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Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

For 2014, Tissot quietly released a new version of their Seastar dive watch range, called the Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80, that includes some upgrades and features that make it a standout diver for the money. We anticipate that these new features will slowly replace the existing generation Seastar models, but in actuality there may be pros and cons to both the new and old Seastar models.

At 42mm wide in steel, the new Seastar 1000  Powermatic 80 is a wonderfully comfortable mid-size diver. We say mid-size because it is difficult to find men’s dive watches under 40mm wide, and many dive watches are 44mm wide and over. Further, at 42mm wide it wears smaller than some other 42mm wide sport watches because of the comparatively narrow lugs. Finally, with a thickness of just 12.4mm, it has a nice slim profile on the wrist.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

If you put a 2013 and 2014 Seastar 1000 watch next to each other it will take a minute to see the differences between the two. There are many, though. Let’s start with the bezel. For 2014, Tissot is giving the Seastar a ceramic bezel insert, which will come in blue, black, and a maroon red. The latter, of course, gives the watch a black and red tone similar to the very trendy Tudor Heritage Black Bay. The ceramic bezel inserts are rather nice, actually. Rather than just being a flat ring, they slope just a bit where the bezel meets the dial and the markers are actually cut into the bezel rather than being printed on it.

This new bezel design also means that the “serrated” grip on the outside of the bezel is a bit more prominent on the new model as compared to the older models. Over the dial is an AR coated sapphire crystal and there are also some minor changes on the dial. Of course, the overall look and feel of the Seastar dial is the same, but the new model features an upgraded look. This starts with the new applied hour markers that are metal and then filled in with lume, along with a new date window that is a distinct entity versus blending in with the 3 o’clock hour indicator. Side by side, one can see the visual differences much more.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic vs. older model Seastar

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

What is also new is the “Powermatic 80” indicator on the dial. This is because the Tissot Seastar 1000 no longer uses the Swiss ETA 2824 automatic movement, but rather the new Tissot Powermatic 80 automatic movement which is the ETA caliber CO7.111. This I believe is essentially a modification of the 2824 but with an 80 hour versus roughly 40 hour power reserve. How do they do that? Basically the frequency of the balance wheel is reduced so that it draws less power and thus allows for a longer power reserve.


It is possible that ETA was able to insert a larger mainspring as well, but the 80 hours of power reserve seems to mostly be a function of reducing the frequency of the 2824 from 4 Hz (28,800 bph) to 3 Hz, (21,600 bph) in the CO7.111. What does this mean? Well when a movement operates at a slower frequency there are less beats per a second, and thus are deviations in accuracy will be more pronounced. That means errors in timing will be more visible and while the watch will have a longer power reserve, if not regulated properly, it might not be as accurate over time.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

Therefore, you can see that both the CO7.111 and 2824 movements have their own advantages. The Swatch Group is heavily leaning on the former as being the type of product that they feel will help get people more excited about watches because of the increased power reserve which tends to be unavailable in other watches at this price. Further, for the time being, the Powermatic 80 and other similar movements (Hamilton has some as well) are not going to be available in watches outside the Swatch Group brands.

Given that I don’t solely rely on my watch to tell the time, even though I check my watch more than my phone, I’d probably go with the Powermatic 80 over the 2824, especially because I have so many watches with 2824s in them. The other upgrades to the Seastar 1000 are also very nice when you compare the two. This has turned a decent budget Swiss dive watch to one I’d gladly wear as a beater or sports watch.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

In addition to being 42mm wide, the Seastar 1000 Powermatic is water resistant to 300 meters (about 1000 feet), has an automatic helium escape valve in the case (why not?), and a nicely-sized and grippy crown. All of this comes in a relatively small package that further manages to have a modern and distinctive case design. The dial also happens to be quite attractive if you are into a modern look (as I am).

Tissot, of course, has a range of Seastar dive watches that goes into the much larger chronograph models. At 48mm wide, the Seastar Chronograph is an entirely different beast, but one of the coolest ones was the limited edition Seastar 1000 Chronograph Valjoux Limited Edition that I reviewed here. I think most will agree that at 42mm wide in a roughly 12mm thick case the new Seastar 1000 Powermatic strikes a great balance between size and design.

