Tissot boasts a rich and fascinating history, starting in the Swiss Jura Mountains, the cradle of Swiss watchmaking: in 1853, Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son Charles-Émile joined forces to set up Tissot in the small town of Le Locle, where it still remains.
Today, Tissot is a company of the Swatch Group, the world’s largest Swiss watch producer and distributor.

From 1853, the beauty and reliability of Tissot timepieces received numerous awards. Tissot has continually been striving for innovation, whether in the technical area or its designs, to birth models which play a key role in watchmaking history, staying true to its slogan "Innovators by tradition".


A brief history of Tissot logos

At the time when Tissot was founded, there were no such things as logos in Switzerland. The first Swiss law protecting commercial brands was enforced in 1880. That is precisely when the first Tissot logo was registered. It then underwent numerous changes, following the evolution of the brand and accompanying its worldwide growth. Today’s logo, together with the slogan “Swiss watches since 1853”, was registered in 1999.




The first advertising films produced by Tissot were screened in cinemas in the 1940s. The diversity of Tissot markets and target audience meant that, already at that time, films were made in several versions, first with voice-overs in French, English and German, but very soon in a variety of languages, from Spanish to Chinese.




Winning or losing a race depends not only on the skills of the drivers, but also on the performance of the cars. It’s a world where passion, precision and technical innovation are key.
The same goes for the Swiss watch company Tissot, which’s continuous commitment to technical perfection since its foundation in 1853 is encapsulated in its motto of “Innovators by tradition”.


The story between Tissot and car racing began when Harry Zweifel, the 1957 Swiss Champion who was later known as “the Swiss hillclimb specialist” and “Switzerland’s favourite car racer”, sent Tissot a signed photograph in 1958, where he had written: “Meine Tissot ist an jedem Rennen dabei” (“My Tissot is by my side at every race”).
Though they had existed for half a century, car racing competitions became increasingly popular from the 1950s onward.

In 1965, it inspired Tissot to launch a watch for men: the Tissot PR 516. Its patented bracelet with holes referred to the steering wheel of racing cars. This world’s first was then copied by many other watch brands.

On the technical side, this model was highly protected against both axial and lateral shocks, thanks to its suspended movement – hence its name, Tissot PR 516, PR meaning Particularly Resistant.

The Tissot PR 516 featured in an award-winning campaign and was a great success, to such an extent that it became one of the most popular models of the entire Tissot collection.

In 1968, South American rally legend Henry Bradley, who was very fond of his Tissot PR 516, chose to write the name of the watch on his Ferrari out of pure passion. If anything, it shows that Tissot watches were of good enough quality, precision and resistance for such extreme sportsmen and that they adopted Tissot watches based on their performance on the circuit.


Tissot’s true involvment in car racing started in 1973, as it took part in the Monte Carlo rally, sponsoring Alpine, which took all three podium positions and five of the top six places of the rally thanks to its “Berlinettes”. It dominated the competition that year and went on to win the World Rally Championship.

From 1977 to 1982, Tissot sponsored Team Renault Alpine, both in the 24 Hours of le Mans and in Formula 1.

In 1977, Alpine had moved into Formula 1, coincidentally as the first brand with a turbo engine. Jabouille was their driver in 1977 and 1978.

In 1979, René Arnoux joined the team. The same year, at the French Grand Prix in Dijon, Jabouille finished first in a Renault RS10 equipped with a V6 Turbo engine. It was the first ever win for a turbo engine in Formula 1 (later adopted by all other teams).

Renault Alpine’s 1980 season was marked by the Brazilian Grand Prix, where a Renault RE20 was adorned with Tissot lettering on the front. Team Renault Alpine shone in that race, winning first place and fastest lap for Arnoux as well as pole position for Jabouille. In 1981, Jabouille was replaced by Alain Prost and in 1982, the team enjoyed 4 Grand Prix victories – two by Prost and two by Arnoux.
Today, Tissot is back with Alpine at the World Endurence Championship in the LMP2 category.


In 1974, Tissot sponsored Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with drivers Claude Ballot-Lena (European champion 1974) and Vic Elford in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. Unfortunately, the pair could not finish the race.

In 1995, Tissot sponsored Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Lilian Bryner, Enzo Calderari and Andrea Fuchs.


In 1976, Tissot decided to enter the world of Formula 1 and pinned their hopes on Loris Kessel, a young driver from the canton of Ticino, Switzerland and a close friend of Clay Regazzoni’s. Kessel had proven himself in Formula 3 and Formula 2 and had shown great ease in Formula 1 at the Brands-Hatch circuit. He was competing in Formula 1 for the first season.

“To the great Tissot Family, with my best regards”

The contract was signed March 18th, 1976. Kessel competed in five Grand Prix in a white and blue Brabham BT44 with the English RAM team (a second car bearing the Tissot lettering was driven by Patrick Nève at the Belgian Grand Prix), but failed to achieve any notable results due to a lesser engine provided by RAM.

Tissot also came up with a new logo especially for car racing, strenghtening their involvment.


The common values of the world of car racing and the watch brand – precision, innovation and technology – inspired Tissot to create the first quartz watch model with digital read-out, the Tissot Stratos. It had a racing style design and a sleek, aerodynamic look, signed by the famous car designer Nuccio Bertone.


Tissot sponsored Team Ensign, managed by Englishman Morris Nunn, as of the last three Grand Prix of 1976 and until 1978.

