When Tissot debuted the PRX line earlier this year, it was a huge hit. This is actually an understatement. It might be better to liken the PRX to an emerging icon that actually caught the brand itself off-guard a little. In years to come, the PRX might well be thought of as an important benchmark for Tissot, and we already missed out on the PRX itself. To be fair to ourselves here, we do not normally put quartz watches on the cover, but we fully admit that we too were blindsided by the PRX. Thankfully, the fact that the quartz PRX was so popular meant we — and other watch specialists — were more prepared for the inevitable automatic release, one of which is the PRX Powermatic 80 with the handsome textured blue dial.
Other versions have white and black dials, both with the same design motif. In this story, we would like to focus on the present because while the PRX Powermatic 80 is already a success, it is not obvious why it should be so popular. We get into the history of the model and its relationship to important milestones for Tissot as well as the all-important price factor in the cover story. We have reserved the basic facts for this more focused yarn.
Leaving aside the matter of size and fit, we are left with the finish. In wristwatches at this level — that is to say the sub- CHF1,000 price point — we might expect little to no attention to details. Indeed, even when one gets above that price threshold, the finishing frequently disappoints. Not so with the PRX Powermatic 80. Both the case middle and the sapphire crystal are pleasingly flat, with the former bearing the same brushed finish as the case sides.
This is a design decision that speaks well of angularity, a virtue in the world of the contemporary sports watch (inspired by the 1970s). The round raised bezel adds contrasting curves while also reinforcing the sharp lines with facets. The polished finish adds a little dazzle here, which comes through best in the version with the white dial and rose gold PVD bezel. And then there is that integrated bracelet, the links of which are also flat and brushed, top, sides and bottom. All of this is industrial of course but the fact that Tissot bothered to go to these lengths is impressive.
Finally, there is the matter of the movement, the Powermatic 80 in the name. Watch lovers will be familiar with it as the base movement that makes higher-end watchmaking brands blush, particularly its impressive 80-hour power reserve. One could write a book on this automatic movement, and perhaps someone will, but suffice it to say that it gives Tissot something even haute horlogerie brands cannot offer, even at the highest price points. In this version of the movement, it is a Nivachron hairspring keeping the 3Hz beat rather than the more familiar silicon version in the same movement elsewhere in the Tissot range. This is a movement that has not only proved itself, but also sports a number of complications (in other guises), with the support of modules. This is how we are certain that there will be more to come from the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80.