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Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I have to give Tissot a lot of credit to make a simple dress watch as attention-grabbing as the new Gentleman collection is. Unwavering aversion to the name aside, the Tissot Gentleman watch is the result of a series of decisions with the goal in mind of offering a conservative everyday watch that doesn’t shout “entry-level” to the world. One of the benefits of being under the massive Swatch Group umbrella is the cost-effectiveness of using the Powermatic 80 movement. 

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of the things that made the under-$1,000 Tissot Ballade from 2017 a bit forgettable for me was that it came off as simply a vehicle for showing off the then-new silicon balance spring. The Tissot Gentleman takes the Powermatic 80 movement as a given and uses its resources to offer a truly compelling sales pitch: a solid 18k-gold bezel in a competitive price category that is nearly universally associated with gold-plating. 

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

First off, the design of the Tissot Gentleman would be milquetoast if it weren’t for the fact that the finishes and quality, when seen in the metal, are really pretty impressive. I’d quite confidently say it looks and feels like a piece that’s probably a little bit more than a full tier above this price category. So, the above-competent finishing does a lot for this watch. That said, the decision to have “Powermatic 80 Silicium” in large font at 6 o’clock is perplexing, to say the least (especially the addition of “silicium”). This information could easily be left on the caseback. It’s interesting to me that the name of the watch, itself, doesn’t show up anywhere on the timepiece. For this, I am thankful.

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Still looking at the dial, I’m agnostic about the crosshair. What I’m not agnostic about are the beveled and satin-finished pink-gold applied hour markers, pink-gold faceted dauphine hands, and date-window frame. A watch like this can easily fall into the illegibility-and-glare trap, but Tissot dodged these pitfalls. The hour markers and hands are done in lume, as well.

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

There are four available dial colors, all with the same pink-gold bezel: black, cream opaline, chocolate, and silver. I noticed several people were very into the cream opaline model, but I wasn’t really that smitten with it and actually prefer the chocolate, myself. (In fact, I was so not-smitten that I seem to have forgotten to photograph it.) The chocolate, black, and cream opaline come on matching leather straps, while the silver dial comes on a steel bracelet. I think the consensus here leans toward the strap.

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Tissot certainly needs to appeal to Western buyers, but can’t alienate the Asian markets that are basically keeping the industry afloat. The 40mm-wide and 10.64mm-thick case (with a 50M water resistance) is an ideal size to accomplish this. The watch wears perfectly on the wrist and, while I’m sure a lot of people will clamor for a smaller version, this 40mm case checks all the boxes for an inaugural model. Also, good luck getting away with an additional smaller 38mm version and not having it be called the “Gentleboy.”

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Powermatic 80 is a highly competent movement used by the Swatch group in many of their more affordable watches. It uses a silicon balance spring and has an 80-hour power reserve. Most casual consumers coming in at this price-point are not making decisions based on movement accuracy or their high expectations of movement finishing. Power reserve, reliability, and longer periods of time between servicing are practical developments that appeal to most buyers. 

Tissot Gentleman Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Tissot Gentleman is an example of how a conservative dress watch can be appealing, even to more jaded watch enthusiasts, by getting everything right and offering something the competition doesn’t (in this case, the solid gold bezel). The watch will be priced at $1,300 on the strap and $1,350 on the bracelet when it’s available in early summer this year in stores as well as their e-commerce page. You can learn more at tissotwatches.com

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  • ?????? ??????????

    Not that it’s a bad thing but it looks like a standard seiko or an orient… With a crosshair… Nothing special design wise

    • Eye Heart Sushi

      I agree.

  • Independent_George

    Not bad. Seems to me to be Swatch’s affordable response to B&M’s Baumatic. Sure seems to copy design cues, from the crosshairs to the extraneous text on the dial. Is the Chinese market a reason for the downsizing trend? A 38 might indeed looks like a boy sized watch, but it would help solve the problem of the date window being to close to the center. Like the black the best.

