When you ask a watch nerd or even an ordinary person randomly about Swiss watches, they would tell you that they are beautiful, useful, and high-quality. You couldn’t blame them, as the tradition of watchmaking in this small European country dates back centuries and was driven by wars, religious persecution, and other important events in Europe. With the country’s newfound reputation for watchmaking, many firms had their start in Switzerland.
This includes many watch brands like Tissot, which was established in 1853 by Charles- Félicien and his son, Charles-Émile. This watch brand is undeniably Swiss from its foundation until its inclusion into The Swatch Group in 1998. The Swatch Group may include brands from other countries, but it was formed with the merger of two big Swiss watchmaking groups, making the group undoubtedly Swiss. But many other things make Tissot unique among Swiss watch manufacturers.
Innovators By Tradition
For many years, Tissot has adopted the slogan Innovators By Tradition, and it continued to stand by this statement. It is less of a marketing ploy by the company and more of a commitment by the company to making watches that are a hundred percent Swiss-made. After all, the brand made strides in the watchmaking industry by innovating its watchmaking process. After being established in 1853, the company quickly innovated by producing the world’s first mass-produced pocket watch. It may not seem like an innovation, but when you consider that the United Kingdom was the birthplace of pocket watches, Tissot’s first mass-produced pocket watch showed its capability to innovate the entire watchmaking industry.
But the company’s contributions to the watchmaking industry would not stop there. In the 1920s, electricity became widespread, but this posed a new problem for watches since this new force magnetized watches and made them less precise and accurate. To solve this problem, the company helped commission various scientific studies, which would lead to the creation of the world’s first non-magnetic watch in the 1930s. Dubbed the Tissot Antimagnetique, the Swiss brand was able to create non-magnetic watches by using one-of-a-kind equipment such as a chrono-electromagnet to check wristwatches for their magnetic properties during production. While it took ten years for the brand to finish this innovation, it has been applied throughout all Tissot watches and it ensured Tissot’s place as one of the leading makers of Swiss watches.
The latest innovation made by the brand was in 1999, when it produced the world’s first tactile watch before the digital age, the T-Touch. This watch was equipped with six features and highlighted sapphire crystals that are sensitive to the touch. These crystals help switch and control the various functions of the wristwatch.
The Tissot is proud of its Swiss roots, and it’s present on the company’s logo, where it features the letter “T” in a white text color enclosed in a black box with the Swiss logo beside it. It shows how proud the company is to be a watch brand born and made in Switzerland, and it is also an assurance from the company that they produce high-quality and exquisite timepieces that live up to the ideal of Swiss quality. One of the main edges that Tissot has over other brands is that it uses the “Swiss made” label for many of its watches. The brand also keeps its headquarters in Le Locle, where Charles- Félicien and his son, Charles-Émile first established the brand in 1853. All of the watches’ parts are produced locally as well and they use their in-house movements made in Switzerland. Finally, these watches are inspected in Switzerland before being released to the market to make sure that they live up to the expectations that most people have with Swiss-made wristwatches.
The Le Locle
To further honor its history and heritage as a Swiss watchmaking company, the company introduced the Le Locle watch family, famous for its Roman numerals as well as the “Le Locle” signature found on the watch’s dial below the watch hands of this timepiece. Aside from that, Tissot watches are certified by the COSC or the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which means that these watches double as stopwatches. Because it produces and exports about four million watches every year, Tissot is widely considered to be one of the leading, if not the leading manufacturer of Swiss watches all over the world not just in terms of quality or design but also in volume.
High-Quality Swiss Watches at An Affordable Price
Swiss watches have a reputation for being stylish and top-notch when it comes to durability and functionality. But they are also known for being expensive. After all, Swiss watches take months if not years to produce, and precious materials like gold, diamonds, and pearls are used to manufacture them. But this brand is different from other luxury watch brands, as many in the watchmaking industry consider Tissot to be an “affordable luxury” watch brand. It means that Tissot produces timepieces that are elegant, useful, and long-lasting but are sold at an affordable price point. Because Tissot watches also bear the “Swiss-Made label (which is another way of saying that a product is made with high-quality),” they tend to be a little more pricey. This is aside from the fact that they are backed by the Swatch Group and use parts made by ETA, which makes parts for third parties.
But the brand also offers affordable wristwatches, such as a $365 automatic watch that the company introduced around 2017. The company has also considered making watches that only cost around $528, which is less than what other brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe could offer. With large economies of scale, support from a large watch group based in Switzerland, and increasing competition, Tissot has been able to create and sell luxury watches with less luxurious prices.
Switzerland is a country known for its cheese, chocolates, banking institutions, and Swiss watches. Swiss watches are widely considered to be state-of-the-art timepieces that are not only elegant but also expected to last for a very long time. Since its humble beginnings in a village somewhere in the Jura region of Switzerland more than a hundred years ago, the brand has made innovations that shocked the watchmaking industry. It proudly carried the Swiss-made label to the rest of the world and worked hard to create luxury watches that more people could afford. This history of innovation, commitment to the Swiss tradition of watchmaking, and affordability make Tissot a special Swiss watch brand.