Tissot harnesses the signature aesthetics of racing and diving for its key collections of the year

(June 17): In the same manner that the athleisure trend has taken over contemporary fashion, it has become normal practice for sports-inspired timepieces to be worn in everyday settings, be it in the boardroom or atop a surfboard. The relaxation of dress codes all over the world has dictated a change in the way we view sartorial styling, and the comfort and practicality of sports gear has made it a popular choice for daily wear. To be worn well, athleisure must be of the highest quality, a rule that especially applies to timepieces. There are few joys in the world like a beautifully constructed, flawlessly engineered sports watch.

Tissot’s contribution to this trend is the new Heritage 1973, a reissue of a 1970s-style chronograph that celebrates the watch company’s historic ties to motor racing and the Kessel Classics racing team. Although it was in 1973 that Tissot first dipped its feet into the fast-moving waters of motor racing, including the gruelling Le Mans 24-hour Gran Turismo race, it was in 1976 that a long-standing partnership was established with Swiss pilot Loris Kessel, who competed in the Formula One Grand Prix that year under the Tissot banner.

Like many pilots, Kessel was fanatical about engines. He had founded car dealerships in the Tessin area of Switzerland and was also involved in classic racing. Last year, Tissot rekindled its partnership with the Kessel family by becoming the official partner of Kessel Classics, which owns the Tissot Formula 1 team. This black-and-white car has excelled in competitions such as the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, which it won in 2016.

The Heritage 63 celebrates Tissot’s historic ties to motor racing and the Kessel Classics racing team

To create the Heritage 1973, Tissot took its inspiration from a model stored in its archives — the Tissot Navigator, which was the first mass-produced watch to feature 24 time zones. True to the spirit of the racing timepieces of the 1970s, the 43mm steel case of the the Heritage 1973 is shaped into an elegant oval cushion, topped with a box-style curved sapphire crystal dome. Within, the manual-winding Valjoux 7753 calibre with an engraved oscillating weight — which you can see through the mineral glass caseback — powers the hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph functions, which are adjusted by ergonomic, mushroom-shaped crowns.

On the silvered dial, the chronograph apertures at three o’clock, six o’clock and nine o’clock come with contrasting black discs and, to maximise legibility, the seconds and chronograph hands are in orange and the hour and minute hands are coated with green-emitting Super-LumiNova. The watch is completed with an overstitched black calfskin strap, which is a reproduction of the version Tissot invented and patented in the 1960s. Characterised by its large perforations, it alludes to the steering wheels of the time. Aptly, this historic reissue is limited to just 1,973 pieces worldwide.

From the dazzling speeds of motor racing to the depths of the sea — Tissot’s timelessly styled diving watch, the Seastar 1000 Quartz, is now available as a chronograph, adding a plethora of useful functions to what is already a very popular watch. With a host of useful features, it is an essential in the water, thanks to its ability to handle pressure up to 30 bar (300m) and its accessible quartz movement that promises unfailing reliability.

Interestingly, the functionality of the Tissot Seastar 1000 Quartz Chrono is reflected in the design itself. Luminescent hands make for easy readability while the minutes until 20 are marked on the face, and subsequently every five minutes, in a scale that is typical and helpful for divers. A screwed-down case and crown protect the watch from damage, whatever the wearer’s underwater adventures.

The ocean is poetically referenced in the watch’s masculine design with a subtle seahorse engraved on the caseback, while the two dial options include a gradient blue hue, which reflects the ocean’s mysterious depths, and deep black. The 45.5mm stainless case is completed with a 316L stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and safety and diver extension or rubber strap with standard buckle. For more formal use, opt for rose-gold or antique-bronze PVD coating on the stainless steel case, while at the other end of the spectrum, a decidedly sporty version of this watch is finished with a orange rubber strap and matching accents on the bezel.

Anandhi Gopinath is an assistant editor of the Options desk at The Edge Malaysia


Masculine elegance

Tissot’s design team has mastered the art of the bi-coloured watch — in model after model, for men and women, the maison has perfected the art of combining stainless steel and pink or yellow gold to create harmonious timepieces that exude a timeless elegance. It achieves this feat yet again with the new Gentleman — a generously sized 40mm watch that brings together the subtle sophistication of stainless steel and 18k pink gold.

Ergonomic and elegant, the new Gentleman is designed for use in a business environment, where conventional dress codes apply, as well as a more relaxed setting on the weekend, when it adapts easily to leisure activities. The case is extended by horns with a pronounced curvature that enables it to hug the wrist more closely, and it is completed with either a supple leather strap in camel, chocolate or black, or a linked metal bracelet.

The dials — in black, cream opaline, chocolate or silver — sport a number of noteworthy features. First, a central marking in the shape of a circular sighting-line makes the dial remarkably easy to read and gives it a contemporary appearance. Adding to the legibility factor is a very slender seconds hand, which enables the time to be read with great precision.

To record the passing of time, the ring of appliqué hour markers, bevelled and buffed to a satin finish, are accentuated by faceted Dauphine hands with white luminescent material; the date aperture at three o’clock reveals the subtle elegance of the dial. And, finally, the Powermatic 80 Silicon indication on the lower half of the dial is a reminder that the Gentleman is powered by a truly exceptional calibre — the ETA C07.811.

Better known as the Powermatic 80, this movement is equipped with a silicon balance-spring, which ensures greater longevity, more precise running and greater resistance to magnetic fields. The self-winding movement has a very convenient power reserve of 80 hours, which translates into about three days of running time. This means the Tissot Gentleman allows its owner to get through the weekend without having to wind his watch or reset the time — how... well, gentlemanly.