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 Navigator Automatic Chronograph - Lemania 1341Vintage Diver,tissot Super Compressor,automatic,seastar, Visodate T-12,oversize.Tissot Prc200 Blue Dial Men's Chronograph Watch (mint Condition)Tissot Couturier Chronograph Automatic Swiss Made Valjoux 7750 S.steel T035614aTissot Visodate Automatic 25jewels Day/date Swiss Made Excellent Condition WatchTissot Couturier Men's White Dial Chronograph Watch (great Condition)Mens Tissot T Touch Titanium Multi Function Quartz Wrist Watch Tissot T-touch Z 251/351 Chronograph Titanium Quartz Mens WatchMen's Swiss Tissot T770 Digital Analogue Chrono Quartz Titanium Wristwatch WatchTissot Visodate Automatic 25jewels Day/date Swiss Made Excellent Condition WatchTissot Prc200 T17.1.586.52 Wrist Watch For Men Black T-sport ChronographTissot Gents Automatic Watch Model 516Men's Limited Tissot T-race Moto Gp Automatic Chronograph Valjoux7750 WristwatchBeautiful Vintage Tissot - Valjoux 7734 - Chronograph - Moon Faze Watch Tissot T-touch, Black DialRare All Original Jumbo Tissot Men's Chronograph Ss 200m Diver Watch NrMen's Blue Automatic Tissot Prs 516 Sport WatchTissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph Men's Silver Watch Insert Gold Ipg PlatinVintage 1940's Tissot Cal. 33.3 41 Chronograph Movement F/ Parts ( Omega-tissot)Mens Watch Tissot Prc 200 T17.1.526.52 Leather Chronograph QuartzTissot Prc 200 T0554171104700 Wristwatch Not WorkingTissot Seastar Hand-winding Grey Dial Swiss Made WatchMen's Vintage Tissot Visodate Seastar Automatic Watch As-is,works,pr516Tissot Military A.t.p. Wristwatch. Bravingtons Case. Tissot/lemania Movt.Vintage Tissot Seastar Gents Manual Wind Watch.(ws-t3)Tissot Visodate Pr516 Heritage - Mint ConditionTissot T-lord Swiss Automatic Watch With Box And Papers Plus Mesh BraceletMens Automatic Tissot T-race WatchTissot Steel Antimagnetique 1940's Calendar Serviced Waterproof WatchTissot Visodate Heritage Automatic With Box And PapersPre-owned Tissot T014427a Mens Stainless Steel Automatic Chronograph Watch N/r.Mens Watch Tissot Prc 200 T17.1.586.52 Stainless Steel Chronograph QuartzVintage Tissot Visodate Seastar Mens Automatic Date Wrist Watch No ReserveTissot T-trend Ladies Mother Of Pearl Stainless Band Swiss Watch T052.210.22.117Tissot T-sport Prc200 Chronograph Men's Watch Stainless T17.1.586.52Vintage Tissot Visodate Watch ~key No 315t~ Good Working Order~Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch T066.407.17.057.00Men's Swiss Tissot J378/478 Chronograph Quartz Stainless Steel Wristwatch WatchRare 70's Tissot Sideral Chronograph Mens WristwatchTissot Sailing Touch Chronograph Men's WatchVintage Stainless Tissot By Omega Seastar Seven Automatic Men's Watch Great DialVintage Tissot Wristwatch Men’sVintage Womens Watches Tissot Girard Perregaux Bulova Longines Gruen Lot#mx13Tissot Prs 516 Mens Chronograph Watch + Luxury Watch BoxTissot Solid Gold 18 Ct Heritage Porto Watch Ref T71.8.612.32Tissot T-race Chronograph Black Dial Black Rubber Mens Watch T0484173705700Vintage Tissot Sea Star White Dial Hand-winding Swiss Made Man's Wrist WatchTissot Men's T-touch Stainless Steel Watch Tissot 1853 Ballade IiiTissot Seastar Hand-winding Nice Dial Swiss Made WatchVintage Tissot Visodate WatchTissot Stainless Steel And 10k Gold Filled Men's WatchGenuine Tissot Pr50 Gents Wristwatch Ref J376/476k Ready To WearVintage Tissot Seastar Gents Manual Wind Watch.(ws-t1)Tissot Model 1853 T Touch Men's WatchTissot Men's Automatic Watch White Dial Brown Leather BandTissot Prs516 T044417 ANo Reserve! Tissot Woodwatch W151 Mens Wristwatch, Original Strap, Case, Runs!Men's Tissot Prs 200 Chronograph S/s Watch 40mm With Black Dial Model # T362/462Tissot Couturier Black Dial Watch T0354101605100