Tissot Alpine Rock 1985c

Innovation With Style

In 1985, Tissot released this beauty; the Alpine RockWatch. It uses a single piece of granite as the case and dial.  The back is screwed to the granite case and has lugs attached to accommodate the strap. The movement is an ETA 976.001 quartz, Tissot had stopped producing their own movements some years previously.

There were a couple technical drawbacks; the case was brittle and once cracked or broken that was it. Also, the glass had to be removed so as to access the hands, essential in an overhaul. This quite often resulted in a broken glass.

There where three sizes available, 23mm, 30mm and 33mm. This is the 30mm Unisex size, quite small.

Another innovation here is the different coloured hands. Early pieces, as this one is, have red (minute) and yellow (hour)  hands, the colours of Swiss hiking trail markers.

It was a huge success in the marketplace, was very distinctive, attractive and a novelty that had no competition. For reasons that I don’t know, it disappeared from the market in 1992.

Tissot was established in 1853 and merged with Omega in 1930. The two brands would have undoubtedly shared technology but to my knowledge never shared componentry and definitely maintained their respective individuality to this day.

Tissot has been one of the most innovative of watchmakers. It developed the first dual time watch in 1853, the first antimagnetic movement in 1929.  I think that Tissot was the first to use plastic components in the 60’s including case rings (see my Tissot Searock post). In 1971 the company released the first all plastic watch to the horror of the trade who refused to touch them for repair.

This 100% original, including the strap, offering from Tissot is yet another example of cutting edge innovation.


About robswatches

I’m a horoligical “petrol head”! I love classical mechanical watches, not because they tell me the time, I can get the time from cheap quartz watches, my computer, phone, microwave or just about anywhere. I’m interested in the movements of watches, the aesthetics of case design and their construction, the history and the simple thrill of watching tiny, beautifully finished wheels, pinions and other parts turning and oscillating and marvelling at the craftsmanship that created it.
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