Tissot introduced the first mass-produced pocket watch and the first pocket watch with two times zones in 1853 and the first anti-magnetic watch in 1929-30. Charles-Emile Tissot left for Russia in 1858 and succeeded in selling their savonnette pocket watches across the Russian Empire. The Tissot company was also the first to make watches out of plastic (IDEA 2001 in 1971), stone (the Alpine granite Rock watch in 1985), mother of pearl (the Pearl watch in 1987), and wood (the Wood watch in 1988). Tissot merged with the Omega watch making family in 1930 and Tissot-Omega watches from this era are sought after by collectors.
Still based in Le Locle, Switzerland and present in more than 150 countries around the world, Tissot has been a member of The Swatch Group Ltd., the largest watch producer and distributor in the world, since 1983.
Tissot is an official timekeeper for the world championships in cycling, motorcycling, fencing and ice hockey, and was used for the Davis Cup in 1957 and Downhill Skiing in Switzerland in 1938. Tissot was also a key Sponsor for the Formula one teams Lotus, Renault and Sauber. Tissot's first engagement as an official timekeeper was in 1938 where they timed a series of Ski races in Villar, near the company's home town in the Jura mountains.
For early events, handheld stop watches were sufficient to provide official timings. Today Tissot works with various sporting bodies to develop system to produce ever more accurate timings for specific events. In competitive cycling for instance, sensors are placed on the bikes and track which are then linked by computers to provide track timings and performance data.
Tissot has become known in recent years for its tactile, or "T-Touch," technology; several new watches have touch-sensitive sapphire glasses and include compasses, barometers, altimeters and thermometers. T-Touch watches have been recently featured on Angelina Jolie's wrist in the movies Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
Famous people who have worn Tissot watches include the actress Sarah Bernhardt, singer Carmen Miranda, Elvis Presley, Grace Kelly, and Nelson Mandela. James Stewart also wears a Tissot watch in the movie "Rear Window".Indian actor Kamal Hassan also wears a Tissot watch in the Tamil Movie "Dasavatharam".
Because of this huge success in Britain, Tissot watches are now headquartered in Britain. They are proud of their Swiss heritage and belong to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. Tissot watches today manufacture a large range of models that include Chinese and Japanese movements. The watches made in China and Japan will be less expensive compared to the watches made in Switzerland. These less expensive watches will bear the mark 'Established in Switzerland" but are not made in Switzerland. The watches made in Switzerland will bear the mark "Swiss Made" on them. According to Swiss law, the watch needs to be assembled and use Swiss made movement in order for it to qualify as a Swiss watch.
Tissot watches use either quartz or automatic movements. The watches will have the dolphin standard which means that they are waterproof. Rotary has evolved to become a successful watch company and today make many different models for both men and women. These include both quartz and automatic movements. Tissot was a pioneer in quartz technology way back in the 1970,s. Before quartz watches, the movement of the watch was controlled by using an oscillating tuning fork. Quartz movement on the other hand meant that watches could become much more accurate and efficient than before. The company has gone on to become a leading watch maker and have won numerous awards for excellence, style and innovation.
Whether you want to buy a contemporary, classic, gents or ladies watches, looking into a Tissot watch would be a good start. Some of the classic designs such as the Gents limited edition and the classic ladies watches are highly sought after watches. You will be able to get bracelet designs or watches with leather straps. Tissot has made use of stainless steel, silver and gold to make their watches. The bracelet models can be found in these metals and they are produced to be of high quality.
One of the reasons for the popularity of Tissot watches is that these watches can be had for a relatively low price. They make watches that come with a reasonable price tag. The cheapest ones will come as low as 60-70 dollars and the pricier ones will cost around 1000 dollars. There is perhaps no other watch maker that gives such a wide price range, considering the quality involved. It is this combination of price and innovation that has helped propel Tissot watches as one of the leading watch manufacturers.