Beaten up watches can look better

I like watches beaten up! Well, some of them. By “beaten up”, I mean watches that have aged well as a glorious result of daily use. There aren’t that many watches around that can take wear and tear well. The ones that do, however, gain a certain charm and character that is unbeatable. It breathes life into the watch and makes it a great storyteller. We live in a world where we want to keep our watches in pristine condition. Dents and scratches are like punches to the gut to most watch enthusiasts. But as I get older, I find myself increasingly attracted to watches that profit from the charm of signs of use. It’s all about vintage charm, storytelling power, and the carefree joy of daily wear… More here.

Totally agree with this. My Seastar Navigator, above, benefits hugely from the faded hands, worn bezel and general signs of use. Few objects benefit from such aging.

A ‘not quite working properly’ watch can beat them all

I picked up a Tissot Seastar Navigator from 1974 last week for a price that was hard to ignore. It was from a dealer I know well and is a genuine example of a watch that is growing in popularity, and it has aged exactly as you would expect; a few case marks, faded chronograph hand and a bezel that is just about readable 48 years later.

It needs a service because it is currently running about a minute fast per day, but for the first time I really do not care. I have historically been a little obsessed with my watches being as accurate as possible, but this watch has become jewellery for me. It just looks so good in the subtlest of ways and catches the eye from time to time thanks to the blue sub-dial, red second hand, faded orange chronograph hand and the faded black (now grey) bezel. It’s a curiosity of a watch that shows all of the design cues that so many brands are trying to replicate today, but there is no replication here. The Navigator is what it is and it shows its age in style.

Vintage watches can be expensive to buy and even more expensive to run. Buy yourself a 1970’s Rolex and you will be servicing it often if you wear it every day because, and this is from experience, they are not that reliable and were not particularly well built.

If you can leave behind the absolute need for a perfect timekeeper you can pick up a stylish timepiece that looks sublime in any situation and you may just find that the good design beats the bad timekeeping enough to keep it on your wrist. I am struggling to take this one off and so the end result will either be a service or only wearing it occasionally, but either way this particular model is, in my opinion, one of the very best vintage watches you can buy for a low price.

A Vintage LCD Seiko Memo Watch (to buy or not to buy?)

Vintage LCD Seiko Memo Watch. Good working order excellent condition.. battery removed for storage beautiful time piece. Very rare to be in this condition with its paper’s and case and box very collectable.

Almost tempted by this auction and at the current price it looks like it could be an investment item, a curiously fun thing to set up, an unusual object to review and of course it is a vintage watch. I shall keep watching it for now.

How The Left Wrist Became The Right Wrist

And what happened next? You know what happened next. The pocket watch faded into oblivion, except as an object of fascination for the few, and the wristwatch became the ubiquitous and universal tool for portable timekeeping. And most of the time, it was worn on the left wrist… More here.

A perfect Jack Forster article.

The Casio Calculator Watch: a ‘huge’ dose of nostalgia

It still collects dust just like it used to in the 1980’s

If you want to purchase a new product today to experience a genuine hit of nostalgia from your youth (if you are around 50 years of age in my case) it is very hard to do because so few products are still in production that were made in the 1980’s.

Perhaps you need to pick up a Casio CA-53W-1ER which can be bought for less than £20 in the UK and even cheaper in other countries. You could then be sporting the same watch that Marty McFly was wearing in 1985.

This mythical, and legendary, character wore this watch 36 years ago in one of the biggest movies of all time and you can still buy it today which is extraordinary.

It may have many small improvements inside since that time, but it is still effectively the same watch which is unusual for any digital product. Thankfully it is easily attainable and it gives me the opportunity to go back to those moments in the classroom when I would stare at this watch and calculate things while thinking that the future had arrived.

Arguably it is a calculator that can only be used efficiently by children because the keys are so small, but when you do put it on and give it a try all of the memories come flooding back in the blink of an eye.

It is ultimately a watch with calculator functionality, but you also get a daily alarm, day and date display, dual time zones and 50 metres of water resistance. The 5 year battery is handy and it is extremely light at only 25 grams, but alas there is no backlight on this particular model.

Little of the above matters though because this watch is an inexpensive trip down memory lane and it is one that is hardy enough to cope with most that will be thrown at it and to make for a perfectly adequate daily timekeeper. It would not be a stretch to say that this is as cool a watch as you can wear in 2021.

