Tissot Visodate: Your Affordable Swiss Dress Watch

Oct 16, 2020
Tissot Visodate: Your Affordable Swiss Dress Watch

If you think it’s far-fetched to find a Swiss-made dress watch while on a budget, then the Tissot Visodate will prove you wrong. This elegant timepiece won’t even cost you above $750. And despite its meagre price tag, there is so much to love about this retro dress watch.

Read on and find out what makes Tissot Visodate a bang for your buck!

Tissot Visodate Specs

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimension: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 38 hours
  • Water resistance: 30m

Style

You should know that this issue of the Tissot Visodate was inspired by the brand’s more than 165 years of watchmaking history. In fact, this model takes a lot of its design cues from the original one, which means the watch has a 1950’s vintage sophistication. 

However, don’t expect a carbon copy of the old version. To make the watch fit better on modern wrists, Tissot did a number of contemporary tweaks and upgrades. Few of those are the domed sapphire glass and the bigger case dimension, which we will discuss further below.

Case

While trendy watches in the ’50s had a size of 36mm at most, this modern Tissot Visodate clocks in at 40mm. Although it’s significantly bigger, it is still considered as a good size for dress watches. The case itself is made with 316L stainless steel that looks refined for a period-correct design.

Despite having a 40mm size, the Tissot Visodate looks and feels smaller than it actually is. This is thanks to the small lugs that connect seamlessly to the main case. With that said, this watch will prove easy to fit under your dress shirt cuff.

Dial

The two Visodates that we have here are available in polar opposite colours — Tissot Visodate T019.430.16.031.01 (white) and Tissot Visodate T019.430.16.051.01 (black). And in truth, despite contrasting each other, both these dials complement the case and keep the minimal aesthetic.

Tissot Visodate White
Tissot Visodate white dial

Apart from the background colour, there is not much difference between the two models. For one, they possess the same set of hands and dauphine-style indices. To add elegance, these hour markers are polished with a silver finish.

Tissot Visodate Black
Tissot Visodate Black dial

Just below the 12 o’clock hour marker is a special treat for the retro aficionados. On it is the old Tissot logo that was used in the ’50s version of the watch. A good move if you’d ask me since it radiates a more elegant vibe as compared to modern logos.

Crown

For a watch this affordable, the Tissot Visodate indeed bears a very detailed crown. In fact, it contains a raised letter “T” on it. Apart from that, it also has finely-detailed teeth on the side, giving the user a better grip when winding. These details, no matter how small, give the watch a premium feel.

Movement

Inside the Tissot Visodate is the automatic calibre movement, called the ETA 2836-2. This calibre has 25 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a power reserve of up to 38 hours. Furthermore, it is equipped with the Novodiac shock-protection system, making it durable.

But this reliable engine not only shines in performance. In fact, it’s even nice-looking from the see-through caseback. The movement has a custom gold rotor with the Côtes de Genève and is very similar to the style of vintage movements.

Tissot Visodate strap
Tissot Visodate with the butterfly clasp

Strap

The strap of the Tissot Visodate is something to write home about. Indeed, it has an alligator pattern — brown on the white dial and black on the black dial. They also have matching stitching to complete the look. Both are also 20mm and are lightly padded for comfort.

To boot, it uses a silver butterfly clasp. It also has a rounded surface and an engraving of the “Tissot” logo that is similar to the one on the dial. 

Pros and Cons of the Tissot Visodate

Pros:

1. Inexpensive

Most dress watches are exorbitant. Some examples are the Patek Philippe Calatrava, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master, and the Omega De Ville. However, the Tissot Visodate proves that you don’t have to shell out a bag of money just to look elegant. For less than $1000, this dress watch can surely make anyone look chic and dashing, thanks to its classic styling.

2. It feels premium

For a sub-$750 watch, the Tissot Visodate sure looks and feels premium. A few things that make it appear costlier than it actually is are the fine details on the dial, the nice leather strap, and the crown. This just goes to show how much attention to detail Tissot gave the Visodate.

3. Has the perfect size

As mentioned above, the Tissot Visodate comes in a 40mm case size. This diameter is considered one of the most versatile sizes, as it is not too small and not too big. With that said, it should fit most wrists.

Cons:

1. Can only be worn during formal events

It’s not a trade secret that dress watches are bespoke for formal events, as it might look out of place when worn casually. That being said, the Tissot Visodate is not as versatile as other compared to watches. This detail can be bad news for people who are looking for an everyday watch.

2. Has no anti-reflective coating

Unfortunately, the Tissot Visodate doesn’t have an anti-reflective coating on its crystal. This means that it can be extremely reflective during sunny days, making it difficult to read. However, if you’ll mostly wear this watch indoors, it’s easy to ignore this shortcoming.

