Keeping in Touch with your Time - A Comparison of the different T Touch watches
Tissot revolutionised the industry with their first T-Touch watches in 1991, featuring a tactile sapphire crystal to access the functions of the movement. This technology has been refined extensively from its first instance, the original T-Touch and T-Touch Trekking, to the updated T-Touch II, through to the fully featured T-Touch Expert and Sea Touch ranges.
Comparison between the T-Touch models
What do they do'
All of the watches have a Compass, a Thermometer, Alarm and Chronograph as standard, in addition to the normal quartz timekeeping, activated by touching the screen. The Thermometer, Alarm and Chronograph are useful tools as they only use the digital display for information, so the time is still visible easily. To use the compass, the hands move to 180 degrees of one another, and then rotate around the dial to indicate magnetic North.
Switching through the functions is simple, merely pressing the button on the side of the case, to activate the crystal, then touching the corresponding section on the glass. Although the hands initially jump to the area pressed, after a delay they move to normal timekeeping when they are not required.
Basic features aside, model differences become readily apparent.
T-Touch, available in stainless steel or Titanium, polished or matte, on bracelet or rubber strap has a Barometer and Altimeter function. This model is also 3 bar water resistant, so you are unable to immerse in water. In a slightly different case, but with the same features, is the T-Touch Trekking model. Both at 42mm wide, they sit easily on the wrist, and are comfortable to wear. The top model is T33788892, in polished Titanium case and bracelet, on a black carbon fibre dial. It is simple to use and set, stylish with the highly polished Titanium also making it surprisingly light to wear, yet strong and rugged.
Tissot have only recently released the T-Touch II, and it bridges the gap between the original T-Touch lines and the fully featured Expert models. This features all of the same features of the above watches, with a second time zone and back light added to the mix, and the water resistance is increased to 10 bar, so suitable for swimming, but not diving. Some features have had secondary functions attached, the Alarm gaining another alarm time option for 2 alarms on your wrist. The Barometer now has relative and absolute functions, either the exact condition when measures, or relative to sea level, and is used to indicate prevailing weather trends.
From here, the options change dramatically depending on the model, and the required function for the user.
T-Touch Expert is for the great outdoors, with an altitude difference meter added to the altimeter, countdown timer added to the chronograph, Azimuthcis added to the compass, to allow you to follow a bearing easily. The stainless and Titanium options are still available, but with the addition of the Pilot style Experts, with a leather strap option. The case width has increased by 2mm, but still feels comfortable, and will fit under a normal shirt sleeve.
The Sea Touch is a must have for divers, and features a dive depth display, using the hands to indicate depth and dive speed, and the LCD screen to show elapsed time underwater. It also features a logbook, so you have a visual display of depth and speed. The watch is only available in stainless steel, and is a solid piece of machinery, but is stylish and rugged, and again comfortable.
The Sailing Touch is the newest model to the Touch Collection, and is designed with a sailor or yachtsman in mind. It has a regatta function, a countdown timer for up to 10 minutes to allow the wearer to manoeuvre their boat to the start line of a race, and then starts a race chronograph showing the duration of the race. It has a speed measure, in km/h, when measuring against a measured distance. Tide tables are also displayed using the LCD display. The Sailing Touch also features an innovative strap release mechanism, allowing easy removal of the strap if needed.
Every model in the T-Touch range is a fully featured watch, with useful functions for the outdoors, but still stylish and suitable for wearing with a suit, or even as an everyday. The dial and layout is simple to gain all the information you need quickly and with the minimum of fuss, and still keeping a minimalist display. The tactile sapphire concept is clever, as it is as scratch resistant as possible, and allows access to functions quickly and easily without requiring navigating through a myriad of menu's, or complicating the case with several separate buttons dotted around the sides of the case.
Setting of the watch, and even calibration of the functions is very intuitive and surprisingly easy, requiring no more than a minute to familiarise yourself with the details.
Low visibility reading is easy with the hands and dial marked with large areas of luminosity, and the back light on the T-Touch II, Sea Touch, Sailing Touch and Expert lines is invaluable, bathing the LCD with a strong red glow, without producing too much glare.
Tissot have designed every feature of their watches well, the bracelets and straps feeling sturdy and secure, and fitting well on the wrist. The water sports themed watches have an extra deployment piece to the clasp, to fit over a wetsuit easily. The cases are all well designed and smooth, without any sharp or rough edges, or cluttered styling.