Tissot has made a handsome mechanical watch for those watch wearers who want to trade-in their battery powered time-tellers for the more nuanced world of mechanical watches.
The Everytime Swissmatic is an entry level mechanical watch that features a movement that looks a lot like Swatch’s Sistem51. Although Tissot does not make the details of the movement easy to find, most acknowledge that this a watch worthy of attention not because of its design, but because the movement is made by robots at its sister company.
Robots on an assembly line making watches didn’t impress me at first. Instead, consider the level of innovation that simplifies the assembly by removing the human factor. I’m not going to argue this is a good or a bad thing. It’s just a thing.
We buy watches for movements, but a lot of us buy them for their design too. This stuff fuels watch geekery all day long. This watch is a simplistic, Bauhaus design that visually competes with other watches in the same minimalistic vein. But the story here is not the design but the movement.
I thought this watch lacked weight when I first had it on my wrist. As I continued to wear it, I realized that was a really good thing. I wear tool watches a lot, but they twist and scuff the world around me, and I often remove them to work on my laptop. This watch was so comfortable that I hardly noticed it. So, it felt inexpensive, but comfortable.
The stainless-steel case is the ideal size at 40mm, and it travels well on my wrist at nearly 12mm high. The back is smooth and slopes sharply from the side to a display case back. Absent on the case back is any indication of how to open it. I didn’t try to, but wondered if Tissot intended for this to be taken off at all. Maybe you get to the movement from the dial-side which offers a sapphire crystal.
The rest of the polished case is super simple and lack no real detail other than a subtle edge at the bezel. Its straight lugs are long and stand out from the case, while the signed crown is appropriately sized and easy to grip.
The Dial and Hands
The dial is clean, flat-black and offers a clear contrast between its dial and the two-digit Arabic numerals at every hour except at 3 o’clock, which holds the spot for the date window. The numerals appear to be painted and offer no luminesce or depth. Less expensive watches offer more to look at, but that might be the point on this dial. The hour, minute and second hands are polished and match the case well, but also lack luminosity. To balance the dial’s simple design, the most basic information is listed including, Tissot 1853 at 12 o’clock and Swissmatic at 6 o’clock.
The single-digit date numeral is oddly larger than the hour numerals and this bugs me. I don’t mind that the date window is moved closer to the center of the watch and not aligned with the hour numerals, but its size is hard for me to miss. Even the white, date font is different than the rest of the dial’s numerals. Going with this nominal design might mandate the same font so it doesn’t stand out.
The rest of the dial is like that too. It doesn’t seek to get a lot of attention. If this watch were a car on a highway, it would be a Camry. The dial design lacks depth and edges to catch light or your attention. That may be Tissot’s intent, although I get the sense that it was more about economy and not style.
The movement looks a lot like the Swatch’s Sistem51 except the oscillating rotor on the Tissot is more substantial, brushed and engraved. The display case gives you a nice view of the barrel, which holds the mainspring that stores the power. It is open and visible from the case back which is cool. The movement base plates are flat black and offer a striking visual contrast between the rotor and the gold-plated components.
Setting the time reveals how delicate this watch seems. If you turn the crown to set the time, the hands turn back and forth with the same sure footedness of a toddler. The hands do set, but the movement doesn’t hack, so don’t ask it to.
It is produced by robots in an automation that would make other industries proud. I’m not qualified to tell you if the movement can be serviced in 10 years. Do people expect to service their Sistem51 watch? I doubt it. It may be repairable, but I’m not sure a watchmaker worth their WOSTEP would do it for you, even if they could get the case back open and the watch manually unassembled.
These are things I think about but I confess most of these long-term concerns can stop you from wearing and loving watches all day long.
Strap and the rest
This might be that watch you could wear all day long since it’s light weight and easy to forget it’s on your wrist. It might even be a great backup, dress watch in your watch box, even if you don’t put a tie on each week.
The four variations of this model give you options for a silver or gold case with brown or black leather and NATO straps. If the steel bracelet was comfortable, I can only imagine how the leather or NATO would feel. This thing represents a watch that wants to be subservient to your clothes, fly under the radar of your cuff, and offer some unique story to your watch collection.
It gets you into the battery-less world of mechanicals with a brand that has been around for a while and is part of the larger company brand that’ll be around too. You’ll find this watch in Tissot’s T-Classic series. This one comes with a two-year warranty, free shipping, returns and financing on their site for $450.
- Brand & Model: Price: Who we think it might be for: This watch is for that person who is climbing the watch ladder and wants to make that reach for a mechanical watch with a simple design with all the backing of a large brand.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I wouldn’t buy this watch, but I have considered its cousin: the Sistem51.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Explore different strap options, and avoid the bracelet.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The technology is cool, and probably an indicator of the future for other entry level brands.
- Brand Model: Tissot Everytime Swissmatic T109.407.11.052.00
- Movement: Swiss mechanical
- Size of case diameter: 40mm
- Case height: 11.62mm
- Lug to lug length: 40mm
- Case material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Case Back: Display
- Crystal material: Sapphire
- Water resistance (m/ft/atm): 30m or 100ft
- Strap/Bracelet material: stainless steel bracelet