For years the Tissot T-Touch line has been Switzerland’s unique answer to the quartz hiking watch. While other manufacturers offered analog quartz pieces, Tissot has been the only company that has tried to take on the altimeter-barometer-thermometer uber watches made by Casio, Seiko and Citizen. And they’ve done a great job so far.
The latest model is the Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert. It is a direct successor to the T-Touch expert except that it has a rechargeable battery and a solar face that creates a trickle of electricity that will keep the watch running without a change for years.
As the name suggests, the T-Touch has a touch sensitive face that allows you to activate various features by tapping near the labels around the bezel. This model has a compass, timer, altimeter, and barometer which includes a fairly accurate external thermometer. When you tap the function both hands immediately swing into action at a surprising speed. The coolest feature is undoubtedly the compass which whirrs into place and then begins showing your orientation.
The T-Touch has long been a great trekking watch but, at $1,150 for the model with a rubber band and $1,250 for the metal band, it’s a pricey proposition. The most expensive Casio Pro Trek, for example, costs $200 for similar features and makers like Suunto and Citizen have been building excellent pieces with similar pieces – including GPS time setting – for far below $1,000.