Tissot Visodate: The Best Swiss Entry-Level Dress Watch

Tissot is a brand known for producing well-crafted and versatile timepieces that both men and women enjoy. Hailing from Switzerland, you can expect that its products are made with passion for pure and incomparable workmanship.

One particular standout among the brand’s offerings is the classy and versatile Tissot Visodate dress watch. As part of the brand’s prestigious and incomparable Heritage line, this model packs great features and cutting-edge technology that goes beyond the standard. Its sleek, quintessential style effortlessly embodies modernity and refinement. Read on to learn more about the Tissot Visodate, its detailed specifications, and its price range.

The Original Tissot Visodate

A lot of watch enthusiasts are fond of collecting dress watches. This is largely because, aside from being visually appealing and sleek, they also have the ability to elevate any style and outfit.

Since dress watches are a staple of any experienced watchmaker, Tissot also wanted to release their own take on a dress watch that would leave anyone speechless. The company aimed to come up with a timeless product that would remain relevant even in the upcoming decades. Instead of going for a standard time-only layout you usually see in most dress timekeepers, the company chose to incorporate a simple yet very useful complication to their invention: the date window.

side view of The Original Tissot Visodate watch
Tissot Visodate | Photo from Image Maison on Flickr

The Tissot Visodate was first released in 1954, in celebration of the brand’s centennial year anniversary. Aside from its pristine look and attractive aura, the watch is also notable for being the first-ever automatic watch to have a date display that changes quickly at 12AM in the morning. While Rolex was the first company in the world to produce an automatic watch with a date aperture, it did not come with an instant change feature. Tissot’s ability to innovate even with such a quintessential timepiece proves its status as one of the most inventive watchmakers in the industry today.

Designed to make heads turn, the early Tissot Visodate pieces sport a lovely image, all thanks to their neutral-colored dials, with hues that range between black, white, and champagne. They also came with oversized winding crowns and sturdy cases made of either gold or stainless steel. While there are a lot of vintage Visodate models that come with hands that match the hues of their exteriors, there are some that also possess two-tone aesthetics.

Present Day Tissot Visodate

To commemorate its 150th year in the industry, Tissot released the fabulous Heritage collection in 2003. It comprised reimaginings of famous retro Tissot models, with modern tweaks to fit the standards of contemporary times. It houses sophisticated, updated versions of signature mid-century collections like the Memphis, Bana, Porto, Navigator, Prince, and Visodate. The release of the Heritage collection revitalized the Tissot Visodate, allowing it to attain massive worldwide recognition.

Sticking to its roots, the new Tissot Heritage Visodate pays direct homage to the original model, with its gorgeous date display at the 3 o’clock position. While early Tissot Visodate models were only equipped with automatic movements, some current Visodate models come with quartz calibers, making the whole Tissot Visodate collection more accessible and versatile.

Anatomy of the Tissot Visodate

Now that we know how Tissot Visodate came to life, let us dig a little deeper into the design, functions, and other notable features of a present-day Tissot Visodate model, the Tissot Heritage Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01.

front view of Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 watch
  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic, Mechanical
  • Power reserve: 38 hours
  • Water resistance: 30m
case and crown of Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 watch

Case

Dress watches for men during the ’50s usually sported small cases, ranging from 36mm to 38mm, to ensure a nice and slim fit on the wrist. However, the modern Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 comes with a 40mm case, so it can fit on thicker and bigger wrists too. With its larger appearance, you might think it’s a bit too heavy and burdensome, like other bulky sports watches in the market. However, with its thin yet sturdy 20mm lugs and exact proportions, you will find that the Tissot Visodate is actually quite easy to tote around.

As a luxury brand, Tissot uses a layer of luxurious sapphire crystal as the dial’s protective barrier. It gives this Tissot Visodate piece an extra layer of security, as it has extreme resistance to both scratches and impacts. In addition, Tissot added a layer of anti-reflective coating to its sapphire crystal, so that it has an optimal level of readability. On the underside of the watch, you can also find a stainless steel caseback fitted with another layer of sapphire crystal, allowing you to view the watch’s movement at work.

Just like the other members of the Heritage collection, this Tissot Visodate’s case and 20mm lugs are both made out of refined and polished 316L stainless steel. Although it is heavier than lightweight titanium, nothing can beat stainless steel when it comes to durability and hardness.

Crown

Another thing worth emphasizing about the Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 is its sizable and detailed crown. It is securely screwed-down, so it prevents moisture from getting into the inner components of the watch and contributes to its solid 30m water resistance capacity. In addition, the sides of the crown have grooved, teeth-like patterns, which allows you to firmly grip and turn the watch whenever you want to adjust the time.

