A solid indicator of a watch’s growing popularity is online comment sections full of requests made by fans, asking for a slightly different size, color, or material combination. It shows that people care and people desire — and savvy brands try to cater to these folks. The Tissot PRX has been a demand met: It is a runaway success because it merged an integrated steel bracelet with an honest-retro look, a Swiss Made label, a historic Swiss brand name, and a highly competitive price. Now, the Tissot PRX 35mm adds a highly requested smaller size to the mix, made available in a variety of colors right from the start — but maybe not with the right movement.
One thing some criticized about the 40mm-wide Tissot PRX Automatic and 42mm-wide Tissot PRX Chronograph was their rigid bracelet end-link design and consequently “long-wearing” case. When worn over slimmer wrists, the PRX had a tendency to extend beyond the edge of the wrist, as opposed to neatly following its curvature in the way one would expect from an integrated bracelet. Enter the Tissot PRX 35mm, a fresh sub-collection that removes around 6mm from the lug-to-lug (or, shall we say, end-link to end-link) measurement of its 40mm sibling. That’s a big deal because the PRX 35mm, despite its smallish specified diameter, still wears with considerable presence.
The Swiss way of measuring watch case sizes in millimeters is about as trustworthy an indicator as their specifications of water resistance. Just how 3ATM can equally mean, “Sure, you can take it to the pool” and “don’t get it wet,” depending on which brand you are asking, 35mm can also mean a petite watch that disappears on the wrist or, you know, can stand for a Tissot PRX 35mm that still looks rather chunky. End-link to end-link this, the smallest PRX, still measures close to 45mm, which is not tiny. Likewise, the slim bezel, wide dial, and broad shoulders (meaning the broad and flat top surfaces of the lugs) all add to the visual weight of the PRX.
Thickness is down to 9.6mm, thanks to the use of an ETA F05.115 Swiss quartz movement. Yes, gone is the Powermatic 80, and it’s not been replaced with another of ETA’s countless self-winding movements — at least not for the time being. And although there certainly is room for a quartz-powered, better priced, and smaller piece in the PRX lineup, many were likely waiting to treat themselves with a PRX that is smaller and self-winding. Well, they’ll sadly need to wait a bit longer or just scratch the PRX itch with the battery-powered 35mm version until then — whenever that is.
The Tissot PRX 35mm debuts with five variants. All have 316L stainless steel cases matched to a stainless steel bracelet with a push-button operated butterfly clasp – the piece that stands out from the rest is the gold PVD-plated piece that is, of course, solid 316L stainless steel underneath the coating. If you want solid gold on your Tissot PRX, you’ll have to stretch for the “Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Steel & 18k Gold” that does, in fact, have a fluted bezel in solid 18k gold, with a three-fold increase in price from the regular PRX Powermatic, reaching $1,850. But if you can’t live without that all-gold-everything 1970s vibe, it’s good news: The gold-plated Tissot PRX 35mm can be had for just $450, a $75 premium over the other four models.
Speaking of which, the other four Tissot PRX 35mm versions vary in dial color only: Silver, light blue, dark blue, and green are among your options and, interestingly, there is no black dial to be had, for now. Sadly, all the dial options miss the tapisserie pattern that is present on the larger PRX Powermatic 80; it’s possible that Tissot found there was too little real estate to carry such a busy design. The silver dial with the red-gold-colored indices is arguably the most versatile, but the light blue version is our secret favorite. It has that extra bit of energy and pizzazz that will go fantastically well with a white or blue shirt while also matching a weekend away from work. Apropos of taking some time off, despite the smaller size, the Tissot PRX 35mm, still sports a 10-bar waterproofness rating (equivalent to 100 meters or 330 feet) which, even by the hazy Swiss standards for water resistance, is plenty enough for peace of mind.
All in all, the smallest-yet Tissot PRX brings with it everything that made the (mind you, still very fresh) original so great. It hearkens back to its 1978 origins, guarantees comfy wear even for slimmer wrists, and offers a very competitive price combined with decent quality of execution. The PRX has stepped up as both a great daily wear as the only watch one owns and as a fun, borderline “must-have” addition to an established collection. Price for the Tissot PRX 35mm is $375, except for the gold-plated version that retails for $450. Learn more at the brand’s website.