Tissot Couturier Automatic Review
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Tissot Couturier Automatic Review

Overall Score4
  • Watch Type & Movement
  • Aesthetics & Build Quality
  • Functions & Complications
  • Value for Money
  • Overall Impression
  • The Tissot Couturier Automatic is an excellent timepiece that dresses up well. However, it's face may be a bit casual for a traditional dress watch. Nevertheless, the Tissot Couturier Automatic is an impressive timepiece with an excellent movement, date functionality, and a 6 hour chronograph. I love it.

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.

Technical Details

Model Number: T035.627.16.031.00
MSRP: $995
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

gemlogo-400x246-cropped

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

Gem by Carati is located in Calgary, AB, Canada.  Visit them online at www.gembycarati.com.

Thanks Gem!

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

Tissot Couturier Automatic w/ C01.211 Movement

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.

Almost.

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

2 26 36621 13 April, 2013 Automatic, Mens, Over $750, Watch Reviews April 13, 2013

About the author

If it ticks or tocks Cameron probably wants to have it on his wrist. Founder of the website, and lover of things that keep good time, Cameron likely wrote this article three or four times before it was published (and there's probably still a grammatical error in there somewhere... d'oh!)

View all articles by Cameron Martel

26 comments

  1. Pingback: The Watch Thread - Part 3 - Page 247 - www.hardwarezone.com.sg

  2. Erick

    Have you had an accuracy problem when you take it off at night and the following morning your time js late for 2-3minutes?

    Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      I have not experienced this accuracy problem. Is your Tissot fully wound by the time you take it off? With a 30+ hour power reserve it should be within 2-3 seconds, not minutes…

      Reply
      1. Erick

        I was told that i have to wound it up around 15 times if im going to take it off at night. I thought the power reserve will take care of it. Is this really the case? And why is that?

        Reply

        1. Post author
          Cameron Martel

          Like everyone, people have different opinions about how to handle that situation. I don’t wind my watches before going to bed if I’ve been wearing them throughout the day and have had a moderate amount of movement.

          With the Couturier specifically I haven’t had it run out on me over night, not have I had accuracy problems by not winding it. However, your mileage may vary. If you wear it while you are mostly sedentary it may well go dead overnight, but if you walk/move a little bit throughout the day I don’t suspect you’d have a problem.

          Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      The hour and minute hands feature a luminescent strip inlay and I found them to be quite visible. The hour markers do not feature lume, but if you are comfortable telling time on an analog watch you’ll have no issues telling time.

      Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      This watch is thicker than other automatics, but that’s not surprising given its chronograph movement. It is just slightly thicker than the Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono that I am currently reviewing.

      That being said the answer to your question is this: it depends. It’s subjective- if you wear tight-cuffed shirts it may not fit, but if you wear fairly relaxed cuffs it should fit without issue. I’ve never encountered a long-sleeved shirt where it didn’t fit, but I always wear fairly relaxed cuffs (as opposed to cuffs that are quite fitted).

      I hope that helps :)

      Reply
      1. Bhavesh

        Thanks really appreciate the information. You do great reviews
        watchesyoucanafford.com has become my number 1 place to check out watches and reviews

        Lastly im considering buying this exact same watch but which other watches would you recommend in this price range with automatic movement, which find middle ground between a daily and dress watch?

        Reply

        1. Post author
          Cameron Martel

          Hey thanks Bhavesh- I’m glad you enjoy the site :)

          The Tissot Couturier has a $995 MSRP and is a chronograph- you just don’t see a lot of automatic chrono’s for under $1,000. If you want something that can double as both a daily wearer and something that you can dress up there are a few “rules” I’d stick to:

          1) Keep the face relatively simple. Overly complicated faces don’t always dress up too well.
          2) Stainless steel bracelet or leather strap. Polyurethane and NATO straps are too casual.
          3) Keep the face black, white, or silver. Other colours may not match with a good variety of colours.

          Now, if you want a Chronograph movement you’re going to be somewhat limited in selection unless you’re open to Chinese made movements. For Swiss made chronographs in the $1,000 range I’d look at:

          a) Hamilton Jazzmaster Chronograph (H32616133) – Selling for about $910 on Amazon.
          b) Tissot T-Touch Classic – Read my Tissot T-Touch Classic review. This would be an excellent choice and it’s around $900.
          c) Catorex C’Chrono Tradition 8169-2 -About $950 on Amazon. Uses ETA 7750 automatic movement.
          d) Hamilton Linwood Automatic (H18516131) – About $650 – $750 online.
          e) Tissot PRC100 Automatic Chronograph (T0084141603100) – About $840 online.

          For Chinese made Chronograph movements:

          a) Sea Gull M1992 Chronograph – About $749 for stainless steel, $900 for rose gold online. Also features a moonphase complication.
          b) Lucien Piccard 28139BK Chronograph – About $80 online.

          For Japanese Chronographs:

          a) Citizen CA0020-56E – Not an “automatic”, it features their solar powered Eco-Drive movement. About $450 online.

