Tissot created its golden ticket to success with the PRX, a watch that was a godsend to enthusiasts. That sounds overstated, but think about it. When the Le Locle brand dropped the bomb, the market was (and still is) saturated with vintage divers for every budget. Retro is still hot, but what about the hallowed category of the Integrated Bracelet? From celebs to truck drivers, everyone lusts after a taste of the Genta magic, but the watches are grail-worthy for a few reasons — their design, exclusivity, and big-ticket prices. Now IFL Watches gives us bespoke dial art with a difference.

A bona fide integrated bracelet will have the center link (or part of it) integrated into the case end, which is lug-less. This engineering and the tight tolerances required are either very costly or need a volume manufacturer like the Swatch Group to make it for less than €1,000. I’d even say that less than €2K is a challenge, but here we are. The trend is still strong, and the PRX range now offers no less than 30 references, from quartz cool to beefy chronographs. But Swedish retailer IFL Watches and its Creative Director Chris Alexander, aka @thedialartist, had other ideas: turning up the grail desire with the help of unique dial art for each watch.

IFL Watches

My first impression

I’ve been a big fan of the PRX since the launch, both the slim quartz model and the larger Powermatic 80. Yes, I’m one of many Genta fans without the wallet for an RO or Nautilus, and Tissot hit a nerve. At first touch, the PRX is exactly as well engineered as you’d imagine from a big brand like Tissot. Even at this exalted SEK 11,759 (roughly €1,054) price, it offers big value. I quickly forget about the ticking seconds hand and focus on the sleek case and bracelet. What I thought was big at 40mm feels right, and the thickness is a slim 10.4mm. At 45mm in length, the lug-less tonneau case feels longer due to its fixed end links. Thankfully, though, these are on a steep angle and hug my wrist. The ETA F06.115 quartz caliber is accurate and slimmer than the Powermatic 80, while this smooth dial is a perfect space-void for the colorful applied art. And therein lies the big difference from the standard PRX.

IFL Watches

The story behind the PRX Galaxy

The PRX is the first integrated-bracelet grail touched by the artful genius of IFL Watches in Sweden, already famed for its colorful CasiOak range. I had a chat with Chris, also known as The Dial Artist, Jimmy Heneidy, and CEO Karar Aimer of IFL. Chris tells us more about the move to Swiss steel: “The process for the PRX evolved over more than six months of R&D to get to the Galaxy dial you see today. That might sound odd considering pointillism is one of my signature effects. But we tried many different styles, effects, and colorways before choosing the final configuration. I still hand-paint each and every dial, which ensures consistent color, application, and results.”

He continues: “The process starts with masking off the applied indices. This is a time-consuming process as they are so small and delicate. Once masked, colors are applied individually in a specific order. Further application of colors is applied to ‘balance’ the colors across the dial. The trick is knowing when to stop as it is all too easy to over-apply one color. I usually paint 15–20 a day, and one day’s batch can look slightly different from the next day’s. These differences could be a higher focus on one color, or dots can be smaller or larger. This is the beauty of each dial being individually painted — each dial is a work of art, and each dial is unique. Once the dial is finished, I allow it 24–48 hours to dry before it’s ready to be refitted by our extremely talented watchmakers.”

What’s next for IFL Watches?

Before my conclusion on this piece of wrist art, what can IFL’s Head Of Product Jimmy Heneidy tell us about what’s next for the company? Jimmy says: “The CasiOak is where all the fun started. Our idea has always been to bring customization to a bigger audience, making it more affordable. And on pieces you wouldn’t expect it on. Unlike other artisan companies that customize high-end brands, we want to focus on watches that you don’t see customized out there.”

What’s next for IFL? Jimmy tells us more: “We want to be able to offer more fun creations in a diverse portfolio of watches. IFL is now an authorized dealer of Casio. This opens up doors for us, allowing us to be even more creative. And we have merely scratched the surface of our creativity and capability. We look forward to the future and appreciate all the support we get from our customers and fans.”

A daily grail

Yes, feel free to use the term. I coined it for the Tissot PRX Galaxy, but you can have it unless I copyright it for a podcast. This is the feeling that this everyday-cool Tissot gives me. I already have a weak spot for the PRX, so Tissot knows what it’s doing by expanding the range. But a PRX — or any other watch, for that matter — from IFL is a unique piece. Bespoke dial art with this quality for around €1,000 feels pretty special, and it has even inspired lesser-quality copycats. We’ve seen the very Oris-like teasers on the IFL Instagram page, so something exciting must be coming. Stay tuned, and while the first batch of the black-dial Galaxy is sold out, there are more versions to choose from on the IFL Watches website. And yes, this is now probably the first Tissot PRX quartz with an official waitlist.

What do you reckon, Fratelli? Is the OG PRX good enough, or are you still scared of quartz? And is this, in fact, a reasonably priced grail watch? Let me know in the comments.

Find me and follow me: @thorsvaboe