Amidst a sea of big name releases at Baselworld 2018, Tissot produced an understated gem in the Heritage Petite Second 2018 inspired by a wristwatch it produced in 1943.
Back in the 1930s, when the standard mechanical watch’s accuracy was easily susceptible to magnetic fields, Tissot produced the Antimagnétique collection, which was among the first non-magnetic wristwatches in the world. The 2018 timepiece takes its style cues from an elegant wristwatch in the Antimagnétique collection first produced in 1943. It was made from a nickel-chromium alloy and featured a small seconds subdial and was powered by a 27-mm-wide movement.
The Heritage Petite Second uses a 42-mm-wide 316L polished stainless steel case with angular lugs and a see-through sapphire crystal caseback. The case is fitted with a “box style” antireflective sapphire glass more commonly seen in high-end watches.
The domed silver dial is vertically brushed and fitted with slender leaf-shaped hands. The black Arabic numerals and minutes track is printed on the dial along with a vintage Tissot logo. A small seconds subdial sits at 6 o’ clock. This is clean, legible dial and that vertical-brushed finish lends the watch an easy elegance, aided by the fact that the box style crystal makes it look smaller than its 42 mm width.
Flip the watch over to view the hand-wound Unitas 6498 movement, which is also seen in the Tissot Bridgeport pocket watch. The 36.6-mm-wide movement beats at 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph) and has a power reserve of 46 hours. The vintage Tissot logo is visible on the caseback along with luxurious flourishes such as blued screws and Côtes de Genève decoration.
The watch is fitted with a black or aged brown vegetable tanned leather strap with folding clasp embossed with the vintage Tissot logo again. The watch feels great on the wrist and given the current trend for vintage-inspired timepieces, a hand-wound Tissot priced around under a thousand Swiss Francs (under $1,000 or approx AED3,600) is a great value-proposition.
To give you some perspective, a couple of years ago I reviewed another vintage-styled timepiece, the Montblanc 1858 Small Seconds powered by the same movement, which was more than three times the price of this Tissot.