Tissot’s collection covers a large spectrum, ranging from ultra-robust dive watches to racing-oriented chronographs and, the star of the moment, a sporty-chic watch with an integrated bracelet. And because it’s Tissot, all of them are pretty hard to beat in terms of value for money. If you’re looking for something a bit more classic, the Gentlemen is a very compelling option that packs it all. Recently available in an openworked edition, it’s now time for its dressier counterpart, the Tissot Le Locle, to appear in the Open Heart edition, still with a Powermatic-based movement and an extra layer of elegance.
We’ve praised the Tissot Gentleman on many occasions here at MONOCHROME. Considering its sub-1k price tag and everything it offers in return, it is one of the best options when it comes to choosing an all-rounder watch. With its steel bracelet, sleek design and comfortable water-resistance, this is a great contender for the one-watch collection. Do-it-all, where-it-everywhere… However, suppose you’re looking for something more classic, more elegant, and dressier that can easily be switched over for a hardcore sports watch for the weekend. In that case, the Tissot Le Locle is an alternative to consider seriously.
The Tissot Le Locle is, by quite a margin, the most traditional watch in the brand’s collection: round case, polished surfaces, relatively compact dimensions, no lume on the hands and Roman numerals. Some will undoubtedly think that this style is a bit old-fashioned, a bit dull… But on the other hand, it’s a timeless style that will please people with classic tastes and those who want to maintain a low profile in the office. Don’t expect the Le Locle collection to find its place during the weekend; it’s not meant for that. But considering its price, it leaves some of your budget to invest in a cool sporty watch.
The Tissot Le Locle has been revamped recently, adding something even more traditional than the past collections. It’s all about the details of the dial and the textures. Of course, the Powermatic 80 movement is now at the heart of all the models – the collection is entirely mechanical – and at the top of the range, you’ll even find a COSC-certified model (for less than 1,200 euros). Mostly time-and-date models, with options for a steel bracelet, the colours range from ultra-classic – silver or black – to quite classic – with the boldest being a dark blue. And a two-tone model is also available.
With revamping the collection, which added a new dial design, the brand now re-introduces the Open Heart model. I know, it’s not necessarily a fan favourite – at least for people with a good watchmaking culture. Yet, consider young enthusiasts who have just entered the world of watches. It’s actually quite cool to have the beating heart of your mechanical watch on display. So, following the Gentleman Powermatic 80 Open Heart, it’s now time for the Le Locle Powermatic 80 Open Heart to arrive. With some differences.
The case is as classic as it could be. It measures 39mm in diameter and is relatively thin at just below 10mm. It is entirely polished with a domed bezel and a sapphire crystal protecting the dial. It’s not overly small, but being a watch for a mainstream audience, the proportions make sense. The water-resistance of 30m is on the lower side, and this should really prevent you from wearing the watch during leisure activities. It’s a week/business watch, and that’s it. The case is nicely finished, with neat surfaces, and even comes with an original caseback – with a split see-through window and quite a lot of elements (maybe a bit too much).
The dial is where things get dressy. The revamped collection is articulated around a common design combining textures and applied elements. The dial’s centre has an embossed Clous de Paris pattern, while the chapter ring, with its applied Roman hour numerals, is smooth. The stamped hobnail pattern is repeated on the periphery of the dial. Time is read thanks to thin leaf-shaped hands, which are, like the numerals, dark grey coloured, providing good contrast. The star of the show in the context of this Le Locle Powermatic 80 Open Heart is the opening at noon. Contrary to the 8-shaped aperture of the Gentleman, this one keeps things more discreet, with a round window that only reveals the balance and its hairspring.
Powering this Open Heat Tissot Le Locle is Swatch Group’s new cornerstone entry-level movement, the Powermatic 80: the calibre 80.601, to be precise. This movement relies on the tried-and-tested ETA 2824 base, with multiple mechanical evolutions. First, the kinetic chain has been reworked – improved mainspring and lower frequency – resulting in a power reserve that has doubled – now 80 hours. Then, the escapement features a Nivachron hairspring, bringing anti-magnetic properties.
The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Open Heart is available on an alligator-like leather strap with a butterfly folding clasp or on a 7-row stainless steel bracelet. Both are equipped with quick-release spring bars for quick-change possibilities. A third option with a two-tone style is also available.
The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Open Heart is an excellent entry-level watch with great quality and mechanical specs that are hard to beat. It’s on the classic side, so it might be less attractive at first sight than a more modern Gentleman, but it mostly depends on who will be wearing the watch. Either way, the price is just right, at EUR 725 on a leather strap and EUR 795 on a steel bracelet. For more details, please visit www.tissotwatches.com.