Team Ensign’s pilot was the Belgian Jacky Ickx…

… joined by the Swiss Clay Regazzoni (“Rega”) for the 1977 Formula 1 season, in an Ensign N177.

Clay had been World Champion Runner-up in 1974, but 1977 was not a great season for Team Ensign, nor was 1978 (Derek Daly, who drove the Tissot car, was 20th in the World’s Drivers Championship and Ensign was last in the International Cup for F1 Constructors).

TISSOT & JACQUES LAFFITE Jacques Laffite, who had enjoyed a great victory in 1977, drove a JS9 with Tissot lettering in 1978. Unfortunately, he failed to repeat the 1977 performance.


In 1978, followed the Tissot F1 collection that became the darling of the public, derived in various models.

Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus cars, owned one and used it on Formula 1 circuits.


Tissot sponsored the well-known and ever-innovative Lotus Team (Carlos Reutemann, Mario Andretti, Elio de Angelis and Nigel Mansell) from 1979 to 1982 in the Formula 1 championship.

In 1979, Argentinian Carlos Alberto Reutemann and Italian-American Mario Andretti drove a Lotus Mark 79 and Mark 80 with the Tissot Quartz logo resplendent on the bodywork. Andretti had just been World Champion in 1978 with the ingenious Lotus 79, designed as a wing car.

The co-operation with Lotus then ran until 1982 along with Elio De Angelis and the then unknown Nigel Mansell (who became World Champion in a Williams in 1992). After the Mark 79 and -80, the Lotus models 81, 81B, 87, 87B, 88, 88B and 91 came into operation, all portraying the Tissot logo.


The Tissot Martini Racing from 1987 was a sporty watch that included a chronograph with intermediate-time, measuring to 1/10th second.


Tissot returned to Formula 1 as a sponsor of the Sauber Mercedes Team in 1994. They had just moved to Grand Prix in 1993. In 1994, the Sauber C13 came onto the scene with the Mercedes-V10 engine, designed by the Swiss engineer Mario Illien.

It was driven by Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Karl Wendlinger and Andrea de Cesaris. Frentzen clocked up a fourth, a fifth and two sixth places.


On the national level, Tissot devoted itself to the up-and-coming talent. In 2001, it sponsored the Formula 3 driver Tobias Blättler, who was able to count on the watchmaker from Le Locle for three seasons.



It is fair to say there is a strong parallel between the evolution of fashion and the collections that Tissot has been creating for women since 1853. Not only can ongoing trends be recognized in the design of Tissot ladies watches through time, the way its watches can be worn are extremely representative of each era and of the evolution of society.

This only shows how Tissot once again shapes the history of fine watchmaking and makes sure, year in, year out, that quality stays trendy.
In the 19th century, Tissot made pocket watches (for men) and pendant-watches (for women).
Pendant-watches were often richly decorated, suspended on a chain or ribbon around the neck.

Tissot counted fashionable women among its clients, like the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt.

From the beginning of the 20th Century, Tissot also produced wristwatches, well before the inter-war years and the heyday of this new type of watch.

The Tissot archives provide evidence that, thanks to its wide network of high quality suppliers, Tissot was able to offer a wide range of wristwatches (both in terms of materials and shapes).

In the 1940s and 1950s, through its advertising and its wide range of models for all tastes, ages and occasions, Tissot spoke particularly to the ‘woman of today’ (one watch for sport, one for work and one for special occasions).

Tissot gradually gained international recognition; in 1947, world-acclaimed opera singer Carmen Miranda fell for a luxurious Tissot jewel watch set with a dazzling aquamarine and diamonds.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Tissot still offered small precious timepieces, some in gold and with diamonds or with faceted crystal, as well as water-resistant and automatic sports models.

At the end of the 1960s, specific models for the young were added to the Tissot catalogue. The design of Tissot collections bore witness to the influence of fashion, with colorful and stunning models. Furthermore, always on the lookout for the newest trends, Tissot worked closely with international designers – like Pekka Piekäinen, who created the Tissot Design watch.

In the 1980s, Tissot developed its quartz collection and designed watches for both men and women, suppressing boundaries between genders. It launched famous models, such as the Tissot RockWatch, the world’s first watch with a case made of natural stone.

In 1999, a few years before the digital fever, Tissot came up with the first tactile watch, the Tissot T-Touch, followed by the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar in 2014, the world’s first tactile watch powered by solar energy.

Tissot also produces ultra-feminine pieces as a response to polarization in society nowadays.

Through its wide range of collections and its ambassadors from different horizons, Tissot reaches out to every age and everyone’s personal preferences.



At the beginning of the 20th Century, the extraordinary development of electricity and its implementation in all areas of daily life leads to the magnetization of watches. Magnetic fields emanating from electric appliances cause the disruption of watches and can even bring them to stop entirely.

In the 1930s, to be able to continue to offer quality watches, Tissot innovates by replacing the steel in regulating organs by materials unaffected by magnetism, leading to the creation of the Tissot Antimagnétique, world’s first non-magnetic wristwatch.

The excellent results obtained by the Tissot Antimagnétique compared to usual watches are corroborated by numerous scientific studies commissioned to the Swiss laboratory for watchmaking research of Neuchâtel, an independent body.

To guarantee the non-magnetic properties of its watches, Tissot installs state-of-the-art equipment on its premises, including the chrono-electromagnet.

This one-of-a-kind device, ordered by Tissot technicians in 1938, allows them to generate magnetic fields of variable intensity and to check the resistance of their watches.

This innovation is highlighted in many advertisements and is gradually applied to the whole Tissot collection.