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Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Tissot introduced a fair number of new models this year, but none of them had particularly stood out to me until this Tissot V8 Swissmatic was sent my way. The V8 is a vaguely automotive-inspired time and date watch that uses the Tissot “Swissmatic” movement. Since it’s derived from the Swatch Sistem51, Tissot is able to offer a lot of value for a reasonable admission of entry. The $450 price tag put this soundly in the ballpark of a high-value graduation gift or even a work week dress watch. Tissot incorporated a good amount of aesthetic variety in the release of this model, giving you plenty of dial and bezel options to fit your taste. There are a few hiccups in the V8’s design that I’ll get into later in this review, and while at this price point there are certainly going to be trade-offs, some of the design issues I noticed might actually be overlooked errors.


The V8 Swissmatic comes in a robust steel case measuring 42mm without the crown and roughly 50mm lug to lug. However, it wears a bit larger than a typical 42mm watch would primarily due to the longer lug to lug measurement. Finishing-wise, Tissot has applied some subtle polished finishes across the bevels of the case, contrasting the vertical brushing elsewhere. I have to admit it looks pretty good upon casual inspection. In spite of its large dimensions, the V8 rides the wrist well, and at slightly over 13mm thick, it will fit under a shirt cuff. I do have one minor gripe when it comes to the case: the bottom edges of the case are chamfer-less and rather sharp, so depending on how you flex your wrist, it can dig in uncomfortably.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The bezel is a fixed steel bezel with 10-minute markers alternating with plain dots. The bezel itself has a circular satin-type finish on it, and the edge of the bezel, where it meets the case, is polished. This is a nice touch and classes up the watch a lot. That being said, I mention in my video that the markers on the bezel don’t perfectly align with the dial, which bothers me and probably a couple of other people who obsess over these small details. Though the photos don’t perfectly illustrate what I’m talking about, the video will explain it in more depth.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews


The dial of the V8 Swissmatic is one of the features that originally caught my eye. It’s a black textured dial reminiscent of pavement or perhaps black vinyl that’s used in automotive interiors. There are dagger style indices at each hour with minute markers in between. The date window sits at 3 o’clock and has a polished border. The hands are skeletonized baton-ish style with a stripe of lume towards the tip. The second hand has Tissot’s “T” on the counterweight. It’s a simplistic dial that trends a bit more dressy than I’d expect from an automotive-inspired piece. Additionally, aside from the hands, the dial is non-luminous. Overall, it’s a pretty simplistic dial with very little lume and dial printing.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews


As the name indicates, Tissot chose their “Swissmatic” movement for the V8 line. This movement is used in a variety of models across their lineups and in my opinion, is a great example of value and affordability. As indicated on the movement itself, this is a 19 jewel Swiss movement, and as we discussed in the intro, this movement is derived from Swatch’s Sistem51. It’s non-hacking, but to counterbalance that, it features a robust 72-hour power reserve. Assuming that you’re wearing this as a sort of dress watch for work, you could take this off Friday evening and wear something else over the weekend, and it will still be running Monday morning as you head off to work. If you’re giving this watch as a gift, that benefit could be particularly valuable if the recipient doesn’t want to wear the watch over the weekend.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The V8 also features an exhibition caseback to view the movement. It is fairly unremarkable, with a signed rotor and little to no decoration, but one thing that I do like is how the mainspring barrel is skeletonized, so you can actually see how wound or unwound the mainspring is. Considering the price point, I’m not expecting to be blown away by the view of the Swissmatic movement, but it’s competently and relatively well done if a little uninspiring. Still, uninspiring is better than inspiring the wrong feelings.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Competitively speaking, I think that at this this price point, there could be a little more work done on the movement to justify the cost, especially when you compare it to some similarly priced Seiko watches that boast hackable movements and excellent lume. I understand that some folks will have issues with the Swissmatic V8 using a movement derived from the Sistem51, but in my opinion, provided that the movement maintains reasonable accuracy (my example is somewhere around -2 to -3/s a day), it doesn’t really bother me.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews


The bracelet on the V8 Swissmatic is a well-executed element. For the $450 MSRP, you’re getting a solid link, split pin constructed bracelet on a butterfly style clasp. Tissot gives you two half links to fine-tune the fit since there are no micro adjustments in the clasp. The bracelet does echo the problem of the case’s sharp edges, as there is little to no chamfering on the edges of the links, which may present some issues with comfort over time. The watch sports 22mm lugs, and with the textured black dial, it will look good on a bunch of different strap options, so if the bracelet either isn’t your style or is uncomfortable, there will be options. Per their website, Tissot is also going to offer the two dial configurations on a racing style perforated leather strap.

Tissot V8 Swissmatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews


Ultimately, the Tissot V8 Swissmatic is a valiant effort that falls short on a few points. Seiko receives constant bad press for misaligned chapter rings, but for Tissot to have a fixed bezel that does not line up with the minute indices seems like a pretty major oversight in my eyes. The sharp edges of the case are a little difficult to get around, but not a deal breaker if you like the aesthetic of the watch itself. On the positive side, however, you are getting a watch that will hold time over a weekend of inactivity, a nice steel bracelet, and an interesting dial texture. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I think some customers will have issues with the adapted Sistem51 movement, but it doesn’t bother me in this context at this price point. Nonetheless, at $450, the watch world is littered with competitive options, from the Seiko Presage line to some of the Hamilton Khaki lineup. If you want to stay strictly automotive, you can even check out Tissot’s own PRS lineup. It’s going to come down to personal taste. If you dig the aesthetic of the Tissot V8 Swissmatic, I think it’s a decent offering.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Tissot
>Model: V8 Swissmatic
>Price: $450
>Size: 42mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: No, at this price point, I believe there are better options that would suit me.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who needs an affordable timepiece with a classy/dress look.
>Best characteristic of watch: The 72 hour power reserve.
>Worst characteristic of watch: The crooked bezel.

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  • Drazen B

    I actually don’t mind this one. But the issue with Tissot has been for long time an identity, or lack thereof.
    This is one of those ‘much of a muchness’ watches.

  • Mikita

    What a junk. At $450 you get disposable beyond crappy movement with +/-60 sec accuracy, which is non-repairable and non-serviceable. As a humble bonus, you get non-matching plain hands from the other model.
    P.S. Aaron – great suggestion to take Seiko Presage and compare what they offer for similar amount of money.

    • commentator bob

      To be fair this is a $325 watch on ablogtowatch advertiser Jomashop.

      Also, unlike many of the cheap Seikos, including many of the Presage models, this Tissot has a sapphire crystal, not a mineral crystal.

      People will not notice if your watch is a couple seconds off, they will notice if the crystal is scratched. And it is not like cheap Seikos are well regulated.

      This Tissot also has solid end-links on the bracelet, while many cheap Seikos, including some of the Presage line, have cheap folded end links.

      It’s not that Seiko provides more value, they just cheap out in different ways. And I am a Seiko fan. I have an SKX007J. It does have a scratched crystal because it does not use sapphire like this Tissot.

      On serviceability? Really any ~$300 or less watch is disposable. The last service on my Omega was $525, and Omega is very reasonable. The Sistem51 movement is designed to run longer without service than a traditional movement, which effectively makes it less disposable than other cheap watches that theoretically can be serviced. And Tissot will happily service this watch by popping in a new movement. Unlike the original plastic Sistem51 watches this Tissot can be opened and resealed.

      • Mikita

        I’ve tried the Swatch before – it is pure crap. The movement performed unbelievably bad, I don’t if it’s +/-15 sec per day, but it exceeded 1 minute, which then became above 2 or 3 minutes per day – you’ll get tired to correct the time. Sapphire crystal is okay – but people don’t care for watches at all, so the only person who will notice the scratched crystal will be yourself.

        Your points were valid some time ago, maybe a year ago. But now Swatch Group decresed Tissot quality as low as never before: case polishing looks poor, crystals very reflective, hands unbelievably plain and lifeless, so as the markers. Seiko will beat the shit out of modern Tissot at any price.

        • commentator bob

          “. . .the only person who will notice the scratched crystal will be yourself.”

          The thing is that even if that is the case I definitely will notice.

          And don’t forget about the chintzy folded end links Seiko still uses.

          • Mikita

            Yes, but I never wear bracelets, only straps. But agree that for some this may be a -.