Tissot Visodate when worn
Photo from Gentleman’s Gazette

Tips for Wearing the Tissot Visodate

1. Match the leather strap to your shoes.

If you’re wearing leather shoes, it is wise to match its colour to your watch’s leather strap, just as how you would match it to your belt. But if you plan to experiment more, you can complement it instead of matching it. For example, a pair of oxblood shoes will blend well with a black leather strap.

2. Wear the Tissot Visodate for the right occasion.

As mentioned above, the Tissot Visodate is a dress watch and should be worn with smarter clothes. With that said, avoid wearing it with casual wear like shorts and a T-shirt as it may look out of place. The best outfit to pair with it is a suit, a sports coat, or even an OCBD.

3. Match the case to your jewellery.

The Tissot Visodate comes in a silver-coloured case, which means that you should be mindful of mixing metals on your accessories. If you’re donning a tie clip or a pair of cufflinks, make sure that these come in silver colour to blend well with the watch.

 

Alternatives to Tissot Visodate

While the Tissot Visodate is so enticing, it might not fit your exact needs. That being said, here are a few dress watches that sends off the same charm as the Tissot Visodate.

 

1. Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic

Why Is It Good?

The Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic is often compared to the Tissot Visodate. In fact, these two watches are considered as rivals. Both are perfect for nailing that business casual look and both are affordable dress watches. While they have their fair share of similarities, of course, the Jazzmaster also bears its own set of characteristics that fairly make it stand out.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic

One of the most obvious differences is the use of Arabic numerals as hour markers on the Jazzmaster. The Tissot Visodate bears rectangular indexes all around, while the Hamilton has Arabic numerals on the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. To add, its indexes are also pointed instead of rectangular.

Furthermore, it has a very distinctive pattern at the inner circle of the dial. This gives the watch an extra style and sophistication. And of course, on top of it is a sapphire crystal that is scratch-resistant and anti-reflective.

Lastly, it uses an accurate and reliable movement called the ETA 2824-2. Apart from being easy to maintain, it is also useful with its hacking and manual winding features. This makes the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic a great dress watch for your money.

2. Seiko Presage Cocktail Time

Why Is It Good?

Another sophisticated yet affordable dress watch to check out is the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time. Despite not being a dive watch, it has become a cult classic among Seiko fans worldwide. This is not surprising since its design is attention-grabbing enough to make the person at the far end of the room curious.

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time

As the story goes, this watch was made in partnership with Shinobu Ishigaki, a famous mixologist. And as you might have guessed from its name, the watch was inspired by his cocktails. With that said, the Cocktail Time collection comes in different flavours of sunburst dials. But what’s similar among all the versions is the sunray engravings. This pattern reflects light in every direction and creates a mesmerizing effect on the spectator.

Furthermore, Cocktail Time uses a movement called the Calibre 4R35, which belongs to the 4R family. And like the other members of the 4R family, this movement has the ability to hand-wind, has a stop-seconds function, and runs at a frequency of 21,600 vph. It also has a power reserve of around 41 hours when fully wound.

All things considered, the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time is the perfect dress watch for Seiko lovers. It has the same reliability that you would expect from a Japanese brand. But this time, the watch comes in a very elegant design.

3. Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase

Why Is It Good?

Dress watches like the Tissot Visodate and other watches in this list are straightforward. In fact, a lot of them are time-only watches. Maybe the day-date functions are their most complicated features. However, if you’re a sucker for more complicated watches, check out the Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase.

Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase

Despite having a complicated feature, this dress watch remains cosy to the eyes. Its dial comes in a navy colour and boasts that sunburst effect that makes it look like silk. Moreover, its indexes and hands are made with silver that blends well with the blue. They are also extremely thin, keeping the simplicity of the dial.

Inside, it uses the FC-705 calibre movement, which was made and designed in-house. This movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 vph and provides up to 42 hours of power reserve. It’s important to note that this calibre is one of the least expensive Swiss movements that’s produced within the area of Geneva.

Overall, the Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase is perfect for the moon-loving watch enthusiast. With its affordable price tag and stunning design, this dress watch will prove to be a splendid choice.

4. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Small Seconds

Why Is It Good?

If you’re looking for a more luxurious dress watch, then the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Small Seconds will certainly beguile you. For one, it is made by the watchmaker’s watchmaker. Another reason is that it bears the same elegance and vibe that you will find from the Tissot Visodate.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Small Seconds

This dress watch retains an ultra-conservative style. Apart from the thin hands and indexes, it only has one sub-dial that shows the small seconds. In truth, the sub-dial is hardly noticeable as it blends in well with the whole watch. The overall design of the Master Ultra Thin is sleek and slender, perfect for fitting under your dress shirt’s cuffs.

Besides the design, this watch also excels in performance. As mentioned above, Jaeger-LeCoultre is also known as the watchmaker’s watchmaker so it is expected to have a top-notch movement inside. For this model, they used the 896/1 calibre. It consists of 223 parts, 32 jewels, and provides a power reserve of 43 hours.

