First released in early 2021 with quartz movements, followed by a highly anticipated automatic model in mid-2021, the Tissot PRX has been an immense success for Tissot, which managed with this watch to captivate the growing interest in sporty-chic watches with integrated bracelets, at a fair price. First released with classic full-steel cases and expected blue or blue dials, it now comes back in a more luxurious edition that integrates solid gold, a new bezel design, and a dial that gets rid of the slightly controversial waffle texture. Here’s the new Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Steel & Gold, and if the price is nothing extravagant, it still draws a few questions as to its relevance…
The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 is, without a doubt, one of the most successful launches of the year for Tissot – well, to be fair, the main highlight of 2021, and probably for both the brand and the category of affordable Swiss watches. No doubt, it made some noise when presented and has given the brand quite some visibility. Arguably, this is a great watch, even though some will find flaws in the size of the case – to us 40mm remains very acceptable – or in the presence of synthetic parts in its automatic movement. But, overall, there’s a lot to love in the PRX, especially for the price.
Design-wise, the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 – or any PRX for that matter – is a typical 1970s-inspired watch, using a historic model as a base and refreshing the style slightly to make it a hit of the 2020s. The 40mm case has a classic barrel shape, is faceted and vertically brushed, and it’s combined with a well-integrated steel bracelet that flows into the design. Specifications are also appreciable, with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, a see-through caseback, and a 100m water-resistance. The execution is, when having the price in mind, very satisfying with precise manufacturing of the case and bracelet, good level of details on the dial, a bracelet that doesn’t disappoint. Sure, it doesn’t have micro-adjustment, but keep in mind that the PRX retails at EUR 350 with quartz movement and EUR 650 with automatic movement. Yet, it still features a cool interchangeability system.
Following the two classic blue or black stainless steel models, both with a waffle pattern on the dial, as well as a silver model with PVD-gold coated accents on the bezel and the dial, the brand has decided to bring the present watch, a more luxurious take on the PRX Powermatic 80, which integrates gold as well as a few design updates. While the base remains identical, this new version adds a fluted bezel made of solid 18k rose gold. So less of a RO inspiration here, maybe more of an Oysterquartz vibe…
To complement this less sporty feel brought by the material and the design of the bezel, the dial has been updated and is now showing a sunray-brushed pattern and gold-coloured hands, applied makers, and date window frame. Overall, there’s a certain outdated cool factor, quite the 1980s look if you ask me. Not sure I like it, but still it feels in line with current trends. Inside the case is the same calibre Powermatic 80.111. A strong evolution of the ETA 2824, this movement is used by the Swatch Group in most of its entry-level brands and offers a solid 80h power reserve and antimagnetic properties thanks to the Nivachron balance spring. Two elements that make it an interesting movement.
This Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Steel & Gold (ref. T931.407.41.291.00) is worn on the same integrated steel bracelet as the classic versions. It is now available from the brand’s website and from retailers.
And now comes the question of the price… At EUR 1,950 (incl. taxes) or USD 1,850 (excl. taxes), it feels rather acceptable for a watch that integrates a solid gold bezel with a fluted pattern. But, problem is that the full steel version retails for EUR 650. Meaning that a gold bezel makes the watch 3 times more expensive. I’m not questioning here the relevance of the price itself, since gold is an expensive material (especially these days…). Even if the bezel weighs 10 grams, it means about 500 euros of raw material, before manufacturing and margins. What I’m questioning really is the relevance of this watch, at this price within the rest of the collection… What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
For more details, please visit www.tissotwatches.com.