If you had asked me at the start of this year which watch brand’s releases I would be excited for, admittedly, Tissot would not have been one of my answers. Through traditional and social media saturation, one could not be blamed for simply thinking that the brand had released a dizzying array of PRX’s and NBA-themed timepieces. Of course, this could not be further from the truth, for Tissot had other plans. In 2023 they are releasing many models worthy of your attention, and the one which stood out the most for me during the closed-door presentation was their new Chemin des Tourelles models.
These new models were seemingly simple three-hand watches with a date function, but to call these watches simple would be a grave injustice to these beautiful timepieces. These carefully designed watches have many details that are hard to appreciate when viewed on a computer screen. In person, the curved sapphire crystal and dial are reminiscent of the beautiful the Ballon de Cartier watches, which cost nearly nine times more than these Chemin des Tourelles models. Unlike the Cartier’s similar effect with the Ballon models, Tissot offered many dial, case, bracelet, and strap variants. Every model has a distinct character as they interact with the available light in their own manner.
To great effect, this meticulous and mindful approach was extended to the case designs. This is most evident in the beautifully shaped lugs. They may look relatively straightforward when viewed directly on a screen from a top-down view. In reality, the uniquely curved lugs give all of the watches a purposeful stance on one’s wrist from every viewing angle. Details such as these are what enthusiasts adore from vintage Tissot’s. We love looking at these fine details while running our fingers along the case to feel the precise manufacturing and being transported back to when a brilliant designer saw his design become a reality many decades ago.
This connection to the past is precisely what Tissot celebrates with the Chemin des Tourelles. By naming the model line after the street upon which their 1907 La Locle headquarters was based, Tissot fully embraces their heritage to great effect.
All of the watches in this model line are powered by Tissot’s Nivachron Powermatic 80 Automatic Movement, which may surprise most. In the past, it had become customary for other watch brands to reserve the mechanical movement for the larger male-orientated models while relegating the smaller models to quartz movements. All the models, whether in the 34, 39, or 42mm cases, are treated with the same care, and there is not a single aspect of any of the watches that hints at any being treated as an afterthought.
Though our time with most of the novelties from Tissot was limited, the Chemin des Tourelles stood out for many reasons. The aforementioned attention to detail was genuinely surprising, but more importantly, the sheer options made available were a delight to see. First, you can choose a stainless-steel case, a gold PVD finish, or a beautiful two-tone. Second, you are given the choice of a dial with either baton indices or roman numerals. The former is more elegant, while the latter is more assertive. When holding both, I was surprised to take a liking to the models with the roman numerals. The extra detail and presence seemed to have amplified and highlighted the casework. With dial color options ranging from black, white, green, grey, champagne, and blue, to having two lacquer options in silver and ivory, to mother of pearl, this line of watches potentially not only has something for everyone but for every couple. There is a good chance that we may receive a couple of review units if all goes well this year, and we look forward to bringing you a full review of this important model line for the brand.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the hour and minute hands. Deciding to have half of the surface of the hands polished and the other half textured in a manner that almost comes off as frosted elevates these watches from interesting to ones that I am comfortable calling beautiful. As a result, the legibility of the hands is greatly improved, and the viewing experience for the wearer is dynamic. This ensures that any potential Chemin des Tourelles watch owner will not tire of the wearing experience.
Pricing for the Chemin des Tourelles line hovers around the $1000 mark, and Tissot has started 2023 on a really strong foot. The Chemin de Tourelles range has made it much easier for couples to find the perfect “his and hers” watch. I’ll take mine in two-tone, on the bracelet, and with the roman numerals, yes, please, and thank you very much.