Hello, fellow aBlogtoWatch readers! I was super stoked to hear that I won the Tissot Heritage 1936 mechanical watch giveaway. Tissot has been a brand I’ve had my eyes on for some time – specifically, the vintage-inspired pieces with that fantastic retro Tissot logo on the dial. The watch arrived alongside some awesome Tissot swag (I did not include lanyard pics – sorry!), and an interesting, nearly 300-page book on the story of the company. It even pictures a Tissot pocket watch circa 1923 that this design clearly draws some inspiration from. Seeing the connection between this watch and a model from nearly a century ago allows me to truly appreciate the history of Tissot whenever I put the Heritage 1936 on.
So for those who aren’t familiar with this watch, I’ll provide a quick primer. This design celebrates a historically significant point in timepiece history – it’s modeled after some of the first wristwatches ever made. Trench watches, as they were called, gained popularity during WW1, and rapidly accelerated the shift from pocket watch to wristwatch. These trench watches were essentially pocket watches with wired lugs soldered on, and when you look up images of them you clearly see the resemblance in a lot of the design elements. This nod to the past is big for me – I very much gravitate towards watches with a story.
So now that the history lesson is over, let’s just get straight to the elephant in the room – the size. It’s not only the width – coming in at a modest 45mm – but it’s also the thickness (13mm) that makes this a beast of a watch. These numbers would typically scare some away, but the watch really doesn’t feel (or really even look) that large, and I have a relatively small wrist. Something about the wire lugs and the narrow (18mm) band make the size of the case size look right and not feel over-the-top, which is important for a vintage-inspired piece.
The craftsmanship on the dial is fantastic – the numerals appear as if they’ve been hand-painted on, although this was difficult to capture in photos. I love the Breguet-style hands, and along with the aforementioned vintage Tissot logo in black, they really pop on the two-tone dial. The seconds sub-dial is another nod to a common design element in early trench watches. The crown features the Tissot signature, like any proper luxury watch should. The band is a sturdy, brown leather NATO style strap, which looks great with the wire lugs. It’s super comfortable on the wrist. I’ll probably invest in a black leather NATO to switch things up in the future.
It’s a hand-wound movement, and it’s pretty neat to be able to watch the movement wind as you crank it. I find that I get around 50 hours of life when it’s fully wound. Another really cool feature is the hinged case back – a clear nod to the days when we didn’t have sapphire crystal to protect the movement. I have to admit that it makes it entertaining to show off and pass around the watch for my more timepiece-educated friends to appreciate.
I think the size actually allows me really appreciate all that went into this watch. While 45mm doesn’t typically scream vintage, I think the history behind the design allows for a pretty solid exception. I can go from my 36mm Seiko 5 to this the next day, and it feels just perfect on the wrist. Plus, it’s a limited edition so I don’t expect to see many of these on wrists or on the secondary market. Thanks aBlogtoWatch, and thanks Tissot – I’m definitely a fan for life! tissotwatches.com