Closer Look at the Tissot Le Locle

Ready to get up close and personal with the Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80?

Tissot has straddled the worlds of fine watchmaking and everyday access for over a century and a half. Famous for mass producing a pocket watch in 1853, the Swiss watchmakers have since become a favorite of both the rich-and-famous and everyday folk alike. Tissots have been spotted on the wrists of Elvis Presley and Grace Kelly. Angelina Jolie has worn them in films and basketball star Tony Parker serves as a brand ambassador. But you are just as likely to see a well-dressed office-mate sporting a Tissot. This beloved dichotomy is ever present in the Tissot Le Locle.  

A Watch Centuries in the Making

What’s in a name? Well, if we’re talking about Le Locle, it’s about a town at the heart of Swiss watchmaking history. Watchmaking began there in the 1600s and the town of Le Locle has since been home to some of the world’s most prestigious timepiece workshops for centuries. Given the spot’s import in the pantheon of Swiss timekeeping, it’s no surprise that Tissot chose the name of Le Locle for its premier line.

front view of Tissot Le Locle Ref. T006. watch

Elegance Over Opulence

If you are wearing a Tissot, there’s a good chance you’re not hopping across the globe in your private jet (okay, maybe Angelina is). Yes, Tissot is known for leaning to the luxury side, but it’s equally well regarded for its functionality and overall versatility. This nexus where practicality meets refinement is proudly on display with the Tissot Le Locle. You can slip it on for dress occasions and the watch can even step in with formal wear, but a Tissot Le Locle is just as comfortable accompanying you out and about on a casual weekend.

Size, Shape and Subtle Touches

Catering to its refined nature, the case is on the smaller side with a diameter of 39.3-mm and thickness of 9.8-mm, standing in stark contrast to most sport watches with their bulk on amped-up display. In size, shape and overall feel, the Tissot Le Locle falls easily into the dress-watch camp. On a black crocodile strap, it adds a graceful and understated touch to a suit or dress-casual ensemble. The leather strap employs a deployment clasp that further enhances the good looks with the added value of a secure and snug fit. Of course, deployment-clasp detractors will always point out that they can sometimes be more difficult to unclasp.

closer view of Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 white dial watch

If not entirely head-turning (Tissot leaves that to its T-Sport line), the Tissot Le Locle’s face is sure to catch the eyes of many. The silver guilloche dial and stainless steel domed-bezel epitomize subtle elegance, seamlessly complemented by silver tone markers and hands. The matte black and chrome model exudes something of an Art Deco vibe with equal sophistication.    

It would be hard to imagine anything but Roman numerals to complete the sophisticated presentation (again, Tissot correctly assigns Arabic numerals to its sporty offerings). That “1853” on the Le Locle dial is a nod to the year of Tissot’s founding and the italicized “Le Locle” marking radiates a charming vintage vibe.

The sapphire crystal is slightly domed but gives off a flat appearance. You won’t find many extras on this timepiece (nor should you seek them) other than a date feature. While it does boast water resistance of up to 30 meters, best not to take this one swimming. It’s a watch meant for landlubbers and best treated as such. Still, feel secure in that any unintended rainfall or sink slip-up won’t destroy your watch.  

Tissot Le Locle Automatic watch on its side

A Window Into the Inner Workings

Flip over the case to behold a work of art. You can get just a glimpse of the inside movement through a semi-exhibition caseback. The rest of the rear real estate features engravings and embossments that tell the watch’s story in fine style.   

Keeping in line with many upscale Swiss offerings before it, the Tissot Le Locle employs Swiss-made ETA movement. While not in-house (a seriously expensive proposition), the movement from SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse is a solid choice. Tissot will tell you that the movement is accurate up to 20 seconds a day but users have reported an average loss of much less.

A Half Dozen Different Styles

While overall they’re the same, such as case size and shape, numeral style and the guilloche pattern dial, the variations of the Le Locle offer decidedly different moods. You can go with a black or silver dial. Cases come in silver, gold and rose gold. As for straps, you can opt for brown leather, black leather or a stainless steel bracelet.     

Tissot Le Locle Value Versus Quality

Given that you can shop online and find a host of Tissot Le Locles for under $500, we’d have to call this one an amazing deal. With Swiss-made quality, a sapphire crystal and impeccable looks to boot, the low entry-level cost is considerable.

Quality? Check. Affordability? Check. Inimitable style? Double check. If you’re looking for a smart dress watch to fill out a well-tailored look it’s hard to beat the Le Locle.  

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