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want Hands-On

This year Tissot will release three versions of the Seastar 1000 Powermatic Diver. They include the Seastar with a black dial and bezel with blue trim, the black dial with red bezel, and the matching blue dial with blue bezel. The watches are available either on the steel metal bracelet or the branded and fitted rubber strap.

As I mentioned above, the three-hand Seastar 1000 is finally a timepiece I’d like to personally wear. Before, it was a nice watch to recommend, but with the new features and design elements it has become a handsome and comfortable weekend watch that won’t break the bank. Prices for the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 dive watch are $975 for the ref T066.407.17.057.02 in black on a strap, $975 for the ref. T066.407.17.057.03 in black with the red bezel on a strap, and $995 for the ref. T066.407.11.047.02 in blue on a bracelet.

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  • Aytunc

    I think this is a winner, especially the red bezel version. Perfect for a poor mans Tudor. 

    95% of the people won’t know the difference (for now) between Tudor and Tissot and why pay couple extra thousand dollars when this would do similarly

  • Nice. I much prefer this iteration to the previous one. The bexel looks stronger, and so the dial appears a tiny bit smaller, but it’s features are bolder, grab your eye better. It looks like a sturdier, tougher watch, and I like the pronounced molars on the bezel. 

    A friend of mine enlisted me to help him buy a watch this year. He gave me a basic budget and I started showing him all kinds of watches, whittling down to a style he liked. I ended up finding him a Tissot white-dial Carson, with a Powermatic 80 in it. Its actually a very nice watch in person, the black hands on white dial is striking and not something you see every day, and the 80-hour automatic movement I think is an amazing option for someone that wants a nice watch, but maybe is not a watch nut; that person might have a day, or weekend, where they don;t wear a watch, and with 80 hours in the tank, you can put it down for the better part of a week and it would still be running when you put it back on. 

    Excellent value here for a respectable Swiss mechanical watch.

  • JosephW

    Actually nice. This might find its way onto my wrist one day soon. Give my Carrera a rest!

  • ZL

    Want increased indeed! I wanted the other seastar largely cause of the price, this one is more cause of the nice.

  • JosephW

    Found this on Worn & Wound, about the movement:
    “The C07 is in fact a heavily modified ETA 2824-2 movement, which we are all very familiar with. And like the 2824-2 it’s a hand-winding, hacking automatic with date, but 2 less jewels for a total of 23. The first and only noticeable major difference is that the frequency of the movement has been reduced from 28,800 to 21,600 bph, which reduces the overall energy consumption of the movement. You will see the effect of this in the sweep of the seconds hand, as the smoothness will be visually reduced. The hand will now tick 6 times per second rather than 8.
    Other modifications include reduced friction in the escapement, which was achieved through the use of “a high-performance synthetic material”. As well as creating more power storage within the mainspring by reducing the barrel-arbor’s core. The arbor is essentially the axel on which the mainspring winds. It’s logical that by reducing the diameter of this element, the spring can be stretched further, thus increasing reserves. Beyond that they claim that the precision of the watch has been increased by the use of a new balance that has been regulated in an “innovative manner”. Unfortunately, specifics on that are unavailable. ”
    What’s a “high-performance synthetic material”? Plastic? Nylon? Graphene? Unobtainium?

  • nathan_morris

    Very J12 Marine.

  • Lkcons

    I think these are very nice watches if you look closely at what you get for your money –  solid brand, nice dial & hands & generally cohesive design, modern movement, very nice power reserve (would be interesting to see what the difference in accuracy (if any) really is between 4Hz and 3Hz given the other improvements?), nicely made ceramic bezel, 300M water resistance (perfectly respectable), even a helium escape valve & nice looking strap……all this for $975?! 

    I think I am going to get one just to remind myself that you actually sometimes (rarely?) can get what you pay for 😀

  • JosephW  Silicon possibly.

  • SecuringTheLead

    I’ve had a hard time finding anything in Tissot’s line-up that appealed to me.  That ends with this new release.  The red bezel version in particular is something I would wear.  I’ve said I’m not buying any more watches this year, but as reasonable as these are priced I may have to break my pledge!

  • Ulysses31

    I’ve never liked this line, although it is indeed an improvement over the previous ones.  The handset is bizarre and i’ve never like that style of hour markers.  They make it look like a Seiko diver of some kind, one of the cheap ones.  The rest of it is fine, just the face and hands that could be made to look a little up-market.

