The Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph watch collection is a decent “classic” daily wear from Tissot that also benefits from reasonable pricing. As one of the Swatch Group’s more volume-focused watch brands, Tissot enjoys a few benefits including having a range of products that varies from modern (such as the electronic T-Touch family) to more traditional watches in the “T-Classic” series. Another benefit is well-priced access to “in-house” movements from ETA which is also part of the Swatch Group.
The Tissot T-Classic collection now includes these Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph watches which debuted last year in 2015. Tissot currently offers four different version of the Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph, which combine the looks of old-world timepieces with modern sizes and materials. I’ve often referred to watches such as this as “baby Breguet,” as they attempt to emulate some of the looks more commonly associated with the high-end luxury watch maker (which also happens to be owned by the Swatch Group). What I am talking about are elements such as a machine guilloche engraved-style dial (likely produced via stamping in this instance), coined-edging on the bezel and crown, as well as the design of the hands and hour markers.
It isn’t that the Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph is a retro-timepiece – because in size and specifications, it is quite modern – but it is for people who want a “traditional look” to go with contemporary times. There is certainly a market for that, and if you wear a watch such as this it is hard not to find it appealing in many ways even if it isn’t perfect for jeans and sneakers.
Along that line of thinking, Tissot’s own website actually sums up the reason for wearing one of these watches quite well in saying “elegant choices which will never date.” That’s true – these are for more formal attire, and they’ll never be any more or less in fashion. Call that “timeless,” if you will. Moreover, the various versions of the Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph combine a few sensible style choices including silver or black dials, as well as bracelet or leather strap options.
Dial detailing is actually pretty decent, as well-done stamping can result in watch faces that look really sharp. A close inspection of the Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph dial reveals a host of textures such as “snailing” for the subdials, a sort of “brick floor” style for most of the inner dial, and “toothed” rings to separate the various sections. If I could change one thing about the dials it would be to add luminant to those cut-out parts of the hands – though, I am sure Tissot tried that and found this slightly less legible approach to be more elegant or balanced. The overall familiar and classic look of the dials along with their symmetry makes for what should be an easy choice when it comes to those seeking timepieces of this style.
If you like classic-looking watches at modern sizes, then you are in luck here. The Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph is 42mm wide (and tall) with a 13.19mm-thick case produced from steel. On the bracelet, these watches weigh in at a full 170 grams, which goes down to 106 grams on the strap. That means these timepieces look and feel bold on the wrist. Tissot, of course, needed to go with an “odd” size lug spacing of 21mm which means you’ll have a slightly harder time finding replacement straps in the future.
Water resistant to 50 meters, the Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph case has a sapphire crystal over the dial as well as over the rear with a view of the movement. Tissot actually uses an impressively decorated version of the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic movement with a gold-toned rotor and perlage polishing on much of the movement surfaces. This feels like an appropriate level of decor when wanting the most for your money in a watch with a 7750-family movement at these prices.
If the Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph is on the larger side for you, then Tissot also produces the 40mm-wide Bridgeport Men’s Powermatic 80. Also offered in a few styles, the Bridgeport Powermatic 80 has the exclusive Hamilton Powermatic 80 automatic movement as well as less than half the price of the larger chronograph version of the Bridgeport.
The Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph watches might lack sheer originality, but that really isn’t the point of the collection. These are meant to emphasize a particular theme and style while blending price and features in a way that consumers want. This is really the Swatch Group at their best when it comes to the success of brands such as not only Tissot, but also Longines and Hamilton.
Tissot offers the Tissot Bridgeport Automatic Chronograph in a few versions starting with the black dial on black leather strap reference T097.427.16.053.00 which is priced at $2,125. The reference T097.427.26.033.00 has a steel and rose gold-toned case on a leather strap, and the reference T097.427.11.033.00 in steel with a silver dial comes on a steel bracelet – with each costing $2,200. Finally, the reference T097.427.22.033.00 has a steel and yellow gold-toned case and bracelet and is priced at $2,350. tissotwatches.com