Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound Swiss Watches

At the upcoming trade show in Basel, the Swiss watchmaker will present its new Tissot T-Complication Chronometer wrist watch. Although the name of the timekeeper would better suit something more aggressively designed and equipped with anything less complicated than a tourbillon, the watch still looks extremely attractive offering a serene, elegant (although some might call it a bit generic) appearance. In fact, the timepiece seems to be a nice choice for a young person getting his first job in the City.




Overall Impression & Case

Targeting people that look for a dress watch, but still can’t own a Vacheron Constantin Historique or a Patek Philippe Calatrava, the gadget comes in a nicely sculpted (albeit, at 43 millimeters wide, too large to my taste and also against current trend of downsizing wrist watches to more comfortable 35-39 millimeters in diameter) and offers a high-contrast, easily readable dial.

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound wrist watch

Given its impressive (at least, for a dressy timekeeper) size, the watch predictably takes lots of space on a normal wrist. As you can see on a wrist shot below, the watch covers all width of the hand, but that, surprisingly, doesn’t look like a bad thing. Thank the ultra-slim bezel for that: it does a really good job at making the device look a lot lighter and feel like an elegant homage to pocket watch-based gentleman’s chronometers of the past.

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound (wrist shot photo)

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound (wrist shot photo).

Still, keep in mind that, with its lug-to-lug length of around 51 millimeters, at the end of the day it will rival some diving timepieces in terms of presence.

Dial

As I have already noted, the dial on this new specimen is very good. Some may not like its apparent lack of refinement (at least, for a watch, which is priced well above the €2000 mark), but when it comes to sheer legibility, it is absolutely adequate to the task.

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound wrist watch (dial fragment)

Yes, it doesn’t have any lume on its elements, but, if you only plan to wear this watch during office hours replacing it at nights with something more exciting (like the recent Longines Heritage 1973 Chronograph), this shouldn’t be a problem.

Frankly, the only thing that I find not particularly inspiring is the choice of hour and minute hands. I can’t just put it into words right now, but the hands are somewhat out of place here: they draw too much attention to themselves and do not play very well with the stick-shaped hour markers, the stick-shaped small seconds hand and the light Arabic “12” numeral.




Mechanism

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound (sapphire case back)

Of course, its main point of attraction (at least, for those who really love watches not only as objects of industrial design, but also as wonderful horology machines) is the choice of caliber. While many timekeepers in this segment are usually equipped with nothing more exciting than the time-proven, but still boring ETA 2824-2, this particular model comes equipped with an almost legendary Unitas 6497 hand-wound movement. Refinished exclusively for Tissot (although, truth be told, I don’t see here anything more exciting than the usual Geneva stripes, polished and blued screw heads, and main gears that seem to be decorated with sunburst pattern), the mechanism adheres to the highest standards set by the Swiss COSC authority and is officially certified as a chronometer.

The certification not only guarantees that the watch keeps good time, but also implies that the manufacturer didn’t cut too many corners when it comes to quality and that the movement was assembled using the best parts available on the market.

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer Hand-Wound (setting crown)

Frankly, the only thing that I find not particularly inspiring is the choice of hour and minute hands. I can’t just put it into words right now, but the hands are somewhat out of place here: they draw too much attention to themselves and do not play very well with the stick-shaped hour markers, the stick-shaped small seconds hand and the light Arabic “12” numeral.

The rest seems to be just perfect. I mean, this is clearly not a new word when it to comes to fresh design ideas, but the timepiece is like a Volkswagen in the world of watches: while not terribly original, it is neatly designed, nicely crafted and well-assembled.

It will be revealed this spring at Baselworld 2014.

See also: JS Watch Co. Frisland Classic Automatic

Photos: Tissot

WWR preliminary verdict

Originality 3/5
Build quality: 4.5/5
Usability: 5/5
Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5

Tissot T-Complication Chronometer watch specification

Price: Approx. €2200
Movement: Manual, ETA caliber UNITAS 6497, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 17
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Power reserve: 53 hours
Movement decoration: Refinished exclusively for Tissot
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black
Numerals: Arabic
Hour markers: Stick-shaped
Hands: Dauphine
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent


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