In this world of cheap, virtually disposable watches that only last a couple of years and feel as lightweight as a rubber band around your wrist, it’s an absolute pleasure to review the Tissot T17152652 PRC 200 men’s watch. With its gleaming silver and black exterior, there are several features that make this Swiss-made chronograph watch something of an anomaly on the market.
It’s hard to categorize this timepiece as a sports watch, because it combines the function and durability of a sports watch with the elegance of an all-occasion, casual/dress watch. With its jet black dial and gleaming silver stainless steel case and bezel, the Tissot brings off a sophisticated look yet has all the features top-notch sports watch: chronograph, triple subdials and stopwatch control.
The Tissot PRC 200 is no wafer-thin timepiece; the dial is 40 millimeters in diameter and the case is 11 millimeters thick, giving it the slight heft of a medium-sized sports watch, but it still comes across as dressy. The dial also features a tachymeter set into a beveled ring, which gives the crystal an even larger appearance.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Tissot PRC 200 is the price. At a price point of $300-$400, depending on where you purchase it, this watch offers the craftsmanship, accuracy and durability of watches several times this price. Its features are identical to the features on the Omega Speedmaster, which typically retails at more than $3,000. Aesthetically, the Tissot recalls the look of a Tag Heuer Carrera, which also retails in the thousands. Like the Tag Heuer and the Omega, the Tissot boasts a Swiss-made quartz mechanism that’s geared for decades of use.
The Tissot PRC 200 is extremely user friendly. To set the time, you reverse the stem to unlock it, and then twist it forward to set the date and time. The date window is placed strategically and unobtrusively at the four o’clock marker.
The face is highlighted by easy-to-read white luminous hour and minute hands, and the chronograph hands are tinted bright yellow so you won’t confuse them. Design elements include white Arabic numbers at three, nine and 12, complemented by white index markers in the other positions. The three subdials include a split-second chronograph dial, a thirty-minute timer dial and a second hand dial.
The Tissot PRC 200 is guaranteed to be water resistant to a depth of 330 feet, and is topped with the same type of sapphire crystal shatter-proof dial typically used in high-end watches such as Rolex and Patek Phillipe. Its Swiss-made quartz movement is both accurate and dependable.
One of the best things about the Tissot PRC 200 is that it pairs beautifully with elegant, dressy clothes as well as with casual clothing. It wouldn’t look amiss on a tennis court, nor would it look out of place during a night at the opera. Its bright yellow chronograph hands give it a sporty look, while the elegant black dial and stainless steel bezel impart a stylish, bold glamor that’s not easy to pull off in a man’s watch, especially in this price range. One huge aspect of the Tissot’s appeal is that it looks like it cost thousands of dollars, rather than a few hundred. People may do a double-take and ask to look at it; so when you wear it out, be prepared for compliments.
The watch band style is a combination buckle/clasp that fits snugly around the wrist. The closure is similar to the type used on a Rolex bracelet watchband, but the metal band itself is completely covered in leather. It’s stylish, practical and easy to put on, and the snap-on style actually saves on the wear and tear of the leather.
Here are a few pros and cons at a glance:
• Split-second chronograph dial, thirty-minute timer dial, second hand dial, date window and stopwatch function.
• Easy-to-read, attractive dial with luminous hands.
• Swiss-made quartz mechanism.
• Sapphire shatter-proof crystal and waterproof case.
• Expensive look that replicates chronograph watches costing in the thousands.
• The leather bracelet strap is radically different than other leather straps, and some wearers may prefer to swap it out for a standard strap.
• The watch case isn’t thin, but neither is it bulky. Likewise, the watch dial is large but not massive. Be aware of this if you’re looking for a larger, heavier watch or a smaller, slim style.
Even with its rugged characteristics, the Tissot PRC 200 manages to truly merge functionality with form. To find any kind of a quality chronograph in this price range is a rarity. With its reliable Swiss movement, premium features and elegant, bold design, the Tissot PRC 200 is not only a rarity; it’s virtually a unique find in today’s range of mid-price watches.