We are in a market where the same popular watch designs are repeated. So, it's always nice to see Tissot introducing a new and bold design in the form of the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80. Interestingly, this new design is actually a revival of an older one.
Back in 2020, when Tissot unveiled the quartz PRX, it garnered attention in the watch world. Further, they took an original Tissot design from the late 70s and reimagined it in a modern 40mm case. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak initially popularized this design trend in 1972, followed by the Patek Philippe Nautilus in 1976. These watches shared key design elements:
- Stainless steel construction
- An integrated bracelet
- Decent water resistance
- A versatile style suitable for various occasions
Naturally, many other watch brands, including Tissot, wanted to hop on this trend from their Seastar introduced in 1978. Moreover, it featured a 35mm stainless steel design with:
- An integrated bracelet
- The brand's first quartz movement
The timepiece had a simple, easy-to-read design with three hands and a date function. But, the name Seastar was later changed to PRX.
While the Seastar/PRX was cool, it lacked the mechanical complexity found in the models from the brands mentioned above. That changed with the introduction of the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80. Essentially, this watch offered a mechanical twist on the PRX concept. Also, it retained the 40mm integrated design but added a textured dial available in various colours.
The Striking Waffle Dial Takes Center Stage
One of the most eye-catching characteristics of the PRX Powermatic is undoubtedly its unique waffle-patterned dial. The level of detail and precision in crafting this pattern is evident. Additionally, it embraces a vintage, sporty, and upscale aesthetic, setting it apart from the simpler, sunburst dials found on the quartz PRX models. This might just make it a very worthy competitor to other luxury watches in the market.
For those who own the blue variant of this watch, you'll notice that it appears as a deep navy blue in most lighting conditions. However, this reveals a subtle royal blue hue when exposed to direct light. Surprisingly, the dial colour is intentionally understated, in contrast to the more dynamic quartz sunburst models. Further, it appears to be a deliberate design choice. Why? So that the texture of the waffle dial takes all the attention, rather than the shifting shades of the dial itself.
Similarly, Tissot made a wise design decision by keeping the hour markers and hands relatively slim and unobtrusive. They have a boxy and rectangular shape that complements the case's geometry. While they have superluminova for visibility in low light conditions, their thin profile limits their overall effectiveness.
Moving to the dial's details:
- At 12:00, you'll find the Tissot logo positioned above '1853,' the year of Tissot's establishment.
- At 6:00, 'PRX' is placed above 'Powermatic 80,' indicating the movement within. These elements are skillfully painted onto the dial.
- Lastly, the date window at 3:00 is framed with steel and slightly overlaps with the 3:00 hour marker to maintain the watch's balance.
Nonetheless, some may prefer a model without a date function altogether.
The ‘70s Style That Still Fits Perfectly
The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 case doesn't just draw inspiration from '70s watches; it embodies that era. Its sharp, geometric case features defined edges and angles that are meticulously crafted and lead to the raised polished bezel. Along the sides and top of the case, you'll find thin, polished chamfers that add a touch of reflectivity. Further, it will offer a striking contrast to the brushed finish on the lugs and bracelet. Speaking of which, the brushing and polishing are executed with exceptional attention to detail. It is a surprising level of quality, considering the relatively straightforward design of the case shape.
Moving to the crown at 3:00, it gives you fine-toothed detailing, albeit slightly undersized, nestled securely into the case. This makes it a tad more challenging to pull the crown out for setting the time or date. However, it's not a major inconvenience!
- The crown bears the Tissot logo and exhibits precise machining.
- Handwinding the watch provides a tactile sensation that's neither completely smooth nor gritty. It falls within expectations for a movement known more for its substantial power reserve than for the smoothness of its second-hand sweep.
- Flipping the watch over, you'll find a transparent display case back that exposes the unadorned Powermatic 80 movement.
- According to some, a stainless steel case back could further reduce the watch's already slender 11mm thickness.
An Integrated Bracelet You'll Love to Keep!
Unlike most sports watches, where you can easily swap out the strap or bracelet, this is not really the case with Tissot PRX Powermatic 80. It features an integrated bracelet. It is not as readily replaceable.
While removing the integrated bracelet isn't a major problem, the real difficulty lies in finding a suitable replacement due to its unique notched lug width. Consequently, the integrated bracelet plays a more central role in the watch's appeal. Also, it deserves closer examination than bracelets or straps that can be effortlessly swapped out. Fortunately, there are many positive aspects to highlight about this bracelet's quality, fit, and finish.
However, the stainless steel integrated bracelet seamlessly extends from the case and drapes comfortably around the wrist. All thanks to its numerous, smaller-than-usual links! These slender links allow for precise sizing of the bracelet. This is a necessary element since the butterfly deployment clasp lacks micro-adjustments. Yes, it is a minor drawback in an otherwise commendable bracelet.
Further, removing the bracelet is straightforward using the quick-release spring bars, and resizing is very easy with friction-based pushpins. Overall, the construction balances sturdiness and wearability, guaranteeing a comfortable and well-balanced fit on the wrist.
The bracelet's brushed finish complements the top and sides of the case. The polished sections between each link showcase attention to detail, creating captivating reflections as your wrist moves. Plus, these subtle embellishments elevate the bracelet's design from merely good execution to truly outstanding craftsmanship. Oh yeah, a commendable achievement by Tissot PRX!
