Founded in 1853 by Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son, Charles-Emile, in the small Swiss Jura town of Le Locle, Tissot has been responsible for several timekeeping innovations, including the first mass-produced pocket watch in 1853 and the first plastic wristwatch in 1971.

For more than 200 years, Switzerland has been a center for watchmaking, known for quality, precision, and taste, and Tissot quickly became a leader in this industry. The first Tissot pocket watches were sold in the United States and then imperial Russia—eventually, Tissot’s watches spread to 150 countries around the world. The combination of the Tissots’ global marketing savvy as well as its innovative and efficient factory machines led to its watches receiving prizes at the 1883 World’s Fair in Chicago, the Paris Exhibition in 1889, and the Paris World Exhibition in 1900.

At the turn of the century, the company introduced a full line of wristwatches. In 1930, Tissot produced the first-ever anti-magnetic watch, which was a major innovation at the time. The company’s Navigator was another impressive development, a self-winding watch with a universal calendar. In 1958, the company launched the single-caliber watch, and also a collection of high-quality watches at reasonable prices.

Tissot was also a big part of the quartz-watch revolution, contributing in-depth research into the magnetic clutch, which helps accurate and automatic time-zone changes, and developing the first analog quartz watch combined with a digital display that served multiple purposes.

In the '80s, the quartz analog Navigator watches were the first to show the local time in all time zones around the world. The Tissot PR Sonor was installed with a microprocessor that allowed for truly accurate time-zone changes, as well as alarms. The Tissot PR100 would withstand water at depth of 300 foot, available in steel, gold plate, and two-tone metal.

The 1987 TwoTimer was another landmark, a piece that combined the movement and the case, thereby reducing the parts by 10 percent. It also displayed the day and date in English, French, or Spanish; featured a timer with visible countdown; and boasted a 24-hour alarm. The RockWatch, introduced in 1985, had a case made out of Swiss granite that's millions of years old, which is why no two models are the same. The 1988 WoodWatch was carved out of Corsican briar, a wood traditionally used in pipes, and 1987 PearlWatch was crafted from mother of pearl.

In the 1930s, Tissot merged with the Omega watchmaking family, and now Tissot-Omega watches from that time period are highly collectible. Over the years, Tissot watches have been the official timekeeper for notable sporting events such as downhill skiing at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Switzerland in 1938, as well as the Davis Cup in 1957. They’ve also been used for road biking, circuit racing, fencing, cycling, and ice hockey competitions...

