Tissot was founded in 1853 and has a legacy of building attractive watches at reasonable prices. They are part of the Swatch Group and are headquartered in Le Locle, Switzerland. Tissot has extensive history in sports, including cycling, fencing, ice hockey, formula one, and more.
Tissot is a reputable Swiss manufacturer and is generally well-regarded.
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My experience with the Tissot Couturier Automatic has been wonderful. For nearly three years it has been a reliable and accurate automatic that has held up quite well aesthetically. I like the C01.211 chronograph movement- it’s given me no reason not to. As a result of the C01.211, you can get a mechanical chronograph from a Swiss manufacturer for under $1,000- and I like that, too.
Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph Technical Specifications
Automatic chronograph, C01.211
Date display, chronograph
Approximately 45 hours
Setting the Time
Setting the time and date using the C01.211 movement is identical to other date display movements. Operating the chronograph is also simple: press the button above the crown to activate the chronograph (press it again to stop the chronograph); press the button below the crown to reset the chronograph.
How To set the time:
- Pull crown to the furthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time. Note that the date display will rollover at at midnight, indicating AM time.
How To set the date:
- Pull the crown to the middle position (position 2) and turn clockwise to set the date.
Tissot Couturier Automatic Aesthetics & Design
The first thing I noticed about this watch when I unboxed it is that it is much bigger than it looks in a catalogue. Pictures of the Couturier (that I found prior to purchasing) simply don’t do an effective job of showing how big this watch truly is.
At 43mm the diameter of the watch isn’t over the top, but from certain angles the case looks rotund and larger than it really is. This is due to the two contours on the left side of the case, which add both a touch of class and depth to this timepiece.
On the wrist, the Couturier’s size is significant. While the face may be somewhat minimal, this is not a discreet watch. It’s size alone will draw attention.
The white and chrome dial is completely devoid of color, relying instead on angled hour markers and the prominent brown crocodile-grain leather strap to break up its monochromatic face. I appreciate how minimal the face is, though the Couturier doesn’t feel handsome to me. It feels well put together, no doubt, but its minimal interior doesn’t seem to match the presence that its size dictates.
The brushed contours on the sides of the case contrast nicely with the polished stainless steel- as does the brushed finish on the top of the lugs. The little details like this, as well as the “T” on the seconds hand and the fine grooves of the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock subdials, do a great job of bringing the Couturier upmarket. Unfortunately, the subtle dial details are easily overlooked because of how well they blend in with the rest of the face.
Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph Build Quality
This watch, like basically every Tissot watch that we’ve experienced, is built well. The quality of materials aids its durability, which appears to be better than average. After many months of wear it only shows minor signs of use. If you like your things looking new, the Couturier is happy to oblige.
Crystal, Case, and Dial
The sapphire crystal on the Tissot Couturier is of the quality you’d expect from a major Swiss watch brand. One nitpicky comment I have is that there is a slight but noticeable groove between the crystal and the case, and while it looks fine aesthetically, dirt/dust/fibers love to get trapped in it. This is annoying if you’re a clean freak or an aspiring photographer.
The stainless steel case feels solid. It has good weight on the wrist and exudes a feeling of quality. The buttons and crown all operate with a solid range of motion, and each activates with a satisfying click.
Strap and Clasp
Where the leather strap meets the lugs and case is about 50% thicker than the ends that connect to the deployment clasp. This contributes to its largeish feeling, as when viewed from the side it is easy to see the difference in thickness. That said, the brown crocodile-grain leather looks and feels great.
The deployment clasp, made of a brushed finished stainless steel, is solid and quite secure once closed. It will not pop open when tugged with moderate force. If you want to open it, you must use the buttons. This makes the Couturier feel quite secure on the wrist.
More About the Tissot Couturier
The relatively new C01.211 movement, which made its debeut in 2008, is somewhat polarizing because it uses some plastic parts. Many enthusiasts write off the movement as a result, but despite my Googling I was unable to find much evidence that the plastic parts inside have compromised the reliability of the movement.
Accuracy so far has been excellent, running about six seconds fast per day. This is acceptable for an automatic of this calibre. I suspect that with regulation it could even be more accurate.
Value for Money
The Tissot Couturier comes out of the box with a strong value proposition. It’s MSRP is $995, which is quite low for a Swiss-made automatic chronograph with a sapphire crystal. Even then, while it’s MSRP is $995, I regularly see it on Amazon for well under $750.
The movement inside may not be the Ferrari of movements, but it enables us to today enjoy something that just 10 years ago was not possible: a Swiss auto chronograph for under $1,000. Combined with its excellent quality of build, date display, and durable and attractive strap/clasp combo… I feel the Couturier auto is great value.