Review: the new Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph

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When Tissot introduced the PRX in 2021 (and subsequently, the PRX Powermatic 80 later in the same year), it immediately captured our attention. Here, we have a rather well-designed and handsome timepiece, with a great value proposition. It seems like we have found a winner here.

So, after the inclusion of an automatic movement in the PRX collection, how can Tissot continue to grow the collection from here? In early 2022, we got an answer from Tissot, in the form of a chronograph. And perhaps, on paper, we have another compelling timepiece once again.

Review: Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph

Retail Price: S$2,550 (inclusive of GST)

The new PRX Automatic Chronograph is the latest addition to the PRX collection. As suggested by the nomenclature and the picture above, the watch now features a chronograph complication. However, it still retains all the essence of the PRX collection, most notably with the barrel-shaped case and the integrated bracelet. In other words, this is a reflection of the sports chronograph of the 1970s.

The Case, Dial, and Hands

The PRX Automatic Chronograph can be considered as a big brother to the PRX Powermatic 80. Reason being, despite sharing the similar barrel-shaped case and integrated bracelet design, the PRX Automatic Chronograph is larger in size. This particular watch now features a 42mm case, compared to its brethren which has a smaller 40mm case.

The comparison of the case dimension does not stop here. The other key element to note is the thickness of the watch. In order to accommodate the new movement with the chronograph complication, the PRX Automatic Chronograph now features a case that is thicker by 3.6mm, at 14.5mm. While the figure might appear small on paper, we can definitely feel the difference on the wrist. Perhaps it might also be attributed to the movement, but the PRX Automatic Chronograph certainly felt much chunkier and heavier on the wrist. It will probably take a while for one to get used to the heft, if the individual is not accustomed to wearing watches with a larger wrist presence.

Next, we move on to the dial. The Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph is currently offered in two different dial variants. The first is the panda dial variant, with a silver dial and black sub-dials. The other comes with a dark blue dial, with silver sub-dials. Both variants are stunning in their own rights.

The dial of the PRX Automatic Chronograph features the familiar tri-compax layout, with the running seconds hand at the 9 o’clock position. In addition, there is also a date window at the 4:30 position. While we are not the biggest fan of date windows being placed there, we reckon many will still appreciate the functionality that comes along with a date display despite its placement.

Besides the sub-dials, the PRX Automatic Chronograph does not feature many superfluous details or inscriptions on the dial. The most obvious one would perhaps be the omission of the tapisserie dial, which was a key feature of the Powermatic 80. Instead, the Chronograph features a vertically brushed dial, which works rather well here. In fact, we would like to think that the tapisserie dial might be a little too excessive here.

Another interesting touch for the timepiece lies in the minute track. The PRX Automatic Chronograph features a contrasting minute track, which we thought was rather nice as well. Interestingly, the minute track also features the same concentric finishing that is not dissimilar to the ones on the sub-dial as well. Talk about attention to detail.

We round up the article with the hands and indices. Similar to the other watches in the collection, the PRX Chronograph Automatic is fitted with a pair of stick hands and stick indices – a tribute to the original PRX watches of the 1970s. The hands and indices, as seen in the picture above, are filled with luminescent material and it works rather decently in a low-light environment.

Movement: Valjoux A05.H31

The timepiece is powered by the Valjoux A05.H31 movement, a self-winding movement that features the chronograph complication. The ETA 7753-based movement has an autonomy of up to 60 hours, and it beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Intriguingly, as we understand that there are some modifications with the movement to derive this particular sub-dial layout, it means that the movement has to do without the quickset date adjustment via the crown. Instead, the watch features a recessed pusher at the 10 o’clock position on the case to adjust the date instead.

Finishing-wise, the Valjoux A05.H31 is industrial. The key finishing techniques are perhaps the perlage on the bridges, as well as the brush finishing on the rotor. There is nothing outlandish, but it is not unexpected considering the watch’s relatively modest price point.

Competitive Landscape

The Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph continues from where its sibling left off. At S$2,550, this Tissot offers tremendous value – especially for what it offers. Beyond its complication, the PRX Automatic Chronograph is a solid and well-built watch, with a great design and an integrated bracelet to boot. Similar to the PRX Powermatic 80, this is perhaps one of the most value-for-money offerings in 2022.

While there are no direct competitors for the PRX Automatic Chronograph, there are a few well-priced watches with the chronograph complication that might give the Tissot a run for its money.

The first piece is the up-and-coming microbrand with a rather strong offering: Baltic Bicompax 002 (picture courtesy of Baltic). The 38mm Baltic offers something different here; it is fitted with a manual-winding Seagull ST1901 movement. This is more for the purists who want a mechanical chronograph timepiece at a modest price point. The watch retails at €540 (approximately S$775).

Next, we have the Aikon Chronograph from Maurice Lacroix. Based on the highly regarded Calypso collection, the Aikon features a sleek and stunning case, with an integrated bracelet design as well. It is a looker for sure, with rather nice finishing throughout the timepiece. The watch is available in both quartz and mechanical variants, with the former priced at US$1,350 (approximately S$1,825).

Lastly, we have the Hanhart 417 ES. The 39mm Hanhart is another compelling timepiece with a brilliant price point, although its design cues are slightly different than that of the Tissot. This is perhaps a great piece for those who prefer a military-theme watch, or a vintage-reissue. The Hanhart is well-priced at S$2,500, although the Tissot perhaps edges out a little with the inclusion of an integrated bracelet.

Concluding Thoughts

We spent a week with the Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph, and we think that it is a superb timepiece that offers great value. What we particularly like, aside from its price point, is the design of the watch. We love the aesthetics of the timepiece, and we thought it does look rather good on our wrist. If we really have to nitpick, perhaps the watch would have been perfect if it has a smaller and slimmer case dimension, as well as the omission of the date window (or minimally, place it at the 6 o’clock position).

Tissot has been producing great timepieces in recent years, and the PRX Automatic Chronograph certainly continues this trend. Now, we are curious how else the brand can expand on its good work. Perhaps a GMT or a world-timer might be on the cards soon? Only time will tell.


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