Tissot’s first tactile watch was presented as long ago as 1999, long before we became accustomed to the idea of interacting with an electronic device by touch as in the iPhone and the recent Apple Watch. Today the brand is offering its T-Touch Expert Solar, which for the first time combines tactile technology with a solar charging system that keeps the watch running uninterruptedly for years.
The solar panel on the dial delivers energy to an accumulator, which reaches full charge in about a week’s normal exposure to sunlight. When the accumulator is fully charged, it provides enough energy to keep the watch running in total darkness for a year. The only limit to the duration of the power reserve is the life of the accumulator, about ten years.
The T-Touch Expert Solar is the most complete watch ever made by Tissot. Its quartz-based electronic movement ETA E84.301 provides comprehensive time and date functions, with seconds, minutes, hours, day, date and year, in other words a complete perpetual calendar, with the possibility of setting two separate time zones; there are two alarms, one for weekdays and one for the weekend; a chronograph, with lap time and split time recording, a regatta function providing the countdown to the start, and a logbook function for times (which can be useful for keeping track of your running performance). The watch measures atmospheric pressure, with a weather function that provides basic forecasts based on changing pressure; it measures height, and change of height, great for glider pilots and mountaineers. It even shows magnetic north, and can be used to follow a given bearing (ideal for orienteering and trekking). Use at night is facilitated by the backlit digital display and the hands coated with SuperLuminova.
The various functions can be accessed by first activating the touch-sensitive watch glass by pressing the button on the case side at 3 o’clock. Words on the bezel show you where to touch the watchglass to activate the respective function. The range of functions offered and the tough design make it an ideal watch for sports enthusiasts. The watch also has a water resistance of 100 metres, impressive, even though it’s not a diving watch (partly because the touch-sensitive glass doesn’t work underwater). The case is in PVD-coated titanium. It can be personalized in its straps, which include canvas, leather, rubber straps (black and a very attractive orange) and a titanium bracelet. Prices range from €870 for the watch with leather strap, to €965 for the version with titanium bracelet.
The watch was presented in Milan, during an event at the Museum of Science and Technology attended by Francois Thiébaud, President of Tissot, and Fiorenzo Galli, director of the Museum. Francois Thiébaud announced Tissot’s sponsorship of a new permanent area in the Museum, the Tinkering Zone where visitors can explore the world of science by experimenting with materials in a range of scientific projects. The objective is to encourage innovation, and this mirrors the brand’s own approach to watchmaking. Their tagline is ‘Innovators by tradition,’ and Tissot have been forging new directions in watchmaking from their foundation in 1853.