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."
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.
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.