Today, Tissot surprised us by introducing a new mechanical chronograph. The Tissot Heritage 1973, where the number refers to the year when they first got involved in car racing.
Before 1973, Tissot had played a role already in car racing, by being on the wrist of Swiss driver Harry Zweifel in 1957. Later on, Tissot started to design and produce watches that were inspired by racing, most famous is their PR 516 model.
However, in 1973 Tissot really got involved by sponsoring Alpine in the Monte-Carlo rally. Thanks to the Berlinettes, Alpine (and thus Tissot) took all three podium positions and 5 of the first 6 positions were actually by them as well. Alpine also won the World Rally competition of that year, with Tissot prominently as a sponsor. From then on, Tissot sponsored the Team Renault Alpine in both 24-hours of Le Mans and in Formula 1.
The Tissot Heritage 1973 chronograph they are showing today, is based on the Tissot Navigator that was introduced in 1973. Limited to 1973 pieces and powered by ETA’s caliber 7753 movement. This self-winding movement has a power reserve of 46 hours, ticks at 28,800vph and has a chronograph complication. On the dial, you will find the classic lay-out with subdials on 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. It is able to record up to 12 hours. A date aperture can be found on 4.30, and needs to be set with a small tool on the corrector in the case at 10 o’clock.
With a diameter of 43mm and a height of 14,8mm, the watch isn’t too big (or too small) and comparable to many other chronographs on the market. The case shows a bit of resemblance with the Speedmaster Mark II for example, which isn’t strange as that watch was originally from the same era. If we take a look at the watch that inspired this Tissot Heritage 1973, the Navigator, it certainly shows similarities. The original Tissot Navigator was a bit smaller, at approx. 39mm, but the case shape is very similar to the new Heritage 1973 chronograph.
Finishing on the Tissot Heritage 1973 case is pretty awesome. Brushed top surface and case band, and polished bevel and lug tops. It looks really cool. The pushers aren’t round, but have these notches. The crown is large and signed with Tissot’s logo. On the rear, you will see the ETA caliber 7753 movement through the sapphire crystal. As you can see, the rotor has been engraved with Tissot’s name and has a striped finish.
Besides the case, the dial has the same color scheme. The Panda dial has been hot for a while now, and admittedly, it looks stunning. Back in 1973, the Navigator used a Lémania caliber 1342 movement, the same base caliber that was used by the Speedmaster Mark III, Mark IV and ‘125’ for example. It was the time of crazy shaped cases, very chunky at least. The dial lay-out was a bit different, with only two subdials and of course a central minute chronograph hand. What remains is the use of orange hands for the chronograph functions.
On the silvered sand-blasted dial, you will also find the tachymeter scale as outer ring. The hour markers are applied with Super-LumiNova, for good readability under low-light conditions. Tissot decided to use a bit of green for the Super-LumiNova parts, as opposed to what you’ve might expect in these days of faux-patina. The chronograph second hand is black with an orange tip, while the hour hand and minute hand are all black with green Super-LumiNova.
Tissot delivers their new Heritage 1973 Chronograph on a leather racing (perforated) strap. This watch is limited to 1973 pieces only, and will retail for 1990 Euro. Deliveries will start in May 2019. More specifications below.
Information via Tissot watches online.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more