Reaching back to your roots, resurrecting old models is a thing in the watch industry these days. Heck, it’s the only thing for many brands to be fair. Is it the lack of originality? Laziness, if you will? Or simply a way to pay homage to the predecessors? Not to forget the amazing timepieces of a bygone era? I don’t know, and I do not wish to elaborate on that. It’s surely a trend, and we know what happens to trends. One thing is for certain though; Tissot has been doing Heritage models for a while now. And they’re good at it too. Amongst all the Swatch group brands Tissot (and Longines) produce some of the nicest and affordable reinterpretations of vintage watches. Last year’s Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph is the perfect example. A well-balanced watch, with awesome looks and even better price. What more can you ask for?
One thing brands often do with re-editions is to increase the size to “meet modern expectations”. Luckily this is not the case of the Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph. It is somewhat larger than the original at 39.5mm, but I still consider it only a tad bit larger than the vintage version (which I believe is around 37-38mm). The thickness of the case is under 12mm and it takes a 20mm strap. What steals the show for me are the polished and beveled lugs. They are very long but not disturbing, still keeping a fine ration between lugs length and case size. It blows the watch up optically and offers a comfortable sit on the wrist. The flat pushers and the large but thin crown (signed “T”), helps to keep the sleek look of the timepiece.
The case back is the usual Heritage back you might have seen on previous models. With the semi-open display back, you have a lot of space for decoration, texts but also two apertures to see the automatic movement of the Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph. The back, just like the rest of the watch aside from the sides (which are brushed) is polished. Still, the watch is not too shiny at all, but looks like a fine dress watch with the perfect amount of shine. The water resistance is 30m, as indicated on the case back. Needless to say, this is more than enough for such a watch, you’d not take this to diving (or swimming) anyways. Going back to the front for a second; one small detail that adds to the vintage feel is the crystal, that is not sapphire but plexi.
As in Roman for 12. The only index number you see on the dial of the Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph. It is just as apparent as the large vintage style Tissot logo below it. The ‘XII’ just like the dots indicating the rest of the hour markers are raised and silver in color. At 3 o’clock you can find the continuous seconds sub dial, at 6 o’clock the 12-hour and at 9 the 30-minutes indicators. At 4.30 a date window. Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with a date aperture on this watch (despite what we’ve read elsewhere), it’s a modern watch and as such a date is perfectly fine. Better yet, needed. Beautiful silver leaf hands show us the time in the same silver color as the indexes. Thankfully no lume to be found anywhere. The watch face is well-balanced and easy to read.
While most Swatch Group brands use the ETA7750 or one of its derivates as the chronograph movement, the Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph is clearly on a different path. What runs inside the watch is the ETA 2894-2. It’s a 37-jewel automatic chronograph movement with 40+ hours of power reserve and 28800 VPH. The 2894-2 is a modular chronograph movement, that has the ETA 2892-A2 as the base caliber upon which the chronograph module is built. The movement has a hacking seconds feature and also a quick-set date. Pretty obvious but worth to mention. The rotor as well as the movement have nice decoration, which one can admire through the display case back. Geneva stripes on the rotor and perlage on the movement.
To complete the look for the watch a fitting strap or bracelet is all one needs. The Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph has three options; brown or black leather or a steel Milanese bracelet. As you can see from the images, this watch came on the brown leather strap. Just like the black version, it is calf with crocodile grain. The strap is 20mm, padded leather with color matching stitching. As with most straps, it is a bit stiff in the beginning but adapts to your wrist quite fast and then it’s a comfortable wear. The leather straps come on a double deployant buckle without push buttons. If you prefer steel instead, the Milanese bracelet is the option you can choose. For this you have to pay a bit more – €50 to be precise.
The price of the Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph (in Germany) is €1380 on a leather and €1430 on the bracelet. This is more than fair from a watch we just detailed above. Surely it is a watch you might not be able to wear with shorts and a tank top on your holiday. For that you have other options from Tissot. But for an everyday wear, if you need something formal-ish you could have worse choices than the Tissot Heritage 1948 Chronograph. It’s an awesome looking time piece, a nice reedition with useful functionality for a very attractive price. I had fun wearing it on a daily basis. It’s just a great watch for the money.
If you wish to check out this or any other model from Tissot, please visit their website here.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more