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 T070.405.16.411.00 T Complication Squelette Swiss MechanicalVintage 18k Solid Gold Tissot Chronometer Automatic Bumper Cal 285-1 17 Jewels Watch Tissot Chronograph T12 Cal. 873 Ref. 40505 Stainless Steel CaseUsed Tissot Prc200 Automatic Chronograph Men's Watch T055.427.17.057.00Tissot 1853 Men's T-race Moto Gp Limited Edition Chronograph WatchTissot Visodate Automatic In Great ConditionTissot Men's Couturier Watch T035.407.11.051.00 Automatic Black Dial Day/dateTissot T-touch Expert T0134204420200 Wrist Watch For MenTissot T12 Stainless Steel Automatic Day And DateTissot Mens T-race T048.417.27.057.01 Red Rubber Band Chronograph Date WatchTissot Heritage Visodate Automatic Men's Watch Black Dial Black Leather Day/dateTissot Seastar Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch T066.407.11.057.00 No Box!Tissot T-trend Counturier Chrono Watch T035.617.16.051.00 Watch F/s AA Rare Vintage 1970's Tissot Chronograph Watch - Great Movement - Spares/repairTissot Men's T-race Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel Watch (model T0484272706100)Tissot Le Locle Steel Gents Automatic Watch (2486)Tissot Prc 200 AutomaticTissot Heritage Visodate Automatic Men's Watch Black Dial Black Leather Day/dateTissot Heritage Visodate Automatic Mens Watch White Dial Brown Leather Day/dateTissot T-race Chronograph (t092.417.anh.15) Men's Wristwatch In Black With RTissot ~ Prs-516 Sport ~ Man's Swiss Quartz Retrograde ChronographMens Tissot Prs 516 50m Automatic Blue Face W/ Extra StrapTissot Men's Le Locle Black Leather Band Steel Case Sapphire Crystal AutomaticTissot Le Locle L164/264 Automatic Black Leather Band White DialTissot Prs 516 Automatic Day/date Black Dial Swiss Men's Watch Excellent!Tissot T-race Chronograph Black Rubber Quartz Mens Watch T048417 A Black FaceTissot T-race Mens Watch T0484172705702Tissot T Touch Ii T04720a Titanium Men's Smart Watch Sapphire Crystal 10 Bar Tissot Men's WatchTissot Couturier T035.617.16.031.00 Men's Watch T0356171603100 Eta ChronographGents Art Deco 14k Solid Gold Vintage Mathey Tissot Rectangular Wrist Watch Tissot Prs 200 Chronograph 200mtrs Boxed Papers In Excellent Alround Condition.Tissot Mens Swiss Chronograph T-race Orange Rubber Strap Watch 45mm T0482172705Men's Tissot Watch Prs200 T067417 ATissot T41.5.413.73 Le Locle Men's Brown Leather Automatic White Dial WatchTissot Vintage Chronograph DiverTissot Prs516 Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch T044.430.21.041.00 No Box!Tissot Prc200 Steel Gents Quartz Chronograph Watch (2430)Tissot Mans Watch T035.617.16.051.00 Tissot White Quickster Chronograph Brown Bezel Sports Men's Swiss WatchTissot Visodate Heritage Mens Watch Automatic White Dial Gold PlatedTissot Prx Chronograph Stainless Steel Quartz Mens WatchTissot T17.1.516.32 T-sport Prc 200 Quartz Chronograph Silver Dial Mens WatchTissot T17.1.516.32 T-sport Prc 200 Quartz Chronograph Silver Dial Mens WatchMen's White Tissot T-sport Quartz Chronograph WatchTissot Super Diver Watch T12 1970 Vintage Automatic Men Watch. Rare Model.Tissot Watch Tissot Seastar 660 WatchTissot T0352101601101 Watch Couturier Ladies - White Dial Stainless Steel Case QTissot 1853 Pr 50 Quartz J376/476 Mens 36mm Sapphire Glass Swiss MadeVintage Men's Tissot "grand Prix' Mechanical WatchRare All Original Jumbo Tissot 1853 Men's Chronograph Ss 200m Diver Watch NrTissot Black Quickster Chronograph Brown Bezel Sports Men's Swiss WatchReluctant Sale Tissot Le Locle 25 Jewel Automatic Gents L164/264-watch In GreatVintage Swiss Tissot Seastar Date Visodate Hand-wind 17 Jewel Wrist Watch (s.15)Tissot Navigator Seastar T12 Calendar Vintage Dial Man Automatic Very RareVintage Swiss Tissot Seastar Date Hand Winding 17 Jewel Men's Wrist Watch (s.13)Vint. Military Tissot / Omega Gents Wrist Watch Cal.20 Large Rectang. Case 1939Vintage Tissot Pr 516 Gl Automatic Day Date Stainless Steel Men's Watch *****Vintage Swiss Tissot Seastar Visodate Day Automatic 21 Jewel Wrist Watch (s.16)