Is it one of the first smartwatches? No, it isn’t. Many say that it is, but to be fair the functionality is limited to the point of gimmickry and despite wowing many of us back in the 1980’s it is more of a curiosity in the 2020’s.

The thing is that it does not look out of place next to an Apple Watch. They are vastly different in terms of design, functionality and price, but they share an overriding visual resemblance that I find hard to shake. I know that they are completely different products in almost every way, but when I look at them together I can’t help but see the Casio as a descendent of the Apple Watch.

They share a natural square / curved corner form of course, but it is deeper than that. It is the way they wear and they way your eyes fall on them that makes them feel related. I realise that this sounds weird, but to wear both is to know the feeling.

Square watches have never really been popular, but there are designs where this form works and the below three are good examples of this.

Casio has made use of the space very well and created a watch that displays the date and time perfectly well while allowing space for a useable (just) keyboard to make your calculations with. The reality is, however, that the keyboard does dominate and from a design perspective it is poor in practical terms. Just like the pre-iPhone smartphones that Steve Jobs mocked, it is truly of its time and in this case that is not a bad thing.

The first bonus is being able to do the following again.

This was the height of computer programming a few years back and still makes me chuckle inside, but it is just one of many. Feel free to have your own (hilarious?) fun with this list.

Back to the design. The dominating keyboard is practically not great, but it is what makes this watch. Wear it and most people will know what it is. It’s offers others a glimpse of your personality; maybe slightly geeky, but in a cool way? Appreciating of retro styling, but in a watch that is still brand new and maybe simply not caring about showing off wealth or what others think.

Unusually, this watch is more likely to be noticed by others than a Rolex or any one of a number of other luxury timepieces because it is so different and it is so well known. At no point can it be criticised, it is above criticism. This sounds over the top, but where would you go when mocking a watch that costs less than £20, that everyone knows, is from a revered brand and which has appeared in a few classic movies? Seriously, where would you go?

This watch is a symbol of the time in which it was born and it has not lost any of the freshness it came with originally. It is remarkable that more than 30 years later it does not look out of place for one moment and if anything it is cooler today than it ever was.

The Fall and Rise of Zenith

Zenith was “the first manufacture“, one of the greatest watch companies in Switzerland, and the economic force behind Le Locle. Then it was purchased by an American electronics company and ordered to destroy its mechanical watchmaking assets. This is the story of the mighty Zenith, brought low, and returning thanks to a machine tools baron, a humble watchmaker, and two other famous brands… More here.

A brilliant article.

The search for the perfect watch had to end somewhere

* Warning: if you are not interested in watches it would be advisable to jump to the next article. If you are interested, I hope you enjoy it *

The title sounds like hyperbole and the words of someone who is in the honeymoon period with a new product, but there is a decent amount of experience behind those words.

I have owned many, many watches over the past few years and some of these have greatly impressed me in the early stages only to fall away and be dispensed with to the watch graveyard that is eBay. It can be difficult to balance the initial excitement of seeing a new watch, being highly impressed by the design and then buying it against the reality of actually wearing it.

Over time I have, however, begun to realise what works for me and the number of factors involved is more than I would consider when buying a car, for example. That sounds ridiculous I know, but when you get deep into watches everything matters. Literally everything matters.

This causes obvious problems because nothing is perfect and looking too deeply into an object can create the illusion that perfection is possible. It isn’t, for any product, and one thing that experience with watches has taught me is that I will have to accept compromise in one form or another. The trick is to accept and live with minor imperfections and to look at the watch as a whole.

The notch on my iPhone is a minor inconvenience, the bite point on my car’s clutch could be higher and my garden could be bigger. I chose them and I like them, and the small parts that are not perfect would not make me change any of them. For some people accepting such imperfections in a watch, or in smartphones and cars, becomes more difficult the more they get into a hobby, and this can become a ‘very’ expensive habit.

So, I have managed to climb out of the rabbit hole and peak around a little over the past year, and have reached the point where I know that the perfect watch does not exist. I have also come to realise that there is a finite point, to me at least, in which a watch represents acceptable value for money.

