The Tissot Seastar line has often been referred to as one of the best entry level Swiss divers. It’s not hard to imagine why. The three-hand model is equipped with the Powermatic 80—an in-house automatic movement with a silicone hairspring, providing 80 hours of power reserve—a ceramic bezel insert, robust styling, and 300m of water resistance. Released a year after its automatic brethren, the Seastar 1000 Chronograph shares certain design elements, but loses the mechanical movement in favour of Swiss quartz. The exchange, of course, provides the wearer with the added benefits of a chronograph’s functionality without any dip its dive capabilities. But is the trade a good one? Let’s find out.
As a member of the mighty Swatch Group, alongside such famed houses as Blancpain, Omega, and Glashütte, Tissot is the benefactor of a trickle down in R & D, ready access to workhorse ETA movements, and a manufacturing capacity that manages to mitigate cost. It is also, nonetheless, a Swiss heritage brand in its own right—producing watches in LeLocle, Switzerland since 1853 (as Tissot are quick to seize upon in advertising…and dial printing). Despite its heritage, the brand’s organization and role within the Swatch stable is similar to that of Certina, Mido and Hamilton—that is to provide a cost-effective entry into the world of Swiss luxury brands. The idea being, that once one has bought into that world, he/she can migrate up the chain to Longines, Rado, and all the way to Breguet.
To envision Tissot exclusively as such, however, is to be a bit reductive. The brand—particularly of late—with releases like the popular PRX series, demonstrates that there is something to be said for value in the production of a good watch. In addition, with the recent release of the PRX Automatic Chrono, Tissot have repositioned themselves as a purveyor of fine timepieces—including chronographs.
The Seastar name first appeared in the Tissot catalogue in 1954, but not as a dive watch, or a chronograph. It was in reference to its caseback, which used new technology to repel moisture and dust. The latest iterations certainly do that. True to its name, the Seastar 1000 offers up a whopping 300m (1000ft) of water resistance, due in part to its screw down crown and caseback. To achieve this in the chronograph version, the brand has also designed funky, screw down pushers. The latter ensures that there is no accidental actuation of the chronograph function while under water—which would flood the case. As a nice touch, the solid caseback in the chrono (unlike the Powermatic 80, nothing to look at here) is finely embossed with the brand’s seahorse logo. The crown, too, is signed with a telltale “T.”
The Seastar 1000 Chrono is a chunky fella, coming in at 45.5mm in diameter and 51mm lug to lug. Its lug width is 22mm. Despite these hefty dimensions, it does not feel out of place on my 6.75” wrist. Its downturned lugs, and relatively svelte 12.8mm thickness (due in part to the quartz movement), aid in this. Visually, the wide aluminum insert and angled coin edge bezel, reduce the dial real estate, as well. Nonetheless, there is no escaping it—the Seastar 1000 Chrono is a big watch.
As such, I can’t help but imagine the Seastar—especially the Pepsi colourway featured here—as a summer watch. In addition to its size, the timepiece features bold design elements that just want to be noticed. The fat, silver numerals on the bezel, for instance. The tall, applied indices. The broad pencil-styled hands. Beyond wrist presence, the benefit here is legibility. Many smaller, lovely chronographs suffer from illegible sub-dials—essentially nullifying the watch’s functionality. That is not the case here. The ETA G10.212 operating behind the scenes, has a running seconds at 6 o’clock, a 30-minute register at 10, and 1/10ths track at the 2 position—all of which are recessed, intelligible, and clear. The quartz chronograph movement also has the benefit of a split seconds function for timing multiple events—operated simply using the lower pusher—and a relatively quick flyback action upon reset. Next to the three-hand Powermatic version, in fact, the dial property is more effectively (and efficiently) used here, with less obtrusive text. The only hiccup being the white date wheel, off kilter at 4:30. Most dial elements—and the pip at 12 on the bezel—have been treated with BGW9, and the glass is flat sapphire with a AR on the front and back.
The Seastar 1000 has often been referred to as a “desk diver,” because of its dressier, polished finish. The chrono offers more of the same—polish along the top of the lugs, through the bezel, and inset into the midcase by way of a recessed chamber. The case sides are vertically brushed, as is the crown and screw down portion of the pushers. The quick-release, solid link, stainless steel bracelet mirrors this mix of finishes, with brushed edges and a polished centre line. The clasp is a simple, milled fold-over with a push button release and three levels of micro-adjust. It is signed and also has a diver’s extension.
There are more than a dozen versions of the Seastar 1000 Chronograph, using a wide variety of colour and alternative strap options.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
51mm Lug to Lug
22mm Lug Width
Screw Down Crown, Pushers & Caseback
120 Click Uni-directional Bezel
300m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Flat Sapphire Crystal|
/w AR on Both Sides
|Movement||ETA G10.212 (Swiss Quartz)|
Date Complication @ 4:30
Battery: Renata 394
Central 60-seconds Chronograph Hand,
30-minutes and 1/10 of a Second Counters,
ADD and SPLIT functions
|Strap||Stainless Steel Bracelet with Milled Clasp|
& Diver Extension
Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph
For those who cannot abide a quartz movement, Tissot did issue a limited edition mechanical version of the chronograph back in 2021—the Seastar 1000 Professional. The watch was powered by the ETA A05.H21, a Valjoux-based movement. It also had additional features such as a helium escape valve and a day/date function. Oh…and it measured 48mm in diameter and retailed for $2950USD. While officially sold out, the watch can still be found floating around the Internet.
The ETA G10.212 is a highly accurate movement; however, it is essentially disposable. The sealed construction of the calibre means that other than changing the battery, it cannot be operated on. If and when it malfunctions, the movement will need to be replaced. In addition, I think Tissot need to drop the “1853” from the dial. The Seastar line, in particular, is not about heritage. It’s a modern sports watch. Let it speak for itself.
The Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph will not go unnoticed on wrist. It’s bold and brash. It’s also robust and well built, backed by a two-year warranty, and a worldwide chain of authorized dealers. This is a fun watch. While it loses out to its automatic sibling in terms of movement quality, it makes up for it in different ways, including functionality, dial design, and…lug width, actually. The more common 22mm lug width (the Powermatic version sports 21mm lugs) translates into far more aftermarket strap options. It is also less of a burden on the pocketbook. At $525 on the bracelet, the Seastar 1000 Chronograph nips the Powermatic at the register, offering up significant value.
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