When it comes to truly old school designs, I must admit that I am a fan of the regulator watch. While it was originally used for timing and setting other watches back in the day, I think that it still has a purpose these days. While there are scenarios where you might need to be mindful of the hour of the day, we generally have a good feel for that. More commonly, it seems that where we are within an hour is the more critical element, and that is where a regulator shines. With that setup, let’s have a look at the newly launched Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur.
As you can surmise, the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur is a regulatory, so the main dial is simply indicating the minutes, with the largest hand picking those out. You then get two additional registers to round out the total time display – current hour up at 12 o’clock, and then the running seconds down at 6 o’clock. This does make for a rather balanced look to the dial. You then have a center bar running across the middle, and that is where you have all the text for the watch showing up, as well as the date display (over at 9 o’clock, rather than the more familiar 3 o’clock).
This means that there are some open areas on the dial of the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur that give some additional finishing touches. This gives a bit more visual interest, and you could see this getting into some more exotic looks or materials in future iterations. The reverse of the watch did not get overlooked when it comes to the finishing either. While casebacks – even exhibition ones – generally do not have much more than some simple text on them, Tissot went with some serious engraved looks to it. It’s an interesting look for anyone who might turn the watch over, and of course compensates for the simpler finishing of the movement.
The movement of the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur is an ETA 2825.2, so there should be no doubt that it is, indeed, a Swiss watch (being part of the Swatch group has it’s privileges). And if there were any doubts, naming the watch after a region of Switzerland (you know, Le Locle, in the Swiss Jura mountains?) certainly cements things. While the watch certainly presents as a dressier piece, it’s not particularly small, coming in at 40mm by 11.55mm tall. Which is just about the perfect size for maintaining wearability, along with some decent wrist presence. The applied indices and handset – all polished – further cement the dress watch intent of the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur.
Depending on how you intend to wear it (or, more accurately, wear it with), there are different variations of the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur being made. You have the stainless steel (with a black or silver dial), a bi-color (steel and yellow gold; silver dial), and a rose gold variant (with a black dial). While the black dial versions come on black leather straps (black tie affair, anyone?), you can get the silver dials on bracelets (with the yellow gold accented case having the same accents in the bracelet). Pricing for the series starts out at $795, and tops out at $950, which to me represents a decent price for this sort of Swiss pedigree and design. Then again, I’m talking just off of the pictures; we’re working to get one in for a hands-on review as well. In the meantime, let us know below what you think about regulator watches – useful or useless? tissotwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Tissot Le Locle Automatic Regulateur
- Price: $795 – $950
- Who we think it might be for: You’re reasonably aware of where you are in the day, but still have a need for accurate time within the hour
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Probably not – rather than purpose-built dress watches, I’ve been leaning more towards watches that cover a variety of situations, dressy or not
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Play around with the design – create a sportier version, for instance, with a ton of lume and bright colors on it
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The clean and balanced design
Tech Specs from Tissot
- Product Family : Tissot Le Locle
- Diameter : 36mm to 42.9mm
- Length : 39.3mm
- Width: 39.3mm
- Thickness : 11.55mm
- Case Material : 316L Stainless Steel with See-Through Casing
- Crystal : Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Crystal
- Dial Description : Silver Dial with Index + Roman Numerals
- Numerals : Index + Roman
- Date : Yes
- Swiss Made : Yes
- Bracelet / Strap : 316L Stainless Steel Bracelet
- Buckle : Butterfly Clasp with Push-Buttons
- Movement Caliber : Automatic ETA 2825.2
- Power Reserve : 38 Hours
- Functions Summary : Date, Subdial Seconds
- Warranty : 2 Year Warranty
- Water Resistance : 30m/100ft/3bar
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