The New Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph “Blue Panda” From An Owner’s Perspective
When Tissot showed us the PRX Chronograph last year (digitally), I ordered one during the introduction presentation. You can call it an impulse purchase, but I was so incredibly enthusiastic that I didn’t have to think long. And when we visited the Tissot manufacture in Le Locle a few months ago, it made me even prouder to have one on the wrist.
Tissot produces an incredible number of watches per year. Despite that, visiting the brand’s headquarters in Le Locle brings you back to the old days of watchmaking as soon as you head to the archives. A few levels above the huge automated order-picking system (that you will also find at companies like Rolex and Omega) is an attic with a special room that has all the brand’s vintage treasures.
Big books have all the sales registrations from 1853 until Tissot stopped recording them sometime in the last century (of course). And in the next big room, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of watches spanning the brand’s history, including one of the very first pocket watches. But it’s here where Tissot also keeps the original Tissot Seastar quartz models on which the PRX is based.
Tissot PRX Chronograph
It’s good to understand that the Tissot PRX has legitimacy. No, it’s not a copy of a Royal Oak, Oysterquartz, or any other watch with an integrated bracelet. It’s a style that belongs to the 1970s and is highly in demand again today. I know there were Seastar chronograph watches in the 1970s, but I am unaware if they also had the same case and bracelet design as the PRX ancestors. Anyway, the chronograph is an interesting addition to the very successful PRX lineup. Tissot launched it last year and fitted it with the ETA/Valjoux A05.H31 chronograph movement. It’s basically a modernized adaption of the Valjoux 7753.
The “Blue Panda”
As an owner of the Tissot PRX Chronograph, let me start with the downside of this watch. It’s heavy (184 grams) and large, as explained here, and it measures 14.54mm thick. The diameter is 42mm, and the lug-to-lug length is 46.5mm. That said, it wears nicely on my 18.5cm (~7.25″) wrist. However, if you’re used to the 40mm (or even 35mm) three-hand PRX, it will wear and look significantly larger.
Tissot has something for everyone
The good thing is that there are several PRX variations (35mm, 40mm, and 42mm), so Tissot should have you covered in any case. However, if you’re after the chronograph, there’s only the 42mm version. I don’t mind it, to be honest, and I am not in a specific “size camp” when it comes to watches. To me, it all depends on the type of watch and also the wrist size, of course. It’s impossible to create a watch that will fit everyone or is to everyone’s liking.
Now, the difference between the new Tissot PRX Chronograph “Blue Panda” and my own “Black Panda” is the use of colors. The sub-dials on the new PRX Chronograph are dark blue, and the hour markers and hands are a silver color instead of the gold on mine. The vertically brushed finish on the silver dial is the same, though. Although the sub-dials are blue, they easily turn dark. Because of this, they might even look black in some images.
The use of dark blue is nicer than the black on my Tissot PRX Chronograph because it’s just a bit more playful. Oh, and blue is my favorite color, so that helps as well. Tissot’s designers didn’t take the opportunity to make any other changes to this watch, but why should they? Some are against the date window, or at least its four-thirty position, but many buyers (still) want to have a date function on their watch. I could do without it, but it is definitely not a dealbreaker.
Caliber Valjoux A05.H31
For this PRX Chronograph “Blue Panda,” Tissot stuck with the A05.H31 movement. As I mentioned earlier, this is a newer iteration of the classic Valjoux 7753. It has a ticking speed of 28,800vph and gives you a 60-hour power reserve when fully wound. Part of the deal with this movement is that you need to have a date corrector on the side of the case. The movement has been decorated with perlage finishing on the bridges, and the rotor is partially skeletonized and engraved with the Tissot signature.
The retail price of this new Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph reference T137.427.11.011.01 is €1,995, which is €100 more than last year’s introductory price (the others models increased in price as well). For under €2K, you get a very nice watch with that integrated-bracelet look and feel. Thanks to the quick-release system, the bracelet can easily be swapped for a soft, fitted strap. However, part of the fun to me in the PRX is the integrated design, so I prefer the all-steel look. My conclusions are still the ones I vented in this article, despite the little price hike.
If I were in the market for the Tissot PRX Chronograph today, I would have a hard time choosing between this new “Blue Panda” and the one I bought last year. I love the touches of gold on mine, but the somewhat more sober look of the “Blue Panda” is definitely attractive as well.
You can find more of our articles on Tissot here and visit the brand’s official website here.