    • Alexander Hilsbos

      Is “non-hacking” and “non-repairable” / “non-serviceable” the same? I am not sure I understand the concept of hacking / non-hacking in this context. We discussed hacking seconds hands elsewhere, but that is some rare complication, right? Thanks for help.

      • Mikita

        Non-hacking means that when you adjust the time, the second hand doesn’t stop, i.e. not allowing you to precisely adjust the time. It’s unpleasant, but it’s a minor problem compared to not being able to service the movement. This watch is disposable – when it will start gaining/loosing time or stop working, you’ll have to throw it away. Even $50 Seiko 5 can be serviced, but this $450 watch can not.

        • commentator bob

          Actually I would argue that the lack of hacking is more of a real issue. A $50 watch that costs a couple hundred to service is really not serviceable.

          And some really iconic watches do not hack like old collector Rolexes and Zenith El Primeros.

          • Mikita

            “A $50 watch that costs a couple hundred to service is really not serviceable.”

            Where did you get this? I think you may confidently laugh in the face of the watch repairer who told you this. I’ve recently serviced my Seiko 5 in Singapore for a whopping S$10 (around $7.4) and it runs like a new after 5 years of use.

        • Alexander Hilsbos

          Thanks. Learned something new. I don’t like this watch either, but I think the reviewer hughlighted the problems nicely.

  • commentator bob

    To me the new Tissot Seastar, with a ceramic bezel, 300 M rating, and the superior Powermatic 80 movement on a bracelet for $725 or rubber for $695 is the best of the new Tissot releases.

  • I think the summary at the end of the review says it all:

    “Would reviewer personally wear it: No, at this price point, I believe there are better options that would suit me.”

    • Mikita

      Was really surprised to read such an honest opinion. And fully agree with the author.

    • This is literally, to the best of my recollection, the first time that “No” was given as an answer to that question.

      • I seem to recall a few others, but yes this is a rarity.

    • Kuroji

      It should say:
      “Would reviewer personally wear it: Ha ha ha ha ha! Fuck no.”

  • Craig A Clark

    I like this watch, and while I know from the reviewers suggestions as well as others here, that there are better ‘on paper’ options out there, I like the look of the watch, so alternatives would be other watches that look like it (there may or may not be any, I don’t know). As such I’d pay the price for it to have the watch on its looks primarily 🙂

  • Robin Chand

    i owned three tissot and they r crap

    • Pavel Husakouski

      How come?

  • The best part about this watch is the brutally honest review that accompanies it.

    More please.

  • Berndt Norten

    I owned a Tissot about ten years ago. It was very flimsy. I’m confident that if I spring for a Seiko instead of This Tissot I won’t look back with regret, slap my forehead, and say: ‘I coulda had a V8’

    • Dakota Dennison

      Instead of a trey-eight slug to your cranium
      I got six and I’m aimin’ ’em

      • Berndt Norten

        Alright stop. Collaborate and listen.
        I is Vanilla, don’tchu b dissin!

        • Playboy Johnny – Team Marius.

          Jay with the gauge….Vanilla with a nine.

      • John Taylor

        Ice Cube.

    • egznyc

      It’s scary: I was thinking the exact same thing! (Wtf?!?).

  • SuperStrapper

    Regardless of finish concerns I’m just not a fan of decorated steel bezels (aka daytona), especially fixed ones. The bezel here just being plain I think would help the overall look. I do like the dial texture and appreciate they didn’t see the need to make the second hand bright red.

    Being a collection of armchair watch experts it’s easy to sit back and deride a piece like this, but we are not the intended customers for it. The swiss industry needs pieces like this to exist. $450 retail means people can probably take it home from a dealer for a number starting with 3, which means it is directly attacking the KickStarter pricepoints. A required strategy of you want to survive in the everyman watch world. And for the record I know 2 people that have a watch containing this movement and while neither are watch nerds neither are having any issues with their watches.

    I think the author did well in positioning this as first watch/nice gift territory.


