One of the largest brands in the watch industry, Tissot is typically regarded as a solid watchmaker founded upon strong pillars and coherent collections. There is, of course, the successful PRX range in the integrated bracelet sports watch segment. There are dive watches with the Seastar, a classic all-rounder with the Gentleman… The collection we are looking at today is a classic, dressy watch named the Chemin des Tourelles (Turret Road in French), after the name of the small street in Le Locle where the brand’s factory was established in 1907. The collection went through a tasteful redesign this year, and we had the opportunity to get our hands on some of the new models.
Designing a fine dress watch is not an easy task… Being sleek and simple, the devil truly is in the detail. With the new Chemin des Tourelles, Tissot proposes an elegant, simple three-hander geared towards fans of no-frills watcjes. The collection is not new, and the overall look remains the same, but a lot has changed with the 2023 facelift. Over 15 different references have been launched in three different sizes (42mm, 39mm and 34mm). We are focusing here on the two larger models that we had for this review.
The first thing to catch your attention with the new version of the Chemin des Tourelles is that it feels more luxurious and more refined than its predecessor. And more in tune with the times with its “neo-vintage” inspiration. Finally, it has a sleeker vibe too.
In this respect, the most striking changes are to be seen on the dials. These are domed, which brings a nice sense of depth and character to the watch, compared to the previous versions that came with flat dials. These are paired with elegant alpha-style hands, which are slightly bent to match the dial’s curvature. The hands are faceted, half-matte and half-polished. The dial layout is classic and clean, resulting in a perfectly legible watch. The date is displayed at 6 o’clock – as always, some will appreciate having this function while others would have preferred more purity with a no-date dress watch. In this daily-beater context, the date does make sense to us.
There are two dial options, each available in various colours. I have a sweet spot for the sleek sunray-brushed finish that comes with baton-style markers and discreet dots to form the minute track. There is also a more sophisticated dual finish version – sunray-brushed centre and clous de Paris chapter ring – with applied Roman numerals.
As said, the round case is available in three different sizes. The bezel is well-proportioned and elegantly rounded, and the sapphire crystal is slightly domed. The lugs are short and gently bend downward. On the wrist, the watch wears nicely and comfortably, specifically the 39mm editions. With the Powermatic 80 inside, it is not particularly thin, but it’ll still slide under a cuff quite easily. In addition, the profile of the caseband has been smartly designed to make the watch look slimmer than it is. As far as I am concerned, I prefer the 39mm size. But, of course, this is a matter of personal preference and of wrist size.
The water-resistance is rated at 50m, which is fine considering the vocation of the watch, as you most likely won’t swim with it, but you will be protected against exposure to water. Last, different materials are available: all-steel, rose gold PVD or steel and rose gold PVD bi-colour finish.
The watch is powered by the Powermatic 80. This tried-and-tested self-winding calibre is an evolution of the ETA 2824. Ticking at 3 Hz, it comes with a beefed-up power reserve of 80 hours. It has already been used for the Chemin des Tourelles collection, but this time it has been upgraded with an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring. As can be seen via the exhibition caseback, the rotor is openworked and the decoration is quite simple but clean – which is to be expected at this price level.
There are different options for the strap too. These include calf with a stamped alligator pattern for some versions. There is also a redesigned 5-row steel bracelet with more pronounced bevels compared to the previous versions. Both the leather straps and the bracelet are fitted with a folding buckle. The quick-release spring bars allow you to change your strap effortlessly.
If you are looking for an affordable dress watch or a first automatic watch, the Tissot Chemin des Tourelles is worth a close look. Obviously, with a retail price starting at EUR 825, it is not as fancy or as sophisticated as some of the higher-end dress watches, but it is rather lovely, and it is really a pleasure to wear. And like all Tissot watches, you get excellent value for the money.
For more information, please visit www.tissotwatches.com.