Deep Dive: The Tissot Powermatic 80
Tissot is a fairly popular Swiss brand with sensible price tags. They've been around near 2 centuries, founded in the Swiss town of Le Locle in 1853, and since then they have been making classic watches that people from across the globe have come to love.
What's great about Tissot is their knack for blending tradition with innovation, mixing the old-school with new ideas, and satisfying the tastes of traditionalists and modernists alike. They have quite the range too, from fancy dress watches for special occasions to rugged sports watches for outdoor adventures. And no matter the model, you can rely on its Swiss precision.
But what we're really excited to talk about is a watch that made a splash in the 1970s: the Tissot PR516 as well as its modern reincarnation, the Tissot PRX. Let's dive into it right away, starting with a look back to The Me Decade.
The Retro Classic: Tissot PR516
Source: Watch & Vintage
Let's turn our attention to a true icon of the 1970s – the Tissot PR516. This watch carved its place in history with a distinctive style that remains influential to this day.
The Tissot PR516 made a bold statement with its design, capturing the essence of the era's fashion trends. Its sporty yet elegant appearance was characterized by a cushion-shaped case, integrated bracelet, and a perforated leather strap that reminds its wearer of racing gloves. It also features a then-rare water-resistant case.
Source: Birth Year Watches
Back then, the Tissot PR516 was more than just a timepiece; it was a fashion statement embraced by motorsport enthusiasts and fashionistas alike. It was different from other watches and showed that Tissot's priority is both in aesthetics and functionality.
Decades later, the Tissot PR516's legacy endures. Its design paved the way for modern watch aesthetics, and its signature look can be seen in the neo-retro trend that's making waves in the watch industry today. Watch enthusiasts still hold the PR516 in high regard, as you do with any influential watch with a timeless design.
Modern Revival: Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
Source: Monochrome Watches
Let's fast-forward to today and meet the modern version of the Tissot PR516 – the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80. This watch pays tribute to the past while embracing today's style and technology.
When you look at the Tissot PRX, you'll see a familiar charm that nods to the original PR516. Its design brings together classic and modern elements, like its cushion case shape now made more angular and up with the times, its intricate dial details, and the hands with the same blocky look as its inspiration. Not to mention its seamless integrated bracelet that really drives home the look that Tissot was going for.
Inside is a movement based on the ETA C07.111, an evolution of the top-grade ETA 2824-2. The caliber is dotted with 23 jewels for protection and performance, and the power reserve is a jaw-dropping 80 hours, hence the 80 in the model name. It's been touted as one of the best movements in a watch under $1,000, to which many agree.
The exceptional quality of the PRX Powermatic 80 stems from the Swatch Group's influence, streamlining production costs while harnessing ETA's technical prowess. This synergy results in a watch that defies its price point, offering a genuine slice of horological heritage without as heavy a price tag.
It feels substantial on your wrist, just like those high-end watches that everyone swoons over. Every angle, every detail – it's all carefully designed to make you feel like a true watch aficionado.
Modding with the NRX Case
The eye-catching look of the Tissot PRX has not escaped the attention of the watch modding community, and we are happy to offer our premium take on this case and its iconic look. If you want to jump on the train for steel sports watches with integrated bracelets, then consider the new NMK945 “NRX” case.
You’ll find this to be quite a nice base for your dress or casual watch build, with its mix of brushed and polished surfaces that look stunning in a spotlight. The 36mm diameter and 9.5mm thickness of the case makes for one heck of a slim timepiece, ensuring a comfortable wear but still having great wrist presence.
You’ll want to make a homage with a waffle-patterned dial, making our Oak Navy Blue a top choice. It won’t look half bad with one of our vibrant enamel dials though, and you can also accentuate its sportiness with a Pilot or Divemaster style face.
Baton hands will give your build another angular element to complement the case, but the choice is really up to you. And if you want to spice it up even more, you can also fit it with a sapphire display caseback to showcase the caliber inside.
Tissot’s commitment to a beautifully functional watch has always been evident, keeping their name quite relevant in the industry over the years. Their choice to release a successor to the classic PR516 was a welcome move for watch enthusiasts, with the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 being lauded by critics and fans alike for its value movement and unique aesthetic.
We hope this retrospective into this Swiss retro watch opens your imagination to the modding possibilities presented by the neo-vintage PRX case. Don’t forget to check our store for hundreds of premium choices for Seiko mod parts, and find the ones you’ll need for your next sports watch build.