That level for me is approximately £1,000. This is not an arbitrary figure, it has come from buying many watches below £500, a few above £1,000 and 3 above £2,500. All of them were sold, some for profit and some for a loss which has remarkably resulted in a profit overall, but there had to come a time when I stopped buying watch after watch trying to find something that could never exist in such an object- that perfection word again.

Eventually you know what brands, and specific models, are safe bets and in my experience the lower end is where you will lose money. There are so any expensive ‘low end’ watches from the likes of Gucci that lose a big percentage of the asking price the moment you walk out of the door. This also applies to TAG, most Seikos and Citizens, and almost every other watch below £500. Above £1,000 you will be better served if you decide to chop a watch in, but again you need to know which brands hold their value and which will lose you £100’s overnight. Remember that all of these brands are making many thousands of watches per year, in many cases +1 million, and so availability is easy which affects pre-owned pricing. The outlier here is Rolex who makes close to 1 million watches per year, but the really popular models are the ones that are not made in big enough volume to meet the demand.

When you go higher you can do well. Tudor is excellent value by the standards of most watch collectors. The ‘baby Rolex’ offers excellent movements, great quality finishing and designs that are timeless. Some models, such as the Black Bay 58, are sought after to this day and it is only now that supply is catching up with demand that we see the prices starting to drop below retail. I really did like my Tudors, but sadly they just became too big to wear over time. The Black Bay Heritage range is top heavy on the wrist and the slabbed sides add visually to the sense of a very big watch. The Black Bay 58 solved the size issue and the slabbed sides are not so noticeable, but the watch just didn’t have enough about it to interest me long term. When I sold it to my son (he got a good deal while I fooled myself that he was being responsible enough to pay for it) I had come to terms with the fact that a time only plain watch was not going to work for me.

I dropped down to an Oris Diver’s Sixty Five and was happy for a while, but deep down I knew that it was probably not worthy of the price I paid for it, and it was a plain watch that I had decided would not work for me. I still bought it for some reason. I got a decent discount and paid £1,200 (retail is £1,650) for it and was relatively happy. It is a well made watch which offers genuine vintage appeal above a not very impressive Sellita SW200 movement and that is all I can say about it. There is nothing wrong with the movement, but it is available in ‘much’ cheaper watches and in some cases regulated to allow for much greater accuracy. The sense that the Oris was too expensive for what it was and that it was verging on boring never left me. So I sold it for a small loss.

As much as I would love to detail all of the watches that came before (the Bulovas, Longines, Hamiltons, Tissots, Citizens, Casio G-Shocks and so many more) I won’t because it is a tale of emotional purchases that didn’t work out, experimenting with any brand people told me was good and just blindly buying watches because I could. It is, alas, not a unique tale and I would suspect that it is a similar path taken by many other watch enthusiasts.

Over recent times I had heard about Christopher Ward and had not thought much about the brand. I was still in the mindset of wanting a brand with a deep heritage, many years of watchmaking history and a name that others would be impressed with. Eventually I realised that all of that is nonsense and of no tangible benefit to me. It means that I am paying much more money for the same materials, a lifestyle fantasy that is not achievable and for a watch that no one else notices anyway. As I said it is complete nonsense.

The mentions of Christopher Ward continued in podcasts and YouTube videos, and I took a longer look at what was on offer. I do not tend to go by recommendations from public watch people anymore because I have noticed a trend that makes me doubt the credibility of what is being said. Too many, almost all, start off being direct and by questioning the traditional industry, but they soon change when the brands get in touch and they realise that they need to build relationships to obtain review models, reciprocal publicity and to build an audience. The industry is rife with cheap Chinese watches marketed as ‘affordable luxury’ and ‘cutting out the middle man’, scarcity designed to increase the value of a brand and back patting on a level that outstrips most other industries outside of fashion and media. It made me question if Christopher Ward was just another new brand trying to survive in a market by doing the same things every other brand does.

Established in 2004, which is incredibly new for a watch brand, Christopher Ward was named after an employee who has, ironically, now left the company and who is involved in a new brand, TRIBUS. The brand started as expected and when you look back at some of the earlier models there is a sense of joining in and following what was popular, but in recent times that has changed.

