Equipped with a self-winding movement, the 2013 Tissot PRS 516 Extreme Chronograph (refs. T079.427.27.057.00 & T079.427.27.057.01) makes a strong impression, especially if you compare this one with their older “sporty” models. It still lags miles behind what some people consider “real” watches with their elegantly simple designs, but in its price niche (it retails at about €1100), the “Extreme” version absolutely beats the crap out of most of its competitors that feature similar functionality.
As usual for the brand, it features a black and grey color scheme with bright yellow (ref. T0794272705701) or red (ref. T0794272605700) accents on its hands, bezel, chronograph push-pieces, setting crown and, of course, the black rubber band. With these accents, the watch gets that cheerful appearance that will possibly make it an instant hit among people that live in the northern part of Europe where there are not so many sunny days even on summer, and almost none when winter is finally here.
With its honeycomb grille design, the dial has a nice three-dimensional look to it, which is further emphasized with thick hour markers and a pair of Arabic numerals placed at 6 and 12 o’clock.
The arc-shaped dial aperture, which is partly hidden behind tinted semi-opaque plastic, somehow cheapens this watch, but I could certainly live with it.
Like their previous chronographs, the PRS 516 Extreme is delivered in an oversized body 44 millimeters in diameter. Combine this with its thickness of more than 15 millimeters and you get a chunky bugger that will perfectly match your bulky parka or a snowboard jacket (especially if you color match them).
I would even dare say that if you opt for changing the stock black rubber band with its bright colorful accents (they tastefully match the same bursts of color on the timekeeper’s dial and control elements) for something a bit soberer, you will be able to wear the timepiece comfortably even with something less direct links with extreme sports. Of course, a tuxedo or business suit is still a big no-no with this device, but something more casual like, say, jeans and a pullover (or a t-shirt in a warmer season) will look absolutely fine with this sporty timekeeper.
Ticking inside it is their usual ETA C01.211 self-winding caliber that delivers adequate performance and reliability, at least for this price range.
Well, perhaps some of you may not like the fact that some of its non-moving parts are made of plastic, but I don’t think that it will affect the timekeeper’s reliability in any way.
Summing it all up, I think that this is a great watch for sports activities, although, in its stock variety, I still can’t imagine someone wearing it with anything less colorful than a snowboard or motorcycle jacket, or a Hawaiian shirt.
The only thing that I am not terribly fond here is the price. I have just re-checked Tissot web store and the watch is listed there at whopping $1450 USD. Yes, the price is not sky high per se. However, I must note that, for the money, you can find a nice Alpina Startimer or an absolutely fabulous Seiko Flightmater with a high-quality quartz movement, but the choice, of course, is yours.
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5
Tissot PRS 516 Extreme Chronograph specification
Price: $1450 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA C01.211, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 15
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 45 hours
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, tachymeter
Case: Stainless steel, black PVD
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 15.50 mm
Dial: Black with Yellow (ref. T079.427.27.057.01) or Red (ref. T079.427.27.057.00) accents
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black embossed rubber with stainless steel deployant clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective