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The Tissot T-Classic range is everything one expects from a modern Swiss watch brand. Both contemporary and classic watch designs for both men and women from around 100 euros form the basis of the collection of this quality watch brand.
Tissot was founded in 1853 by a fitter of gold cases called Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son Charles-Émile Tissot a watchmaker. The company was located in the city of Le Locle in Switzerland.
Tissot was set up as a comptoir d’établissage, which is a network of independent workers who are highly specialised in producing the watch parts from their homes. The watches were then assembled and sold at the Comptoir. In those days all Tissot watches were pocket watches, pendant watches or complication watches, produced mainly for the USA market.
From 1917, the company started producing movement-blanks, resulting in a merger with Omega in 1930 to form the first Swiss watchmaking Association, the SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère).
During the economic crisis of the 1970s which already affected the Swiss watch industry, a new threat came from the arrival and popularity of Asian quartz watches. This prompted Nicolas G. Hayek - who was mandated to audit the watchmaking sector – to recommend the merger of the main groups of watchmakers at the time: the SSIH (of which Tissot was a part) and ASUAG. This merger in 1983, resulted in the Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries Ltd.- was to become the Swatch Group in 1998.
Today, the Swatch Group is the largest watch producer and distributor in the world and is still based in Le Locle, Switzerland. It is not surprising that one of Tissot’s most enduring watch models is called LeLocle.
Besides their extensive classic watch collection, Tissot is also famed for their many innovations in watch making. In 1853, the brand introduced the first mass-produced pocket watch as well as the first pocket watch with two time zones. Tissot was also the first watch manufacturer to make watches out of plastic (which would become the basis for Swatch watches), stone, mother of pearl and wood.
In 1999 Tissot introduced its first tactile T-Touch watch. Watches containing this technology have a touch-sensitive sapphire crystal to control various functions like compasses, barometer, altimeter and thermometer. The T-Touch series is still part of the current Tissot collection.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Tissot has been an official timekeeper for many sporting events such as the world championships in cycling, motorcycling, fencing and ice hockey. Tissot's first role as an official timekeeper was in 1938 when they timed a series of Ski races in Villar, near the company's hometown in the Jura mountains. Tissot is also Sponsor for several Formula One teams.
Tissot watches have always been popular among artists, actors and sportsmen and women. Their watches were worn by the actress Sarah Bernhardt, Carmen Miranda, Grace Kelly, and James Stewart (in the Hitchcock film Rear Window). Angelina Jolie wore Tissot T-Touch watches in the motion pictures Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Mr. & Mrs Smith. Not surprisingly the brand has a lot of brand ambassadors. Among them many racing drivers such as Bradley Smith, Stefan Bradl, Nicky Hayden, Thomas Lüthi and Tito Rabat.