It was love at first sight, and unusual too. If you follow Lug2Lug, you probably noticed that I prefer dive watches most of the time. However, when I saw Tissot Heritage 1936 for the first time (ref. T1044051601200), I immediately fell in love with this vintage-inspired watch.  And there is a lot to love about this timepiece. Today, I’m going to review Tissot Heritage 1936 to give you an in-depth look at this peculiar hand-wound watch.

Tissot Heritage 1936, ref. T1044051601200, is a part of Tissot Heritage lineup of vintage-inspired watches. This particular model debuted at Baseworld 2016 an quickly gathered a lot of attention from watch aficionados. I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Tissot brand in general. However, their Heritage line of revisited historical watches always gets my attention. It’s not different with 1936 model. This hand-wound timepiece powered by ETA 6498-1 movement looks and feels like a pocket watch from another era strapped to your wrist. And that’s basically what it is. It might not feel as much but this simple styling, a historical Tissot logo and wire lugs have a lot of charm. Oh, and hunter caseback, this one is a killer! When you are used to wearing sport watches on a daily basis, it’s nice to take a break and try something different. Tissot Heritage 1936 worked great for me in this regard. I love this unusual, slightly casual look. I wouldn’t call it a dress watch simply because of its size, but I have no problem wearing it even with a suit on a slightly less formal occasion. But let’s slow down for a minute and take a closer look at the watch itself.

Case and caseback

Tissot Heritage 1936 has a  round stainless steel case, which measures 45 mm in diameter.  It’s not a small watch by any means, you have to remember that. The fact that he face of the watch is almost entirely occupied by the dial doesn’t help either. The case is entirely polished. It looks quite attractive and catches attention of people in your surrounding. By the way, I got the most compliments on this watch among all the other watches in my collection. The polished finishing has its drawbacks though. The case gets smudged really easily, it’s also prone to scratches. I have worn this watch for a couple of months now and although it did quite well, it got some hairline scratches here and there. On the other hands, when a watch is entirely polished, its easy to get rid of these tiny scratches with a polishing cloth – that’s something which you can’t do with tool watches which have brushed finishing.

Tissot Heritage 1936
Tissot Heritage 1936

At 3 o’clock there is a push-pull crown. The crown has a nice texture to it, which makes hand winding a real pleasure. There is a certain charm to mechanical watches when you have to remember to wind your watch. It’s hard to compare this feeling to anything else but I’m sure anyone who had a hand-wound watch can relate. The crown on Tissot Heritage 1936 is signed with a letter T, no surprise here.

Tissot Heritage 1936 has a unique wire lugs to stay true to the origin of the watch. Similarly to first wristwatches, the lugs are fixed and attached to the case. It means that your regular straps won’t fit this timepiece. Your only solution is to use nato straps or have someone make a fixed strap for your. I realize it may put some people off but that’s the price you have to pay for having a watch that’s is true to its origins. Personally, I find it quite appealing and unique as no other watch in my collection has fixed wire lugs.

However, I think that the most appealing thing about this watch is the hunter caseback. When you remove the strap from the case, the caseback is entirely polished just like the case. However, at 4 o’clock there a little notch to put your fingernail in. When you do so, you open a hinged caseback, which reveals a beautiful ETA 6498-1 movement hidden underneath a flat sapphire crystal. It’s a real treat for you eyes, as the movement is nicely decorated with blued screws, Geneva stripes and engraved with old-school Tissot Logo. It really feels like a pocket watch with lugs! Furthermore, it’s a great little feature to show off to your friends. I noticed that even people who are not into watches where quite impressed when I removed the watch off my wrist, and popped the caseback and showed them a ticking movement inside.

Tissot Heritage 1936

Dial, hands, crystal

The dial of Tissot Heritage 1936 is where the watch shines. Quite literally too. It takes almost entire surface of the watch, which also increases its size optically.  The layout of the dial resembles those of pocket watches from 1920’s and 1930’s, but a this point it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The dial is almost entirely white with a grey circle occupying the middle. Around the dial, there is smaller 24-hour scale and closer to center there are regular hours markers. The font chosen for the hour marks reminds me of handwriting. The markers are inky black and  you can notice how they reflect the light under certain angle. The same goes for a historical Tissot logo, which I’m liking a lot more than its  contemporary counterpart.

At 6 o’clock there is a small second dial, which also shouldn’t come as a surprise in a watch so heavily inspired by pocket watches from 1930’s.

Tissot Heritage 1936
Tissot Heritage 1936
Tissot Heritage 1936

Tissot Heritage 1936 has been equipped with beautiful breguet-style hands, which also were painted inky black, just like the markers on the dial. By just looking at the dial and the handset you can clearly see how much attention to details Tissot pays . Notice how a tip of the hour hand barely touches the edge of the gray circle in the middle of the dial, and how the minute hand touches the minute and 24 hours scale. It’s so easy to overlook such tiny details but Tissot met the challenge here.

