Back in 1969, Tissot introduced the Sideral collection, which was designed to be a thoroughly modern timepiece aimed at a more youthful generation. Featuring a fiberglass case (a first for the watch industry) and a decidedly contemporary design language, the Tissot Sideral represented a significant departure from traditional wristwatches, and when the Sideral S model arrived in 1971, the collection received a colorful and sporty update. As its latest new release of 2023, Tissot is bringing back the design of its classic Sideral S; however, rather than just being an exact recreation of the inaugural model that was produced during the 1970s, the new Tissot Siderial reimagines its design with contemporary materials that uphold the pioneering spirit of the original.
The case of the new Tissot Sideral measures 41mm in diameter by 46.5mm lug-to-lug, and rather than being crafted from fiberglass like its vintage predecessors, the new Sideral has a case that is constructed from forged carbon. In much the same way that fiberglass was the new, lightweight, and highly durable material in the early 1970s, that role is now occupied by carbon fiber, and the modern Tissot Sideral aims to be just as forward-thinking as the original when it comes to its choice in case materials. Similarly, sapphire crystals are fitted to both the dial side of the Tissot Sideral and its screw-down stainless steel caseback, while water resistance for the new model comes in at a rather generous 300 meters, meaning that the new Sideral is more than capable of standing up to any type of aquatic activities you might encounter.
Surrounding the crystal of the Tissot Sideral is a unidirectional rotating bezel that is made from stainless steel with a black PVD finish. With that in mind, since the Sideral was created to be a multi-purpose sports watch, its “water sports” bezel incorporates both a standard 60-minute timing scale, along with a secondary countdown scale for regattas, rather than just having a standard elapsed-time scale like a traditional dive watch. Additionally, while the forged carbon case of the new Tissot Sideral measures 41mm in diameter, the outer diameter of its bezel comes in at 39mm, which contributes to its cushion-shaped profile and helps make the watch appear slightly more compact than if its bezel were to hang over the sides of its case like on other watches that feature rotating bezel designs.
At the time of launch, the new Tissot Sideral is available in three different colorways, including yellow (ref. T145.407.97.057.00), blue (ref. T145.407.97.057.01), and red (ref. T145.407.97.057.02). The yellow and blue models both feature their respective colors on the minute tracks of their dials and for their rubber straps, while the red variant has a gray minute track on its dial and gets paired with a bright red strap. Additionally, while the yellow and red models both feature traditional black and gray forged carbon for their cases, the blue version of the Tissot Sideral has blue streaks throughout the composition of its case material, which further leans into the colorway of the model and provides it with a unique and striking overall appearance.
Regardless of color, all three of the dials fitted to the new Tissot Sideral collection feature the same core design, with a black surface, white printing, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a red and green scale located between 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock that is inspired by a regatta countdown gauge. The appearance of the dial is heavily based on the style that was fitted to the original Sideral S model from 1971, although it includes a number of small updates, such as the elimination of the “Sideral S” logo that was previously printed next to the date window. Aside from their bold minute tracks in different contrasting colors, the dials fitted to the three new Tissot Sideral models are all otherwise identical, and the same can be said for their handsets, which appear as simple white-finished batons paired with a bright red seconds hand that has a T-shaped counterweight. Additionally, different colors of luminous material are used for the various elements on the dial, which further adds to the Sideral’s dynamic display when viewed in the dark.
Powering the new Tissot Sideral is the brand’s Powermatic 80 movement, which is essentially an upgraded version of the ETA 2824 that includes a number of Swatch Group-exclusive updates. Along with featuring a Nivachron balance spring for superior resistance to magnetism, the Tissot Powermatic 80 used inside the new Sideral collection also features a skeletonized rotor, and it drops its operating frequency from 28,800vph (4 Hz) down to 21,600vph (3 Hz), which allows it to offer an increased power reserve of approximately 80 hours. With that in mind, although the Powermatic 80 is a substantially different movement than the ETA 2824 when it comes to its performance specs, the underlying architecture of the two movements is largely identical, and the Powermatic 80, therefore, offers the same proven design that has reliably been used by countless brands for multiple decades.
Regardless of their specific colorway, all of the new Tissot Sideral watches are fitted with the same style of rubber strap. The straps themselves are more-or-less exact recreations of the straps fitted to the original Sideral models from the early 1970s, although they have been updated to offer superior functionality. Available in either yellow, blue, or red to match the colorways of their respective watches, the Tissot Sideral strap is made from textured perforated rubber. However, the single detail that separates it from standard rubber straps is that the Sideral strap features a unique fastening system that could best be described as an early precursor to the type of closure that Apple uses on its own rubber watch straps. Rather than having a standard pin buckle or folding clasp, the tail of the strap passes through an open loop on the other side, and both ends of the strap lock together to create a secure fit on the wrist.
As a brand, Tissot has always made an effort to cater to the affordable side of the Swiss watch industry, and while forged carbon cases are often associated with fairly substantial price premiums, the new Tissot Sideral is priced right in line with the rest of the brand’s offerings, and it is accompanied by an official retail price of $995 USD. While this does make the new Sideral collection slightly more expensive than other Tissot watches such as the various Seastar and PRX models that are also powered by the Powermatic 80 movement, the actual premium being charged for the Sideral and its forged carbon case is relatively minimal, and I could easily see this new model becoming the go-to option for collectors who want a carbon fiber watch at a reasonable price. For more information on the Tissot Sideral collection, please visit the brand’s website.