          Now, if you have a budget of around $1,000 but don’t need the automatic chronograph your options open up a lot:

          a) Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic – Anywhere from $450 to $1,000 depending on the variation you choose.
          b) Citizen Signature NB0040-58E – About $1,000 – Japanese made automatic movement.
          c) Bulova Accutron 63B011 – About $1,000.
          d) Oris 73576514163MB T1 – $830 online – Day/date complication.
          e) Seiko Premier 57051 – About $950
          f) Bulova 96A108 – $200ish online – I reviewed its cousin, the Bulova 96A101. Also worth considering is the Bulova 96A111 ($220ish)

          There are lots of other brands that will meet your needs and come in well under $1,000. The above are just a few recommendations from brands I know of :)

          Reply

          1. Post author
            Cameron Martel

            I’d love to review that watch but unfortunately I don’t have access to one to review. This site isn’t big enough yet where manufacturers send me review samples and none of my contacts that do provide me review samples (just Gem by Carati right now) have access to Raymond Weil pieces.

            Do you have one to send me? :)

  3. razlan

    Hello there..i have the same Tissot watch like yours..I noticed that the date automatically changes at 1.30am not at 12am..its late by 1 hour and a half..did u face this problem?..any step by step tutorial would be fine..tq..

    Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      According to the user manual it should be changing at 12 am. If it isn’t something may be wrong with the watch and it might be a good idea to have it serviced. However, I can not say for sure.

      Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      The main advantage of a screw lock crown is noticeably improved water resistance. I am unsure of the Couturier has a screw lock, though I don’t know if I’d allow that to heavily influence my buying decision given it’s ideal presence in the market.

      You can use the chronograph nonstop, though you will exceed its display capabilities. When running it will impact the power reserve but should not impact the accuracy of timekeeping.

      It’s worth mentioning that running the chronograph non stop will place significant wear on the movement and is not recommended.

      Reply
  4. Jason

    I just got a C01.211 movement in a Tissot T-Race. So far it runs fast, 8 secs/day if not faster. Is this “good” for this movement?

    I was initially surprised it was off by minutes in the first three days and I figured it wasnt wound well enough for the night and must have stopped a few times – pretty sure that was the case. But it lead me to track it closely and honestly I’m dissapointed with 8-10secs/day as I was expecting closer to ONE second per day – which was close to what my $150 Seiko 7S36A was getting.

    Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      8 seconds per day is a little high, but not exactly out of the realm of possibility. Standard deviation for a lot of movements is in the 6-10 second range. Most people with the C01.211 movement have deviations in the 4-6 second range. I’d take it in to your dealer to have it warrantied, though chances are good all that is required is for it to be regulated.

      Reply
  5. Adam

    hello,
    i have recently bought the couturier automatic, and i think it really looks great, mechanism is pretty accurate -just a bit faster, but perhaps because its new)
    well it is not whats bothering me. i noticed that the mechanism is making noises in certain angles of my hand,
    i.e when i have my hand slightly bent forward, and i move it (not even a swift move) up and down i hear a small crack as if the parts hit each other… as if something is loose
    i went to the watchmaker and he said that as long as the watch is working its fine because each mechanism works a bit differently.. as far as im concerned, i have another watch by oris and its mechanism was as silent as a grave.
    its really bothering me, each tiny gesture with my hand in a certain position makes that noise from my watch..
    i wanted to know if it really is normal for this watch and thats just the way the mechanism in this watch is built.
    because if not i will have it checked (it is brand new and has warranty).. if it is i just dont want to waste my time on it and try to get used to it..
    anyone else experiencing these noises?

    Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      I have experienced this kind of sound from other watches, but don’t really notice it with the Couturier. However, if it continues to bother you I’d have it serviced under warranty. Peculiar that it doesn’t seem to be impacting timekeeping though…

      Reply
  6. Manuel

    Hello, I have this model (in black), for now I can’t complain about any feature of the watch. By time goes by, i have noticed the band is getting old. I try to find an alternative to change it on amazon, but Im not sure which one can i get (please notice that I’d rather have more choices with a generic watchband than the original, that force to ask one directly through a Tissot agency). Thanks in advance for your attention. Looking forward to hear news from you. Best Regards.

    Reply
  7. Kamal Deep Sharma

    Poor experience with Tissot Ladies Watch. Barely three years into purchase, digits keep coming off and rare to find service shops seem hapless and helpless. Don’t recommend this poor quality product from a so called Luxury Brand.

    Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      I’m sorry to hear about your experience with Tissot. That’s always frustrating. Which model do you own?

      Reply
  8. Hoàng

    Hi, thank you so much for your review, I was hesitate of buying this watch but not anymore, in fact I will receive this watch from amazon tomorrow, really excited. Can you tell me the quality of the leather band, like how long you think it will last if I wear it every day? Again I must say that Im really thankful with your review.

    Reply

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