Tissot Updates Its Racing-Inspired PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph (Live Pics & Price)
Large and bold, with motorsport design, the PRS 516 comes back with fresh looks.
The PRS 516 is one of the most enduring collections of Tissot, having been introduced first in 1965, following the needs for racing drivers to have a reliable and legible watch. We have then seen multiple watches bearing this name, and the collection is still an important pillar in the collection. Modern PRS 516 watches are clearly not playing on the vintage side of things, with large and sporty designs, yet stay true to the original inspiration of motorsport. This year, the PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph is going under a serious update, with fresh new looks that greatly differ from what we’ve been used to see in the past.
Tissot has a long tradition of sports timing and, as such, racing has long been a topic of choice for the brand. Since 1965 and the introduction of the original PRS 516, the brand has a watch to answer the needs of gentleman drivers. Up until now, the watch was available with an automatic chronograph and a rather modern, pretty unique look with patterned dial – as we’ve seen in the hands-on article published in 2015. Without changing entirely the concept, the Tissot PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph will be rather drastically redesigned for 2022, with 2 new versions added to the collection.
The basics of the PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph are kept for most of the watch. What you see here today is a watch where most of the elements have been thoroughly re-designed. But not renewed entirely. For instance, the case has been retained. This means a fairly large watch of 45mm in diameter – and even though the lugs are quite short and curved, there’s no hiding the presence of the watch on the wrist.
Considering the price range at which this watch is offered, the execution is pretty pleasant. The case, mostly brushed, has nice polished bevels on the sides of the lugs. Also, it is topped by a ceramic bezel, with brushed surfaces on top, and a tachymeter scale engraved, later filled with white lacquer. The oversized pushers have been redesigned too, and are now cleaner. All in all, this results in a more modern, sleeker look, yet still with an imposing presence. Also, the watch carries pleasant water resistance, as rated at 100m.
What changes most for the new PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph is the dial. Available in two editions, one classic black and a more modern blue with black counters, the dial has been simplified and modernized too. We now have a clear railroad minute track on the periphery and large stylized Arabic numerals. The dials are sunray-brushed and offer great contrast. The white hands, filled with Super-LumiNova (just like the numerals) are super-legible too and all the chronograph indications are picked up in red, which makes them easy to spot and also brings a cool motorsport touch to the watch. The display is a classic bi-compax layout with small seconds at 9 o’clock and 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. A date is placed at 6 o’clock and is relatively well integrated.
Under the see-through caseback is a well-known movement, the calibre ETA Valjoux A05.H31. An evolution of the classic 7753 architecture, it manages to store up to 60 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The cam/level automatic chronograph is decorated with perlage and a grey-coated openworked rotor.
Depending on the dial colour, the Tissot PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph is worn either on a perforated leather strap – for the blue version reference T131.627.11.052.00 – or a stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp – for the black dial reference T131.627.16.042.00. The price is announced as of EUR 1,560 (excl. taxes).
Note that the brand is also releasing a 3-hand version, the PRS 516 Powermatic, with a 42mm case, equipped with the Powermatic 80 movement. For more details, please visit the brand’s website www.tissotwatches.com.