As one of the more affordable brands within Swatch Group, Tissot has always produced quality watches and delivered strong value for the money. However, Tissot has been on a roll for the past few years with a string of highly compelling releases that have captured the hearts of enthusiasts and brought the brand back into the limelight. Among the more unusual and promising new models from Tissot for 2023 is the revival of the Sideral, which reimagines the brand’s pioneering Sideral S sports watch that originally debuted back in 1971. That said, rather than being an exact recreation of the vintage model, the new Tissot Sideral aims to update this thoroughly retro-looking timepiece with modern materials and the Powermatic 80 movement to create a contemporary mechanical sports watch that still oozes the same vintage 1970s styling as the original.

The Tissot Sideral collection itself originally debuted in 1969, and it was created by the brand to be a line of decidedly modern timepieces that were intended to appeal to a more active and youthful audience. The sportier Sideral S from 1971 is the specific model that the new Tissot Sideral collection is based upon; however, rather than featuring a fiberglass case like the original vintage example (which was a first for watches back when the inaugural Sideral was launched in 1969), the new Tissot Sideral has a case that is made from stainless steel and forged carbon. From an aesthetic standpoint, the new Tissot Sideral isn’t an exact carbon copy of the original (pun totally intended), although it does offer a remarkably similar overall appearance, and it has retained nearly all of the same distinctly retro design details that defined the original version from the 1970s.

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The case of the new Tissot Sideral offers a tonneau-shaped profile. It measures 41mm in diameter by 14.4mm-thick, which includes the slightly domed sapphire crystal that sticks up above the rim of its bezel. The actual outer diameter of the bezel comes in at 39mm, and since the lugs are completely integrated into the shape of the case, the total lug-to-lug distance of the Tissot Sideral measures 46.5mm. This makes the watch wear slightly smaller than its 41mm on-paper size might otherwise indicate. Surrounding the crystal is a stainless steel bezel with a black PVD finish, and it moves unidirectionally with a 120-click motion. Additionally, since the Tissot Sideral is designed to be a multi-purpose water sports watch, its luminous bezel is finished with both elapsed time markings and a 10-minute countdown scale so that it can be used as either a dive watch or regatta timer. Meanwhile, the display caseback and the signed crown at 3 o’clock are both made from stainless steel and screw-down to the case in order to help guarantee the watch’s 300 meters of water resistance.

Nearly all watches with forged carbon cases have metal internal structures that are used to hold their movements, and this is due to the fact that metal is a superior material for the small threaded components and various other connection points. However, the actual design of the Tissot Siderial’s exterior could best be described as a stainless steel case with a forged carbon lug structure mounted on top of it. If you flip the watch over and remove the strap, you can clearly see the sides of the stainless steel inner case, and it is also visible on the front of the watch, as the metallic ring surrounding the base of the bezel is actually just the top part of the stainless steel inner structure. Given the fairly high metal-to-carbon ratio of its case design and the fact that it uses stainless steel rather than a lighter metal such as titanium, the Tissot Sideral weighs approximately 90 grams (including the strap), making it a bit heavier than what you might otherwise expect from a watch with a forged carbon case. That said, the use of carbon still helps save on weight, and the Sideral is undeniably lighter than if its entire case had been made from stainless steel.

To mark its revival, the new Tissot Sideral collection makes its debut appearance in three different colorways, including red (ref. T145.407.97.057.02), blue (ref. T145.407.97.057.01), and yellow (ref. T145.407.97.057.00). The yellow version isn’t pictured here, although you can find images of it in our initial news article about the Sideral’s launch. The blue and yellow examples have dials with minute tracks printed in their respective colors, while the red version features a simple gray minute track. Additionally, while the red and yellow models both feature standard black/gray forged carbon for their cases, the blue version has faint blue streaks and swirls running throughout its carbon fiber material. However, the blue accents in the forged carbon are quite a bit more subtle in real life compared to the bright and vivid shade of blue that can be seen in the original press images of the watch.