    • Nirupesh Joshi

      I’d assume that the emerging markets in Asia are a big driver for the bottom of the pyramid brands in the Swatch line-up: Tissot taking center stage. We did a study right before launching our brand in India, the Swatch group sells 500,000 watches every year between the $300 ~ $1200 price range in India. I am sure this line-up, positioning to push the value-for-money quotient up by adding precious metals in the watch at a very affordable $1000 mark will do well in their target markets.

      • Independent_George

        That makes sense. Because of my North American myopia, I was initially surprised when I read in Bloomberg a couple of years ago that Longines is the fourth or fifth largest Swiss watch brand in terms of gross sales in CHF, and perhaps the second largest in terms of units moved, but when I read further that the Asian markets make up 50% of Longines sales and that about 40% of these Asian buyers were women, and when I looked at their line up, it all made perfect sense, Longines being positioned as an aspirational brand for the emerging Asian middle-class. So it makes perfect sense that Tissot is positioned as a value-for money alternative.

  • Greg Dutton

    I quite like these, although I’d like to see the case profile. 40mm is a touch larger than I’d like, and there’s really no reason to put that movement on display, but really good overall effort. If I was consider one of these I might stretch a little and get a stainless Tudor 1926, which has more size options, but does cost significantly more in two-tone.

  • Berndt Norten

    Elegant and classy looking watches. Seiko and Orient can compete with these offerings, but not bad, Tissot! Gentlemen, start your un-warfare-like comments

  • SuperStrapper

    Not bad I guess, but I’m just never going to warm to 2tone.

  • denisd

    Add a screw-down crown (for a 10ATM water resistance) and I’m in, despite the “meh” factor which has always been a problem with Tissot.

  • DanW94

    Quite a few “not bads”, a “meh” and an “okay” in the comments. Seems to be a general apathy concering the design but I think the use of silicon and the 80 hour power reserve, along with an actual solid gold bezel in this price range is laudable. If you’re not moved by those factors get yourself a Seiko and save close to a thousand bucks.

  • Erik Kam

    ? Good looking watch. Cream or Silver for me.

  • The rose gold bezel and chocolate dial looks nice. Somewhat of a poor mans DJ41 in that conformation. And kudos for 10mm thickness, that’s quite impressive.

    • Gordonson

      I was thinking a good poor man’s alternative Railmaster.

  • werner

    When are they going to do away with this ugly ‘1853’ addition?
    This could be a potential good looking watch, designers should finally understand that all this extra text doen’t add value, only on the back of the watch. One would suspect the watch group to purposely ‘mess’ up the watches as to not cross with the other owned brands… Look how seiko does it!

    • Steve_Macklevore

      You make a good point.

  • Mikita

    LOL. Orient Star makes similar styled watches with better finished dials and hands for $$250 and above. Here’s mine:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2b1f996bde1ca18e3e64bfbf72d7581e398dc6843a1fa2ab9c462eef92250bf.jpg

    • Evan Mallett

      Missing from the Orient Star is the solid gold bezel and an 80 hour power reserve movement. Said movement that can last 6+ years before maintenance, due to its silicum balance wheel. All that being said to the more expensive price – I do really like that Orient Star – Great Piece!

      • StubbornlyRational

        My Orient Star Retrograde has just srarted to lose amplitude and now runs +12 after nearly 8 years. Really great piece for the money.

  • Steve_Macklevore

    I’ve got a Tissot PR100 COSC Chronometer in stainless steel as my daily wearer. It’s really great value for money and (as you’d expect) an excellent time keeper. Looks like this watch is continuing the tradition, although the two-tone isn’t to my taste.

  • Steve_Macklevore

    There’s far too much text on the dial. Imagine someone like Patek or even Rolex adding that amount of script to a dial….

  • 4tens

    Lots of reasons to buy this special edition… t … besides affordability
    “ It uses a silicon balance spring and has an 80-hour power reserve”