While MONOCHROME is more on the higher-end side of the watch industry, we also know that not all readers and watch enthusiasts can afford a Breguet or an Omega. This is why we’ve created a section called “Value Proposition,” where we feature watches that we believe are great value for the money. Apart from microbrands, when it comes to proper Swiss-made pieces, there’s one brand that shouldn’t be overlooked; Tissot. And today we’ll review what we think is one of the best quality-price ratios now available on the market, and altogether a great all-rounder watch, the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium. Basically, the perfect watch to step foot in the world of mechanical watchmaking.
Let’s first remove from the equation the hardcore watch enthusiast or seasoned collector, those who own multiple watches and have this ability to change depending on the activity or attire. So then, what does a man need from his watch? – and when we say his watch, it means his one and only watch. Precision of timekeeping, proven reliability, robustness, versatility (the ability to be worn in business attire or during weekends), and timelessness, so his watch won’t go out of style soon. There are multiple luxury options for that, such as the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra or the Rolex Datejust. When it comes to finding the one watch that will follow you every day, everywhere, we think that the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 makes a very appropriate alternative in the 500-1,000-euro range. And additionally, this also makes this watch a great option for a young man’s first mechanical watch.
Tissot has a long tradition of reliable, greatly executed watches. Being part of the Swatch Group, and despite a lower price range, these watches benefit from superior industrial tools and quality standards. Recently, the brand even started to become innovative and positioned itself higher than the competition mechanically-speaking, with upgraded automatic movements. So let’s find more about the Tissot Gentleman, and what makes it a great “value proposition” watch.
Design and case
Design-wise, the Tissot Gentleman is a classic watch, relying on codes seen for instance on the Aqua Terra or the Datejust. By that, we mean a watch with modern proportions, sleek design and, mostly, this essential all-rounder, multi-purpose and versatile style that is needed in an everyday watch. Not too fancy or formal so it can be used on weekends, not too sporty either so it can be worn at the office. It might not be the most original design we’ve seen, however, it is a very effective one. Modern yet classic.
The case measures 40mm in diameter and 11mm in height, making this watch relatively compact on the wrist. The sleek look, with a smooth polished bezel and some presence, adds to the robustness of the watch, as well as its discretion. The case, as you can expect from a watch produced by the Swatch Group, feels solid and perfectly adjusted. The execution is above suspicion and the overall quality is impressive regarding the price. Never the watch felt poorly assembled or flimsy, as it is the case with some sub-1K watches we sometimes review. Here, and I’m used to seeing watches from much higher price ranges, Tissot has done a superb job on perceived quality.
The case is also nicely decorated and finished, with a combination of brushed surfaces and polished accents. For instance, the side of the lugs is highlighted by a nice polished bevel, while the casebands are brushed. The watch is also suitable for leisure activities since water-resistance is rated at 100m and the dial is protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
Note that there are multiple options to choose from. Steel or two-tone steel-and-gold, different dial colours and the option for steel bracelet or leather strap.
Dial and display
For this review, we went for a blue dial with a sun-ray brushed pattern. This model in steel on a steel bracelet is also available with a black or a silver dial. The colour is elegant, not too saturated and the brushed pattern provides a slight dosage of originality, the colour changing depending on the ambient light. Once again, nothing eccentric but a very effective choice.
Looking closely at the elements of the dial, you’ll notice that it features applied indexes that are rather nicely finished. They are silver-coloured and executed with two different surfaces, being faceted with polished bevels and satin-brushed on the top surface. In the same vein, the polished Dauphine hands are faceted and provide a great contrast with the dial, in most light conditions. The dial also features a sufficient amount of luminescent material, both on the hands and next to the hour markers. Final detail, the date is framed by a metallic applique, adding to the elegance of the watch. For once, the presence of a date feels justified, considering the daily vocation of this watch.
While the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 can be ordered with a leather strap, the option of a stainless steel bracelet remains, in our opinion, the best possible choice here – and a leather strap could easily be added later. As the rest of the watch, the design is classic, with a 3-link profile combining polished centre link and brushed surfaces. Overall, it complements the case and feels well integrated into the overall design.
As for the construction itself, it is just like the rest of the watch… solid, precise, robust. Here, we’re talking solid links and end-links, and concealed fold-over stainless steel clasp with safety push-buttons. And while the steel bracelet adds to the weight of the watch (about 160 grams), it is also balanced and comfortable to the skin.
At the heart of the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is not just a standard ETA automatic movement. Since a few years, the Swatch Group has deployed an impressive strategy for upgraded automatic movements, in order to give its watches a serious competitive advantage. This has been seen with Omega and its Master Chronometer movements, at Longines with its proprietary calibres but also in the most accessible ranges, at Hamilton, Mido, Certina or Tissot.
As indicated by its name, this watch features the calibre Powermatic 80, a movement that we’ve explored in details here. The idea was to start from the Swiss industry’s best-known movement, the ETA 2824-2, and to improve its chronometry, its reliability, its efficiency and its comfort. Most of the critical parts (kinetic chain and regulating organ) have been improved, resulting in this Powermatic 80 movement.
In the case of the Tissot Gentleman, this means a movement with 80-hour power reserve (more than doubled compared to a 2824), obtained thanks to a revised frequency of 3Hz and a stronger mainspring. Also, it is equipped with a silicon balance spring, giving the Gentleman some anti-magnetic properties – and knowing that magnetism is the largest cause of after-sale operations, this isn’t a small detail. Altogether, this gives the Tissot an impressive advantage compared to most watches in this price range.
The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is not a watch for seasoned collectors. And that not what we’re asking it anyway. This Tissot has a different vocation; being a great all-rounder, a perfect accessible daily-wearer for someone with a tight budget, or your entry-point to the world of mechanical watches. And this instance, it really succeeds. The overall quality and execution are excellent considering the price, and the movement is packed with modern features to suit a modern, active lifestyle. Finally, the watch is designed in a classic way, so it won’t go out of style soon.
The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is all you can expect from an accessible daily-beater, and some more. It will perform well everywhere, every day, in any circumstance. And this is exactly what we’re asking this watch. All in all, it makes a great alternative if you are looking for your one and only watch and want to move to mechanical. And because the festive season is coming, it’s also something to consider as a gift for a first mechanical watch, for a young adult, your husband or even for yourself.
Availability & Price
The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium, as presented here with blue dial and stainless steel bracelet (ref. T127.407.11.041.00) retails for EUR 840 or USD 775. It is now available from retailers or from Tissot’s online boutique here.
The collection also includes quartz alternatives (from EUR 350) and automatic models on leather strap (from EUR 780). More details at tissotwatches.com.