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With the Tissot PRX 40 205, the Swiss manufacturer takes us on a journey back in time to the late 70s. The quartz watch is supposed to remind of the original 1978 model with a distinctive design and to bring back the disco feeling. Read this review to find out how it succeeds.
Saturday Night Fever!
Weird fashion, lots of glitter, colorful neon lights, danceable music and a very special attitude towards life. The late 70s were formative for an entire generation – and they still are today. This decade that was coming to an end culminated in the cult US dance movie Saturday Night Fever from 1977, in which John Travolta in the leading role danced his way into the hearts of the audience to the disco songs of the Bee Gees. The film triggered a whole disco wave and reflected the music, fashion and lifestyle of young people. Especially the fashion is what we want to talk about today. And no, I don’t want to test for you the iconic white outfit of John Travolta. Rather a watch.
For decades, the Swiss watch manufacturer has been working according to its self-cited credo “Innovators by Tradition”. Watches should bear the defining design of their respective era. The year 1978 was a not insignificant one in Tissot’s history. A year after the global success of Saturday Night Fever, the manufacturer released a sensational model that was meant to embody the zeitgeist of the disco scene. With roots in the sports watch look, Tissot presented a watch with the then novel quartz movement, an integrated bracelet and a particularly flat case.
The new name 40 205
“PRX” is the model with the angular case later christened. This stands for precise, robust and the Roman numeral 10, which indicates the value of the water resistance, 10 bar. Over 40 years later, Tissot’s PRX enjoys cult status just like the Bee Gees hits Stayin Alive or Night Fever. In 2021, Tissot has taken this as an opportunity to reissue the PRX. The revival has the characteristic features of its ancestor and now bears the name suffix 40 205, which corresponds to the product number of the model at the time. Whether the new edition Tissot PRX 40 205 can revive the charm of the disco scene, I found out inmy test.
First impression of Tissot’s new PRX 40 205
Tissot offers its PRX 40 205 in three model variants – with blue, silver and black dial. The Swiss manufacturer sent me the latter variant. So there it is, the Disco watch. At first glance, it seems different from many watches I usually test. The surfaces of the stainless steel case are both brushed and polished and shimmer. The dial has a black sunburst finish, which makes it look dynamic. It looks sporty all the way. The integrated bracelet in a slim “reptile” design blends seamlessly with the angular case, which creates a strong contrast with the round dial. This “angularity” is what is known in the trade as a tonneau shape.
This watch must have caused a sensation on the dance floors of discotheques. Even now, over 40 years later, the design still looks unspent, polarizing and different. I would have looked nice with this back then! Material selection and workmanship make a positive impression. The watch is flat and feels light in the hand, which must have been an absolute novelty in the 70s. Until then, people only knew heavy mechanical timepieces.
The Tissot PRX 40 205 on the wrist
I can’t help myself but I think that this watch would have cut a fine figure on John Travolta, as I look in the mirror, wearing the watch on my wrist. But to be on the safe side, I didn’t combine it with his white costume. You don’t have to wear the full outfit to feel the 70s. Such a watch alone does it too. And even very well. The Tissot PRX 40 205 brings a certain sportiness, coupled with a lot of style and extravagance to the wrist. This brings variety among the predominant chronographs. The certain retro charm is fortunately also not missing! You simply have to like this timepiece.
As the name suffix suggests, the width and length of the tonneau case are 40 millimeters. Thus, the Tissot PRX 40 205 is pleasantly compact and does not look too obtrusive, but sporty-elegant. It is not only the design, but also the size that makes the timepiece a real unisex watch. In the disco, everyone can wear the Tissot PRX 40 205. Personally, I would recommend the watch more to men because of its angularity.
Good shape, perfectly finished: the case
A significant part of the characteristic design of the Tissot PRX 40 205 is the case. It is made of 316L stainless steel, which is excellently crafted. This is good quality, as you would expect from Tissot. I really like the polished and brushed surfaces with the beveled edges. They bring dynamism to the design, whose tonneau shape provides the high recognition value. With a case diameter of 40 millimeters, the Tissot PRX 40 205 is not even 10.5 millimeters high. The compact quartz movement inside allows Tissot to realize the slim and sporty case shape.