I looked through the range and found myself noting down a few models which offered extremely competitive specifications for the price. While this is not unique, it is very unusual and so I looked deeper. The 60 day return policy and 60 month warranty (60|60) stood out to me immediately. I could buy a watch and if I didn’t like it just return it and if I liked it I had 5 years peace of mind.

Specific models caught my eye, however, and I pondered a Super Compressor (£1,000), a C60 Sapphire (£900) and a C65 GMT Worldtimer (£995). It was the C65 Trident GMT in black (£1,055) that really stood to me though and so it was bought with a £100 discount taking it down to £955. For the price a Sellita SW330 movement is impressive and the important boxes are ticked throughout; sapphire glass, decent sizing, GMT functionality and Old Radium Super-LumiNova as a bonus. It was the design, however, that caught me.

This watch was actually bought for my son as he had agreed with me that it stood out, but when received he was not impressed. This is a common issue with buying watches online because an image on a screen is irrelevant- it is how it looks up close, how it feels on the wrist and what emotions it brings out that is important. His disappointment was in complete contrast to my initial thoughts. I was immediately very impressed and I had a sense that I may not be returning it.

Two weeks later and I feel even more positive.

It is only by wearing a watch that you can get to know if it is right for you. You start to find the bits that annoy you and these can grow in your mind quite quickly to the point that you decide to let the watch go. If, however, the good bits far outweigh the bad that is when the emotional side comes in and you start to really appreciate it for what it is. This is why I have excused the tiny date window on the GMT.

A simple checklist is never enough, but if I had to do one the following would be accurate for the C65 Trident GMT-

1 second fast per day is extremely good accuracy for any watch, yet alone one at this price which has supposedly not been regulated.

It is very comfortable on the bracelet and fits my 7.25” wrist perfectly. This is a surprise because at 170 grams it is not exactly a light watch. Also, the bracelet has a clever quick release function and a superb extension mechanism in the clasp.

It just looks so good in any lighting condition and more importantly, it changes completely in lower light. See the first image in the article to see what I mean. It can truly stand out.

The mix of a nearly black dial alongside the silver bezel and the vintage lume (such a wonderful shade) is near perfect. Throw in the big orange GMT hand as a highlight and it becomes a very interesting timepiece to look at.

It is a strap whore which is never a bad thing. No matter what the strap it looks consistent and can be made to stand out if you so wish.

There is not one scratch on the bracelet clasp or anywhere else so far. That may sound trivial, but I work at a desk (desk diver!) and no other watch including my Tudors avoided scratches within 24 hours of ownership.

I have not owned a watch that balances making the experience interesting for the wearer against not making it appear flashy to other people so well. Last week a man mentioned my watch while I was in the petrol station and said how unusual it was. The thing is that it is not unusual, but in certain conditions it pops in a way that makes it look like a true vintage diver from the past, one that does not actually look like vintage divers from the past.

As it happens he was wearing a modern Rolex Submariner and, to me, it looked like a watch being worn to say something to others. He may well have always wanted a Sub, but it still stood out in a way that felt like trying too hard.

In a world where many watch people feel the need to own the watches they are told to own as part of their collections (Speedmaster, Submariner, vintage Datejust etc) it feels good to step away from that and to just enjoy an interesting timepiece from a non-heritage brand that ticks all of my boxes, and which will work perfectly without the need for expensive servicing in the future.

If you are a watch person and you are starting to fall down the rabbit hole it may be a good idea to really think about where you are heading. It is all too easy to be swayed by the words of Hodinkee who are now capable or moving the luxury watch industry in any direction they like. It is easy to listen to podcasts and to watch YouTube videos which all seem to praise the same brands and models (ask yourself why) and it is just so easy to mentally buy into the desire to own a watch with history.

Buying a watch with lots of history makes little sense in the real world. Your new Speedmaster did not go to the moon and it can barely be used to do the washing up. James Bond does not actually wear an Omega because he is a fictional character and wearing a Rolex will not get you laid (well, it might I guess).

All I am saying is that for me the C65 Trident GMT has been a revelation and it will (hopefully) be staying on my wrist for a long time to come.

Sometimes a watch just ‘ticks’ the right boxes in the exact right way.

More information about the C65 Trident GMT is here.

Would there be a watch industry without Rolex?

