Tissot, founded mid-nineteenth century in a small town in Le Locle, one of the cradles of Swiss watchmaking, has a rich and fascinating history.
On July 1st, 1853, Charles-Félicien Tissot, fitter of gold cases, founded the comptoir Ch. Félicien Tissot & Fils, with his son Charles-Emile Tissot, a watchmaker. At that time, Tissot works as a comptoir d’établissage, which consists of a network of independent workers who are highly specialised and who produce the different watch parts at home, that are further assembled and sold at the comptoir. Back then, Tissot timepieces are pocket watches, luxurious pendant watches or complication watches, destined mainly for the United States, which is the first market. Then, Russia becomes the main outlet of the brand.
At the end of 1917, the limited company Chs. Tissot & Fils SA is created and becomes a manufacture with the introduction of movement-blanks production, which it will remain for decades. Before long, the company strengthens its presence worldwide.
In 1930, Tissot and Omega merge to form the first Swiss watchmaking association, the SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère).
By the 1970s the Swiss watchmaking industries is seriously affected by the crisis, which arose from the arrival of the quartz. In 1983, Nicolas G. Hayek who is mandated to audit the watchmaking sector, recommends the merger of the main groups of watchmakers at the time: the SSIH (mainly Tissot and Omega) and ASUAG (holding regrouping the manufacturers of movement and component blanks). The group called SMH (Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries Ltd.) becomes The Swatch Group in 1998. From 1996, the management of Tissot is entrusted to François Thiébaud.
Tissot created some very innovative models:
1930: TISSOT ANTIMAGNÉTIQUE, the world's first non-magnetic wristwatch.
1951: TISSOT NAVIGATOR, the world's first self-winding wristwatch with 24 time zones displayed without manipulation.
1965: TISSOT PR 516: Particularly Robust (PR) with world's first registered bracelet with holes.
1971: TISSOT ASTROLON, the world’s first plastic mechanical watch. It brings a new solution to the recurring problem of oil, as it is equipped with the “Sytal” system (Tissot auto-lubrication system).
1985: TISSOT ROCKWATCH, the world's first wristwatch with a case made of natural stone (granite and other stones).
1986: TISSOT TWOTIMER, the world's first wristwatch with analogue and digital time and seven functions operated via a single crown.
1989: TISSOT WOODWATCH, with a case made of wood.
1999: TISSOT T-TOUCH, the world's first Swiss tactile watch with new instrumental functions (compass, altimeter, barometer, temperature…).
2014: TISSOT T-TOUCH SOLAR, the world's first tactile watch powered by solar energy.