Although to some the new Tissot Heritage Navigator 160th Anniversary (refs. T078.641.16.037.00 & T078.641.16.057.00) collection may look suspiciously similar to the gorgeous Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox International model that was released more than three years ago, the source of their inspiration lays in a radically different place and time. This elegant traveler’s companion is almost an exact reproduction of the model that the Swiss watchmaker introduced sixty years ago for its centennial anniversary.
While I can’t post a photo of the original for copyright reasons, you will have no problems finding a bunch of images on Bing.com (the guys seem to have developed a very efficient image search algorithm) using “vintage Tissot world time navigator” keywords. Comparing the original with this Heritage 160th Anniversary, I see that the “re-issue” (it is not really a re-issue, since there are a lot of differences between the two) offers basically the same dial layout and shape of the case with only minor variations here and there.
Judging by the photos, the new version has a slightly larger body, a tad thicker bezel, sports a less elegant setting crown, and doesn’t have the push-piece at 2 o’clock (possibly, because the original Tissot Caliber 28.5N-21T automatic movement is replaced with a mass produced job, which is, as usual in recent time, outsourced from ETA).
In its press release, Tissot doesn’t specify, which movement they used to create this watch only stating that this is a chronometer caliber officially certified by COSC.*
However, I can make a guess that this is the same ETA 2892-A2 ebauche, which is so popular even among major brands, like Omega and Breitling and is often used as a base for making quite sophisticated mechanisms with lots of functions.
The rest is basically the same.
It still uses the same set of rules to tell time, too.
There are six Arabic numerals and six triangular hour markers etched on its bezel, as well as a set of 12 Arabic numerals on its inner fixed ring that display time in a 24-hour format. To see current time in the time zone of your interest, you need to turn the elegantly executed city disk that displays 24 capitals of the world.
With its 43 millimeters in diameter, this dressy-looking watch is clearly a bit too large to be worn with formal attire. However, this is not going to be a problem for persons of heroic proportions. If the price is right, this limited edition model can be a real hit among enthusiasts who can’t afford a GMT-capable timekeeper from JLC.
They plan to show the 160th Anniversary collection at Baselworld 2013 later this month.
*It’s been confirmed that the watch is powered by ETA 2893-3, which is known for its reliability and hassle-free serviceability.
Tissot Heritage Navigator 160th Anniversary (refs. T078.641.16.037.00 & T078.641.16.057.00) specification
Price: $1650 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2893-3, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: Branded rotor with Geneva stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT (24 time zones)
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 9.62 mm
Dial: Anthracite (ref. T078.641.16.057.00) / Silver-toned (ref. T078.641.16.037.00)
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hour markers: Luminous (SuperLuminova)
Hands: Rhodiumed Steel / Blued Steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with steel folding clasp and pushers
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides, cambered
Back: Sapphire, engraved