The title of this article is somewhat hyperbolic and to suggest that there would be no watches without Rolex is not what I am saying. What I am asking is if the watch industry we know would be anywhere near as powerful as it is currently if the Rolex brand was not as revered as it is today?

I was very negative about Rolex recently, but it would be wrong to not acknowledge the sheer influence the brand has.

I have written about lower end quartz watches previously and the multiple threats they face from smartwatches, fitness trackers, smartphones, Covid and the simple march of time. For many a simple quartz watch offers too little functionality for the price and they cannot understand why a Seiko or Citizen, for example, can cost the same as an Apple Watch which can do so much more. Just so much more on every discernible level.

This has been highlighted by the Swatch Group posting losses for the first time since 1993 which I guess we will see replicated after a year of so many jewellers shut and the general decline in the economy.

The luxury side of the watch market is very different though and it does not appear to be suffering in quite the same way, and in some cases it is continuing to move forward at an even greater pace. The clamour to buy the hyped model of the moment, to pick up a watch that could dramatically rise in value or to simply show off to your watch buddies is growing all of the time.

You only need to look at the value of certain current models and vintage pieces, and the recent history, to see where this has come from. Rolex.

Ask anyone which watch brands they know and you will get Rolex, Omega, Timex, Seiko, Citizen and maybe a couple of others. You will always get Rolex though and Rolex is the brand to aspire to for 98% of non-watch people.

What has happened in the luxury watch industry is that the rise of Rolex vintage has inspired sales of the new models and also the likes of Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet (certain models only). Many are looking for the model that will get more popular and by extension the one they cannot get, but the blueprint in recent times has come from the Rolex market.

This to me is fragile and potentially a fad. I say potentially because this fad could last for some time, but the wider market is in trouble. At the moment it is powered by hype, vintage scarcity and in some cases media outlets with agendas. We have seen this happen with Heuer and also Panerai in recent times and it could easily happen to some of the others, but the drop in value for some models this time would be extreme.

I hope I am wrong and I do hope that the industry continues to grow, but one thing I do know is that it is where it is today because of Rolex.

Tissot PRX review

Quick note: for some reason I still receive emails asking why I cover watches on McGST and not just tech, despite the fact that I mentioned a few times that this is not just a tech site. Well, I do not care much for traffic or to earn money from this site, but I decided to have a quick look at the stats over the past year and the results were surprising; out of the top 10 articles for traffic 8 of them were purely watch related (mechanical or quartz, not smartwatch). The top 5 were watch related with two anomalies appearing at 7 and 9 respectively- the A3 pro quick review and the 1970s Moulinex Electric Carving Knife review. I have no idea why these two were so popular, but the fact remains that watches dominate in terms of traffic on McGST and while I may not post so much as I used to, I will continue to do so now and then.

Gérald Genta

The Tissot PRX caused a minor stir when it was released very recently because of its ‘Genta’ attributes and so I made moves to get the chance to review the T137.410.11.051.00 model in black. Gérald Genta was a Swiss artist and watch designer who created, amongst others, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. As you can see below the Royal Oak bears more than a passing resemblance to the Tissot PRX, or should that be the other way around?

When it comes to watches the rules do not quite follow what you would see with other products. The fact that they are designated as tools muddies the waters when a watch looks similar to another and from my understanding it is extremely difficult to win a case based on similarity rather than, for example, a fake watch bearing the same logo. This gives brands a lot of flexibility in how they can design their watches and it would be a reasonable argument to say that Tissot has not exactly hidden their inspiration when it comes to the design of the 2021 PRX.

The vintage PRX offers a sense of evolution, but I would argue that the 2021 version is more blatant in terms of what the brand is trying to do.

It would be easy to dismiss the new PRX as a copy of a Royal Oak, as lazy design or as jumping on a financial bandwagon to boost profits, but that is kind of how the watch world works. For example, Timex have had recent success with their Q range and I reviewed the Q Timex HODINKEE Limited Edition here. As you can see it has a similar vibe to the PRX which as discussed is like the Royal Oak which is no doubt like other watches and so it goes on. The answer is to not worry too much about design similarities because a watch is a very small space to fit a lot of parts and design aspects into and unless it is a blatant and poorly made copy just buy what you like and enjoy it.

