New Releases Watches

Tissot Debut PR516 Chronograph Mechanical with New Movement Alongside Quartz Editions

Tissot PR516 Chronograph

Tissot have launched a new range of chronographs inspired by the 1970s, the Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical and PR516 Chronograph Quartz. While the quartz models are nice in their own way, our main focus here is squarely on the mechanical edition in no small part due to its new movement, which was specially developed for this watch. It represents the new highest tier in Tissot’s mechanical chronograph movements.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical T149.459.21.51.00

However, before we get to the movement, let’s start with the aesthetics and structure of the watch. It measures 41mm in diameter and is made from stainless steel, which is ideal for a sporty watch like this. At 41mm it’s not overwhelmingly big but at the same time it allows the display to be large, making it easier to read the subdials and scales. Speaking of scales, the bezel is adorned with two of them – a pulsometer on the lumed, white quarter and a tachymeter on the black portion.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical T149.459.21.51.00
Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical T149.459.21.51.00

The chronograph display itself is absolutely textbook. A tricompax layout with three subdials for small seconds, 12-hour timer and 30-minute timer. While Tissot credit its inspiration with a heritage model from the 1970s (Roger Moore wore one in Live and Let Die), I personally think there is a hint of Rolex Daytona DNA. Specifically, the rings around the edge of each subdial are evocative of the Ref. 126500LN, as are the relatively short hour markers. However, there are enough features that make the Tissot PR516 stand out on its own. I particularly like the use of orange for the chronograph counter hands, adding a splash of colour to the display.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical T149.459.21.51.00

Now we move onto the movement and it’s the new Valjoux A05.291 Chronograph Mechanical Movement. In an unusual move for Tissot, it’s a manual wind calibre, meaning you have to physically wind it using the crown periodically to keep it ticking. It’s clearly an intentional choice on their part because the base movement they adapted to create this one is the 7753, which is an automatic movement, meaning they went out of their way to remove the rotor.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical T149.459.21.51.00

Removing the rotor isn’t all they’ve done as they also redesigned the barrel architecture to give a 68-hour power reserve. On top of that they’ve incorporated a Nivachron balance spring for anti-magnetic resistance and used ETA’s Chrono Regulation System to improve accuracy. The result of that is an average accuracy of +/-5 seconds per day. For a sub-£1,800 that’s very good. The specific price is £1,720.

Price and Specs:

Model: Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical
Ref: T149.459.21.51.00
Case: 41mm diameter x 13.7mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Black sunburst
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Valjoux calibre A05, manual winding, 25 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 68h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,720

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Quartz

Tissot PR516 Chronograph

While the Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical is the major headline here, we’ll quickly mention the quartz versions too. There are three of them and aesthetically they’re broadly similar to their mechanical cousin. Although as you look closer you’ll notice lots of small differences.

First and foremost of those differences is the fact that they’re a bit smaller with a diameter of 40mm. It’s not a huge difference but certainly a noticeable one. The other change to the case is the fact that that it has a solid steel caseback as opposed to the Mechanical’s exhibition one. Not an unexpected change for a quartz watch.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Quartz T149.417.11.041.00

As for the displays, well there’s a blue version, a black and silver version and lastly a full black and gold model. That last golden is unique as it’s been paired with a gold PVD bi-colour bracelet as well, giving it a more luxe appearance. You’ll also note that instead of the traditional tricompax layout, it uses a style vastly more common in quartz watches where the subdials are centred around the hands. Rather than having the two side counter in line with the hands on a horizontal axis.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph T149.417.11.041.00
Tissot PR516 Chronograph T149.417.11.051.00
Tissot PR516 Chronograph T149.417.22.051.00

Being quartz, these versions of the PR516 are even more accessible at £475 for the steel and black models and £515 for the golden one. Honestly though, if you have enough money for one of these watches or are able to save enough money to buy one (if watches are more of an aspirational object for you), I genuinely think you’d be better off saving up that money three times over in order to buy the Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical. The execution, style and mechanics of that watch are just much nicer.

Price and Specs:

Model: Tissot PR516 Chronograph Quartz
Ref: T149.417.11.041.00 (blue), T149.417.11.051.00 (black), T149.417.22.051.00 (golden bi-colour)
Case: 40mm diameter x 11.9mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Black or blue
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Quartz G10.212 Powerdrive
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £475 (blue and black) and £515 (golden bi-colour)

More details at Tissot.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.