In the direction of the bracelet, the case tapers and merges directly into it. The lugs of the strap are integrated. The case back of the dial is kept simple and has a sunburst finish. With a weight of just 130 grams, the Tissot PRX 40 205 is a real lightweight. This has a positive effect on wearing comfort. In everyday life, you can hardly feel the watch on your wrist.
Unusual for a watch in the mid-three-digit price segment is the watch glass. Tissot relies on particularly scratch-resistant and durable sapphire. This matches the overall very high-quality choice of materials. Tissot certifies that the case is water resistant up to 10 bar, which is well above the average for most quartz watches. This does not make the Tissot PRX 40 205 a diver’s watch. However, contact with water is not a concern in any case.
Very solid: the movement
When it comes to the movement, Tissot has moved with the times and now relies on a Swiss quartz movement. The ETA F06.115 is known for its reliability and longevity. It is equipped with three jewels.
The dial of the Tissot PRX 40 205.
The sunburst finish enhances the surface of my black dial. If I chose the silver alternative, it would have been a vertical cut. The dial is the center of the Tissot PRX 40 205, framed by the thin and circular bezel. Hour indexes and minute track have dash shape. Various decorations, serifs or embellishments do not exist on the dial. The best way to describe it would be the term “styled”. This were also the late 70s – progressive.
The hands, also kept very minimalistic, are conspicuously close to each other. Accordingly, the sapphire crystal comes close to the dial. Another reason why the watch is just a little thicker than one centimeter.
You also have to read the time in a disco. After all, you should see when the hour hand gets ominously close to 5 o’clock and you realize that the night will soon be over. In the darkened room and glow of neon lights, Swiss SuperLuminova is the most proven means of illuminating the hands of the watch. On the dial of the Tissot PRX 40 205, they are particularly bright and shine with uniform intensity.
A narrow, round bezel completes the dial very well, in my opinion, and also textures the surface of the wristwatch. In keeping with the overall look, it is stylishly polished. On the dial, which is otherwise very minimalist, there is still a date window at 3 o’clock. It has a rectangular shape. The numerals are printed in black on white.
Comfort meets exciting design: the bracelet
“Reptile design” is what Tissot calls the shape of the links of the bracelet itself. To my astonishment, this is also true, as I discover when I examine it. Somehow, the links remind me of scales, which fits the unusual shape of the Tissot PRX 40 205. The integration into the watch with a smooth transition into the case was something very special in the late 1979s. Even today, it looks very sporty.
Despite the 316L stainless steel also used here, the bracelet is characterized by its flexible feel. While the inside was polished, Tissot relies on satin-finished surfaces for the outside. But not only the look is right, the wearing comfort as well. For a steel bracelet, the bracelet is immensely comfortable on the wrist. Its shape and lightness make you almost forget about the watch on your wrist in everyday life. The butterfly deployant clasp is well made and provides a secure fit for the wearer.
My conclusion about the Tissot PRX 40 205: the 70’s stayin’ alive!
The times of the disco scene are long gone now. Nevertheless, people like to remember the end of the 70s. Of the music, the fashion and the experiences of that time. The Tissot PRX 40 205 has actually managed to revive this very special feeling. You wear the watch on your wrist and feel like you’ve been transported back in time over 40 years. Tissot has revived a true classic that has lost none of its coolness – so much for my emotional opinion.
Viewed quite objectively, the Tissot PRX 40 205 is simply a watch that does a lot of things right. The Swiss manufacturer manages to combine an exciting design with the usual good quality. The materials and their workmanship are on a particularly high level here. This is almost surprising when you consider that Tissot’s recommended retail price is 375 $. At this price you get a lot of watch! Sufficient color choice is also given with the three dial variants. Thus, the Tissot PRX 40 205 is not only interesting for the real enthusiasts, but also for everyone who simply wants to wear a stylish and unusual wristwatch. In this sense: cheers to the disco times!