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With the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80, the disco revival goes into the next round. The Swiss manufacturer provides the previous successful model with a quartz movement an automatic variant, which is interesting! The powerful Powermatic 80 caliber is supposed to make sure that the Disco watch doesn’t run out of breath. Is it worth the extra cost compared to the quartz model?
The Disco revival gets an upgrade
Tissot gave us a special treat at the beginning of the year, reviving the zeitgeist of the late 70s with a new series of retro watches. Tissot PRX 40 205 – the Disco Revival I titled in the watch review and was not disappointed. The reminiscence of the original PRX from 1978 knew to convince – with an edgy, reduced silver look and a sporty flat case.
Perhaps it’s the memories of the unforgettable time, the music or pop culture in general. In any case, Tissot has hit the bull’s eye with the retro watch among watch lovers. The PRX 40 205 with quartz drive has co-founded a real trend and has been one of the absolute success models of the Swiss manufacturer since its release.
Logically, Tissot is expanding its Disco collection upwards now. Accompanied by a rather unconventional campaign for the watch industry in a funky look and to the sounds of Call Me by Blondie, the traditional brand presents the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80. At first glance, the stylish men’s watch strongly resembles the quartz model, which is around 300 dollars cheaper. However, it’s the inner values that make the difference. Here, Tissot installs the eponymous Powermatic 80, which stands out due to its above-average power reserve.
The question that arises is clear: is the Powermatic 80 Tissot’s best PRX? And – is the “upgrade” even worth it compared to the quartz alternative? A watch test should provide the answers.
My first impression
Tissot sent me the PRX Powermatic 80 with the blue dial. Besides this color variant with the reference number T137.407.11.041.00, there are two alternatives with a black and a silver dial, just like the quartz series. Personally, I like the rich blue tone the best. The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 shares many elements of the case with the PRX 40 205, so the shape and diameter are identical. The Powermatic 80 can be recognized by the pronounced case back on the bottom and even more obviously by the square structure of the dial, which the quartz watch does not have.
Qualitatively, the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 makes a very good impression. The surfaces feel good and appear to be manufactured to a high standard. This also applies to the integrated bracelet, which emerges seamlessly from the case shape and tapers towards the clasp. The angular tonneau shape is omnipresent, which combines sportiness with a certain touch of extravagance and makes up the exciting retro design.
The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 in the Hands-On
I have come to appreciate the compact diameter of this retro watch. 40 millimeters were common more than forty years ago, but stand out among today’s men’s watches. Compared to the PRX 40 205, the overall height of the shiny silver case has increased to 11.30 millimeters due to the automatic case that has to be accommodated. That’s still decidedly slim, which allows the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 to retain its sporty lines and sit flat on the wrist. I also positively noticed the low weight, which makes the wristwatch hardly noticeable in everyday life.
With the characteristic design of the PRX Powermatic 80, Tissot has created a men’s watch that looks much more unconventional, youthful and casual on the wrist than the representatives from the ranks of timeless fashion and dress watches. However, it always remains stylish and sporty and fits perfectly to any occasion and any outfit.
The case of the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
The similarity of the case between the automatic and quartz variants is not only in the looks, which I still really like due to the prominent hexagonal tonneau design. Both watches are also convincing in terms of the workmanship and choice of materials, as well as the case finish, with the usual good workmanship from Tissot. So, if you can do without the automatic movement, you don’t have to accept any qualitative compromises. In other words, the quality level of the PRX 40 205 is far above its price level. Tissot relies on high-quality stainless steel, which is satin-finished on the front of the case, which, in combination with the polished bezel and sides, creates a playful and varied look.
The stainless steel is also matched by the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, which has no curvature, making the watch look even flatter. The protruding caseback echoes the round shape of the bezel and presents the Powermatic 80 caliber through an inset viewing window. Unlike the front, Tissot uses a mineral crystal here.
The case of the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters. This doesn’t necessarily make the PRX a diver’s watch, but we don’t care about that in everyday life. Contact with water (or spilled long drinks at the bar, for that matter) is not a problem.
The Powermatic 80 in detail
It is probably the strongest argument to choose the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 and against the 40 205. We are talking about the Powermatic 80 caliber, which can be called a real workhorse without exaggerating. I already know it from the Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional and you might know it from watches of other Swatch Group brands like Mido, Hamilton or Certina. However, Tissot was the first brand to use the movement.
With a power reserve of an enduring 80 hours, it outperforms the majority of movements on the market by about double. Other outstanding features include good longevity and precise accuracy. And to crown this well-rounded overall package, the Powermatic 80 was given a new hairspring with a titanium-based Nivachron alloy. It is the heart of the movement and was designed to protect it from magnetic fields. You can admire the movement with the discreetly decorated oscillating weight in my watch photography.
Dial and bracelet of the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
While the dial of the PRX 40 205 still had a discreet sunburst finish, the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 can be said to have a real upgrade – even if that may be a matter of taste. All three model versions of the automatic watch stand out from the quartz watches with a square structure. In my opinion that gives the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 a very high recognition value.
The minimalist and stylish design is reduced to only the most necessary components. Indices, second, minute, hour. The latter two, of course, are equipped with Super-LumiNova® coating for the dance floor. Tissot still gave the PRX Powermatic 80 a rectangular date window. The prevailing minimalism tells us two things. First, that the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 is trimmed for functionality, and second, that the retro watch should be understood more as a design accessory and less as a measuring instrument.
Finally, a few words about the bracelet. Made of stainless steel and polished on the sides, the individual strap elements taper towards the clasp. This looks very sporty. The clasp itself is a three-piece folding clasp with two pushers. They ensure a secure hold for the wearer in everyday life. The good quality level of the case continues here as well.
My conclusion about the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
Tissot continues its successful story. The PRX Powermatic 80 picks up the great design of its quartz predecessor and combines it with an automatic movement. That should be interesting especially for the real watch fans, who didn’t like the quartz movemen. In my opinion, the Powermatic 80 is a strong purchase argument to spend 300 dollars more for a watch that looks very similar at first glance. After all, it’s primarily the good performance values that have made a lasting impression on me.
If you can still do without an automatic movement, you can get a watch of equal quality with the PRX 40 205, which is also available in three different colors. So, there is enough choice.
$650.00 is the price for the T137.407.11.041.00 and the model with black dial. If you opt for the silver dial and the rose gold PVD coating, you’ll pay. $675.00. I am pleased that Tissot is expanding the price segment from 500 to 1000 dollars and offering an exciting wristwatch, especially to newcomers.