  • nateb123

    Never liked the old one and one of its biggest problems was thickness and diameter.  It just looked goofy and fit poorly.  This one looks like it fits amazingly well, which makes a lot of the other features and design choices shine.  Not 100% sold on the hands and indices but given how good the rest of the package is for the price, I think I may get one.

  • spiceballs

    Also not a fan of the hands and indices but all else is good especially the blue on the bracelet, and at a reasonable price.  I do hope that Swatch allows Tissot to use the better versions of this movement as being a “budget” watch Tissot typically gets the lower quality Swatch movements.

  • Henry J Miller

    Aytunc Put the red bezel version on a SS “Jubilee” style bracelet and carry on splendidly…;)

  • kunokephalos

    Very nice –  incised ceramic bezel, classic dive styling, applied hour markers, 80 hr reserve, unbreakable workhorse movement, good size -at a very competitive price: I think this will fly off the shelves. Swatch ‘budget’ brands Tissot and Hamilton are doing good things (Hamilton regulator f.i.), increasingly blurring the lines in terms of quality with the mid-range brands.

  • aleximd2000

    In barely wear a watch more than a week on wrist so the deviation in accuracy is less important. The red bezel seems very apetizing for me. Maybe I’ll buy one for casual use and for motocycle riding. Cheers

  • bmoorthamers

    Beautiful, I think I might get one. Will you make a video on the Youtube channel, Ariel? Also, the lume dot on the bezel at 12 seems to be fairly badly done, or is this just something from the pictures?

  • JasonDunn

    I really think this should be a monthly give-away watch.  It’s in the right price range and would get people excited.  I don’t exactly think it would top the Marice Lacroix one from a few months ago (‘Cause that was the best one so far), but it would definitely be the best one since then.

  • mikedalton24

    Love that watch! Great review!

  • somethingnottaken

    I may have to add one of these to my collection. I’m not a fan of the hands; however, the applied hour markers and ceramic bezel make this watch much more appealing than the old model.

  • AK74

    Finally, a right price and a very clean nice design from Tissot. Something I’d love to have.

  • srhardy

    Just got my seastar/auto/chrono from bodying & im very pleased. The best feature was the BRIGHT all night lume of the display/hands, i thought i would have to get a tritium lumed watch to get something this bright!  Might add the POWER80 seastar too, but the price due to the rising swiss frank wont help its case.

  • Jef_in

    For less than 1k, and at 80 hours reserve power,  this is a good watch to get.

  • 4tens

    Ceramic bezel, Co7.111 movement sapphire crystal, and it will fit Ito a stainless bracelet. Luv this! Thanks Ariel!

  • Dr. Dunghorse

    I dunno. My Tissot Seastar 1000 from 04 keeps great time twelve years later. Normally nothing to brag about except wearing it on the job daily as a railroad brakeman it’s been put through extremes no watch manufacturers had ever thought of at the price range offered. Aside from being banged up daily, two years ago for over a month its was 40 below where my service unit is and the band broke while I was reaching up to regain my grip riding the side of a iced up box car, it was night and I found it day in a half it later in between the rails just above the snow STILL ticking away. This new tissot watch looks fragile, I think it’ll be an Oris Big Crown next up for me.

    • Forever Great

      Update: I just bought this watch and it’s holding up to the daily workload and cold temps. It’ll be interesting to see if the new movements power reserve keeps as good time as the old trustworthy 2824.

  • wayne t

    I’ve never really looked at Tissot before. I find this somewhat appealing, may have to look into it. Found this while before I came to this site,,,, kinda strange.

  • IronHeadSlim

    Tissot US doesn’t show these on their website at all anymore. Does anyone know if they stopped making them?

  • Charles Aimard

    I Have that watch bought in jan 2016
    I had to make it tuned 2 times
    First it fasted 5min per week and a few months later 5min up per day !!
    I hope it will last tuned !

  • John Doe

    I just bought the red version of the watch for $375 new (grey market). The calibre is the same in other Tissot watches, but those have been COSC certified. Would there really be that big of difference, between them? And why would there be a difference? Thanks for any helpful info!

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