In addition, on top of the crown, you can find a delicate “T” engraving in a fancy typeface, representing the name of the brand. These details might be small and maybe not even that important for some consumers out there, but it gives the Tissot Visodate an undeniable aura of elegance — a testament to the brand’s attention to detail.

Dial

The Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01’s dial layout is inspired by the vintage Visodate and is therefore quite similar to it. However, it comes with sleeker, more contemporary design cues and some added functionalities. With this, the new Tissot Visodate can simplify the modern consumer’s way of life and give them greater convenience.

While first-generation Visodate models only come with a date display, the new Tissot Visodate comes with a day-date indicator, which is great for those who like to keep things organized. Aside from bearing a cool jet-black background, the dial is adorned with silver dauphine hands and baton-style hour indices, with double indices at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. This is one major change that was made from the original Visodate models, which had Arabic numeral markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock instead of numberless indices — giving them a more retro feel. The use of numberless indices throughout the modern Visodate’s dial gives it a more cohesive, unified look.

Movement

movement of Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 watch

Powering the Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 is an automatic movement called the ETA 2836-2, also commonly known as the Caliber 11 1/2”’. Aside from boasting a solid power reserve of approximately 38 hours, it is held by 25 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Proving its durability and reliability, the ETA 2836-2 is equipped with a Novodiac Shock System. This helps in maintaining the precision of watches and avoiding engine failures, in addition to protecting the movement from any shocks or impacts.

Do not be fooled into thinking the beauty of this movement stops at its performance alone. The ETA 2836-2 is equipped with an exquisite gold winding rotor that perfectly contrasts the smaller silver-toned gears, giving the whole caliber more definition. On the rotor, you can find texts reading “25 Jewels” and “Swiss Made”, along with a bold Tissot signature that identifies the brand the Visodate belongs to. You can admire this beautiful caliber through the Tissot Visodate’s transparent caseback.

Strap

strap of Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 watch

The Tissot Visodate Ref. T019.430.16.051.01 is equipped with an aged cow leather strap that bears a quintessential alligator leather pattern. This leather band helps to enhance the watch’s vintage vibe, identifying it as being inspired by a retro Visodate pice. It comes with a stainless steel butterfly clasp that is again engraved with the elegant Tissot logo, and which helps keep the watch securely on your wrist. This leather strap is designed with pads, so you will not have any trouble wearing this watch throughout the day.

Price of Tissot Visodate watches

Modern Tissot Visodate watches cost around $300 USD to $750 USD, depending on what version you prefer. If you enjoy the wonders of a highly precise quartz movement, you can opt for the Tissot Heritage Visodate Quartz EOL watches. Quartz movements can be mass-produced and are generally more cost-effective to make. As such, the quartz Tissot Visodate pieces fall on the lower end of the price range.

However, if you prefer something similar to the original ’50s Visodate watch, which comes with a painstakingly hand-crafted, elegant automatic movement, you will have to shell out around double the price. Tissot Visodate watches with automatic movements typically retail at around $600 USD to $750 USD.

Should you get a Tissot Visodate?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and the way you resonate with Tissot. If you are looking for a no-frills dress watch that is fashionable yet heavy-duty, then you should not hesitate to get a Tissot Heritage Visodate piece. The fact that it is very reasonably priced makes it even more attractive, given that a lot of luxury dress watches today come with hefty price tags. A Tissot Visodate piece is the perfect partner to bring to any dressy event, as it is straightforward and versatile enough to upgrade virtually any outfit.

On the other hand, if you want something more robust that does more than tell the time, day, and date, then the Tissot Visodate might not be the best idea. Simplicity is the Visodate’s trademark, so you should not expect it to come with aesthetic or complex complications like a GMT function or a moon phase indicator. If you want a more multifunctional Tissot piece that you can bring with you on adventures, then the T-Touch or T-Sport collections would be a better bet.

Final Notes

Although often underappreciated by the general public, Tissot is one of the best watch brands today, with its passion for making pieces that prioritize both form and function. The release of the original Tissot Visodate allowed the brand to solidify its reputation in the contemporary market, with its quintessential design and innovative features. Today, the modern Tissot Visodate recreates the original’s classic and impactful aesthetics and is an exceptional dress watch that you will not regret owning.

Featured image from Phamarus on Flickr

Other photos from Tissot’s website unless stated otherwise

Interested in knowing more about Tissot and its amazing line-up of products you should also pay close attention to? Make sure to check out our articles on the 16 Best Tissot Watches For Men, Tissot Powermatic 80, and the 20 Best Travel Watches for Globetrotters and Frequent Flyers.

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