The whole dial is protected by a slightly domed sapphire crystal. The dome is just right and matches the look of pocket watches of that era. It’s worth noting that the crystal has an AR coating on the inside. However, I haven’t found it particularly impressive. There are glares on the dial but perhaps it has more to do with the enamel reflective while dial rather than with the anti-reflecting coating itself.

Movement

Tissot Heritage 1936 is powered by ETA 6498-1. I don’t like to repeat myself but… it also shouldn’t be a surprise. This movement was originally developed for pocket watches, so what better option did Tissot engineers have?

ETA 6498-1 is a robust, workhorse movement which beats at 18 000 VPH. At full wind, it has approximately 46 hours of power reserve, which means you could wind every two days. However, I can’t wait that long and I wind mine at least once a day. It’s just too satisfying.

Tissot Heritage 1936 movement

As I mentioned in the previous section, you can admire the movement by opening the hunter caseback. I know there are people who claim that ETA 6498-1 is not that pretty too look at but I certainly disagree. Especially, this one decorated by Tissot. Blued screws, purple jewels, decorated bridges and a golden balance wheel create an attractive looking package, which pleases my eyes every time I pop the caseback off.

Straps and wearability

Tissot Heritage 1936 comes on a brown nato-style leather strap. The strap is 19 mm wide, although the lugs itself can easily accommodate 20 mm straps. This narrow strap looks a bit odd at the glance but I guess it’s yet another nod from Tissot towards that vintage look. The strap itself is well made, it’s soft and playable making the wearing experience a real pleasure. However, i found out that after extensive wearing the strap can leave dye stains on your wrist.

Tissot Heritage 1936
Tissot Heritage 1936

I’ve also tried to change the supplied strap for a regular nylon nato strap. 20 mm straps work just fine. For example, an olive nato strap can add a more military look to the watch and change the overall style. I wish I had a spare perlon strap laying around, I think it would be a great match as well.

Tissot Heritage 1936 is not a small watch by any means. 45 mm case with and a big white dial with little bezel make it look quite big. However, on my 7,5″ wrist it looks spot on. It shouldn’t be treated as a dress watch because it is not. It’s a great casual watch which goes nicely with a business casual attire. You can also dress it down and make more sporty by putting it on a regular nato strap.

Conlusions

Tissot Heritage 1936 is an interesting watch to say the least. You can clearly see that it’s heavily inspired by vintage pocket watches, sometimes this inspiration can be a little over the top. It’s a watch for someone who already has a few other timepieces and is looking to add something different, something interesting to their collection. This pocket watch on a strap can definitely fit that niche, at least it did in my case. Furthermore, it’s not only an interesting watch by its design but it’s also a very well made timepiece that has no visible flaws. It’s extremely well made and put together, the dial is beautifully executed and these inky black breguet-style hands are pleasure to look at. I also love the hunter caseback and the decorated ETA 6498-1 hand-wound movement. If I am nitpicking, the anti-reflective treatment could be a bit better, but I’m really pushing it here. On the practical note, it may put people off that the lugs are fixed and you can’t put a normal strap on it but it’s part of the design so I wouldn’t really call it a flaw. The MSRP for this one is $995, which is not bad for a Swiss made watch with such a specification. It get’s even better when you look in other places, i.e. Amazon has it for a little over $600!

PROS:

+ great interesting design

+ good value for money

+ nicely decorated ETA 6498-1

CONS:

– AR coating could see an improvement

– Strap should have been 20 mm wide instead of 19 mm

Model Tissot Heritage 1936 ref. T1044051601200
Diameter 45 mm
Thickness 13 mm
Lug to Lug 52 mm
Lug width 20 mm
Crystal Domed sapphire with AR coating on the inside
Movement ETA 6498-1 hand-wound, 46 hours power reserve
Water resistance 5 ATM
Price ~$600

 

Image gallery

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Tissot Heritage 1936 movement Tissot Heritage 1936 movement
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7.7 Great

It's a watch for someone who already has a few other timepieces and is looking to add something different, something interesting to their collection. This pocket watch on a strap can definitely fit that niche, at least it did in my case. Furthermore, it's not only an interesting watch by its design but it's also a very well made timepiece that has no visible flaws. It's extremely well made and put together, the dial is beautifully executed and these inky black breguet-style hands are pleasure to look at. I also love the hunter caseback and the decorated ETA 6498-1 hand-wound movement. If I am nitpicking, the anti-reflective treatment could be a bit better, but I'm really pushing it here. On the practical note, it may put people off that the lugs are fixed and you can't put a normal strap on it but it's part of the design so I wouldn't really call it a flaw.

  • Design 8
  • Quality 8
  • Value 7
  • User Ratings (4 Votes) 7.3
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About Author

Watch enthusiast who loves to take photos of his watches, blogger, and founder of Lug2Lug.