Tissot, now a member of the Swatch Group, hasn’t quit making watches worthy of James Bond, as its T-Touch watches have sapphire glass touchscreens that access compasses, barometers, altimeters, and thermometers. The supercharged (and rechargeable) High-T is like a wrist computer that can tell atomic time on downloadable watch faces, set a vibrating alarm, show dual time, run a stop watch and countdown timer, give the weather forecast, show lottery results, movie listings, headline news, and even receive email and instant messages.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Tissot Research Led Digital Swiss Gents Watch 1970s Rare Titanium PvdVintage Men's 1970's Mathey Tissot Automatic Watch All Original Box & Hang TagsExcellent Tissot T-touch Navigator 3000Pre-owned Tissot Ref Prs200 Model T362/462k S/s Mens Chronograph Watch N/r.Tissot T0694174403100 Chronograph Titanium Mens Watch 245747 NMega Rare!huge Vintage 60' Tissot Visodate Seastar T-12 Automatic Diver Men Tissot T0394171104702 Mens V8 Blue Quartz Chronograph Sport Watch 245683 NTissot T-touch Titanium Chrono, Compass, Altimeter Digital Quartz Watch Z253/353Tissot T0664171705701 Sport Seastar 1000Rare Tissot Automatic Navigator T12Vintage Tissot Seastar 17jewels Classic Men's Watch (great Condition) ServicedVintage Watch Lot - Mostly Mechanical Watches - Movado - Tissot - Leonidas +++Men's Tissot Stainless Steel Wrist Watch Collectable Swiss Tissot 1853 Chrono Quartz Men Watch,nr!!Tissot 1967 Seastar T. 12 Automatic Gp Mens Watch /w Original Nos Strap + BuckleTissot Men's Prc 200 T17.1.586.52 Chronograph Black Dial Watch $475 - ReadTissot Year 1935 Hand Winding Sub Seconds Vintage Collectible Swiss Mechanical Tissot Navigator Automatic World Time Vintage Gents Tissot Pro50 Chronograph J378/476 Navy Blue DialTissot T-touch Expert Titanium FullsetBig Tissot 1853 Date All Steel Automatic Men's WatchTissot Prc 200 White Dial Men's Chronograph Watch T17.1.516.32 (mint Condition)Ladies, Tissot T-race, Stainless And Black Rubber, T011217-a. With Box And PaperVintage Tissot Seastar Subsecond Winding Men Wrist Watch Swiss Made CollectableTissot Men's T0055171127700 T-trend Quadrato Stainless Steel Chronograph WatchTissot T-race T048217 A Ss High Fashion White Choreograph Quartz Ladies WatchVintage Tissot Automatic Men's Wristwatch 17 Jewels 10k Gold Filled Case RunsMen's Tissot Pr50 J378/478 Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch - ExcellentGents Tissot 1853 Seastar 660 200m/660ft Divers Quartz S/s Watch In Box-servicedVintage 35 Mm Tissot Seastar T.12 Auto Date Watch With Beads Of Rice Strap VgwoTissot 1853 T Touch Ii Men's Smart Watch T047.420.47.207.00 ReadLot Of 2 Vintage Wrist Watches-longines Ultronic-tissot Quartz-estate-nrTissot Sea Touch Touch Screen Multifunction Swiss Made Dive WatchTissot T461 Men's Chronograph WatchTissot Sideral Automatic Fibreglass Case Gold Plate C 1969 Vintage Retro Watch Tissot Visodate Seastar Seven Vintage 9ct Gold Automatic Wristwatch In Box-wow!Lot (17) Vintage Nice Watches For Repair - Vulcain Bulova Tissot Zodiac Wyler Tissot T-touch Expert Solar Mens Carbon Dial Titanium Watch T091.420.44.051.00Tissot T035.617.11.031.00 Couturier Mens Watch Stainless Steel QuartzGents Tissot Titanium Pr 50 J176/276k Sapphire Crystal ServicedGerman Ww2 Lah Corps Panzer 1.division Belonged German Oficer Tissot Wrist WatchTissot T-race Touch T081420a Stainless Steel Rubber Strap Mens Watch In BoxOld Vintage Cushion Watch Tissot Enamel Dial Swiss Made Spare Or RepairsTissot 1853 Prs516 Automatic Mens Stainless Steel WatchRare Tissot T-race Mens's Automatic Black Chronograph Limited EditionTissot Pr200 Chronograph Men's WatchClassic Tissot Seastar Hooded Automatic Gold Ss Mens Day Date# A580 Watch $1Vintage Gents Tissot Automatic Seastar Daydate Steel WatchTissot Prc200 Watch Blue FaceTissot Pr50 Steel And Gold Quartz Watch - Men'sMens Watch Case Parts Military Compressor Divers Girard Perregaux Zodiac Tissot!Tissot T Touch Ii Men's Swiss Watch No Scratches Or Wear Needs Repair Ret $795Tissot Stylist C 290 Mens Elegant Classical Gold Plated Dress Swiss Roman Date Original Tissot Rock Watch R 151 Needs Battery NrVintage Tissot 1853 Mens Wristwatch Swiss Made Date Dial Gold Silver Case & BandIwc/zenith/tissot Etc... Esa 9164 Movement Vintage Tissot Seastar Stainless Steel Manual Wind Silver Dial Needs ServiceRare Tissot Seastar Quartz Gentlemans Watch With Box And Spare Strap CasioTissot Men's Sports WatchIwc/zenith/tissot Etc... Esa 9164 Movement (2)