Indeed, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Small Seconds is the ideal watch for enthusiasts who are willing to shell out a bit more money. It is also perfect for hardcore watch fans that value pedigree and history as JLC is regarded as one of the most famous watch brands of all time.

5. Patek Philippe Calatrava

Why Is It Good?

The Patek Philippe Nautilus may own the stage, but there’s no denying that the Patek Philippe Calatrava embodies the character of the whole brand. Indeed, Patek Philippe aims to be known for their elegant and timeless designs, which definitely the Calatrava delivers.

Patek Philippe Calatrava

Design-wise, there’s not much going on. The dial is ivory lacquered and has gold-applied hour markers that match the case. Furthermore, the only complication on the face is a small date window at the 3 o’clock position.

Inside, it uses the in-house movement called the 324 S C. It has 29 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a Spiromax balance spring. As for the power reserve, it can make the watch tick up to 45 hours. Moreover, it bears the hallmark Patek Philippe Seal on the movement, which you can admire through the crystal caseback.

Whichever generation you belong to, the Patek Philippe Calatrava will definitely earn your favour with its timeless design. Its pure lines and finesse are great symbols of the Patek Philippe style. With that said, this dress watch is a lot of enthusiasts’ top choice and you will never go wrong with it.

6. Nomos Ludwig Neomatik

Why Is It Good?

A lot of people claim that the Nomos Ludwig Neomatik is the watch for the sophisticated wrist. True enough, this model demonstrates poise, which a lot of watches are having a difficult time achieving. Thanks to its Roman numeral markers and slender bezel, the Ludwig is perfect for the traditionalists of today.

Nomos Ludwig Neomatik

As expected of Nomos, the Ludwig combines the simplicity of Bauhaus watches and the elegance of dress watches. Its case is silver-plated and blends magnificently with the cyan blue and red accents. The 36mm case diameter is also apt for both men’s and women’s wrists.

Under the hood, we have the in-house built calibre called the DUW 3001. This movement is ultra-thin (only 3.2mm to be specific), highly accurate, and has the Nomos Swing System. To add, the Swing System is the pacesetting part that ensures the watch tells accurate time. Furthermore, this automatic calibre has 27 jewels and has a power reserve of up to 43 hours.

Nomos demonstrates excellence even when it comes to the strap. The Ludwig Neomatik’s leather strap is designed in Berlin and polished by hand. Moreover, the strap is made of Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan, making it long-lasting.

7. Rolex Cellini

Why Is It Good?

If we’re going to be strict about the definition of dress watches, then the only true dress watch of Rolex is the Rolex Cellini. In Rolex’s own words, this watch “celebrates the eternal elegance of traditional timepieces”, which the model does well.

Rolex Cellini

That being said, the Cellini bears refined lines and premium materials. Its finishings are meticulously crafted and every detail pays homage to the codes of the art of watchmaking. Indeed, the cases of the Cellini models are exclusively made with 18K white or everose gold, masterfully cast in Rolex’s foundry.

Its round shape and 39mm diameter are marks of tradition. And to make the watch look more interesting, the Cellini carries a double bezel — one domed and one fluted. To boot, the case has a polished finish and refined lugs. These details are sure to catch the attention of every person in the room.

All things considered, the Rolex Cellini is one of the most underrated Rolex models in the market. In fact, only a few people know this model exists. Despite its unpopularity, this dress watch is very easy to recommend to watch enthusiasts, whether they’re a Rolex lover or not.

8. Omega De Ville

Why Is It Good?

Omega is known for its sporty models like the Omega Speedmaster and Omega Seamaster. While the former is lauded for being the first watch on the moon, the latter is known as one of James Bond’s watches of choice. However, there is another lineup from Omega that we should consider — the Omega De Ville.

Omega De Ville

While there are a lot of De Ville models to choose from, the Omega De Ville Hour Vision Annual Calendar easily caught our keen eyes. For one, it has a unique and appealing brown dial. Secondly, it bears an extremely useful complication — the annual calendar, which only needs to be adjusted once every year.

When it comes to aesthetics, it appears really classy with its Roman numeral hour markers made with 18K white gold. It also has a modest calendar display on the 3 o’clock position. In the background is a two-tone bronze that makes it look refined.

On the inside, it comes with the Calibre 8902 movement. This high-quality movement from Omega can resist magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss. On top of that, it’s also tested and certified by the COSC and METAS. 

 

Final Notes

For an affordable watch, the Tissot Visodate sure has a lot to offer. Apart from its reliable movement, it carries an exquisite design that radiates a retro vibe. Whether you’re in the market for your first or 100th dress watch, the Tissot Visodate will always be a good inclusion to your prized watch collection.

 

If you’re interested in a deeper knowledge about watches, check out our article about the Valjoux 7750 movement!

 

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