While there’s plenty to be said for independent little companies that produce small batches of unique, hand-crafted watches, sometimes you might just want the assurance and time-backed excellence of a large, established watchmaker. Tissot is a member of the Swatch Group, the Swiss-based conglomerate that bears the distinction of being the largest producer and distributor of watches in the world.
We’re going to take a look at the Tissot Quickster stainless steel watch, and when you see the quality we think you’ll agree that when it comes to watch companies, sometimes bigger is better.
Let’s start with the basics. The case is 42 mm in diameter and 10 mm thick. It’s a good size for guys who enjoy that middle ground between a tiny, feminine-looking watch and Big Ben on a wrist strap. The dial window is made of flat, scratch-resistant, anti-reflective sapphire. The watch is water-resistant to 100 meters, so have no fear when washing dishes or lounging in your wading pool—just don’t take it scuba diving.
The industrial-looking bracelet is segmented stainless steel, and if you look closely you’ll see it has a subtle dual tone—slightly darker in the middle of the band than along the edges. On a watch replete with detailed workmanship, even the band boasts its own touches, including an embossed letter T on the clasp and the Tissot name and founding year (1853) inscribed on the caseback.
The band is 19 mm wide—again, a reasonable in-between size—and eight inches long, so it will wear well on large wrists. The deployment clasp provides a snug but comfortable fit. Overall, the segmented band is a plus if you appreciate a custom fit for your wrist, a minus if you don’t feel like going to your local jeweler to remove links.
The Quickster movement is Swiss quartz—no mainspring or tiny, quintessentially-Swiss movement gears on display here. In fact, the caseback is stainless steel, so you won’t be able to see the inner workings of the watch. And if it makes a difference to you, this also means the second hand does its job with a tick, not a sweep. But look on the bright side: with the quartz movement, you’ll have more accurate timekeeping and less upkeep than with most mechanical watches.
This is an eye-catching, fashion-forward timepiece, sharp enough for the office yet casual enough for the backyard barbecue. The dial is very dark—you might think it’s black, but on closer inspection you’ll see it’s actually a handsome navy blue with a slightly granulated texture. The Tissot brand name appears just below the twelve o’ clock position. The fixed, stainless steel bezel shines with a brighter blue than the dial, something more the rich tone of lapis lazuli.
All characters and markers on the watch face and bezel are ivory white and highly readable. The extra-long minute and hour hands are illuminated, as are the “12” and main hour indices. Twelve o’ clock is the only position designated with Arabic numerals. The other hours are marked with bold, oblong stick indices—printed, not applied, with minute markers in between.
The Quickster has a lot going on, but its complications are thoughtfully laid out to ensure easy timekeeping without giving you a headache. At the four o’ clock position you’ll find a recessed date window—white background, black numerals—but no indicator for the day of the week.
There are three subdials, and in a feat of design, they manage not to encroach on the main indexes. Neither are they lost behind the outsized baton hands of the main dial. Each subdial is slightly recessed with a raised chapter ring, giving the dial at large a multilayered appearance.
If you’re unfamiliar with chronograph watches, you’ll need to know that the skinny third hand on the main dial is not the second hand. Seconds are tracked on the lowermost subdial, which is marked off in increments of ten.
Along the rim of the watch you’ll find a bulky crown flanked by two push buttons. The gear-shaped, screw-down crown bears the Tissot “T” and is used to adjust the time and date. The buttons on either side operate the chronograph feature. The bottom button sends the counterweighted chrono second hand to the twelve o’ clock position. The top button starts the chronograph. The top two subdials track elapsed time at different intervals; the right subdial at one-minute intervals, the left subdial at five-minute intervals.
The Quickster also features a tachymeter function, which is inscribed along the bezel. This one is scaled up to 400, although if you’re a stickler for precision, you might lament the lack of indices between major increments. For instance, if the chrono hand stops somewhere between 70 and 75, you may have trouble determining whether to read it as 72 or 73.
This is not an entry-level watch, nor is it one you’ll want to expose to everyday wear and tear. If you’re a fan of Swiss quartz chronographs, the Tissot Quickster is a good place to start, and it’s available in several variations. It wears well on wrists of all sizes, and the design is eye-catching and multilayered. Even with a tachymeter and three subdials, the watch face remains uncluttered, easy to read, and unpretentious. An excellent acquisition for the Swiss watch aficionado.