Tissot ones again updates its family of diving companions with a new Seastar 1000 automatic chronograph. Although some find the choice of a cheaper chronograph caliber that animates the piece not particularly inspiring (after all, what’s the longevity of movement is usually the main reason behind buying a mechanical watch,) the gadget still deserves at least some attention thanks to its powerful exterior and relatively low price.
While I still find the “1000” part of the name a bit misleading (it is rated for depths of down to 1000 ft, which roughly translates to more or less standard 300 meters, not 1000 meters as some may infer,) it is still rugged enough and is even equipped with a helium escape valve, so this one is still a real diver, not some trendy “inspired by true diving tools” trinket that you often get in this price range (depending on the part of the world you live in, the Seastar 1000 will be offered at roughly €1000 MSRP).
The Seastar 1000‘s usability underwater is further increased with a new dial layout with the timekeeper’s minute hand generously covered with a thick layer of Superluminova (owners of the previous iterations sometimes complained about the Seastar’s poor legibility in muddy waters since the amount of lume on the hands was limited at best.)
The arrow-shaped tip of the hour hand, as well as the Arabic numerals and hour markers, are also covered with the same luminescent substance that can be either milky white or orange-colored.
Of course, this is just an entry-level Swiss automatic diver, so do not expect any stylistic novelties or technological breakthroughs. Also, unlike similarly styled pieces from brands like Rolex or Omega, you should be careful choosing this chronograph as an ‘accent’ for formal attire.
However, the timekeeper looks neatly built and, even despite the fact that it is equipped with the ETA caliber C01.211 movement (a Lemania 5100-based job that has some of its metal parts replaced with plastic ones in order to cut costs,) just screams good build quality, so you will never be ashamed of wearing such a watch with jeans or khakis or some other casual dress. The mechanism, by the way, is neatly finished, too, featuring an open-worked oscillating weight and machine-brushed bridges. Of course, it may not look as impressive as calibers made in-house by Panerai, but it is also ten times less expensive, so this is a trade-off I would be willing to make if interested in such a huge timekeeper.
Which brings me neatly to the only problem of the timekeeper. It is, of course, its size. According to the Swiss company, the Seastar 1000 will be released in a gargantuan case of 48 millimeters in diameter and more than 17 millimeters thick. Add here the length of its lugs (they look relatively short on the photos, but in reality, they are long) and you get yourself a timepiece that will literally dwarf a wrist of a normal man. So, take this into account before ordering the piece from an online retailer.
Tissot plans to officially present the new Seastar 1000 during the upcoming Baselworld 2011 trade show.
Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Chronograph specification
Price: $1225 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, ETA caliber C01.211, 15 jewels, 21,600 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: Stainless steel with black PVD
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 48.00 mm
Case height: 17.30 mm
Dial: Black & blue (ref. T066.427.17.057.00) / Black & white (ref. T066.427.17.057.00) / Black & orange (ref. T066.427.17.057.01)
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: 316L stainless steel bracelet with safety fastening and diving extension; or rubber strap with folding clasp