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Aside from the different colors of their minute tracks, all three of the dials fitted to the new Tissot Sideral collection follow the same design and layout with entirely printed (rather than applied) markings and a date window at the 3 o’clock location. The overall style of the dials is incredibly similar to what can be found fitted to the original Sideral S from 1971, complete with the red and green sections between 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock, which recall the appearance of a countdown register on a regatta timer. However, since the Tissot Sideral is a standard three-handed watch rather than a chronograph, there isn’t really a practical way to align the hands to use these red and green sections for any countdown timer applications, so their purpose on the dial is largely ornamental. That said, this design detail also appeared on the original Sideral S from the 1970s, and in addition to being historically accurate, it also helps create a clear orientation of 12 o’clock on the dial since all of the actual hour markers reside within the contrasting circular minute track.

The hands on the Tissot Sideral largely follow the same design as what can be found on the original vintage model, with white-finished batons for the hours and minutes, along with a bright red seconds hand. The one update is that the seconds hand now features Tissot’s signature T-shaped counterweight, which is something that was absent on the original version. Additionally, when it comes to lume, the new Tissot Sideral has a multi-colored display that uses six different colors of Super-LumiNova. The hands glow yellow, the hour markers and Arabic numerals located outside of the minute track all emit an orange glow, the minute track itself glows dark blue (regardless of its color in the daylight), the red and green sections at the top of the dial each glow in their respective colors, and the bezel markings all emit an aqua blue color in the dark. Since all of the markings are printed, the lume itself isn’t the absolute brightest, although the diverse spectrum of colors ultimately creates a highly entertaining display in the dark.

Inside the new Tissot Sideral is the brand’s Powermatic 80 self-winding movement, which has become Tissot’s go-to option when it comes to three-handed mechanical calibers. Based upon the familiar and proven architecture of the ETA 2824-2, the Tissot Powermatic 80 features a number of Swatch Group-exclusive upgrades, and it lowers its operating frequency from 28,800vph (4 Hz) down to 21,600vph (3 Hz), in order to offer an increased power reserve of approximately 80 hours. You will also find the Powermatic 80 inside a number of other Tissot watches, and while the version fitted to the Sideral features an updated skeletonized rotor, the overall finishing still remains rather spartan like the rest of the Powermatic 80 series. Although some individuals prefer the original ETA 2824-2 over the Tissot Powermatic 80 due to the smoother 4 Hz sweep of its seconds hand, many others are happy to accept a lower operating frequency if it means gaining a power reserve that is nearly twice as long as the standard version of this same movement.

Fitted to the 20mm lugs of the Tissot Sideral is a perforated rubber strap that recreates the unique design of the style found on the original 1970s model. Rather than featuring a standard pin buckle or deployant clasp, the tail of one end of the strap passes through a loop on the other side, and both ends feature little locking connectors that get pressed into the center holes of the strap to secure it in place. The rubber straps quickly flare out to 24mm in order to create a more integrated appearance with the case, before tapering down to 18mm where they connect at the loop-style fastener. While the straps are quite soft and comfortable due to their entirely flexible design, I’d be slightly tentative to trust them in certain highly strenuous situations where the watch might run the risk of getting caught on something, as it is just the two little connection pieces pressed into the center holes that are responsible for securing the watch to your wrist. That said, with standard 20mm lugs and integrated quick-release springbars connecting the strap to the case, a wide variety of third-party strap options will also be compatible.

While forged carbon is not an inherently expensive material like gold or other precious metals, it is often accompanied by price premiums in the watch industry due to the challenges associated with fabricating precision components with a high degree of finishing. That said, with an official retail price of $995 USD, the new Tissot Sideral is one of the most affordable forged carbon watches with a Swiss-made mechanical movement, and it only represents a very small premium compared to the brand’s other entry-level dive watches that run on the Powermatic 80. While you may not get the ultra-lightweight experience of something like a forged carbon Richard Mille, it’s undeniable that the Tissot Sideral offers quite a lot of value for the money, and I could easily see it being popular among those seeking a budget-friendly forged carbon watch, in addition to those who simply want a funky and unusual vintage-inspired diver. For more information on the Tissot Sideral collection, please visit the brand’s website.

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