When I first acquired the Tissot Couturier Automatic is was through a catalogue. I stood in Gem by Carati, a local jeweler here in Calgary, and thumbed through a 50+ page Tissot catalogue that elegantly displayed each timepiece, it’s variants, and the important information about it.
Admittedly, I was on a mission to find a white-faced watch that I could wear for both dress and more casual affairs. Without having much prior experience with Tissot automatics, aside from the Le Locle that I had previously reviewed, I decided to jump headfirst into Tissot automatic ownership and picked out a brown-strapped, white-faced Couturier automatic.
Over the last several weeks I have given the new Tissot a lot of wrist time, and I’m happy to say that its acquisition was a good impulsive decision indeed.
Model Number: T035.627.16.031.00
Case diameter: 43mm
Movement: Automatic, ETA C01.211 w/ chronograph
Complications: Date, chronograph
Crystal material: Sapphire
Power reserve: 45 hours
Water resistance: 100 m / 330 ft
Other: Deployment clasp, exhibition caseback
Alternate models: Many alternate models found here…
Non-chronograph versions with date/date display are also available.
Watch Provided by Gem by Carati
Gem by Carati provided a brand new Tissot Couturier Automatic for me to review (which I then purchased to add to my collection). I have had many dealings with Gem by Carati in the past and recommend them to anyone seeking a Gucci, Hamilton, or Tissot timepiece. They also specialize in engagement and bridal jewelry
Movement Accuracy & Reliability
The C01.211 mechanical chronograph movement is relatively new. This movement, which debued in 2008, is gaining popularity in the entry-level luxury segment ($750 – $2,500 range) and is quickly establishing itself as a reliable automatic movement. It is an ETA-developed movement produced exclusively for Swatch brands (and for Tissot only at this time). Some of the mechanical non-moving parts are made of plastic, though in the four years since its introduction there hasn’t been much talk regarding failure or inaccuracy.
This movement is very polarizing: because it has some plastic parts many watch enthusiasts are quick to look down on it. However, for that same reason it is much more affordable than other mechanical chronograph movements and thus the reason we can now find sub-$1,000 mechanical chronographs with sapphire crystals (and other components typically seen on more expensive watches).
I feel this movement is a fairly safe bet, though if you are uncertain you should purchase from an authorized Tissot retailer to ensure warranty applicability.
Tissot Couturier 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 anything extravagant, 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.
Not that it’s a bad thing: the Tissot Couturier is a formidable timepiece. It commands attention by contrasting a subdued face (plain white with no texturing) against polished-steel hands and hour markers. None of this seems out of place, either, as the Couturier is the type of peacock watch that initially appears understated but becomes more commanding the more you glance at it. It is a timepiece that can be seen across the room, and in a sea of dark-faced watches with stainless steel bands, the white-faced leather-strapped Couturier almost seems out of place.
Making a bold statement in understated design is no hard accomplishment, and similar to sporty-looking cars that pack no horsepower, a watch with this type of aesthetic would easily fall into fashion-watch territory if not backed up by some serious timekeeping capability. Fret not, as the Couturier automatic sports an ETA C01.211 automatic movement with a six hour chronograph built-in. While the ETA C01.211 may not be the Ferrari of movements, it is no slouch either.
The hour and minute hands feature a lume-inlay that is very effective in low light situations. You won’t see the hour markers but you will clearly see the hour and minute hands. As I’ve mentioned in prior reviews, luminescence of any kind is a welcome addition to any luxury timepiece as far as I’m concerned.
The deployment clasp is strong and feels solid. In the 80+ hours this watch has resided on my left wrist I’ve yet to encounter an accidental release of the clasp. It is always securely strapped to me, and when you’re spending $1,000 on a watch that’s a feeling you’ll appreciate having.
Using the Tissot Couturier Automatic’s chronograph is simple and will feel familiar to anyone who has ever used a chronograph before.
- Press the button above the crown to activate the chronograph. Pressing this button again will pause the chronograph.
- Press the button below the crown to reset the chronograph. This button does not do anything unless the chronograph has been activated or previously activated and paused.
Setting the date and time is also quite easy:
- Pull the crown to position three to set the time.
- Pull the crown to position two to set the date. Note that you can only move the date forward.
Crystal, Case, and Dial Build Quality
The sapphire front and rear crystals remain scratch free, despite a good 80 hours of wrist time (still looking good over a year later - March 31, 2014). The stainless-steel case is also durable, though it will begin to show its age if this is your daily wearer. In my experience it’s not uncommon to find hairline scratches and small nicks in the face. After 80 hours of wrist time (10 days on the wrist @ 8 hours per day) it still looks nearly new, with a few minor imperfections visible if you get real close to it (after a year there is a small nick where the crystal meets the case and a few hairline scratches, all barely noticable – May 31, 2014).
The brushed-steel dimples that the chronograph buttons are mounted in provides a subtle yet important contrast to the otherwise polished stainless steel case. It is one of those subdued points of styling that really establish the luxurious feel of the Couturier.
The hands remain securely mounted, the hour markers remain square, and everything is as it should be. Of course, being a Tissot, I’d expect no less. After a year of ownership everything remains exactly as it was when new (as of May 31, 2014).
Clasp and Band Build Quality
The integrated leather strap is thicker than most and almost looks “glazed”, but it is comfortable and has been holding up quite well (as of May 31, 2014 it still looks brand new). The deployment clasp can be thanked largely for this, as it enables the strap to stay in position, reducing wear considerably.
The deployment clasp itself is excellent: stainless steel, and obviously well built. Once the clasp is snapped shut it will not become unclasped unless you unclip it. It is exactly what you want and expect from a deployment clasp.
Tissot Couturier Faults and Frustrations
If you can get over the size (read: depth) of the case, I can’t find any major faults with the Couturier. Getting nitpicky, I can’t even really find any minor faults. It’s a well-built, good-looking piece of kit. I have no reason to complain.
Tissot Couturier Review Conclusion
I really enjoy my Couturier, and the fact that it is now possible to purchase a mechanical chronograph timepiece for under $1,000 is something that watch enthusiasts everywhere should enjoy. It may not sport a more prestigious movement, but at the price-point it is competing in the Tissot Couturier Automatic is a good purchase.
The white face, stainless steel case, and brown leather strap come together to create an elegant, understated, yet increasingly commanding aesthetic that few other watches in the price bracket are able to successfully emulate. Purists may doubt the relatively new movement inside, but no one will be the wiser… not even you.
Buy: $625, Amazon.
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More Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph Photos