How The Tissot PRX Is Helping to Revitalise Watch Culture

Credit: Tissot

The Tissot PRX Collection touts a philosophy of affordability without sacrificing quality. It’s this philosophy that is allowing access to the world of watches to more people than ever.

The Tissot PRX collection is the answer to a question we didn’t even know we were asking: How do we gain access to watches again?

The last five to six years have been absolutely insane for the watch community and collectors. When I visited New York, over on Madison Avenue I couldn’t find a single watch at retail. A few blocks down the street on 47th St., I could find watches in stock but with the caveat that they are, at a minimum, $20,000 above the retail price.

This is in part due to an overinflated grey market. AD’s are making below the table deals and anything wearable with the name Tudor, Rolex, Patek Philippe, or Audemars Piguet is going directly onto the grey market. It’s unfortunate, but it is the world we live in. Well… it was until 2022.

Something strange has happened in 2022. We, as a collective, kind of became smart again thanks in large part to two brands, Swatch and Tissot.

Quick history lesson. These two brands basically carried the 1980s watchmaking world. They both implemented quartz-based movements which helped to keep prices down which allowed them to be far more competitive than their contemporaries.  

Once we hit the mid-2000s, people started getting even richer. So rich that these unattainable watches from Rolex and AP just became the norm. Everyone wanted a statement piece.

Let’s look at it this way: If Patek Philippe was Real Madrid, Audemars Piguet was Barcelona, and Rolex Manchester United. These guys have some real wealth and power with huge fanbases, and every team and its fans want to be the UEFA Champion of Europe. But in 2016, Leicester City won. When Leicester City won, it reminded us that small teams can also do something amazing and special.

Omega x Swatch Moonswatch | Credit: Swatch

Swatch threw the first punch with an affordable and easy to access Speedmaster (the Moonswatch). Then Tissot released an automatic movement waffle dial watch with a steel integrated bracelet for under $1,000, the PRX Powermatic 80.

We all collectively regained our senses with the release of these two low price point watches. Once again $10,000 was a lot to spend on a watch. $20,000 was astronomical and who on earth are you to spend $60,000 on a watch?

This was exactly what the market was asking for: something easily accessible, at a decent price, that you can actually find in a store. I went to my local shopping centre and managed to find seven PRX’s at separate jewellery and watch shops for each of my groomsmen.

It’s like a soliloquy, a decree to oneself: I am here, I am just as good as you want me to be, and I look just as good as you need me to be. The quality, the movement, the finish, the bracelet, and the dial are all things that are a part of Tissot’s soliloquy when making this watch.

Outspoken.

“This is what watch collecting is meant to be.”

Not the pomposity, lining up, or mind games played with authorised dealers.

Simple.

Beautiful.

Watchmaking.

The Tissot PRX collection returns to the philosophy that was present when the Royal Oak was launched in 1972: Somewhat of a “fuck you” to the market, going it alone to be the trendsetter themselves.

The hype has died down, and in its wake were left with a very simple, elegant piece… the Tissot PRX.  

For more watches that aren’t at a reasonable price, check out Fernando Alonso’s $1 million collaboration with Richard Mille

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