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 Seastar Chronograph Lemania 1277 All Original Perfect WorkingTissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Chrono With Helium Release ValveTissot Vintage 15 Jewel Manual Wind-st Steel-unusual Dial-in F.w.o-accurateMen's Vintage Tissot Swiss WristwatchVintage Tissot Pr 516 Gl Automatic Watch Men's All Original Perfect WorkingTissot Seastar Sonorous Vintage 17j M/w Alarm Watch-st Steel-in F.w.o-accurateTissot Prs200 Divers 200m Chronograph Sapphire Glass Metallic Blue Dial Box VgcOld/vintage Watch Tissot Automatic Calibre 2700/omega 1100 Boxed Men's GwoTissot Powermatic 80, Automatic /date/ Stainless Steel, Swiss Made Watch.... Tissot Navigator Automatic Diver Gents Watch Calibre 2481-stunning Piece C1970'sTissot Seastar Chronograph Vintage Valjoux 7734 All Original Recent ServicedMens Tissot Seastar Blue Dial Stainless Steel Automatic Watch 03336Tissot Swiss Made Men's Quartz Gold Plated C2000 Luxury Dress Watch F127Tissot T-trend Couturier Automatic Men's Swiss Made Excellent Condition Watch Tissot Men's T0554171705700 T-sport Prc 200 Stainless Steel WatchTissot Chronograph Mens Watch Prc 200 Date QuartzVintage Tissot Seastar Grey Dial Manual Winding 17 Jewels (great Condition)Tissot T0924272706100 T Race Mens Watch- Anthracite Dial Automatic MovementVintage Tissot Seastar Winding Swiss Mens Used Wrist Watch R559 Antique Old UsedTissot T-sport V8 Chronograph Black Dial Mens Watch T039417 A Swiss SteelTissot Prs200 Stainless Steel Chronograph Mens Watch Ref T067417a Nice Cond N.rTissot Automatic Seastar (stainless Stell) (amazing)Tissot 1853 Couturier Mens Automatic Watch - T035627aTissot Seastar Vintage Grey Dial Manual Winding 17 JewelsTissot T- Touch Expert Solar Men Watch T0914204705701- Mint. Low Starting Price!Tissot T Touch, Titanium, Mens Smart Watch, Mpn: Z252/352Tissot Prs 516 Automatic Watch T1004301605100 Powermatic 80 Tissot Warranty Tissot T-race Motogp T90.4.296.84 Chronograph SapphireVintage Tissot Seastar 17 Jewels Men's Watch (great Condition) ServicedTissot Seastar 1000 T0664271105700 Wrist Watch For MenGenuine Men's Tissot Chronograph Prs 200 Wristwatch Swiss Made T362/462kTissot Seastar 660 Quartz All Boxed With All Booklets And CardTissot Single Pusher Chronograph Watch Black Face White Hand No Band Not Running1971/72 Tissot Seastar Automatic 17 Jewelled Wrist Watch Cal 2571 WorkingTissot Seastar Vintage Black Dial Manual Winding 17 Jewels Watchmakers Vintage Tissot Wristwatch Nice Old Watch For Tissot Collector NiceTissot T-touch Multi-function Wrist Watch Titanium Case, Orange Rubber StrapLadies Tissot T-classic Everytime Designer T057210a Mop Dial Sapphire GenuineTissot Couturier Automatic Mens WatchWorking Vintage Watch Tissot Five Star 15 Jewel WristwatchTissot Gents Automatic Stylist Vintage Watch Cal: 784-2, For Spares Or Repairs1969 Tissot Stylist 9k Solid Gold Cased 17 Jewelled Wrist Watch WorkingTissot T-trend Couturier Automatic Men's Swiss Made Excellent Condition Watch Vintage Tissot Seastar 17jewels Hand-winding Black Dial Swiss Made Watch Tissot Sea Star Mens Watch Manual Mechanism Tissot Seastar Dress Romnan Numerals Glass Two Tone Chip In Glass At 3 O'clock Unisex Tissot "two Timer" Skeleton Digital Analog Display Green Band Watch D3746Valjoux 726 Running Mathey Tissot V Chronograph Watch Movemnt Working ConditionTissot T-touch Expert Pilot T0134204620700Tissot T17.1.516.32 T-sport Prc 200 Quartz Chronograph Silver Dial Mens WatchVintage Tissot Bllack White Dial Manual Winding 17 Jewels(great ConditionSuperb 1940s Tissot Aquasport 17j Military Style Dial All Stainless Runs! L@@k!Tissot Prs 516 Automatic Men Watch Leather T1004281605100 Excellent CondVintage Tissot Seastar Crean White Dial Manual Winding 17 Jewels(great ConditionTissot Visodate Seastar Seven Gents Vintage Watch C1970's In Box-superb!Tissot T-sport V8 Chronograph Men's Watch - S 762n/862n - Used Tissot T Sport 1853 Prc 200 Automatic Chronograph Mens Watch T014.427 ATissot T Touch Ii Mens Watch T047.420.44.057.00Tissot T17.1.516.32 T-sport Prc 200 Quartz Chronograph Silver Dial Mens WatchCollection Of Mixed Tissot Rotary Quality Jewelled Watch Movements Most Running