Powered by a mass-produced ETA 2824-2 automatic ebuche, the last year’s Tissot Le Locle automatic chronometer won the prestigious Concours de Chronometrie 2011 in the “Classic” category easily beating the gorgeous (and also a lot more expensive) F.P. Journe Chronometre Souverain with its in-house caliber F.P Journe 1304. This year, the Swiss watchmaker decided to build on the success of the award-winning model by introducing their new Tissot Le Locle Automatic Chronometer Edition (ref. T006.408.36.057.00).
Soon to be offered in a rose gold PVD-coated steel case (pictured) and a two-tone body, the upcoming watch is still powered by a high-grade version of the same ETA 2824-2 ebauche.
Officially certified as a chronometer by the Swiss COSC authority and being one of the most mass-produced Swiss-made movements in its class, the tiny engine offers almost unrivaled robustness and serviceability, while at the same time delivering more than acceptable accuracy.
Compared to the last year’s model, the watch looks even more elegant and refined.
The applied PVD-coated Arabic numerals and hour markers, the beautifully finished leaf-shaped hands, even the guilloched (probably by a laser) dial leave a lasting impression of quality and style. In fact, to me, the new offering from Tissot somewhat distorts the image of an “affordable” brand that offers nice watches with, let’s face it, not particularly impressive design.
Unlike the other “dress watches” from Tissot, the new Le Locle looks like you really can wear it with an expensive suit without raising a single eyebrow (well, at least until these snobs see the logo on the dial.)
The impression is slightly spoiled with the transparent case back of the watch. To my taste, there are just too many details on the engraved case back cover of the piece. All these little details and pieces of ornament remind you of a gold-painted Provence bed (if such a thing would exist.)
Aside from this, the new piece looks almost perfect.
Well, I am not really sure about the rose gold PVD coating, however, as long as you treat this timekeeper with respect and wear it only on special occasions, it will probably serve you for years without noticeable signs of wear.
Price is still TBD, but we plan to update this article as soon as Tissot puts a price tag on this piece.
UPDATE ON PRICE: Tissot plans to offer this Le Locle model at a relatively moderate price of $1295 (MSRP) that seems to be quite fine considering that the watch is powered by a good COSC-certified caliber and, well, looks quite elegant. If you are searching for a dressy timekeeper on a budget, the search may very well be over.
Tissot Le Locle Automatc Chronometer Edition in PVD rose gold (ref. T006.408.36.057.00) specification
Price: $1295 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2824-2, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Gold-plated oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel, rose gold PVD-coated
Size: 39.30 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Lug width: 22 mm
Dial: Black, guilloched
Numerals: Arabic, applied, rose gold PVD-coated
Hour markers: Applied, rose gold PVD-coated
Hands: Leaf-shaped, rose gold PVD-coated
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with butterfly clasp or stainless steel bracelet with butterfly clasp and pushers for a two-tone version
Back: Transparent, engraved