Tissot started out with a 40mm size PRX, and it was good. Then came more colour variants, and they were good. After that came luxurious fluted gold bezels, and they were pricey but still good. This was followed by a PRX Chronograph, which was very good! But then… nothing? Ever since Tissot launched the incredible platform that is the PRX, there has been a public outcry to introduce a smaller, more compact mechanical version, next to the smaller quartz-powered model. And it’s finally here! Albeit not exactly how any of us might have expected it to be, since it comes with a gold bezel and diamond-studded dial. So what gives Tissot? Why won’t you give us what we all want… A classic-looking PRX Automatic 35mm with a waffle-like dial.
The Tissot PRX is a smash-hit for sure, as it combines that cool 1970s retro vibe with all the key elements of a really good luxury sports watch with integrated design. And it does so at an impossible-to-ignore price point, and with a properly good movement to back it all up. Basically, the PRX is a reissue of a design from 1978, albeit the original one came with a quartz movement only. And I am well aware of the fact the mechanical 35mm PRX has been confirmed quite some time ago, but it seems to be taking forever to materialise.
Introduced about 18 months ago, the PRX showed a similar angular-shaped case with a flat middle case and angled lugs, topped with a prominent bezel and fitted to an integrated steel bracelet. It surely ticked a lot of boxes for a lot of people, but the main “complaint” we heard was the fact the 40mm wide PRX actually wore bigger than it seemed on paper. This is the natural tendency of watches built around these design principles, as the angled lugs don’t allow for any flexibility as you would have with a leather, rubber or textile strap. So how to fix this?
Tissot already presented the perfect solution to this with the initial release of the PRX! From day one, there has been a quartz-powered 35mm PRX available and that seems to solve the issue most people have with the 40mm PRX. And to make things even better, it would tie right in with the push towards smaller, more vintage-like sizes. Surely the simple answer would be to shrink down the PRX Powermatic 80 to this smaller size, right? Well, Tissot has listened to us all, sort of.
Tissot has quietly released the first mechanical variant of the 35mm PRX, but not in the way you and I expected! Instead of simply downsizing the existing designs, Tissot chose to fit the first-ever mechanical PRX 35mm with a fluted 18k gold bezel and a diamond-studded dial. It still comes with that delightfully honest retro-vibe and more than decent specs all around. The contrast between the case and bezel is nice, and I even see myself wearing that combination, if the silver sunray-brushed dial wouldn’t be set with rows of diamonds for the hour markers.
There’s no apparent issue in size or case construction regarding the movement, as this new PRX 35mm comes with the same Powermatic 80 engine as its bigger brother. There’s also no issue regarding the overall design as we know the 35mm works brilliantly from the quartz-powered PRX 35mm. One initial difference between the quartz and mechanical PRX has been the finishing of the dial, with a waffle-like tapisserie pattern for the mechanical ones and a sunray brushed for the 35mm ones. But with the introduction of the 18k gold fluted bezels in the bigger size, that went out the window as well!
And I don’t want to be negative about the watch, as it still looks every bit as good as it did in the 40mm size, but it does leave me scratching my head a little. This quite feminine-looking PRX 35mm will likely sell quite well, but why not make a simpler, slightly more unisex model as well? Why not present it as a his-and-hers set at least, one with diamonds and the other without them? They’d even be well in time for the Holiday Season, a time when plenty of people will be fitting a watch to their better half. It’s simply astounding, and to be honest I really don’t understand the decision to procrastinate the release of what is surely the next big-selling chapter in the already legacy created with the PRX. So, again, what gives Tissot? We’re all eagerly awaiting to welcome the full 35mm Automatic range with open arms!
For more information on the Tissot PRX 35mm Automatic with fluted 18k gold bezel and diamond-set dial, please visit Tissotwatches.com.