The PRX certainly ticked the box of ‘like’ the first time I saw it and there are a few reasons for this. The design is something I do like and not just because of the Royal Oak vibe. In a world where so many watches follow very similar circular forms it is good to see something different, even if this difference is technically decades old. At £295 it is not expensive in the wider watch world, even if it appears expensive to anyone who has a more ‘normal’ approach to watches. And it is made by Tissot, a Swiss brand that has been around since 1853. It is now part of the Swatch Group and it sells watches ranging from approximately £150 all the way up to £4,200. These start at simple quartz models and within the range there are varying mechanical movements which has ultimately led me to be confused by the brand and where exactly it sits in the watch brand ladder.

I would put Tissot in the mid-range purely on the basis that such a huge range of models are sold and I am continually perplexed by the term ‘luxury’ which is often used to describe the brand. As it happens, my first watch costing more than £200 was a Tissot quartz and I was impressed by the box, the included books and the overall packaging that came with it. It felt impressive to me and this was, bizarrely, enhanced when I called Tissot to ask about a leather strap replacement because mine was uncomfortable. The snotty attitude I got back and the crazy price for a replacement strap made me presume that this was how ‘luxury’ watch brands worked. It was only over time and following many other watch purchases that I realised Tissot was some way lower down the ladder than the presentation of the watch may indicate.

And when I opened the box that came with the PRX and saw the same book (a history of Tissot) included many years later alongside the exact same packaging it was a negative experience for me. It almost feels deceptive and an attempt to make mass produced mediocrity feel special, but I suspect it works on many new customers every year just as it did for me once. The thing is that the packaging and extras are actually well made and a nice touch for watches that are at the lower end, but when you know more about the industry it is easy to become cynical about such things.

Anyway, the box will sit on a shelf somewhere and so it does not really matter. The watch is what counts and that is what I will concentrate on. I will cover the technical bits first to see if they add up to £295 in terms of value.

Tissot lists the movement in the PRX as a Swiss Quartz ETA F06.115 with EOL functionality, which signifies ‘end of life’ and means that the second hand will skip when the battery is running out. It uses a Renata 371 battery running at 40.0 mAH which according to the ETA site gives a life of 68 months before it needs to be replaced. The ETA F06.115 part signifies the exact movement powering the watch and this appears to run at about £40 standalone. To some of you this will seem cheap in a watch costing just shy of £300 and if that is the case you will not want to know the price of a quartz movement running in many fashion watches. Below £10 is far from uncommon.

A sapphire crystal is a decent addition and not always present at this price point and the 316L stainless steel case should withstand life most of the time. What is surprising is not the 100m of water resistance, but the fact that this is achieved with a push crown rather than a screw down crown. No matter though because 100m is more than enough for most people.

The dimensions feel right for me (7.25″ wrist) at 40mm diameter and a depth of only 10.4mm. Tissot claims that the lug to lug is also 40mm, or rather the length is detailed with this measurement, but that is not the case. The way the integrated bracelet is attached to the watch means that they do not slope straight down and with my callipers I measured a true lug to lug length of 51.2mm. This is big when compared to most watches and on my wrist it is at the outer limit of what would work. It does work for me because there is some slope on the top links and so I would suspect the real world lug to lug to be approx 48mm. It should be easy to work this out, but strangely it is not.

With the specifications above it does seem as though Tissot is not overpricing the PRX and the 2 year warranty is also a useful addition, if somewhat standard in the world of watches today. Overall, however, in an industry where it is virtually impossible to understand ‘value’ the PRX feels more simple to guauge and I have no complaints about the pricing here.

The main bonus with the PRX is not the price, but the fact that it manages the trick of looking special without shouting about it. It is different enough to stand out when noticed yet familiar enough to not make you look like you are trying too hard. That may not sound important, but far too many watch brands have trouble with this balance and the further up the ladder you climb the more garish and ‘manly’ some watch designs become. Tissot has got something that even most of the rest of their range cannot achieve; understated, subtle and with a touch of class.

Once sized for my wrist I admit to being much more positive about it than I expected. I was kind of expecting a cheap feel to the watch, but this never happened and on the wrist it looks amazing, it really does. The dial is clean, I chose the black one, and it is extremely easy to read when you need to quickly check the time. The only watch that feels more obvious for time telling is my Mondaine Stop2Go which cannot ever be beaten in this regard.

