When we talk about Tissot and 2021, there is one obvious place to start— the Tissot PRX. Its release was an instant success. It suddenly, and kind of out of nowhere, refreshed the Tissot brand from top to bottom, and it gave the brand’s core collection a new anchor. When I think of Tissot now, I think of the PRX. That is a crazy thing to say for a novelty, even if it is based on a model from the archives. As the year draws a close, I wanted to share my previously unaired thoughts on the model and what it could mean for the brand going forward.

Or should that be backward? When I looked back on the articles we’ve published this year about Tissot on Fratello, I noticed something. We’ve been looking into the brand’s past a lot. And while vintage sales don’t show up on a brand’s balance sheet, they do have a positive impact on a brand’s reputational balance.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80.019

The reason why we’ve been analyzing so many of Tissot’s vintage models is simple: they’re awesome. This was a brand that had a serious, undeniable golden age of affordable sports watches that did a wonderful job of not looking like everything else around them. And now, with the brand’s sponsorship deal with the NBA buoyed by the return of Golden State’s Splash Brothers and Steph Curry’s record-setting antics, as well as the successful ambassadorship of three-time Vuelta and Olympic champion Primoz Roglic, the sports-based-cachet of the Tissot name has never been stronger. Now the opportunity exists to redraw the lines on the back of the PRX’s ground-breaking reception.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80.027

Color me impressed

As many long-time readers will know, I was involved with the design of this year’s Czapek Antarctique Passage de Drake Viridian Green. It was a barnstorming success and really seemed to strike a chord with the Fratello audience. However, more than one commentator stated, in all seriousness, that they saw no reason to shell out around €20,000 to get the beautiful flinqué dial of the Antarctique on their wrists when the Tissot PRX was on the market for the same price as a round of shandies in the last London bar left open following the Omicron rampage sweeping the UK.

To lol or not to lol

I’m not sure I’ve ever used the past participle of the verb “to lol” to in an article before, but here goes: I “lolled”. I didn’t just “laugh out loud”. No, there is an important dash of incredulity in a “lol” that I must insist upon being noted. I thought the claim was ridiculous… for a moment, at least. And then… then, perhaps I didn’t.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Watch

The Tissot PRX is not better than the Czapek Antarctique. That suggestion would be laughable. Also, I wouldn’t even say it is better value than the Czapek Antarctique. What I would say, however, is that it is a proposition in its own right that, although has some visual similarities to its luxurious bigger brother, stands on its own two feet and knocks the socks off its surrounding competition.

The commenters that extolled the PRX had put it in a straight-up tussle against a far superior watch. But funnily enough, it was the fact that the PRX was so different that left a positive and lasting impression on me.

You don’t buy the PRX instead of the Antarctique. You don’t buy the Antarctique instead of the PRX. Both fulfill very different functions. However, I could very much see a reason to own both. Currently, I own the Czapek and not the Tissot. However, I would be interested in adding one to the stable in time. Let’s see, perhaps, what the brand decides to do with those dial colors. I could imagine one or two colorways that might move my hand…

A titan of modern-day watchmaking

I think this kind of statement is overused in watchmaking, but this is, in my opinion, a true titan of modern-day watchmaking. It isn’t necessarily because the design originated in this day and age (it didn’t), but it’s all about the presence of mind to bring this model back to life, both in this way and at this precise moment. It was a shake-up that left a lot of people very happy indeed. I believe it was a shot in the arm for a brand that I hope goes on to do great things in this vein, bringing back more of its classic pieces, upgraded with sharper machining, better water resistance, and improved movements.

The PRX showed Tissot what kind of excitement exists within its own back-catalog. Those dormant models need to be reborn. Tissot should take note of what the market (and the media) is telling it: be bold, be brave, and look backward. A glorious future is sitting there, just over your shoulder. Learn more about Tissot by visiting the official site.