Ah, the simple pleasures in life— a good night’s rest, a summer-evening sunset, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Somehow, the new Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC also kind of falls into the “Simple Pleasures” category. Inspired by Tissot watches from the 1930s, it’s a traditional-looking piece that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that watchmakers can come up with to make it attractive. This watch is the equivalent of a black coffee made in a percolator with premium beans you ground yourself. You really don’t need a Grande Complication watch or a quad venti white mocha cappuccino to enjoy a good start to your day.

I don’t know how much a quad venti white mocha cappuccino costs, but I do know it’s going to cost you. Your health, that is, if you drink that every day. I mean, it all starts with espresso, but on top of that, you get white chocolate sauce, steamed milk, and whipped cream. We’re talking around 430 calories, more than 50 grams of sugar, and almost 20 grams of fat in a single cup of what I can no longer call coffee. A plain cup of brewed coffee, on the other hand, has around three calories and no fat. So it’s way better for your health — and your wallet. The two new versions of the Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC are very much like a cup of black coffee. They’re not too costly (€875), not too extravagant, and therefore perfectly suited for everyday enjoyment.

Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer

Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC — offering both a dark and a light blend

The Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC comes in two versions — a light and a dark blend, so to speak. There’s the version with a matte salmon dial and a gray strap (T142.464.16.332.00), and the other one has an almost-black anthracite and gilt-tone dial and a brown strap (T142.464.16.062.00). And as you would expect with a watch like a black cup of coffee, there’s no folding clasp but an uncomplicated steel pin buckle to fasten the strap.

Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer

Tissot kept the watch below 40mm, and that’s applaudable. The 39mm diameter fits the Heritage 1938 moniker like a glove. Yes, 39mm was perceived as very large in 1938, but the times have changed, and so have the sizes of people. The case has a polished bezel framing a domed sapphire crystal, and the medium-sized crown has a stylish, neo-sporty onion shape.

Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer

On the wrist, the case looks not too small (vintage) and not too big (contemporary). The 11mm profile might be a tad on the thick side, but since this classic watch is also a reinterpretation of a sports watch, I think Tissot gets a pass. Also, regarding the 50m water resistance, that’s just reassuring enough to maybe take it for a dip in the pool. Although I think everybody wearing a watch on a leather strap will take it off before making contact with the water.

Tissot Heritage 1938 Chronometer

What’s brewing inside the Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC?

Rejoice, all you date haters out there, for the two versions of the Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC are time-only watches. And for watch purists, there’s more to enjoy. That’s the fact that the automatic 4Hz ETA 2824-2 caliber is chronometer certified. You don’t get the 80-hour power reserve that you get with almost every Swatch Group-made automatic watch these days but a very traditional/old-fashioned 38 hours instead. Is that problematic? First, the ETA 2824-2 Chronomètre-grade movement uses higher-quality materials for the mainspring and balance spring than the standard 2824-2, and it also utilizes the Incabloc shock protection system. Another thing to remember is that the Powermatic 80 is a 3Hz instead of a 4Hz movement, so you will get a way less “jerky” seconds hand with this one. Also, please keep in mind this is a €875 chronometer, and precision comes with a sacrifice in power reserve, I guess.


The combination of vintage (or even timeless) looks and the chronometer certification makes this a watch for people who care for classic styling, traditional specifications, or both. The search for precision is still regarded as the ultimate quest for many modern-day watchmakers. If you’re new to the world of mechanical watchmaking but keen on learning about it, the term “chronometer” will pop up many times. And it will have meaning. Specifically, a chronometer can only receive that title when it has an average daily rate of +6/-4 seconds over the first ten days of testing.


Highlights of the two traditionalists

What I like best about the two versions, with the salmon dial variation being my favorite, are the railroad minute track, historic Tissot logo, elegant Arabic numerals, and thin sword hands. Also, the straps that Tissot chose for the watch are on point. The colors are nice and not too standard. This helps uplift the relatively basic look of the Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC. Both watches seem to have a look that could attract novices in the world of mechanical watches, seasoned and budget-minded enthusiasts, and people who want a timeless look with a hint of vintage but are (still) a bit scared to try a real vintage watch.

Go on; have a black coffee, savor it, brew up an opinion on the Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC, and “pour” it in the comments section below.

Watch specifications

Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC
T142.464.16.332.00 (salmon) / T142.464.16.062.00 (anthracite)
Matte salmon with black numerals and printing / Anthracite with gilt-tone numerals and printing
Case Material
Stainless steel (316L)
Case Dimensions
Domed sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire exhibition window
ETA 2824-2 Chronomètre — automatic winding, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, 25 jewels
Water Resistance
5 ATM (50m)
Gray (salmon) or brown (anthracite) embossed leather (20mm width) with stainless steel pin buck;e
TIme only (hours, minutes, central seconds)