Tissot’s Heritage collection has been on a bit of a roll recently. With a long history to count on (Tissot was founded in 1853), Tissot has no shortage of vintage pieces to draw inspiration from. In 2016, the company welcomed the Navigator to the Heritage collection and last year, we got a nice dressy chronograph. For 2018, the company is drawing inspiration from an anti-magnetic watch that it made in the ’30s and ’40s. This is the new Tissot Antimagnetique Heritage, based on a specific version of the Antimagnetique that Tissot made in 1943. The two are not completely identical, but the new reissue borrows a lot of design elements from its predecessor. The main ingredients are unchanged. The case is simple, the dial is silver, there’s a sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock, the hands are distinctive, and the watch is highly legible. However, some subtle tweaks here and there help make the modern watch, I think, the better-looking of the two.
The Tissot Antimagnetique Heritage comes in a 42mm polished stainless steel case. The case is nicely constructed and polished. The crown at 3 o’clock is well-sized and easy to grasp, and the lugs are straight and slightly angled for better wearing comfort. The watch comes with a black or brown leather strap that is fairly comfortable on the skin. It is secured on the wrist using a folding clasp. Because of the lug design and its 42mm diameter, the Antimagnetique Heritage wears a little large on the wrist. Therein lies my biggest problem with the watch: the size. For a watch with its design, I would have preferred a sub-40mm case size. Water resistance is a very adequate 50m.
In keeping with the vintage Antimagnetique watch on which it was based on, the Tissot Antimagnetique Heritage comes with a domed sapphire crystal. Because the crystal is domed, the dial can appear distorted when viewed from certain angles, which in my opinion, makes for a more interesting dial. The bezel is almost non-existent and this makes the dial look expansive. Not that it is a bad thing because the vertically brushed silver dial is very charming.
At 12 o’clock, you have the vintage Tissot logo and the words ‘Antimagnetique’ in a period correct typography. The ‘Antimagnetique’ label is likely to irk some collectors because the watch isn’t really anti-magnetic – at least not to the same standards as modern anti-magnetic watches like the Rolex Milgauss. In other words, the word ‘Antimagnetique’ is purely decorative. Is it dishonest? Maybe. Is it misleading? Definitely. But I see it as an aesthetic decision, and I can live with it.
The hours are marked by large Arabic numerals in an attractive black sans-serif font. And finally, at 6 o’clock you have the sub-seconds dial. To improve legibility, different style hands are used for the hour and minutes and the seconds. The hour and minute hands are large leaf-shaped hands, whereas the seconds hand is more of a lance-style hand. Overall, the design of the dial can be said to be simple, but the execution is really thoughtful. In comparison, the model on which the new Antimagnetique Heritage is based on had a mix of dot and Arabic hour markers – dots for the odd-numbered hours and Arabic numerals for the even-numbered hours. It also had syringe-style hour and minute hands. Personally, I find the dial of the vintage Antimagnetique to be somewhat disjointed and disharmonious and I very much prefer the new model.
The movement within is the trusty old hand-wound ETA 6498-1. This is a fairly large movement, which explains the Antimagnetique Heritage’s 42mm dimension. When fully wound, the ETA 6498-1 provides 45 hours of power reserve and beats at a leisurely 2.5Hz. The movement is visible through a sapphire display caseback and it is well decorated for its price with Côtes de Genève on the bridges and blued screws.
The Tissot Antimagnetique Heritage is by no means perfect. I find it a bit too large and I reckon a good deal of watch lovers will have problems coming to terms with the ‘Antimagnetique’ label on the dial. All the same, I also think that many in the market for a sub-$1,000 dress watch will find it challenging to resist the Antimagnetique Heritage’s charming and timeless looks. The Tissot Antimagnetique Heritage is priced at $995. tissotwatches.com