There are watches that are all about today and then there are those watches that are timeless, like this offering by Tissot. To say that the Tissot Heritage 1936 caused a stir at Baselworld 2016 is an understatement! Watch pundits and bloggers alike were bowled over by this heritage offering from Tissot, an almost exact replica of the same design released by the company in 1936. It is fitting that a Swiss watchmaker so steeped in heritage such as Tissot should 80 years later pay homage to one of its most iconic watches.
The design aesthetic here is timeless classic. The dial is clean and simple, with retro 24 hour markings, showing the pm markings on the outer edge of the dial. The leather NATO-style strap stays true to the first watches, with a fine-looking crème stitch detailing on the quality brown leather that also serves to strengthen it. The Arabic indexes are in a rotund, almost exaggerated number font, artfully reminiscent of the Art Deco style which was the epitome of 1930s style. The case is imposing in stainless steel with a diameter of 45mm. This too signals heritage – the 1930s was when the wristwatch revolution really took hold, and the 1936 watch would have been directly based (and sized) on a pocket watch. A wonderful touch is the back of the hunter-style case which can be opened to view the magnificent myriad workings of the movement. The stunning movement itself is rendered with a distinct sense of elegant vintage style.
This watch evokes sophisticated men of adventure in a time when men were both manly and elegant, a time of gentlemanly subterfuge and cultured restraint. Good taste was a given, and that included the wristwatch that a man wore with ease and comfort and without any pretence. Resolutely retro, it is a watch for the man who can admire and respect history and heritage, and be comfortable about wearing a timepiece that is understated yet makes a bold statement. And a watch that is undeniably Swiss-made and superbly crafted.