The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar – Tissot’s Solar Powerhouse
The T-Touch is one of Tissot’s most renowned and innovative collections. Ever since its 1999 debut, the T-Touch has become an instant sensation among watch enthusiasts worldwide, with its numerous practical functions and a beguiling interactive display. In 2014, Tissot further innovated their prized T-Touch collection with the ability to charge itself using solar power. This new design became a catalyst for many highly adept solar-powered models. An example of such a watch would be the outstanding Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. Featuring the brand’s latest innovations in solar technology, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar quickly became a smash hit.
With the existence of more modern variations, is the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar still a good option? In this article, we will take a deeper look at the specs and features of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. Furthermore, we will also be comparing this timepiece with some of the brand’s later models to see if the T-Touch Expert Solar still has its worth.
The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar has a case diameter of 45mm and a height of 13mm. Although it has quite a hefty structure, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is still able to fit comfortably on the wrist. This is thanks to its lightweight titanium build, which allows it to weigh in at just 123 grams. For wearers with small wrists, this watch can look big. If you are alright with a more oversized timepiece, then let nothing stop you from wearing a Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar.
Anti-Magnetic Titanium Case
The case of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is made from titanium, which offers nearly the same sheen and robustness as stainless steel, but is much lighter. In addition, titanium is also anti-magnetic, heat-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and hypoallergenic — making it an excellent choice material for watchmakers all around. Tissot provides the titanium case of the T-Touch Expert Solar with a PVD coating on its fixed bezel. Unlike previous T-Touch models, Tissot positioned the labels of the Expert Solar on the bezel rather than the dial. Apart from that, the bezel also contains the 3rd/6th/9th/12th-hour markers and patterned grooves on its surface.
On the right of the case are three pushers that allow the user to access the different functions of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. Like the bezel, Tissot also treated the pushers with a sufficient amount of PVD coating. The timepiece has a solid titanium caseback screwed in for maximum protection, and a water resistance rating of 100 metres, or 330 feet. Although it can handle a quick swim in the pool and at the beach, this timepiece is not a good substitute for a divers watch. It is also not advised to manipulate the Tissot while underwater, since the functions will not activate.
Tactile Sapphire Crystal
Tissot equips the T-Touch Expert Solar with a layer of sapphire glass. As always, sapphire is the go-to crystal for high-end watches due to its outstanding scratch resistance. Aside from protecting the dial, the crystal also acts as the watch’s interactive display. Each function labelled on the bezel divides the sapphire into six sections. After activating the T-Touch mode with the centre pusher, the user can access the different utilities of the timepiece with the simple touch of a finger. Since sapphire glass is highly reflective, Tissot treated the crystal in advance with AR (anti-reflective) coating.
Black Solar Cell Dial
The dial of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is clean and uncluttered, which keeps it easy to read. It has three main areas: the top side, which mainly consists of solar cells, the centre, and the bottom. To recharge itself, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar utilises a black solar cell dial. The solar cells that make up the surface come in a cohesive dark pattern that neatly matches its bezel. At the centre of the dial, we can see the watch’s minute and hour hands, which are coated with Super-LumiNova. Some fans have complained that the hands of the T-Touch Expert Solar are a little short, but it is still quite legible. The LCD screen occupies the majority of the bottom half of the dial. Its role is to provide information and data depending on the touchscreen function currently being used.
Surrounding the dial are multiple indices that Tissot also treated with Super-LumiNova. In terms of brightness, the T-Touch Expert Solar offers a lot of legibility in the dark. Quite frankly, the watch is as practical as it is beautiful. With plenty of features and a smart-looking dial, this Tissot timepiece can pique the interest of onlookers with no sweat.
Interface and Functions
After pressing the centre crown, the watch gives you access to its many digital features. The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar has six core capabilities: alarm, altimeter, barometer (Meteo), compass, split and lap (Chrono), and a timer. Some functions also have several other attributes, which wearers of the T-Touch timepiece can attain through a few more taps.
