The new Tissot PRX Quartz collection is a shockingly good value proposition.
Sometimes, a watch is simply so good that everything suddenly becomes straightforward; you don’t need to read an article or watch a video to learn about it. All you need is to check the specs, a glance at the price, and an image to understand how exactly the watch is a success and why it’s worthy of a spot in your collection. We think the new Tissot PRX Quartz is exactly that kind of watch. So in the interest of time, we’ll provide those details upfront before we dig deeper and reveal the whole story.
Stainless steel. Integrated bracelet. Swiss made. 40mm × 10.4mm. 100-meter water resistance. $375. And your choice of a blue, black, or silver dial.
The Tissot PRX Quartz Collection
Stainless steel sport watches are hot, hot, hot. Even more so if they incorporate an integrated bracelet. But I don’t have to tell you that. It feels like it’s almost the only topic of horological conversation these days, spreading its cold steel appendages all the way from watch sites and lifestyle/fashion publications to social media and forums. There’s a reason these watches have become so popular. And it’s not just because of hype.
They’re comfortable. They’re good-looking. And they can be dressed up or down with ease. Okay, so there are a few different reasons why the stainless steel sport watch with integrated bracelet trend isn’t going anywhere. But, again, I probably don’t have to tell you that. The problem is the watches we want aren’t available, and if they are, they’re prohibitively expensive. Ah, ha. Now here’s where Tissot can help.
Tissot is the Swiss watch industry’s not-so-secret giant. It successfully balances quality design and Swiss-made manufacturing with the economies of scale of the Swatch Group to offer some of the best value-for-money watches in the world. And that’s helped make Tissot a global phenomenon, with few Swiss watch industry equals over the past few decades. You’re as likely to see someone wearing a Tissot in New York City as you are in Paris as you are in Beijing. There are few brands that can offer the same level of watchmaking sophistication and accessible pricing as Tissot. Combine that with a history that goes all the way back to 1853, and you have a surefire formula for success. So whenever it was that Tissot decided to join the steel sport watch frenzy that’s ongoing in Switzerland, it’s no surprise that they brought the equivalent of a Howitzer to the horological arms race. That’s how good we think the PRX is after having it in the office the past few days. What is it about it that makes it so impressive, you might ask?
The Details Matter
It’s the little things that are often lost on more affordable watches. We’ve all bought a watch online that we thought we were getting a deal on, only to be disappointed once it arrives. As long as you’re comfortable with the tick-tick-ticking of a quartz movement, the PRX doesn’t do that. And it all comes down to the finishing of the case and bracelet.
There is no shoddy or subpar machine work visible here. Every angle, every facet, is just as sharp and concise as you’d want it to be. Take a look at the corner of one of the lugs; there are no less than four individual facets coming to a head there, each with its own clean, individual chamfer. That right there is the result of expert volume manufacturing, with tight tolerances that lesser factories can’t maintain consistently. You’ll find more poorly finished cases and bracelets on watches double – even triple – the price of the Tissot PRX.
The case itself has a quasi-tonneau, barrel shape that’s remarkably flat and flows directly to the single-horizontal-link stainless steel bracelet with a rounded caseband and angular lugs that almost form a “hooded” shape. A smooth, consistent vertical satin brush finish carries forward from the main body of the case and on to each successive bracelet link. But it’s not all matte; the bracelet links are flanked by polished interiors, which bring a sense of dynamism necessary to fulfill the PRX’s sport-watch designation. The bracelet also combines a thin stature with an impressively sturdy construction, tapering to meet a signed twin-trigger butterfly clasp. Meanwhile, the raised bezel has a dramatic downward slope that is fully polished and provides an eye-catching frame for each of the individual dial options.
Speaking of, Tissot is offering the PRX in three different dial colors – all for the same price – but each with a different effect. While the sunburst blue might be the immediate hero piece for many and the sunburst black serves as a comfortable standby, don’t sleep on the silver-grey variant. It’s been enhanced with gilt accents on the hands and hour markers, and to my eye, the vertically brushed finish on the dial recalls the “linen” dials that can be found on vintage watches from the ’60s and ’70s.
Whichever dial you choose, all three share a three o’clock date aperture, Super-LumiNova-filled hands, applied hour markers, a push-pull crown, a sapphire crystal up top, and a closed steel caseback that protects the ETA F06.115 quartz movement with end-of-life (EOL) indicator inside. Tissot also says that it mounted the handset of the PRX models in a tightly stacked formation that brings the dial closer to the sapphire crystal, making the watch wear even thinner than its already slender dimensions might indicate.
The ’70s Are Back. And Better Than Ever.
The integrated bracelet stainless steel sport watch was born in the early 1970s. You know where it started. And even though Tissot wasn’t the first, the brand got there as fast as it could. In 1978, Tissot issued a version of its classic Seastar sport watch with an integrated bracelet, a blue dial, and a quartz movement that could easily pass for a member of today’s PRX series. A few years later, Tissot officially registered the PRX name, which combined “PR,” for “Precise” and “Robust,” with “X,” which indicates, in Roman numerals, the fact that it was water resistant to 10 atmospheres, or 100 meters. Just like today’s PRX models.
You can even track the PRX collection’s evolution through vintage Tissot ads that ran throughout the 1980s and early ’90s. And it was on the backs of the PRX sport series (alongside specialist pieces like the RockWatch and Two Timer) that Tissot was able to power through the Quartz Revolution and emerge into the 1990s as an international leader in watchmaking.
Remember – Tissot is a brand with a history longer than most. It should be no surprise that it has been there and done that when it comes to the integrated steel sport watch fad. And it should also be no surprise that, when the brand puts its minds behind the task again, it can come out with a stainless steel sport watch that competes with the best of them.
And if you like the PRX Quartz, stay tuned this summer for another sporty steel surprise from Tissot.