Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At the beginning of Baselworld 2014, we debuted the first look at the new for 2014 Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar watch, a new pinnacle in the long-standing T-Touch tactile high-function Swiss quartz watch collection. Tissot gave aBlogtoWatch a little hands-on time with the T-Touch Expert Solar, and given the unique features of the watch I felt it was very important to follow-up with some thoughts about the world's first T-Touch that does not require a battery change.

Eventually I am hoping that we can offer you a full review of the T-Touch Expert Solar as there is really a lot to discuss in Tissot's new flagship T-Touch model [UPDATE: We published our full review here, Feb 16, 2015]. In fact, while Tissot has been continuously offering new "Touch" models for a while, it has been a long time since a new "alpha touch" model has been released in favor of more niche models such as the diving-theme Sea-Touch or the lower-priced Racing-Touch. With the T-Touch Expert Solar Tissot once again returns to a "do it all model."

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

There are two things that people will first notice about the new T-Touch Expert Solar, that is the size as well as the conspicuous photovoltaic cell on the dial. At 45mm wide and rather broad, the new T-Touch feels proportionally thinner than the existing models, but it is made for larger wrists indeed. Size is really an interesting element of the design as the case, dial, and negative LCD screen are all quite sizable–for the most part in a good way.

Having said that, Tissot perhaps made the hands too short, but that is a compromise that I will get to. In regard to the very visible solar/light charging cells, this is a mixed bag. On the one hand, seeing the cells is cool and makes for an interesting dial background. On the other hand, it is known that brands such as Citizen have gone to great lengths to produce special dials that allow for light to pass through them and charge up their Eco-Drive movements, while also allowing for a more traditional looking watch dial. Therefore, I believe that while some people might enjoy the utilitarian nature of the "exposed" dial, others might feel that the visible photovoltaic cells that don't appear to be hiding or hidden is not the best approach for a higher-end mainstream Swiss brand such as Tissot.

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Despite being large in size the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is very light as all the models are int titanium. This of course follows the tradition of most T-Touch models being in the lightweight, strong metal. Of course, Tissot offers the T-Touch Expert Solar on a titanium metal bracelet–and in many ways it is the best option as it completes the look of the T-Touch so well. Then again the fabric or rubber strap might be best because they will ensure a snug, secure fit for the watch.

In many ways, the case design of the T-Touch Expert Solar feels like a super-sized version of the original T-Touch, though I must say that it feels like the edging is a bit too rounded. One of the original appeals of the T-Touch was its modern, angular design that was nevertheless very European and slick. This new case does not not feel like Tissot really wanted to produce a new design for 204, but rather merely increase the size and proportions of the original. It is possible, though, that small tweaks will be made, as what I saw were pre-production prototypes.

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

What do you think?
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  • Ulysses31

    It’s less fugly than its predecessors.  The hands are too short as mentioned, and I don’t buy the argument that they’re short because longer hands would have an excessive weight (although this is technically true, without additional changes).  There are so many ways to get around that problem that I think it’s down to a stylistic choice.  Same goes for the dial.  They could have completely hidden the solar nature of the dial if they’d wanted to.  I think the checker-board pattern is meant to evoke thoughts of carbon fibre, which for some reason people seem to like the look of.  The watch in all-metal form looks solid but doesn’t look very neat or precisely machined.  I am judging that based on the way the metal parts fit together and how light plays and reflections look distorted on the surfaces.  Judging from the dull, smudge-ridden texture is it right to assume this is “raw” titanium without a hardened coating?  If so, considering the cost and the “active” lifestyle the watch is aimed at, i’d expect a protective finish since titanium is so soft.  To end on a high note, the speed of the hands is good improvement and is delightful to watch.

  • Oelholm

    Hope it’s more robust that the predecessors, which, ironically, were outdoor sport watches that couldn’t handle heavy use.

  • CG

    I will always buy the MotoGp special editions and named racer editions, they keep good time and are a nice package buy with the minihelmet box… never quite adapted to the T-Touch but worth a look now.

  • colectorama

    Why doesn’t Hamilton get the credit for their touch series of watches.  They are the same watch.  Even the functions on the crystal are in the same place.   I think the Hamilton is a much more handsome watch

  • antjay

    Casio does better for less.

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  • spiceballs

    Some very good points made by other contributors especially wrt “robustness” which Tissot have yet to prove to me.  Casio, on the other hand (whose prices – for a similar dial – are approaching Tissot prices) I have found to be very robust, except for their very poor “plastic” straps which last only about 2 years, on average.

  • spiceballs Agree, Casio plastic straps are prone to snapping in two with aging.

  • The 2 points that Tissot wanted to make to us at BaselWorld with this watch was that it has a superset of functions previously available piecemeal in specialty T-Touches. So you get it all with this “One T-Touch to rule them all”.
    The other point was that “a week of solar charging will run the watch for a year”. Now most of us won’t put our watch in the window for week and then wear it in a mine for a year. But the idea is that while it is solar powered, the battery is so strong that you can toss a charged watch in a drawer for month and it will still have the correct time.  Impressive for a rechargeable watch.
    And this solar/battery tech will filter down later to other T-Touch models with a more normal (smaller) feature set. So you will be able to get this tech for much less than a grand in the future. But the do it all nature of this “first of its generation” is appealing too. Sure is large, but a lot of watch. Bold and sporty so it more or less pulls off it size.

  • spiceballs

    MarkCarson spiceballs yes and I’ve just pulled an old Casio watch out of my drawer on which the strap has disintegrated – without even having been used!.  Perhaps these are biodegraeable?  If so, maybe they should use this plastic for shopping bags?

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  • ClayEngberg

    I just bought a T-Touch Expert Solar and it’s an impressive watch that barely feels on the wrist. What I’m wondering is how the temperature compensation functions. It says in the manual that your T-TOUCH SOLAR E84 compensates for the temperature, but it has no temperature function as the older T-Touch Expert. Can it have an internal thermometer just as the Suunto Elementum Terra who neither have a thermometer function. It seems to measure relative humidity and altitude fairly accurate, but the compass is very sensitive as it is not exactly horizontal when using it.

    • Nagashiro

      Seems to be an long ago but I seems to found the temperature feature in the Watch Factory option.

      Accessible : Eco Mode > Sleep > Hold the Top Right Corner for few seconds > Tap the Compass > Go through the setting > Voila, Temperature.

      • carlwells

        doesnt seem to work for me.

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  • noamd

    After I had bad experience with tissot t touch and even worse experience with tissot service, never buy a tisot. 
    Casio ProTrek is much much better watch, More features, more robust, better price and extremly better service.

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