The included butterfly deployment clasp is:
It securely closes with a satisfying click, assuring you of its reliability. Additionally, the button operation is smooth. The clasp is contoured to hug the wrist snugly when fastened, and its edges are rounded to prevent discomfort.
Sapphire Crystal | Some Want Anti-Reflective Coating
The watch has a flat sapphire crystal that extends slightly above the bezel. Unfortunately, it appears to be without anti-reflective coating—a small drawback noted by some wearers. The flat crystal, paired with the dark navy dial, tends to produce glares and reflections in direct light. A lighter dial can help mitigate these reflections to some extent.
Nonetheless, it feels like a temporary fix for an issue that could be addressed more effectively with a touch of anti-reflective coating.
The Movement That Is Second To None!
Inside the automatic version of the Tissot PRX resides the self-winding Powermatic 80 movement, specifically, the Powermatic 80.111. It is based on the Swiss ETA 2824. Further, this Swiss movement consists of 23 jewels and an impressive power reserve of up to 80 hours. It can keep the watch running for just over three days, covering an entire weekend even when it's not on your wrist. This significantly exceeds the average 40-hour power reserve found in other entry-to-mid-level automatic watches. What more could make this a perfect first luxury watch?
Moreover, the movement operates at a beat rate of 21,600 beats per hour (BPH). While increasing the beat rate could result in a slightly smoother sweeping second hand, the substantial 80-hour power reserve is better than that minor improvement.
The movement's finishing is straightforward and in keeping with its price range. The standout detail is the winding rotor, adorned with Tissot's logo and a wave motif. Other than that, it's a no-nonsense movement that performs its function exceptionally well and consistently. However, it's worth noting that there is a negligible flaw to consider with the Powermatic 80 movement. After all, its regulation can be challenging.
The timepiece is marketed as having a "high-tech escapement," meaning it's precisely regulated at the factory. The use of a free-sprung balance wheel in the movement can make regulation a bit tricky, even for those with intermediate watch tinkering skills. So, it's advisable to entrust this movement to an experienced watchmaker for any adjustments.
Dimensions, Comfort, And How It Feels On The Wrist!
First things first...
It comfortably and evenly rests on the wrist, largely due to the significant bracelet taper, allowing unrestricted wrist movement without any part of the watch causing discomfort!
Due to its distinctive geometric design, the Tissot Powermatic 80 has a somewhat deceiving wrist presence. It appears larger than its stated dimensions. Further, the initial link of the integrated stainless steel bracelet:
- Remains fixed
- Doesn't flex like the other links
This contributes to the wearing experience more akin to a traditional 41mm model on the wrist. Despite its presence, it maintains:
- A sleek profile
- A thickness of just under 11mm
All this with a flat case that protrudes slightly only at the raised bezel and crystal! Further, this slim profile easily allows the watch to slide under a shirt cuff.
Given the Tissot PRX's integrated bracelet, the 11mm lug width is unconventional. It is notably narrower than the norm. Naturally, you wouldn't fit an 11mm strap to this watch. Instead, you'd use one that matches the 11mm notch and fills the remaining width of the bracelet. Much like the integrated bracelet it comes with!
With a total weight of only 141g, including the integrated bracelet, the Powermatic 80 feels remarkably lightweight. Moreover, it's way less weighty than some stainless steel watches without a bracelet. Consequently, it sits comfortably on the wrist - maintaining a balanced feel between the watch head and the bracelet.
On any 7-inch wrist, the watch offers an excellent fit. In true '70s fashion, it elongates across the wrist, making it a sporty metal bracelet. Also, it is adorned with a stylish watch head rather than a watch with an attached bracelet. This makes it function both as an accessory and a timepiece, characteristic of a sports watch.
More Of Tissot’s PRX Mastery
The Powermatic 80 Variants
This limited edition Powermatic boasts a brown sunburst dial and a distinctive fluted bezel reminiscent of the Rolex Datejust. Its price aligns with the use of premium materials, clearly positioning it as a truly luxurious automatic timepiece.
In this version, the highlight is the exquisite fluted 18k gold bezel, complemented by gold hands and hour markers. Further, this variant commands a notably higher price, reflecting its opulence.
Among the latest PRX Powermatic 80 iterations, the emerald green dial signifies Tissot's willingness to diversify its initial lineup. It hints at the potential introduction of a broader range of colors.
Tissot PRX Quartz
Initially, the Tissot PRX was introduced as a quartz watch with a sunburst dial. It incorporates a quartz EOL ETA F06.115 movement, which is slightly thinner, resulting in an overall reduced thickness of 10.6mm. All other dimensions remain unchanged!
Additionally, the dials sport a sunburst effect rather than the waffle dial found in the Powermatic version.
- Tissot PRX 35mm
Tissot expanded its collection with five newer 35mm quartz PRX models, available in a range of colors. Plus, these options include silver with rose-gold hands and indices, blue, ice blue, and green dials, and an all-gold dial and case variant.
Tissot has a real winner in the PRX; it hits all the right notes, effortlessly blending a classic yet modern style that we believe will stand the test of time. Also, this offers an affordable entry into the integrated bracelet trend and boasts:
- A fair price
- Attractive aesthetics
- Robust build quality
It's one of those watches that's hard to fault!
To conclude, if you have your sight set on this piece, make sure you buy it from the right place, too. And what place could be better than Tissot’s trusty and authorised retailer Bijoux Eclore? We are among the best in Canada.