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    

Tissot T-sport Veloci-t Swiss Made Automatic Eta Movement Chrono Men's WatchTissot 1853 Prc 200 T055417a Men’s Swiss Quartz Watch Silver Black BandTissot Tachymetre Prs-516 Ref J562/662 Chronograph Leather Strap S/s Men's WatchTissot Visodate Automatic Day/date Black Dial Swiss Made Excellent ConditionTissot Seastar Pr516 Manual Wind Gents WatchRare All Original Jumbo Tissot 1853 Men's Chronograph Ss 200m Diver Watch NrMen's Vintage Tissot Seastar 17 Jewels Hand Wind WatchTissot Men's Black Polished Prs200 Chronograph Watch T17148655 Vintage Tissot Omega Military Watch Black Dial 1940's Sub Second Rare 15j Tissot Navigator Swiss Automatic Chronograph Lemania 1341Vintage 70's Tissot Seastar Seven All Stainless Steel Gent's Automatic Watch.Tissot Quickster Classic Modern Sports Watch Orange Bezel Tissot T-classic Pr50 Nascar Men's Sport Black & Red Watch T34.1.728.52 Men's Vintage Tissot Seastar 17 Jewels Hand Wind WatchTissot Heritage Visodate Mens Watch Automatic Day/dateMens Tissot Prc 200Tissot T-classic Le Locle Silver Dial Black Leather Men's Watch T41142333Tissot 1853 T-complication Squelette Mechanical Hand Wind Skeleton Watch1970 Tissot Seven Automatic Date Omega Dynamic Style Mint Swiss Stylist VintageTissot T Touch Smart Watch ~ Stainless Steel Case And Clasp ~ Model Or - 220947 Tissot 1853 Prc 200 Quartz Chronograph Watch Black DialTissot T Touch Titanium T013420a Working Multi Function Mens Smart WatchTissot T Sport Seastar 1000 Chronograph Men's Black Rubber Watch T0664171705701*** Tissot Classic Automatic Swiss Made Day Date Beautiful : ) ***Tissot Quickster Chronograph Classic Modern Sports Watch Black DialTissot Quickster Chronograph Classic Modern Sports Watch Blue DialTissot T-sport T-race Chronograph Red Men's Watch T048.417.27.057.02 $650Tissot Swiss Made 1853 Tachymeter Chronograph Date T472 41mm Wrist WatchVintage 1960's Men's Tissot Seastar Seven Automatic Swiss Gold Filled Watch 20x Eta Quartz Chronograph Movements G10.211 & 805.112 Tissot Swatch Dial Hands Tissot T Race Quartz ChronographTissot T-classic Dream White Dial Brown Leather Strap Men's Watch T0334101601301Tissot Men's Chrono Black Dial Leather StopwatchTissot 1853 Prs 200 Chronograph Date Steel Quartz Men's Watch, T362/46220x Eta Quartz Chronograph Movements G10.211 & 805.112 Tissot Swatch Dial HnadsMen’s Tissot T0664071705700 Seastar 300m Analog Swiss Automatic Black WatchTissot Classic Desire Silver Dial Brown Leather Mens Watch T52.5.411.31Tissot Men's T Race T011417a Tissot Prs200 Chronograph WatchTissot Prc Black Rubber Chronograph Mens WatchTissot Prs 516 Automatic 100m / 330ft Men'sTissot T-sport Prs516 Polished Stainless Steel Chronograph Men's Watch T91148641Clean Vintage 1970's S/s Men's Tissot Seastar Automatic Watch All Original RunsTissot Prc200 T055.427.11.017.001936 Tissot Aviator Military Huge 43mm Pilot Ww2 Vintage WatchTissot Le Locle T41148353 Wrist Watch For MenMen's Tissot Prs516 WatchTissot Men's Prs - 200 Chrono Black Dial Leather WatchVintage Tissot Seastar 17 Jewels Men's Watch (great Condition) ServicedTissot Seastar 17jewels Hand-winding Nice Dial Swiss Made WatchRare All Original Vintage Jumbo Tissot Seastsr Mans Automatic Watch NrTissot Automatic 1970'sTissot T-complication Squelette Mechanical, Men'sTissot Seastar 1000 Blue Dial Ss Chronograph Quartz Male Watch T0664171104700Vintage Tissot Watch, Pr 516 Automatic. Not Fully Working. Runs But Then Stops.Vintage Tissot Visodate Seven For Parts Or Repair Watch Tissot 1853 Le Locle Automatic Date Only Swiss Made Black Dial WatchLovely Tissot 1853 Ballade Watch Tissot 1853 Swiss Automatic WatchVintage Tissot Seastar 17 Jewels Hand Winding Men Watch Grey Dial