I'm heading out of the country this summer around two weeks of vacation... and we all know that's a great excuse for a travel watch. So I started looking for a multi-timezone quartz watch with alarm and a steel bracelet; something decent, not too cheap, that I would be proud to wear on vacation or not.
After some chasing I settled on the Tissot T-Navigator because it had the features I was looking for in the price range I was looking for ($300 to $500 street price; $625 MSRP). I'd never seen one in person, but I figured a Swiss-made watch with a temperature-compensated ETA quartz movement should be a worthy addition. I found it for $387.50 at Jomashop.com, model T96-1-488-42 (blue face; also available in black for around $30 less).
My first impression when I received it was that Tissot probably spent half the watch's asking price on the box. It is a super-nice looking rig. But my awe and amazement ended as soon as I took the watch out – it's a lightweight with a cheap bracelet and a crudely-made case.
Nonetheless, I sized the watch and put it on. Another disappointment: The bracelet has sharp edges and makes this the second most uncomfortable watch I have ever worn. The bracelet and case on my $99 Orient Mako is far nicer and I'm not afraid it's going to have a spontaneous disconnect when I'm running through an airport.
Still nonetheless, I adjusted the time on the watch and explored the features. I really like the functions the watch offers. The hands are driven by a step motor, so when you select a function (by touching the crystal) the hands point to an indicator on the bezel to tell you what mode it's in. When you select a new time zone, the hands flutter around to show the time in that zone.
The little LCD panel has dimmable LED illumination and offers a myriad of display configurations and can show you the time, date, time zone, combination of seconds and day/date, etc. In this regard the watch is super. The alarm beeper is surprisingly loud considering it's contained within a steel case. The "low" beep is strong enough to make the watch vibrate noticeably. You can have the time zone displayed with the default city names or enter your own name manually.
Right now I'm wrestling with the fact that I paid almost $400 for a neat watch that can be outmatched by a $70 Casio and in my opinion, far less of a value than a comparably priced Swatch stepmotor watch.
·Nice looking rig with great functions for those wanting an alarm/timezone watch with analog hands.
·ETA quartz movement with (as far as I could find) less than 12 seconds of drift per year.
·Cheap hardware removes any panache this watch might have to the non-WIS
·Uses common CR2032 lithium coin cell (2 year life rating).
·50 ATM water resistance; instructions say it is not permissible to use watch functions while wet.
For what I paid for the Tissot I can get another (better) watch, a set of tires for my car and a steak dinner.