Founded by a father-son duo all the way back in 1853, Tissot has a similar problem to many brands in that its place in the modern market casts a dark shadow over vintage offerings that deserve real respect. The brand story is incredibly unique, much of it stemming from the escapades of the son of that founding duo. Five years after starting the company, Charles-Émile Tissot was off to Russia to establish a branch of Tissot in the empire selling gold cased pocket watches in a “savonette” style—the firm’s specialty at the time. The venture was a smashing success. By 1885, Charles-Émile’s son, Charles (yeah), found himself a Russian wife and permanently moved to establish a family and expand the success. Tsar Nicholas II took delivery of a Tissot from Charles in 1904. Unfortunately, depending on who you ask, Nicholas II was the last Tsar of Russia, and with the end of the Russian Empire in 1917 the well ran a bit dry in Tissot’s largest market as watches and items of opulence fell out of favor.
While Tissot’s story for those first 50 or so years is not all about Russia, the two Charleses in the empire is the most interesting plotline. Important to note was the brand’s early production of wristwatches in the 1910s, well before the boom. This first decade of Tissot wristwatches featured a heavy Art Deco and Art Nouveau design influence, high fashion at the time. Either by choice or coincidence, in 1918, just one year after the bottom fell out of the Russian market, Tissot made the transition from a “fabrique”—assembler of third-party Swiss parts—to full-on manufacturer. The move was ill-timed. Beyond no longer seeling into Russia, Tissot was not able to get its footing before the economic turbulence of The Great Depression. To combat these headwinds Tissot first “partnered” with Omega in 1925, and five years later in 1930 made it official in creating the first Swiss watchmaking association.
The 1950s, 60s, and 70s are generally where most vintage collectors focus. Due to the partnership with Omega through this period, enthusiasts see Tissot as a “sister brand” or little brother to the more well-known maker of the Speedmaster. As you can guess, this is not very true at all. Tissot operated with creative freedom and carved their own path through this period. It was not until the Swatch Group’s creation in the early 80s that Tissot truly lost our interest until very recently when they began to create some nice watches at affordable prices.
The Tissot Visodate was introduced in 2013 as part of an effort by the brand to introduce some vintage/heritage inspired pieces into their collection. The Visodate gained a bit of notoriety in period due to an early “Value Proposition” penned by Kelly Jasper for Hodinkee in 2014. Kelly covered this watch in as much detail as could be expected so check out his article to dive deep on this particular reference.
This particular example was purchased new in 2014 by the current owner and comes as a complete set with boxes and papers as well as its original matching Milanais bracelet.
The 40mm polished stainless steel case is in excellent condition with on very minor hairline scratches. The sapphire crystal is free of any blemishes as is the crystal on the display caseback. The completely polished case is certainly a magnet for fingerprints but the finish plays very well with the simplicity of the case design and its subtle facets. The watch comes fitted to a new textured taupe strap in addition to its original Milanaise bracelet which is in matching excellent condition.
The Dial and Hands
The black dial and hands are in excellent condition with no flaws to note. The dial while listed as black appears as more of a very deep grey in person. The dial features faceted applied hour markers with double markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9. The day-date window at 3 o’clock is fairly standard but has a hidden surprise that displays SUN for Sunday in red.
This watch features an automatic ETA 2836-2, which is derived from ETA’s 2824, but with the addition of a day-date function. The movement features a simply decorated rotor with the Tissot logo and is visible through a sapphire crystal case back. The watch is running well and the watch has never been serviced.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic ETA 2836-2|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Milanese Bracelet and Leather Strap|