Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar (ref. T091.420.46.051.01) packs the usual (at least, for the family) mix of functions into a lightweight titanium body that combines finely brushed surfaces with black PVD inserts. While the piece neither looks as rugged as a “real” training computer designed for hard-core athletes, nor sports as advanced functionality, it is still sturdy enough to be used as a daily beater by those who prefer an active lifestyle to countless hours spent on a sofa in front of a 55-inch TV set.
While the basic shape of the timekeeper’s body remains the same, the titanium case of the T-Touch Expert Solar is now better sculpted and its black PVD-treated elements give it a bit classier look. The new set of push-pieces, too, makes the watch look less archaic than even the last year’s models.
Of course, after a barrage of the second generation smartwatches that we have seen recently, one would expect the gadget to at least have a higher resolution display and some extra connectivity features (a heart rate monitor support or even the simplest smartphone integration would be great.)
However, the Swiss watchmaker either doesn’t understand the danger that the new breed of wearable electronics present or simply dismisses it altogether.
Well, there is also a third option: Tissot and all the R&D power behind the brand are perfectly aware of the situation and in a year or so we will see a bunch of a lot more advanced, truly smart timekeepers from the reputable brand that will put to shame Samsung’s clumsy efforts.
So far, the watch doesn’t introduce anything new in terms of functionality: we see a perpetual calendar, a digital second time zone indicator, the usual stuff of a logbook, compass, regatta countdown and chronograph.
The watch also sports a couple of sensors (a barometer and an altimeter) that give you some short-range weather forecast and let you know if you have climbed too high and it is time use your oxygen tank (oh, you would probably have some more serious gear for an attempt to climb on top of Everest).
All this information is available at night, too, thanks to a layer of SuperLuminova covering the hands and hour markers, as well as some backlighting that makes the tiny LCD screen readable at any lighting condition.
Still, the main idea behind this watch is not the looks (although I can only welcome the fact that Tissot is making an effort to make their watches more appealing to those who expects the watch to be not only functional but also beautiful), but the feel of its synthetic sapphire glass that features touch functionality and allows you to get all the necessary information on the display by simply tapping the crystal near “METEO”, “CHRONO” or “ALARM” inscription printed on the bezel flange.
If you ever owned a more old-school quartz timekeeper equipped with numerous push-pieces that must be pressed in correct order to just start the timer, you will immediately love this device.
What truly disappoints me here is the water resistance rating. For a sporty watch, which is supposed to be taken on an adventure every now and then, the guaranteed 100 meters of water-tightness is almost a joke. Well, maybe not a ‘joke’, but from such a timekeeper I would expect something closer to at least 20 ATM. But if you don’t plan to use it as a diving tool, this gadget is an almost ideal choice for someone who always wanted a watch with an analog-digital display and the sacred “Swiss Made” inscription at the bottom half of the dial.
See also: Tissot T-Race Touch Aluminium
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Quartz (ref. T091.420.46.051.01) specification
Price: $1150 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, ETA E84.301, solar-powered, with a charge indicator, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, perpetual calendar, barometer, second time zone (GMT), altimeter, logbook, compass, regatta countdown
Case: Titanium, black PVD parts
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Dial: Black carbon fiber
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber band or titanium bracelet with folding clasp and pushers, leather strap, or leather and fabric strap (pictured) with butterfly clasp and pushers
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective