Leading the Swatch Group into the complex yet increasingly popular world of smartwatches, Tissot have unveiled a new family of Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar watches. The hybrid design tells the time while also connecting to a paired smartphone to deliver fitness tracking, smart notifications, and an in-house solar powered movement with a battery life of 6 months.
The Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar is the first connected watch or Bluetooth watch by Tissot, or any Swatch Group brand for that matter, and broadly hints at where the world’s largest Swiss watch conglomerate is heading. It is described by Tissot as “first and foremost a watch” with the smart technology an added bonus for private, interactive, contemporary and durable functionality. At first glance, the design looks almost exact to the brand’s iconic T-Touch Solar Expert but with a slightly more sporty and technical finish. This is no mistake, as the T-Touch Connect Solar is designed to embody the brand’s design journey cementing itself as a descendant of the first multifunction tactile watch in history.
CASE & STRAP
Before we go into detail about the technical side of the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar, let’s first outline exactly what’s on offer design-wise. There are currently six different models to choose from, three of which are available in satin-finished titanium, two in black PVD titanium and one in rose-gold PVD titanium. The cases are then paired with a choice of red or black rubber straps or titanium bracelets.
Measuring to 47mm in size and 15.3mm in thickness, the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar sits rather nicely on the wrist. It stands tall enough to be noticed yet just slim enough to slide beneath a shirt cuff. The satin-finished surfaces and soft angles of the lugs allow both strap options to sit flush against the skin while the lightness of titanium is another nice choice, providing an unobtrusive feel and a hypoallergic finish. Ceramic is used to engineer the bezel, assisting in a remarkable scratch resistance and promising never to oxidise no matter how much time passes.
The Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar watch continues to impress with scratch resistant tactile sapphire crystal glass used to protect the Low-energy MIP (Memory In Pixel) digital screen. Additionally, like all Tissot cases, these connected watches have undergone several tests including water resistant checks and tests for impact and pressure. Despite the interactive pushers and electronic crown, the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar still manages to assert a water resistant rating of 100 metres.
MOVEMENT & OPERATING SYSTEM
Like much of the T-Touch collection, the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar watch is entirely energy efficient with an innovative solar powered movement housed within. Hidden on the watch dial, the latest-generation photovoltaic cells provide a battery life of up to 6 months by capturing energy from both natural and artificial light.
According to Tissot, no fewer than 35 patents were filed during the design of this watch, with its extensive power reserve basically unlimited when offline and lasting approximately 6 months when in standard mode. Tissot also suggests that most wearers will get by without ever needing to physically charge the watch, however, heavy users of the GPS or Bluetooth feature may need to top up the battery with the wireless charging cable included.
Fully designed and developed by Tissot, the new in-house operating system is possibly the biggest feat of the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar. Entirely Swiss made, with certification to ensure component origin and workmanship, the new SwALPS operating system has been developed by the Swatch Group in collaboration with CSEM. It’s exclusive, proprietary operating system is currently compatible with iOS, Android and soon, Harmony OS operating systems and promises all data attached to it will be securely stored on servers to safeguard all user’s privacy. Tissot continues to overtly reassure wearers by stating the watch, its applications, and any paired smartphones cannot send data to third parties.
The Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar watch is described as having all the essential functions of the T-Touch Solar Expert alongside some new improved features. At the centre of the dial, hours, minutes and seconds are displayed clearly through the classic analog hands while a digital display at 6 o’clock exhibits a perpetual calendar with day, date, week and month and the option for a second time zone. Meteo functions include barometer, weather trend and temperature while timing features for alarms, timer and chrono split, lap and logbook are also accessible through the dial.
New to the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar is the activity tracking which allows you to monitor your step count, calories burned, distance travelled, compass and altimeter. Smart notifications are also new and when connected to a compatible smartphone deliver texts, call notifications, WhatsApp message and even Facebook notification directly to your wrist. Other features include the security lock, Eco mode and Automatic sleep mode which allow you to save precious battery life when you know you won’t be needing any smart functionality.
One of the things we were most impressed with when reviewing the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar watch was its interface. Its usability felt incredibly easy with only two push buttons, an electronic crown and tactical sapphire crystal glass used for accessing and activating its many features. To turn on the tactile crystal screen, you simply push the start button and after losing yourself in the features, you can simply return to the home screen by holding down the back button.
The start button is also used for starting or stopping a chronograph or countdown and when held down for several seconds, it will also completely lock (or unlock) the watch. As well as being used to return to the previous screen, the back button is used for recording a chronograph or load a countdown. Activating features like this will also trigger a small vibration for confirmation. The electronic crown, on the other hand, is used for navigating the menu. Turn the crown to scroll through the different apps and press it down to confirm or to open a sub-menu. Holding the crown down for several seconds will also activate back-lighting.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
Easily competing with the likes of Apple, the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar has price on its side. The satin-finished titanium models on rubber straps retail at only £880 while the titanium on bracelet comes in a little dearer at £975. The black DLC titanium models on rubber straps retail at £940 and the rose gold PVD model will set you back £955.
The Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar collection is expected to be released towards the end of November, perfectly timed for making it onto our Christmas lists. Nevertheless, retailers like Jura Watches are offering an exclusive pre-order service on the entire range so you can be one of the first to get your hands on the new collection. To place your pre-order, head over to the Jura Watches website here or get in touch with the team on 01335 453453.