Tissot says “it’s time to make technological precision accessible.” While the Tissot Ballade is by no means the cheapest mechanical watch in the world, priced at €895 for the gent’s model, it could be the cheapest chronometer-certified watch.
Clous de Paris detailing
Tissot have added some details that give the watch an appearance typical of a more expensive timepiece. Applied hour markers, faceted hands, and above all the printed Clous de Paris texture both at the centre of the dial and on the bezel, echoed by the fluting on the edge of the crown. These elements are highlighted in some of the models with a rose or yellow PVD gold coating. Another interesting feature of the Tissot Ballade is that it is made in men’s and women’s versions, so ideal for the “his and her” trend, stronger in Asia but perhaps developing in Europe and the States as well?
The watch has a steel case, made in four sizes, 41 and 39 mm for men, and 32 and 30.6 mm for women. The case is water-resistant to 5 bar, 50 metres, no swimming or showering, splash and rain-resistant only. The Tissot Ballade is available with leather strap or stainless steel bracelet.
Chronometer-certified Powermatic 80 movement
The truly innovative part of the Tissot Ballade is its movement, the Powermatic 80. This has been around for a couple of years now, with the positive feature of 80 hours power reserve attained by a lower balance rate (3 Hertz) and an improved mainspring, and with the question mark of how much plastic is used in the movement.
The Powermatic 80 SI used in the Tissot Ballade has a silicon balance spring, with improved isochronicity and regularity at different temperatures. This enables Swatch Group company ETA to have these movements certified by COSC, allowing the watch to be labelled a chronometer, with a precision of maximum deviation -4/+6 seconds per day. The movement can be viewed through the sapphire caseback, and finish is basic, industrial, with printed motifs on the oscillating weight.
Personally I like the basic steel version without the PVD finish. It would be interesting to discover how the market reacts to the watch, and whether the chronometer certification is something that translates into better sales, There’s increasing competition in the price range from €20 to €900 and a lot of it is coming from Swatch Group brands such as Tissot. Read more on the Tissot website.