This is a short review of my lovely new Tissot Heritage PR 516 watch with blue dial. I've had this watch on my wrist for a week now, and I have loved every minute of it. After seeing a review of this watch in the April 2013 edition of WatchTime I began looking for one. The blue dialed version really caught my eye, but my local AD did not have it, and was not willing to order it at his expense. So, on a business trip to San Antonio I looked high and low but could not find any version of this watch. Although I preferred to see it before buying it, I finally caved in and ordered it from my local AD. I did not, however, want the stock bracelet so I ordered a Hadley-Roma mesh bracelet in addition to the watch. In just under a week the watch and bracelet were ready for me to pick up.
Here are the details:
- 40 mm diameter, 13 mm thick, 50 mm lug to lug, 8 mm crown
- blue sunburst dial (more on this later)
- beveled and domed sapphire crystal-no antireflective coating (more on this later too)
- large push-in crown with large "T" signature
- mineral glass case back showcasing a steering wheel and the movement. The steering wheel is engraved with a box "T" emblem and the text "PR 516 Automatic". The movement is a base model ETA 2836-2 without any decoration.
- the indices float
- lume, presumably Superluminova covers part of the hands, and also the indices. The lume on the hands is white, but the thin stripe of lume on the indices is grey, and it was a surprise to see them light up at night!
- 100 meters WR
- the dial has a box Tissot "T" logo and the words "Tissot, visodate, automatic, seastar, PR 516, and GL" Visodate refers to the relatively large and highly legible day/date feature. Automatic is, well, you know. Seastar refers to previous models, but this is a sea faring watch only so long as you don't use it for SCUBA diving. PR 516 means Particularly Robust errr 516. I have not found out what 516 means. It may be a reference to the year this line was created, 1956. GL means Grand Luxe, which was originally launched in 1965.
OK, now for five observations.
First, it is a very cool watch that looks fantastic on the mesh bracelet. Second, there are reflections everywhere. Strangely the reflections do not detract from the beauty of the watch, but they do make it very hard to photograph. Must be something about how the eye sees differently than the camera. Third, the blue sunburst dial looks black or very dark blue in almost every lighting situation. I was hoping for a dial as vibrant as that on my two-tone submariner, but the Tissot is much more subtle. Some photos online show a vibrant blue sunburst. Given the reflections and the subdued effect I must give mad props to any photographer who captures the effect. In the right light, there is a blue effect, but it is a quiet kind of personal pleasure, and it is fleeting. Fourth, the water resistance is important to me. At 100 meters the WR is not quite dive ready, but it is more than enough for a swim or whatever. Not having to take off my watch because water is around is a huge plus for my lifestyle. Fifth, the homage is very complete, but modern at the same time. Tissot has done an excellent job combining the best design features of the original with many little touches that modern watch lovers expect and desire.
Now for some photos. First please see this excellent post by ditoy_eagle for a more thorough photo tour of all the PR 516 Heritage editions. Next are my pics both on, and off my 7.5" wrist.
For micro brand money this is an excellent value for an actual Swiss watch. The style is 60's but fresh. Even it is not your cup of tea at least it has style. There are many details to enjoy on the watch, even seeing the day and date reflect off the sides of their windows is neat-o. The production quality is so high that it easily withstands microscopic inspection. It looks formal or sporting depending on how you dress. There are not too many around, so if you get one you'll be the only cook kid. As if all that was not good enough even the wife likes it, which is a huge plus!