In the much-contested luxury sports watch category, there are two main contenders: on the one hand, there are the elusive heavyweight contestants with exorbitant prices, and on the other, catering to a far larger demographic, is an over-saturated sector vying for its share of the pie with aggressive prices. Separating the wheat from the chaff, it is reassuring to discover that a good number of rock-solid brands offer well-built, well-designed, mechanically powered sports watches at budget prices. Tissot is undoubtedly one of these, and with the launch of its PRX Powermatic 80 in 2021, it’s fair to say that the Swiss brand has hit a home run. First introduced in a 40mm case size, the watch community’s loud clamours for a more compact model did not fall on deaf ears, and Tissot responded with the PRX Powermatic 80 35mm in June 2023. Today, fans of the PRX are in for a treat as Tissot unveils a hot new version in a yellow gold PVD case delivering the golden Midas touch without the sting.
Tissot didn’t have to look far for inspiration for the sporty PRX (Precise, Robust and X for the 10 bar water resistance). Leaning heavily on the design of its quartz-powered 1978 Seastar model, the 2021 PRX collection inherited features like the slender, barrel-shaped case, the raised bezel, the sharp facets and the integrated bracelet, smartly ticking all the luxury sports watch requisites. Initially offered with a quartz movement, a mechanical PRX Powermatic 80 edition followed.
While the reception of the PRX 40mm could not have been warmer and the Ice-Blue PRX Powermatic 80 dial has quickly become a smash hit, the (real) 51mm lug-to-lug measurement put some potential customers off. Responding to clamours for a smaller PRX, Tissot released a 35mm PRX with a fluted gold bezel, a sunray-brushed dial and diamond indices. As Robin pointed out in his article, the feminine-styled 35mm watch was not quite what the watch community wanted, but it was getting closer. And then, about two months ago, prayers were answered with a unisex PRX Powermatic 80 35mm. Available in four dial colours, including a much-demanded white mother-of-pearl version, the family expands today with the introduction of this gold PVD version.
Although it shares the same specs as the other 35mm PRX models, this new yellow-gold PVD version is going to attract a lot of attention. If you watched Robin’s video and read his article, you will know that downsizing a watch from 40mm to 35mm might sound simple but requires an entire redesign to get the dimensions and proportions just right. Judging by the success of the more compact models, Tissot has succeeded in this task.
The 100m water-resistant gold PVD case has a height of 11.3mm and a lug-to-lug measurement of 44.9mm, including the non-articulating first link. Even the bracelet, with its quick-release spring bars, has been reduced and tapers gently from 24.1mm at the case to 16mm at the butterfly folding clasp. Like other PRX models, the finishings are attractive, with a profusion of sporty brushed surfaces and sharp polished bevels. To give you a better feel for how the watch wears larger than the specs would indicate, the photos are taken on Robin’s large 18.5 -19cm wrist.
The raised bezel is also polished, attracting the light and gaze to the embossed waffle-like tapisserie dial. No prizes for the originality of the pattern, but it does add depth and visual interest to the dial. The elongated hour indices are also golden and treated with a thin strip of Super-LumiNova matching the simple baton-style hour and minute hands. Incorporating a date window means that the hour index at 3 o’clock has been truncated. For enhanced contrast, the inscriptions on the dial, the minute markers and the bevelled frame of the date window are black.
Visible through the exhibition caseback is Swatch Group’s entry-level Powermatic 80, a modified ETA 2824 automatic with a reworked escapement and gear train for an extended power reserve of 80h. Beating at a 3Hz frequency, it is equipped with an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring.
The integrated and tapering gold PVD bracelet is brushed with polished accents and features two half-links at the clasp to adjust the length of the bracelet, not to be confused with a micro-adjustment. With the launch of this new golden PRX, Tissot has pulled off another winner. Although it is slightly more expensive than the ‘regular’ PRXs, you are still getting the cool golden looks of a 1970s-inspired sports watch with an integrated bracelet, a funky waffle dial and a resilient movement for under EUR 900.
The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 35mm retails for EUR 875. Hurry now to place your order because I have a feeling this yellow-gold model is fitted with wings! More information at tissotwatches.com.