Hands-On With The Revamped Tissot Chemin Des Tourelles Collection
Tissot has been making waves over the past two years with the PRX series. As some of you might know, I own a PRX Powermatic 80, and I love that watch. In my opinion, it is easily the best watch for less than €1,000. But despite the great success of the PRX collection, the brand is definitely not a one-trick pony. With the Seastar and Gentleman collections, Tissot has two more modern lines that offer stylish daily wearers that will not break the bank. The Heritage collection offers timepieces that are great homages to classic Tissot pieces. And when it comes to the more classically styled watches, Tissot offers multiple options. One of them is the Chemin des Tourelles collection. Tissot recently updated this line and offers the models in multiple sizes with an array of dial colors, so there is something for everyone. Time to check them out.
The Chemin des Tourelles might not be the first collection that comes to mind when you think about Tissot. Most watch fans are interested in the brand’s PRX, Seastar, and Heritage collections. Nevertheless, it is one of the oldest lines in the Tissot catalog. The watches get their name from the street where the original Tissot factory was established in 1907. This classically styled collection has now gotten a stylish update of its design and movements. The update results in a series with great mass appeal for anyone looking for a vintage-inspired daily watch with a refined and elegant appearance. Compared to the previous series, the new update ensures the Chemin des Tourelles collection meets modern design and technology standards.
The new Chemin des Tourelles collection
The updated Chemin des Tourelles collection is targeted at both men and women. These watches come in three different sizes — 34mm, 39mm, and 42mm. With brightly colored straps and more playful dials, the 34mm models are clearly targeted at women. The 39mm models are a great fit for both men and women, while the 42mm models will, most likely, speak to men with larger wrists. Having said that, there is a 34mm version with a silver dial on a bracelet that could be a perfect fit for men with a smaller wrist size. So it’s definitely a case of Tissot offering a series with something for everyone.
The new collection consists of a total of 15 references. It starts with a new case shape for all sizes. These three cases have been redesigned and have shorter, slimmer lugs. Their curvy profile is accentuated by a domed bezel and sapphire crystal. The sides of the cases all feature a brushed upper half and a polished lower half for some additional refinement and depth. The 34mm case measures 10.5mm thick and 18mm between the lugs. For the 39mm case, those measurements increase to 11.2mm and 20mm respectively, while the 42mm version has an 11.3mm thickness and a 22mm lug spacing. All the cases have a 50m water resistance rating and are offered in plain stainless steel (pictured here), two-tone (steel and PVD rose gold), or with full PVD rose gold plating. Overall, the cases bring elegance and refinement and feel very balanced.
The new Chemin des Tourelles dials
Tissot has also updated the dial designs. The standard sunray dials feature a curved profile with the periphery of the dials slightly sloping down. The baton hour markers also slope down at the edges. Additionally, the hands have been updated from baton hands to more characteristic lance hands. The basic colors are silver, dark gray, green, blue, and ivory.
Unfortunately, not every color is available in every size, but I would not be surprised if that eventually changes. An example is the beautiful ivory dial, which is only available in the 42mm case. That would definitely be a hit in the 39mm version too. And more dials deserve to be available in different sizes, so I imagine that Tissot will indeed expand the collection.
Another dial variant features a central sunray portion surrounded by a brushed minute track. Encircling that is a sector with a Clous de Paris pattern and a mix of Roman numerals and baton indices. This dial style is available in the 34mm and 39mm case sizes, and it comes in blue and silver. To me, this dial variant is more classic than the standard dial. Lastly, a special dial for the 34mm case comes with a mother-of-pearl center. Overall, the dial variants are definitely a family connected by the colors, the sunray effect, and, of course, the case design.
The familiar Powermatic 80 movement
If you turn the watches around, you will see the movement clearly through the display case back. All the different sizes are powered by the same Tissot Powermatic 80.111 movement. The Powermatic 80 is a shared Swatch Group movement that many brands use for their accessible offerings. Tissot uses it for a variety of watches in its catalog, including the PRX and Gentleman collections.
But compared to these two collections, the version that powers this Chemin des Tourelles collection is finished slightly differently. To be more specific, the rotor is a bit different, with two small cutouts and a less elaborate finish. The automatic movement operates at 21,600vph, has a date at 6 o’clock, and provides an 80-hour power reserve. It has proven to be a reliable movement for the Swatch Group brands like Tissot, Mido, Certina, and Hamilton. This latest version of the movement also now comes with an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring.
A variety of strap and bracelet options
The new Chemin des Tourelles models are offered with either leather straps or a five-link stainless steel bracelet. This bracelet gives the watches a classic presence that links back to some of the great watches of the 1950s and ’60s. The overall quality of the bracelet is decent, but it is nowhere near the level of quality of the PRX bracelet, unfortunately.
Whether that is due to the brilliance of the PRX’s bracelet or the underwhelming quality of this new bracelet is a good question. However, I must admit that once on the wrist, the stainless steel bracelets for these watches wear very nicely. They wrap nicely around the wrist and balance out the watches perfectly. The second option is a leather strap with a butterfly clasp that comes with a majority of the new models. As mentioned, some of the 34mm models feature bright leather straps, whereas the 39mm and 42mm versions come with more subdued, brown, black, and dark blue straps.
Wearing the Tissot Chemin des Tourelles
After trying all three models, it came as no surprise to me that 39mm felt like the perfect size for the men’s versions. The 42mm design has good proportions but felt slightly too big for a dressy watch like the Chemin des Tourelles. However, the 42mm version in steel with the ivory dial with gold-colored hands and indices and the brown strap is my favorite and should definitely be made available in 39mm too. I believe that version has the perfect vintage appeal and will surely be the most appealing to a wide audience.
On the wrist, these watches all wear like a charm. With their updated slim profiles, they make for great everyday wearers inspired by classic timepieces from the past. But with that comes its risks. The watches are nicely made and have gotten some great updates, but the standard-dial versions can come across as somewhat generic. Having said that, all of the Tissot Chemin des Tourelles models feel very comfortable in their familiarity. On top of that, they combine it with a reliable, modern movement to create a great series for a wide variety of people. A Chemin des Tourelles would make for a great first nice watch or an outstanding affordable daily “dressy” watch.
Final thoughts on the new Tissot Chemin des Tourelles collection
Overall, I think Tissot did a good job updating its Chemin des Tourelles series. While these watches most likely won’t be a hardcore fan’s first pick, they offer a great total package for a mainstream audience, especially if you consider the prices. All three sizes of the stainless steel models come in at €825 on a leather strap and €895 on a bracelet. For that money, you get a watch that ticks a lot of boxes.
On top of that, the new Chemin des Tourelles collection is a great reminder of the variety of watches that Tissot offers. The brand has the history to back that wide variety up with some great stories and references from the past. And the combination of a good product with a compelling story makes Tissot a great brand for a wide variety of buyers. That’s why I have no doubts that this updated Chemin des Tourelles collection will find its way to the right customers in no time.
For more information, visit the official Tissot website.