Introducing The New Tissot PR516 Chronograph Quartz & Mechanical Watches

Tissot's new releases look quite similar to each other, this is a good thing, right?


Tissot, like most of the brands under the Swatch Group’s umbrella, has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts over the last few years, especially their PRX line of watches, which has continually charmed the watch collecting world. The newest additions to the Tissot collection come in the form of two sets of chronograph watches, one triple hit of quartz watches and one mechanical piece, let’s take a look.

PR516 Chronograph Quartz

Tissot’s new quartz-powered chronograph watches certainly look the part, appearing to us as classier versions of the Swatch x Omega Moonswatch pieces that came out a few years back.

The layout of the subdials on these models is quite similar to those pieces, although the similarities more or less stop there, and nobody from the Swatch Group has ever told us what movement is in the Moonswatch watches. In these Tissot models, it’s the ETA-made G10.212 Powerdrive calibre which is used in quite a broad range of Tissot and Certina watches. The theoretical power reserve is around 38 months, theoretical because it depends on the usage of the chronograph.

 All of these watches come with a 40mm x 11.9mm case made of stainless steel, one model also has PVD gold detailing on the bezel and the centre links of its bracelet. Water resistance is set at a generous 100m, which gives all of these models some real-world usability, and the choice of black, blue or black two-tone means buyers will enjoy the choice of watches available to them. For me, I think these look good, they’re simple and unfussy, they also seem easy to read. From some angles, the bracelet doesn’t seem to flow into the case very well, but only hands-on testing would determine if that’s an issue or not.

These watches are priced very reasonably at USD495, rising to USD550 for the two-tone model.

PR516 Chronograph Mechanical

The other choice in the new PR516 lineup is a mechanical version. It’s broadly similar in its appearance to the quartz models, but the dial layout is a bit more traditional with the subdials at 3,6 & 9 O’clock. The case is slightly larger, though, at 41mm x 13.7mm, but it retains the 100m water resistance. Only one version of this watch is available for purchase at the moment, and it comes with a black dial and bezel with white and blue detailing, meaning it should be just as legible as the quartz pieces.

The enlarged case and re-jigged dial come thanks to the mechanical movement inside the watch, that being the new manually-wound Valjoux calibre A05. Interestingly, this new movement is based on the 7753, which is normally an automatic calibre, meaning Valjoux went to the trouble of removing it and redesigning part of the movement to compensate and make this one a manually wound piece. That doesn’t mean it’s lacking in specs, though; it has a generous 68-hour power reserve and ETA’s ‘Chrono Regulation System’, meaning that this one is accurate to within +/- 5 seconds per day. It’s not a patch on the quartz watches, of course, but it’s by no means bad. The movement is also on display in this watch, while it’s hidden on the quartz variants.

All this makes for an intriguing option from Tissot, although it’s left me wondering how the collection works with the quartz watches being available. I don’t think it’s likely that the quartz ones will be a step to purchasing the mechanical variant, the price of which is USD1,850, over thrice the amount for the two-tone quartz. However, there is undoubtedly a market of people who want one like the quartz pieces but with a more traditional touch, and for them, the PR516 will be a great buy.