The Tissot PRX collection has been a big hit for the Swiss brand in the last decade, even though it's a relatively new addition to the market. It appeals to modern watch enthusiasts with its classic sport-luxury design, interesting colors, and affordable prices. Over time, the Tissot PRX has gone from having only a few models to becoming an important part of the brand's extensive collection, which has been around for 170 years.
First Things First - What Is PRX?
The original Tissot PRX came out in 1978, and, like many watches of that time, it ran on a quartz movement. What made it stand out was its flat, barrel-shaped case with many facets seamlessly connecting to a flexible steel bracelet.
Further, right there on the dial, it said "PRX". This represented its qualities: "P" for precise, "R" for robust, and the "X" was actually a Roman numeral "10," signifying its 10 atmospheres (or 100 meters) of water resistance.
A Little More About The Original PRX Watch
The design of the watch is quite recognizable today and was inspired by a more expensive watch that had come out earlier in 1972, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak had influenced a range of "sport-luxury" watches from the 1970s. These included the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Girard-Perregaux Laureato, along with the Vacheron Constantin 222, which paved the way for the Overseas collection. Further, Tissot's PRX, in line with the brand's value-oriented approach, was a much more affordable pick compared to these watches. Many of the others came from luxury brands known for their:
- High-end craftsmanship
- Mechanical movements instead of quartz.
Despite all this, the Tissot PRX didn't stay in production for long and was discontinued a few years after its launch. Like many traditional Swiss analog watches, it made way for the rise of Japanese digital watches that dominated the early '80s. The PRX remained on the back burner until 2020 when Tissot stumbled upon it in the archives and saw an opportunity to use it as a foundation to shape Tissot's identity in the 21st century.
Tissot PRX In The 2020s
In 2021, Tissot introduced the PRX 40 205, a model that pays homage to the original version. This modern interpretation is in line with current trends and does justice to its predecessor. It keeps all the important features, refines them, confirms them, and gives them an upgraded finish, which is of impeccable quality. Ultimately, this timepiece is made for people who appreciate good design and creative thinking.
Among the design elements it preserves, the most notable is the integrated bracelet with large, flat, and flexible links that seamlessly blend into the slim case. Already quite stylish, Tissot has taken it a step further by enhancing the fine details and offering three different dial color choices:
The blue and black dials feature attractive sunburst finishes. The white one has a refined vertically-brushed texture that contrasts beautifully with its gold-tone hour markers and hands.
Furthermore, the new PRX 40 205 has a sleek profile. With its quartz movement, it measures:
- 40mm in width
- 10.40mm in thickness
- 40mm lug-to-lug
There's a strong demand for 1970s-inspired features like integrated bracelets and blue dials right now, and this look is very much in line with the era's style.
The Models Canada Loved The Most
Tissot PRX 40 Powermatic 80
Just a few months after the very successful release of the quartz-driven PRX 40 205, Tissot introduced another version that was set to have an even bigger impact. This one retained the same 40mm case size but had a Swiss-made automatic movement, the Powermatic 80.111, created by ETA. ETA is a major player in making movements and is part of the Swatch Group, the same group that Tissot belongs to. In all PRX models that use this movement, regardless of the case's size or material, the Powermatic movement with the Tissot-branded rotor is visible through a sapphire case back.
The unique waffle-textured dial was first seen on the PRX Powermatic 80 models, and it continues to serve as a quick way to tell the automatic watches apart from their quartz countertops. The quartz versions still feature a sunburst finish on their dials.
The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 collection offers a variety of dial colors and alternatives to standard integrated bracelets.
- The black-dialed model at the top comes with a black textured rubber strap.
- The gold-toned model, pictured above alongside its more recently launched 35mm version, represents the flashier side of the 1970s.
- It features a yellow-gold PVD treatment on the case and bracelet to match the golden dial.
Tissot Powermatic 80 Steel & Gold
A little over a year after the initial launch of the Tissot PRX, we saw the introduction of the first PRX watches that not only featured a Powermatic movement but also stepped up the luxury factor. These watches had a bimetal case with an 18k gold fluted bezel, a departure from the smooth bezel found on the steel models. They also had a gilded finish on the hands and indexes.
Moreover, the dial color choices for this first generation of Steel & Gold models were blue and brown. Just like their steel counterparts, the Steel & Gold PRX models were powered by the Powermatic 80.111 movement.
Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph
This timepiece featured a satin-finished steel case that was slightly larger in diameter compared to its three-handed predecessors, going from 40mm to 42mm. Despite the increase in size, its relatively modest 14.5mm thickness ensured that the larger and more complex PRX remained comfortable on most wrists. In addition to the popular integrated-bracelet design, the PRX Chronograph introduced another trendy and nostalgic visual element with its two-tone "panda" or "reverse panda" dial layout.
This design featured subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock, along with a date window at 4:30. It also had the standard luminous-coated baton hands and faceted indexes. Inside the case, it was equipped with the robust self-winding ETA Valjoux 7753 movement, known for its high-horology finishing. Well, it is quite impressive for a watch in this price range.
Additionally, this exotic accessory offered an extended power reserve of 60 hours, not quite as long as the Powermatic 80 but sufficient to keep the watch running throughout the weekend without needing to rewind it.
Tissot Powermatic 80 35mm
In 2023, Tissot expanded the PRX family by introducing the first 35mm models equipped with Powermatic 80 movements. This, along with the distinctive waffle-pattern dial that was previously exclusive to the 40mm versions. Further, the initial set of Powermatic 80 35mm watches all featured the same barrel-shaped stainless steel cases with meticulously finished satin and polished surfaces. Ultimately, it had become an expectation among fans of the collection. The dial colors were chosen to cater to a wide range of preferences:
- A white mother-of-pearl option (this one has a more versatile appeal than one might assume, given the traditional association of mother-of-pearl with decorative women's watches)
The cases of these new releases are just slightly slimmer than the larger Powermatic models, and It measures only 10.93mm in thickness. Their lug-to-lug width is a very comfortable 39mm. All four of these new watches seamlessly integrate with a flexible steel bracelet.
All the way from the 1970s, Tissot is not going to let the PRX collection die and rightly so. The collection features beautiful pieces one after the other, and Canada has accepted each PRX with open arms.
To get one for yourself, browse Bijoux Eclore’s website and order away.