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    

Mens Tissot 1853 Automatic 25 Jewels Sapphire Crystal Glass T065430a Swiss MadeTissot Couturier Mens Watch Automatic Day/date Black Dial Excellent Condition Vintage Tissot Chronograph 3 Register S S Lemania Ca 873 Jumbo 44.12 M M .Vtge Tissot Pr 516 Medical/racing Chronograph Watch. Lemania 873 Movt. 60s. RareVintage Tissot Seastar Mens Automatic Mechanical Watch No ReserveVintage Tissot 'seastar' Gents Gold Plated Quartz Wristwatch, Working - V19 P05Tissot Powermatic 80 Chronometer Automatic T086.408.16.051.00 No ReserveVintage Tissot Seastar T12 Chronograph Mechanical Hand-winding Stainless SteelTissot T-touch Ii Expert T013.420.44.202.00 Multifunction Titanium Mens WatchTissot Mens Prc 200 Black Divers Watch T17.1.526.52 SwissTissot V8 Swiss Chronograph Watch For Men, Very Good Condition (t039417b)Vintage Tissot Seastar Automatic Stainless Watch. Cal 2481 (omega 1481)Tissot Navigator Retro Swiss Made Automatic Men's WatchTissot 1853 Nascar Edition 1015/2007 Watch No Reserve Tissot Gents Automatic WatchVery Nice Tissot T-race Man's WristwatchTissot T17.1.516.32 T-sport Prc 200 Quartz Chronograph Silver Dial Mens WatchVintage Swiss Wristwatch "tissot Seastar Seven" 7 9ct 620mic Gold Case, GwoTissot V8 Quartz Chronograph Ivory Dial Canvas Strap Men's Watch - S 762n/862nTissot Sapphire Crystal Lovely Metallic Silver Dial Shark Mesh Bracelet V/g/cTissot Seastar 1000 Automatic MovementNo Reserve Auction / Vintage Tissot Seastar Automatic Day Date Cal.2571Tissot Prs 516 Automatic Watch, 25 Jewel Swiss - Needs Repair, Won't Fully WindTissot T-race Watch Orange Strap Men's Swiss MadeTissot Le Locle Automatic Date Men's WatchVintage Tissot Seastar 17 Jewels Men's Watch (great Condition) ServicedTissot Automatic Navigator T12 Seastar Stainless Steel Men's WatchTissot 1853 T461 Chronograph Men WatchVintage Tissot Seastar Pr516 Stainless Steel Hand-winding Watch. 1960'sTissot Prx Classic Chronograph Mens Watch 18k Two Tone Sapphire Crystal WatchMens Vintage Tissot P372/472-1 Chrono WatchTissot Seastar 1000 T19.1.583.41 44mm Automatic Mens Wrist WatchTissot Navigator, 1970's, Cal 2170, Lemania 1341, Just ServicedTissot T-race Touch Aluminum Mens Watch Chrno Black Blue Excellent Shape SwissTissot T-race Chronograph Watch For Men Vintage Tissot T12 Chronograph Movement,workingTissot VisodateMens Tissot T-touch Titanium T33778851 Black Dial Multi-function Watch Tissot ( S.s ) Vintage Mens Wristwatch ( L@@k ) Nice Vintage Mens Tissot Seastar B985/995 Watch With Instructions And Original BoxVintage Swiss Tissot 17j Automatic Large Size Watch 10k Gold Filled Running Tissot 1960s Navigator Chronograph Mens Watch Case Ref.40521 Cal.872 NosTissot T Race T472 Chronograph Quartz Men's Orange Rubber Watch.Tissot Watch - 1853 Pr50Tissot Motogp WatchTissot V8 Chronograph Sport Mens Watch T039417 ATissot Prs516 Quartz ChronographTissot Visodate Men's Watch Automatic T019430b Tissot Race Motogp T027417 A M08 2008 Men Quarz Wristwatch Chronograph LimitedVintage 9ct Gold Tissot Date Men's Watch 99p StartTissot Perpetual Tradition Calendar Watch Vintage Style Bnwt+box Quartz AutoVintage Rare Tissot T12 Automatic Stainless Steel Swiss Made WristwatchB 520.  watch Maker 4 Vintage Mechanical Wrist Watch Movements, Zodiac, Tissot,Tissot Prc200 T055.427.11.017.00Swiss Made Tissot Pr50 Men's Stainless Steel WatchTissot T Classic Chronograph (t063617a) Men's Watch - Mint Condition, Must See!Tissot 1853 Pr200 Black Dial Stainless Steel Men's Swiss WatchTissot Men's T0484172705702 T-race Red Strap Chronograph Dial Swiss WatchTissot Automatic Mechanical Sapphire Crystal Watch T035407Stunning Vintage Gold Plated Tissot Visadate Automatic Seastar Seven Gents Watch