New: Tissot PR 516 Chrono Mechanical

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Tissot reissues their PR 516 from a popular watch of the same name from 1965. The entry is particularly interesting as it features a manual wound chronograph, in a vintage vibe styling.

Press Release information with commentary in italics.

New: Tissot PR 516 Chrono Mechanical

The Tissot PR 516 Chrono Ref. T149.459.21.051.00 retails at SGD 2,620. Price is inclusive of GST.


The watch which inspired this novelty was a time only watch in 1965, and pitched by Tissot as the go anywhere watch which uses a shock absorption system. In 1968, Tissot then released the chronograph version.

Tissot PR 516 Chronograph, 1970, Tissot Museum.

2024 marks the re-release of the mechanical chronograph version of the PR 516. The case measures 41mm in diameter and is a tonneau shaped affair.

The PR 516 Chrono Mechanical.

Versions released includes the mechanical version covered in this article and a series of three variants with quartz movements. The watches are very similar, with the quartz versions in a reduced 40mm case size.

The PR 516 Chrono Quartz is available in three variants. Pricing for the quartz variants are below SGD 700.

The movement is a new hand wound chronograph designated as Valjoux A05, which is a derivative of the Valjoux 7753 caliber. The A05 base is automatic winding, and for the new caliber to fit the design requirements, the rotor is removed and replaced with a decorated bridge. The mainspring is also modified with a fixed bridle instead of a sliding one, allowing for a complete lock when fully wound. The new movement is designated the Valjoux A05.291. Power reserve is a useful 68 hours at 28,800 bph. The movement finishing is done to what ETA calls their Elaboré grade.

The vintage vibes are very strong on the PR 516 Chrono, with the release price kept below SGD 3k is an attractive value proposition. Though, we wished that Tissot had brought back the GT wristband or the steel bracelet pierced with holes, from the watches in the 1970s.

Release information

Le Locle, Switzerland. Tissot announces the launch of its new PR516 collection, marking a new chapter in its watchmaking history. This collection, a reinterpretation of a highly appreciated model from 1970, features an updated vintage design. The range includes a mechanical chronograph model and three quartz variants, designed to capture the spirit of driving with a sporty design. The Tissot PR516 collection will be available worldwide from February 22, 2024.

The Tissot PR516 collection boasts a dynamic and versatile design, ready to take pole position on a variety of occasions. Its tapered stainless-steel case combines robustness and style, with three counters for classic timing functionality, while the tachymeter and pulsometer on the bezel offers the ability to measure speed and heart rate for adrenaline filled activities. The positioning of the counters varies between the mechanical and quartz models, offering a distinction between the two. The bezel, indices, and baton hands, all coated with Super-LumiNova®, ensure enhanced visibility in all conditions. 

The domed stainless-steel bracelet adds a touch of refinement. Equipped with a quick interchangeable system, the bracelet can suit both formal attire and more casual styles. This collection, designed for those who define their path with confidence, is an ideal companion, whether in business meetings or on the fast-winding roads of life.

Mechanical Mastery

The PR516 mechanical chronograph is a celebration of Tissot’s high-end craftsmanship. It features a Swiss manual winding mechanical movement, a nod to the rich heritage of the watch and the collection it is directly inspired by. This new movement, specifically designed for this watch, underscores Tissot’s ongoing innovation.

The 41mm diameter of the case gives the watch a distinct presence on the wrist, while the glassbox-style sapphire crystal elevates its appearance, giving it a high-end look. The open back offers a fascinating window into its mechanism, highlighting the complexity and meticulous construction. Once again, Tissot achieves a balance between accessibility and fine Swiss watchmaking.

Similar Body, Different Engine

 Since good news never comes alone, the PR516 series also includes three quartz versions, offering the benefit of optimal precision. These models, with a design almost identical to the mechanical one, provide access to the Tissot heritage at more affordable prices. The case back of the watch features an engraved laurel wreath and a sport car’s steering wheel with the number 516 at its center, symbolising the racing heritage associated with this collection. With a slightly reduced case diameter of 40mm, these versions are equipped with the Quartz G10.212 Powerdrive movement, synonymous with practicality and reliability.

A Long-Distance Race

Tissot sometimes redesigns models that have marked its history. The trajectory is clear: to draw inspiration from its rich archives, while continually reinventing itself. The PR516 collection is a perfect example of this approach, offering a contemporary tribute to a timeless design. And as in a race, each new lap is an opportunity to improve and adapt to new challenges. For Tissot, the most important thing is not to drive the fastest, but to have the skill to take the best turn.

South American (Peruvian) rally legend Henry Bradley (1940-2016), who was very fond of his Tissot PR 516, chose to write the name of the watch on his Ferrari out of pure passion. Pic from Tissot archives.

Through this collection, the Swiss watchmaker celebrates each person’s unique race, with an updated design of a brand icon. This timepiece, a symbol of perseverance and ambition, is made to accompany you during the race, not just to celebrate after crossing the finish line.

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical Specifications

Tissot PR516 Chronograph Mechanical  
pastedGraphic_5.pngCASE Diameter: 41 mm / Thickness: 13.7 mm Tapered case Tachymeter & Pulsometer Sapphire Crystal glassbox Style with anti-reflective coating and full open case back  Water-resistant to 100 m (10 ATM) Super-LumiNova® on bezel 
pastedGraphic_6.pngMOVEMENT Valjoux A05 Chronograph Mechanical Movement (Manual winding)  Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
pastedGraphic_7.pngDIAL Hour and minute baton hands coated with Super-LumiNova® Black sunburst dial
pastedGraphic_8.pngBRACELET Quick release interchangeable bracelet Beans stainless steel bracelet


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