Tissot is a very well respected watch brand that has established itself as one of the world’s most prominent pioneers in the art of watchmaking. Starting from humble beginnings, the brand now sells its timepieces in 160 countries. Tissot launched its first pocket watch in 1853, and it hasn’t looked back since — frequently launching innovative designs that lead the industry.
Best known for its outstanding sports and dress watches, Tissot has designed and manufactured striking timepieces for over 165 years. Pushing the boundaries of technology all the time, the meticulous Swiss design of this company lends itself perfectly to the brand’s famous sports chronographs, alongside its sleek and sophisticated mechanical watches.
Tissot’s dedication to technology and precision has led to the brand being revered in the field of sport for decades. In fact, the company sponsors many sports championships and teams, which you can learn more about below.
Tissot’s longstanding company motto is “Innovators by Tradition”, and their logo features a plus sign which represents Swiss quality, reliability, positivity, and that the company is always moving forward. More recently, the brand unveiled a new tagline also, which has resonated with many: “Tissot, this is your time”.
The history of Tissot
Tissot was founded by Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son, Charles-Émile Tissot, back in 1853. This took place in their family home in Le Locle, Switzerland, and the company is still based in Le Locle to this day.
A brief timeline of Tissot
In 1930, Tissot merged with Omega, and the two shared the parent company, SSIH. The Tissot-Omega watches produced during this time are highly sought-after timepieces.
Much later on, Tissot became a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group in 1983. The Swatch Group is the largest watch producer and distributor in the world.
Tissot inventions of note
Tissot has been highly innovative over the years, leading the way in watch design.
Tissot didn’t invent the pocket watch, but it did manufacture the first mass-produced version. In the year the company was founded, Tissot released the world’s first pocket watch featuring two time zones and single movement.
In 1930, the company brought out the world’s first anti-magnetic wristwatch, the Tissot Antimagnétique. This was welcome news for the aviation industry, as well as engineers, scientists, and other professionals.
Next in the brand’s noteworthy inventions was the Idea 2001 watch, released in 1971, which was the first watch to be made from plastic. Continuing the theme of creation through innovative materials, the company brought out a watch with a case made of natural stone (alpine granite) in 1985, called the Tissot RockWatch. You can watch the original TV advert for the RockWatch below.
Following on from this, 1987 saw the release of the Tissot Pearl wristwatch, which featured a mother of pearl case — again, a world’s first from the company.
Just a year later, the Tissot Wood timepiece was released (in 1988) — featuring the world’s first wooden watch case.
Another invention of note came in 1999 when Tissot manufactured the T-Touch, which was the world’s first touchscreen-operated wristwatch.
Tissot brand ambassadors
Tissot watches have been spotted on the wrists of many a celebrity, including Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. The Duchess of Cambridge, Nelson Mandela, Elvis Presley and Grace Kelly have also been seen proudly wearing a Tissot timepiece.
The brand has partnered with many celebrities over the years — from actors to sportspeople, bringing various cultures, nationalities and skills together. Current (2019) brand ambassadors include:
- Tony Parker (basketball player)
- Klay Thompson (basketball player)
- Marc Marquez (MotoGP racer)
- Deepika Padukone (actress)
- Virat Kohli (cricket player)
- Liu Yi Fei (actress)
- Huang Xiaoming (actor and singer)
- Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP racer)
- Thomas Lüthi (Moto2 racer)
Tissot: Official timekeepers
Tissot is an official timekeeper for many sport world championships, including:
- Motorsports (MotoGP and the FIM World Superbike Championship)
- Cycling (Tour de France and the UCI World Cycling Championships)
- Basketball (NBA, FIBA and CBA)
- Ice hockey
- Rugby (RBS 6 Nations Championship, TOP14, the European Rugby Champions and Challenge Cups)