It is very comfortable, but I would suggest that you spend time fitting it perfectly (half-links are included). You will not be wanting it to be too loose because the occasional hair will be snagged from time to time. The bracelet is very flexible from the start and it tapers starkly from 27mm to 18mm. That is a very steep taper, but it does work here and offers a vintage feel to the overall look with only the widest part at the case occasionally looking slightly dominating. Again, however, I think Tissot got this part right and you simply cannot understate how important the design of an integrated bracelet is on such a watch because it forms one of the two most important aesthetic areas. The clasp at the bottom is almost invisible, but does feel secure enough to avoid accidental drops.

My Omega Geneve from the early 1970’s has an integrated bracelet and it also has a steep taper (26mm down to 16mm), but again it is the bracelet that makes it what it is. I tried to make a leather strap for the Geneve, which came out very well, but when attached the watch lost all of its personality and looked completely ordinary in an instant. Watches like the PRX and Geneve are made by their bracelets and both Tissot and Omega did this very well indeed. Of note is the fact that the Omega bracelet has suffered very little droop compared to Rolex bracelets from the same era. It’s not important, but I like to believe that it means my Omega bracelet is superior to a hugely overpriced Rolex from the same period, and likely the rest of the watch as well. Final side note, I believe that these vintage Omegas will continue to rise in price over time and I am seeing movement already. As an example my Geneve has more than doubled in price over the past 18 months.

The dial is very clean with slim hour markers and a double marker at 12. The 3 o’clock marker has been cut to allow the placement of the date window which is sadly way too small. I see this time and time again with many watches, Citizen is especially bad at this, and it makes the date window close to a pointless addition. I am a firm believer that if you are going to add a function do it properly and in a way that is easy to use. If you are half-hearted about it and spend too much time trying not to dominate the dial you may as well make it as clean as possible and not include a date window at all. A positive is the way the ‘TISSOT 1853’ and ‘PRX’ have been printed. They are often obscured indoors, but you still know they are there. On the black dial they offer the most subtle branding I have seen compared to almost any other watch.

The hands are very simple indeed and add to the clarity of time telling, but there is a sense of cheapness to their appearance. It is not particular noticeable to be fair and I am perhaps being overly critical, but I did notice it. One other thing I noticed was that the crystal is not completely clear, unusual for a sapphire, and I found myself wiping it a few times to remove fingerprints and smudges. This may change over time though.

With a quartz movement you should not need to adjust the time often which is useful because the crown is quite small. This does, to be fair, suit the form of the watch and I would take a more restrained look over size on a quartz movement any day.

Finally, the case back is largely open which means that it can be engraved if given as a gift and this tops off the main aspects of the PRX.


I am in more than two minds about the Tissot PTX, but my overriding feeling is that it is very impressive for the money. You can actually pick it up for £250 with the right promo codes and that makes it even better value for a watch that really does look much more expensive on the wrist.

How expensive a watch looks is not important of course because no one notices what watch you are wearing anyway, but looking down at your wrist to tell the time and feeling a ping of positive emotion most certainly is.

And that is what the PRX does so well. It feels positive throughout and so simple that its core job of telling the time is accomplished with ease. It is likely that I will keep this watch because it has grown on me in a very short space of time and almost feels like the modern successor to my beloved Geneve. I did not expect to be so enamoured by a mid-range quartz watch, but I genuinely am and I am now waiting for a mechanical version to appear because watch guys need to know there is a lot happening under the dial and quartz will always have a sense of compromise about it.

More information at Tissot.

The Complete Guide to Patek Philippe Vintage Chronographs

Whether you want to call it a miracle, or a genetic alignment of cosmic fortitude so inspiring that it provides irrefutable evidence of a greater Creator, there are certain women that are so beautiful that they transcend description. And it goes beyond their sheer physical beauty. It has to do with poise, elegance, an unexpected huskiness of voice, a forthright intellect and a barely self-contained passion.

To me, the most beautiful woman of all time is French actress Dominique Sanda, or “la Sanda” as she was called, winner of the 1976 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress, a Knight of France’s Legion of Honour, and Officer in its Order of Arts and Letters. Her 30-second biography goes like this… More here.

This will take you some time to read, bit it will be worth your time.