- Alarm: Wearers can use this feature of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar to set two separate times. The alarm can alert the wearer daily from Monday to Sunday.
- Altimeter: Tapping the appropriate division of the watch will access its altimeter mode. After tapping the upper-right indication for a second time, the dial will display the altitude difference metre.
- Barometer (Meteo): In its first mode, the barometer function measures the relative atmospheric pressure of the current area. To view the absolute atmospheric pressure, simply tap the feature once more.
- Split and Lap (Chrono): The Chrono function provides two different chronographs. On the first push, the watch displays lap time. The second tap brings out another chronograph to indicate split time.
- Compass: Arguably the most fun-looking capability, compass mode has three functions. First is the standard compass function, second is the azimuth indicator, and third is the compass calibrator.
- Timer: The first touch accesses the stopwatch feature of the watch. After another tap, the watch draws out its regatta counter.
Apart from the six highlighted modes, the watch also has a perpetual calendar function, an accumulator charge indicator, and a battery indicator.
As you touch one of the indications, the watch’s handset will abandon its traditional time-telling role and start moving around freely. Watching the minute and hour hands move, you cannot help but be amazed by how quickly and smoothly it turns. Depending on the function you choose, the hands can continue to work alongside the selected option, which was not the case for older T-Touch watches. For wearers who own an older generation T-Touch model, you will immediately notice the difference in quality regarding the user interface.
Powering the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is an ETA E84.301 quartz calibre. Equipped with an accumulator-type Renata LMR2016 battery, this ETA movement has a diameter of 38.7mm. It runs several features of the T-Touch and is solar-powered, so it can last for weeks, or maybe even months.
Paired with the titanium case is a matching Tissot titanium bracelet. Although it is not technically a diving watch, the bracelet of the Tissot T-Touch Expert has a diver’s extension. It is not a necessary feature, but a welcome one nonetheless. Its buckle is a folding clasp securely fastened by push buttons. This titanium bracelet does not offer much when it comes to micro-adjustments.
If you have issues fitting the bracelet, it would be ideal to opt for a fabric or rubber strap. Do note that if you choose the rubber strap, Tissot will have you cut the rubber to your preferred size, which will make it impossible to resize in the future. Of course, you could also go for an after-market strap. But since the end-link of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is exclusive to the brand, there will be some minor gaps and it might be an ill fit.
Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar vs. Tissot Contenders
Over half a decade, Tissot has developed a handful of successors to the T-Touch Expert Solar, mainly the Expert Solar II and the Connect Solar. In this section, we will compare the similarities and differences between the original Expert Solar and its contenders. Keep in mind that the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar currently sells at around $1,110 USD.
Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar vs. Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar II
For most parts, the T-Touch Expert Solar II is not so different. It features many of the same functions, case material, glass, and water resistance rating that we see from the original Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. One of the things that set the Expert Solar II apart, besides its overall design, is its compass bezel. Unlike the previous version, the Expert Solar II sports a bezel made entirely out of ceramic. Although it is not as shatter-resistant as titanium, it is able to withstand scratches much better. The bezel of the newer model also no longer has the 3/6/9/12 indications, replacing them with compass directions instead. Additionally, the bezel has detailed compass measurements etched around it for greater accuracy.
In the military green version of the Expert Solar II, the PVD coating appears to cover the whole case rather than just its bezel and pushers. Additionally, the solar cells of the dial are also not as visible as that of its predecessor, which is nice if you were not a fan of the T-Touch Expert Solar’s watch face. On the whole, the Expert Solar II sports a more adventurous look compared to the first Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. Apart from its PVD titanium case and ceramic bezel, there are not many noticeable differences. The T-Touch Expert Solar II fetches approximately $1,180 USD — not that far from the original T-Touch Expert Solar. If you prefer a more modern Tissot T-Touch with a bolder look then, by all means, opt for the Expert Solar II.
Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar vs. Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar
The T-Touch Connect Solar is Tissot’s latest iteration of solar-powered watches. It has a lot to show, with barely any issues regarding its composition. The Connect Solar comes with more advanced settings and innovations. Starting with its case, Tissot decided to equip the Connect Solar with a ceramic compass bezel. Compared to the Expert Solar models, the bezel of the Connect Solar has more details and comes with a cleaner surface. Many of the differences between the Expert Solar and the Connect Solar come from their dials and movements.
The dial of the T-Touch Connect Solar sports a new and improved handset. Both the minute and hour hands are larger and more legible, and the added touch of a red tip and second hand gives the dark watch face a sportier look. The interactive display has been improved upon, with the hands responding almost instantly when you tap an option. The LCD screen of the T-Touch Connect has also gone through a lot of changes. The texts and numerals are much more modern, and no longer resemble the fonts you see in classic digital watches. They also transition nicely in and out of the display. Furthermore, Tissot added new functions to the T-Touch Connect Solar, such as an automatic sleep mode, calorie metre, distance metre, temperature tracker, and step counter, to name a few.
Another outstanding feature of the T-Touch Connect Solar is its ability to connect to wifi and Bluetooth. With this, owners of the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar can view emails, messages and even answer phone calls. The price of the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar ranges between $1,050 USD to $1,150 USD, depending on the variant chosen.
Alternatives to the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar
Okay — maybe the Tissot T-Touch is just not your thing. Not a problem! Listed below are two excellent alternatives that work and look just as well as the Expert Solar.
Casio Protrek (PRW-7000FC-1JF) – $655USD
If you’re looking for a cheaper adventure surrogate to the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar, Casio might have just the watch you need. Sporting a black resin case and a loaded multi-purpose dial is the Casio Protrek PRW-7000FC-1JF. Casio watches are known to be some of the most durable timepieces ever made. This Casio Protrek is not only able to withstand all sorts of harsh environments, but also has a water resistance rating of 200 metre. Its dial features a dark face with white numerals, indices, and sword-like minute and hour hands. The watch also comes with Casio’s Tough Solar technology, which allows it to charge itself with energy from the sun. Equipped with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and many more features, this watch has numerous uses that make it the ideal companion for all sorts of adventures, sports, and other thrilling activities.
Seiko Prospex Chronograph (SSC757J1) – $680 USD
Now, if it is only a solar-powered watch you need, have a look at the Seiko Prospex SSC757J1. While it does not bear as many features as the T-Touch or the Protrek, it makes up for it with elegance and sophistication. This Seiko Prospex uses a stainless steel case that Seiko pairs with a stainless steel bracelet. Its lugs are relatively large, and on the right of the watch, you can find a guarded centre crown and two pushers for controlling the chronograph sub-dials.
Its dial does have some extra complications, such as chronograph sub-dials, a date window, a power level indicator, and luminous hands and indices. A layer of scratch-resistant sapphire glass protects the dial from harm. Underneath the black dial of the watch is a V192 solar movement. When fully charged, the SSC757J1 is capable of non-stop operation for a total of six months. Protecting the V192 calibre is a solid steel rear case screwed down for maximum protection. Furthermore, this watch is water-resistant up to depths of 200 metres.
Looking at the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar and its successors, there honestly are no wrong options here. The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar proves to be an incredible and reliable timepiece. It offers wearers numerous features that are not only handy but also easy to use. Retailing at a little over $1,100 USD, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar is one of the more ideal options the market has to offer. You could even call it an explorer’s best friend. Its successors truthfully have more modern and refined touches, but it does not make the T-Touch Expert Solar out of touch. Whatever your preference may be, your choice will undoubtedly bring you to a stellar Tissot timepiece that is capable of going with you no matter where the adventure may lead.
Looking for another highly capable watch for all sorts of adventures? Check out the Tudor Black Bay Dark and see if it fits your preferences.
All photos credited to TheWatchCompany