Monochrome Watches
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The Vintage-Inspired Tissot Heritage 1938 Collection

Following an attractive Telemeter chronograph watch, Tissot expands its Heritage 1938 Collection with smaller, simpler models.

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |
Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer and Small Seconds 2023

If the highly successful PRX collection is in everybody’s minds these days, Tissot has much more to offer than these (objectively cool) 1970s-inspired watches with integrated design. Looking back at the 2022 collection, the Le Locle-based brand surprised us with a highly attractive chronograph inspired by the past, the Tissot Telemeter 1938. With its vintage design, cool dial with multiple scales, and handsome combinations of colours (the black-gilt edition is truly special), it made quite a sensation. Now, the brand adds 3 new models in what now becomes a collection, with the Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer watches, and the Tissot Heritage Small Seconds 1938. And yes, they are lovely little watches too!

Tissot Telemeter 1938 Chronograph Heritage Collection
The Tissot Telemeter 1938 that launched the collection in 2022

The Tissot Heritage 1938 was originally designed as a multi-scale chronograph watch paying tribute to 1930s sports watches made by the Le Locle-based brand. In fact, it was modelled after a watch designed for its first engagement as an official timekeeper in 1938 where they timed a series of Ski races in Villar, near the company’s home town in the Jura mountains. A handsome watch with 2 dial options (silver or black), it was meant to be a modern watch with retro design, not a pure re-edition of the past. As such, it is a rather large timepiece (42mm), with an upgraded automatic 7750 inside. This year, there are 3 new models to discover. Simpler, more accessible, more compact too… and very attractive indeed.

The Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer

First is a couple of time-only watches that are powered by automatic movements… But not only we’re, for once, not talking about a Powermatic engine, but they are also focussed on precision. These two models come in a fairly compact case made of brushed and polished stainless steel, with a versatile 39mm diameter and a reasonable height of 11mm. The overall shape is typical of classic watches of the pre-WWII era, with a slight Calatrava inspiration. The slim polished bezel frames a modern domed sapphire crystal and the back also comes with a see-through crystal. Water-resistance is decent, rated at 50m. A small but nice onion crown sits at 3 o’clock. Simple, elegant-ish and just about right.

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Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer Salmon Dial T142.464.16.332.00

The dial is what matters. Following the Telemeter 1938, these two Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer sticks the same codes with Arabic numerals and thin glaive hands. Nice elements of design are to be seen all around, such as the historic Tissot logo and the railroad minute track on the periphery. I’m not so sure about the “chronometre” mention but it somehow had to be there. It could maybe have been smaller… Two versions of the Heritage 1938 Chronometer are released, one with a cool matte salmon dial with black numerals and hands, the other with a patina-like black dial with faux-aged lume and gold-coloured hands and logos.

Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer Black Dial T142.464.16.062.00

Inside the case is one of the most classic movements ever created, an automatic ETA 2824. This 4hz calibre stores 38 hours of power reserve but, despite storing less energy than the Powermatic, it features a more traditional construction and is here presented in a precise chronometer-rated version. The view through the back is that of a standard finished engine.


Worn on a grey (salmon dial, reference T142.464.16.332.00) or brown (black dial, reference T142.464.16.062.00) leather strap with a steel pin buckle, these two new Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer are now available and priced at EUR 875… Not bad for a chronometer automatic watch.

Quick facts: 39mm x 11.1mm – steel case, sapphire crystal, see-through caseback, 50m water-resistant – matte salmon or black-gilt dial, time-only display – ETA 2824-2, Chronometer certified, automatic, 4Hz frequency, 38h power reserve – leather strap on pin buckle – EUR 875

The Tissot Heritage Small Second 1938

While sharing most of the design elements of the two aforementioned models, the Heritage Small Second 1938 offers a slightly more modern take on the concept, as well as a more striking, more contrasted design. The case is also measuring 39mm in diameter, with the same slim polished bezel and brushed lugs, but comes thinner at 9.8mm. It also retains a domed sapphire crystal, a see-through back, a rounded crown and a decent 50m water-resistance.

Tissot Heritage Small Seconds 1938 T142.428.11.082.00

What changes is the display, which here integrates two additional functions; a small seconds at 6 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock. In order to differentiate it from the two classic models above, this small second version comes with a grained dark grey dial full of contrasting elements; the sub-counter, the date disc and the railroad minute track are silver-coloured while the hands and the numerals are gold-toned (the latter being embossed in positive relief, just like the logo). Adding to the more striking look is a steel Milanese mesh bracelet, with an additional grey leather strap also included in the box, and both feature quick-release spring bars.

Tissot Heritage Small Seconds 1938 T142.428.11.082.00

Inside the case is a well-known movement, the calibre ETA 2895-2, a small-second version of the 2892. With 27 jewels, a 4Hz frequency and a 42h power reserve, it is a reliable, thin and precise movement, also presented in this model in a chronometer-rated version. The Tissot Heritage Small Second 1938 (reference T142.428.11.082.00) is now available at EUR 1,045.

Tissot Heritage Small Seconds 1938 T142.428.11.082.00

Quick facts: 39mm x 9.8mm – steel case, sapphire crystal, see-through caseback, 50m water-resistant – grained dark grey dial with silver and gold-toned accents, central HM, small seconds, date display – ETA 2895-2, Chronometer certified, automatic, 4Hz frequency, 42h power reserve – steel mesh bracelet and grey leather strap included – EUR 1,045

For more details and online orders, please visit

09/11/2023 - update regarding the chronometer certification of the small seconds model - update regarding the price

14 responses

  1. Very glad to see a new watch with ETA-2824 and ETA-2895 movements in chronometer grade. Even more the price of both models is surprising low, much appreciated!!

