite?

        • SuperStrapper

          Maybe on some vintage stuff? Mostly They use their own Hardlex crystal, and their nicer stuff uses sapphire.

          • Mikita

            Almost all vintage Seikos have it, even premium lines like KS/GS/Lord Marvel/Goldfeather. But I thought that Trevor was referring to their current line, and I’ve never seen any modern Seiko with a plastic crystal. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ff97572ea354747609f7c75eed78f5c76d1193d57a21e98092e223143e64741.jpg

          • Shinytoys

            many of the pieces that Seiko produce are fitted with a Hardlex crystal for a tougher wear life. I don’t think that is true with Presage moving up to Grand Seiko and of course Credor.

          • Mikita

            Yes, you are right. Seiko use Hardlex in many watches starting from Seiko 5 (price considerations) and up to rather expensive dive watches such as Tunas (impact resistance considerations). And they use sapphire from SARB line (>$200) up to the most expensive GS/Ananta/Galante/Credor lines. Personally, I think they are smart about this. I like hesalite only for vintage (or vintage-looking) pieces, but Seiko don’t follow this trend towards vintage backelite hesalite fake patinated stuff; and I don’t blame them for that. Even if they do reissues – they modernize them: look at 62MAS reissue, for instance.

          • SuperStrapper

            Me either. Im no seiko expert, but i know they hold their cards close to the chest, and with the development of their own hardlex it doesnt make sense they would use anything else aside from sapphires.

      • Shinytoys

        were you thinking Hardlex by chance ?

    • Shinytoys

      Oh that hurts to look at ….better days ahead…

  • TrevorXM

    As I don’t drop my watches (or phones), nor do I live in a zero gravity environment, the advantages of a plastic crystal are lost on me. All I see are visions of the acrylic crystal on my (sold) vintage Zenith getting scuffed just by looking at it and having to regularly buff it out. Also, I would not be able to stand a watch without lume (back to my annoyance with the one vintage watch I sampled). Good price, though. Decent looking. Two pluses for this Tissot there.

    • Chaz

      I wish I could be as perfect and nimble as you….as a matter of fact, up until I shattered the crystal of my Explorer II, I had never had a problem with watch dropping and was proud of that. Perhaps it was hubris or karma?

      Most likely age and inattention, though.

  • Andre Braz

    I love Tissot !!! And reissues are welcome !

  • Shinytoys

    I’m really enjoying the 1948 series, but I get a lot of my kicks from pocket watches of days gone by. Although this piece has a fine engine and a great nostalgic look, I prefer the standard three hand that is part of the same collection. Cheers Tissot !!!!

  • K.C. Ng

    I’m surprised that ABTW would propagate such a common falsehood about NASA requesting for hesalite to prevent shattered debris from floating around.

    Hesalite was simply the most commonly available material found in most watches of the period, as well as one that was already used by the Speedmaster prior to its selection by NASA, and was not chosen for any special reason.

    In fact, many modern NASA flight qualified watches have sapphire crystals, such as the X-33. Don’t think anyone has had any problems with sapphire shards floating around the space station yet.

  • Phil leavell

    I like the look of this I actually wear a Tissot as a beater watch for the last 8 years. But I’ve learned my lesson I won’t buy anything unless It’s has sapphire crystal in it

  • Richard carroll

    I personally see a hesalite crystal as a plus in a retro style watch. You can’t beat the look and profile and they are arguably tougher, though easier to scratch, than sapphire. The way I wear/enjoy my watches, scratching has never been a big issue for me. There’s always Polywatch.

  • mark

    Very nice watch, I have a Tissot which I wear for work. Unfortunately the face is scratched even though it is sapphire crystal. but it is 12 years old so I cant complain.

  • JimSixxx

    Nice looking watches. I’ve never considered a Tissot before, but a first time buyer in this market perhaps having seen these might.

  • Karson Barnes

    To me it looks like the caseback is clearly marked “sapphire crystal”…

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