Founded as a comptoird’etablissage, by Swiss-born & bred father-son duo of Charles-Félicien Tissot and Charles-Émile Tissot (meaning that independent workers create different parts of each timepiece at home and get together to assemble it so it can be sold), Tissot has a rich history of manufacturing luxury watches since 1853. Here are over 160 Years of Tissot information:
Initially, they only made only pendants, pockets, and complication watches for the US market, and produced an amazing 1100 to 1200 watches in their first year of opening for the region Le Locle in Switzerland! By 1858, Charles-Émile travelled to Russia and delivered a watch to Czar Nicholas II in 1904. They started selling their Tissot brand pocket watches all across the Empire. Between 1860 and 1875, they manufactured spare watch parts and watchmaking tools, as well as finished watches.
Tissot also created the first mass-produced pocket watch and was the company to produce a watch with two time zones. Tissot won numerous awards in the 1800s. This included the Diploma of Honour in Zurich in 1888, the Grand Prix and Gold Medal in Antwerp in 1890, the Grand Prix in Paris in 1900, and First prize for Chronometers and for Marine Chronometers in the Neuchâtel Observatory Competition in 1907.
Since going to Russia in the in 1857, Charles firmly established himself and his family in Russia by the late 1880s. He was blessed with a son, Paul and daughter Marie. Both children become instrumental for Tissot’s future. Paul would handle general business affairs with his father, and Marie would run the day to day activities for the company.
In 1918, Tissot reorganised their ébauche workshops, taking it from a fabrique to manufacture. It was making the ébauches for its movements in its own factory and began to mass-produce them. The company’s name changed once the siblings took over the company fully and in 1865, it officially becomes Charles- Émile Tissot & Fils. Then in 1917, the name changed again, to Chs. Tissot & Fils – SA.
Fast forward to 1930, Charles and Paul Tissot entered into an agreement with Omega to form SSIH to save the Tissot brand. SSIH then also merged with ASUAG (Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG ) 53 years later, ultimately becoming the Swatch Group. Therefore, Tissot represents a fair piece of Swiss watch history.
Today, Tissot has a reputation for quality and value for money and is widely considered to be an outstanding brand for timepieces. All Tissot watches are Swiss-made which means in order to have a label that qualifies to be swiss-made, a manufacturer must use a Swiss movement and the timepiece must have at least 50% of its added value originated from Switzerland. All watches must also be inspected and assembled in Switzerland.
Spotting counterfeit Tissot watches are normally easy as they tend to have an incorrect “BI” lettering engraved onto the watch with a poor polish. Check out our selection of Vintage Tissot Watches HERE.