  2. Huh. So, why 2824s, not Powermatic 80s? Dimensions are the same. Powermatic 80s are available, in both the ‘standard’ version, and the silicon hairspring version (the Gentleman Silicium). Chronometer cert? Mido offers 38 variants in the Commander, Multifort, Baroncelli, and Ocean Star lines, that are chronometer certified.

    I can only think of one reason: Tissot isn’t allowed to be too good. They’re *deliberately* less than they could (and arguably should) be. The PRX autos? Why not the 800-series, with the silicon hairsprings? Those with the 800 series have BORING dials, rather than something like these, or the tapisserie on the PRXs. The Tissot Excellence line has gold cases…list prices $2300 or $2900 (ladies’ size vs. men’s size). Quartz movement…ok…but it’s the same LOW END movement they include in the Everytime line, which lists for 1/10th the price. And which can be found online for all of $24. Why not a PreciDrive??? Hey, they even have PreciDrives in the SeaStar quartz.

    Tissot always, always, ALWAYS forces compromises onto what could be their best watches, for seemingly NO good reason other than ensuring they don’t clash with the Group’s other, ‘better’ brands. Few of these compromises make that much sense, either…the 800-series Powermatics aren’t that much more than the 100-series. The Excellence using an entry-level quartz is totally baffling; the PreciDrive premium is TINY. Look at Certina’s PreciDrive models, they’re not at all expensive, for full watches, much less just as a movement upgrade.

    Mind…I have 4, all told, now. A Ballade, an older, hard to find pocket watch, and both sizes of the Powermatic PRX now. But it’s still ANNOYING!!!

  3. DIE TISSOT HERITAGE SMALL SECOND 1938 COSC so wird sie im Katalog angepriesen und die Rückfrage bei Tissot ergibt, dass auch hier dieses zertifizierte Werk verbaut ist und die Prüfunterlagen sind beigefügt.
    Schöne Grüße aus ganz kurz vor den Bergen

  4. @CraigLewis I don’t think that the powermatic is a big improvement over the 2824. In fact, I prefer the later for the ease of regulation (I have regulated all my eta and sellita movements with great results. It’s really easy to do on the 2824 design). The longer power reserve is an overrated plus IMO. In real life, if you rotate through watches in your collection it doesn’t serve much. Also, on low end movements such as the powermatic or the 6r35 the stability of the accuracy decreases a lot when you pass 60% of the power reserve. I’ve experienced it with an Halilton Murph 38 and an spb147. If you let them run all the way of their power reserve the warches are multiple minutes of the correct time and need a reset. Longer power reserve works with highend movement capable of good accuracy. Multiple brands use a twin barrel system to compensate the lost of stability in the accuracy (Omega with a 60hr pr, Grand Seiko with a 80hr pr, Oris with a 120hr pr, etc.). But then again, I don’t think it’s a real advantage when you have multiple watches which is the case with most enthusiasts.
    I really like these Tissot. They remind me of the original Visodate. I find them really stylish, with great proportions and a great movement that is chronometer. The price seems fair. It’s a win for me.

  5. All nice watches and running at 28,800 is an advantage but the old Tissot logo may be more historically valid but is truly awful

  6. Good job Tissot! At the moment, Tissot and Longines seem to be leading the upper tier Swatch brands in the design stakes. Why don’t we get this sort of thing from Blancpain or Omega? I’m very glad to see such honest, well designed watches coming to market, making use of the tried and true 2824. All at a very egalitarian price – so important in the current climate of greedflation. But, of course, there’s nits to pick: indeed, that ‘chronometre’ text seems a bit heavy handed and I’d have been even more enamoured with a hand-wind ETA. But I get that the market wants auto and even 39mm is a brave move away from the ubiquitous ‘I don’t really understand millimetres, but I can remember a round number’ 40!

  7. Lovely watches.
    Does the black dial have lume on the Arabic numerals? It seems like a sunken sandwich type dial with lumed numerals but then the hands don’t seem to have lume…its just something I would like to know more about if someone can clarify, please.

  8. Completely disagree in regards to using the Powermatic 80, its not a superior movement at all. I’ll gladly take the eta over it, every day! The Powermatic 80 is SO overrated, so what, 80hr pr, who cares! The small seconds is pretty slick looking and the price isn’t bad either. Another slick release from Tissot imo!

  9. Some really stupid comments here! The Powermatic movement is identical to the 2824-2 except for two things: it has an 80 hour power reserve (yeah right) and it cannot be fine tuned for accuracy (bad, very bad). My experience with the Powermatic has been mixed – Hamiltons and Midos have usually been pretty accurate, whilst Tissots and Certinas have often not been. No idea why. But at the end of the day the Powermatic is a gimmick, nothing more. A movement for quartz fans who are too lazy to wind up their watches. These new Tissot releases are very attractive, especially the salmon dial one, and the prices within the reach of most mechanical watch enthusiasts. I’ll take a COSC 2824-2 over a Powermatic every day of the week.

  10. Phill, I love the vintage Tissot logo. From graphic design point of view it looks really good. These watches would look truly ridiculous with new logo.

  11. I do agree that salmon dial is the trend to go for as it give a strong vintage vibe.
    However I do that the salmon dial deserve a small second hand version as well as similar to its close rival Longines Master Collection Small Seconds at a relatively similar price point with a Engraved Dial and a better movement.
    Hmmmm….. I think I will take that for sure.
    We will be also writing to cover these two watches very soon as they both carry such a nice vintage inspired vibes which we always adore!!

  12. One the Tissot website the small seconds version is listed as COSC certified but in the article above they it isn’t so which is true?

  13. @Laszlo – we have confirmation that the Small-Seconds version is also COSC-certified, which wasn’t the case when the watch was first presented. It’s price is also 1045, not 1025. The article has been updated accordingly.

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