    For one I find it ugly and for second it is cheap and by cheap I mean cheaply looking BUT I agree w the author the watch needs to exist to bring in some dough and attract newer customers to the automatic watch world. I started w a PRS 516 chrono which is light years better than this turd ? but it pushed me in the right direction which was to a) sell it b)go upmarket

  • Nello Alexandri

    I actually like the look of this one.
    I hope this is not the direction that the entry level Swiss market will take with regards to movements. Most WIS will no longer accept a mechanical movement that does not hack and cannot be serviced. I guess we are not the target market for these trash can watches.

  • David Franklin

    Good Sir,
    Your observation regarding the bottom edges of the case being sharp and not chamfered is common to watch cases that come from China.
    A most distinguished, world renowned collector Mr. Dan Henry stated in a recent article that he has personal knowledge of watch cases “…by the ton…” are arriving in Switzerland daily.

    I purchased two Guanqin automatic watches six months apart and both cases had bottom edges that were sharp and unfinished, just like this Tissot. Should we be surprised that the Swiss are obtaining a large percentage of watch cases from China, and thus enjoying very high profit margins from arbitraging Chinese labor and materials, while claiming to print “SWISS MADE” at the 6 o clock position on a watch?

    Sincere Regards.
    Dave Franklikn

  • commentator bob

    I would argue this is the most serviceable low cost watch on the market. It has a sapphire crystal that will look good forever. Send it into Swatch Group and they will keep the case, bracelet, and rotor, and simply screw the rotor to a new movement and return it. A cheap Seiko may theoretically be serviceable, but in reality it cannot be serviced in any reasonable proportion to its cost.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      How is this serviceable?. The movement doesn’t even have screws.

      • You throw it out and buy a new one.

        Still cheaper than a Rolex service.

      • commentator bob

        Right, the only screw is the rotor, which they can keep and attach to a new movement. Which actually makes this watch much more serviceable than something else in the price range.

      • Joe

        I guess if they stop making these movements, perhaps it will become less serviceable, as it sounds like you need an entire unit, rather than individual parts.

        • commentator bob

          The robots will be churning these out well past when we are gone.

          • Joe

            I’m hoping that Robots will understand the concept of “desirability” and be churning out ALS and Philippe Dufour (and all the other greats) well after they’re gone 😛

    • Mikita

      I cerviced my Seiko for $7. Good luck in getting such price with Tissot for their disposable hearts.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    ” Swissmatic ” What i stupid word. Gets rid of the most stubborn stain on a warm wash.
    As for the watch, well, it’s watch shaped and tells the time, if that’s what you’re after, this is a winner.

  • LetoAtreides69

    my sistem51 has survived a fair amount of abuse after the last few years of ownership. Still keeps good time and maintains a good power reserve – definitely outperformed my expectations. This is a totally reasonable price for a decent watch

    • Berndt Norten

      I’ve had the same positive experience with. Swatch Sistem51. I’m impressed with the accuracy and with the power reserve.

    • Forever Great

      Tissot does best what you just said.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Clean, nice looking watch and price, $450 is very attractive, bet could get a discount somewhere (specially if you mention the alignment of the dots in the bezel).

  • Harrystc

    This is a great review. Far too often we read reviews that seem to have no critical point of view. So this review stands out and is noble. I have written to sites that review watches on just this topic. I do not think I would have noticed that the bezel of this watch is off-set from the dial. It is inexcusable and Tissot should write to say they are taking steps to correct the problem. Of course none of us would know that the bottom edge of the watch case is sharp without this review. Those things are not endemic to this price point. I often wear a Steinhart Ocean One that is an homage to a Rolex sub (circa 1972 with red). It is finished perfect; costs under $500 USD, and sports an ETA 2824-2. I never suggest it is a Rolex, but I will tell you it keeps better time than my Rolex Date-Just.

    Again, kudos for a review that is critical. Who can be hurt by that? Hopefully the manufacturer will make necessary corrections and send another for a re-review. Good job here.

  • Steve Bowden

    Dear Aaron Shapiro,
    Thanks for your review, I thought it was very thorough. In the past, there has been a lot of joking around by the shirts featured by the models in these shots. But the grey-on-grey shirt matches the Tissot very well. Can you tell us where you got this shirt? Thanks very much.

  • mrmaxzaiss

    I just don’t seem to find the V8 in the watch after all. Or in their marketing for it..

    However nice watch and cool review!