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Tissot PR516: A Historic Chronograph Makes a Comeback

Tissot PR516: A Historic Chronograph Makes a Comeback


In an exciting move for fans of the brand, Tissot is bringing back a historic model. The new Tissot PR516 adopts the design of the original from the 1970s, but is now equipped with a state-of-the-art movement. True to its history, it dispenses with automatic winding in favour of manual winding. The mechanical chronograph represents the brand’s high-end offering and benefits from the Swatch Group’s manufacturing expertise, with the PR516 coming in a robust case equipped with a luminescent bezel that combines a tachymeter with a pulsometer. In addition to this mechanical version, Tissot is also presenting three quartz-powered models that offer a more affordable entry to the brand and differ slightly from the design of the mechanical chronograph.

A robust case

The case of the mechanical PR516 is stainless steel and measures 41 mm in diameter and 13.7 mm in height. In keeping with the functional design, the case features clear lines and brushed surfaces. Only a polished bracelet that stretches from lug to lug breaks up the form. Meanwhile, the chronograph push-buttons are cylindrical in shape, and the brand adorns the crown with the hallmark Tissot ‘T’.

The bezel protrudes slightly from the case and mounts a ring with two scales. These provide the wearer with the pulsometer and tachymeter functions. In the first quarter, which appears in a contrasting colour, 15 beats can be extrapolated to one minute. This means that the wearer can determine a heartbeat between 60 and 180 beats per minute. With the remaining three quarters of the bezel, the wearer can measure speeds of up to 220 km/h. The background of the pulsometer scale is completely filled with luminous material – in the case of the tachymeter scale, however, only the digits are filled. Meanwhile, a domed sapphire crystal emphasises the vintage character of the watch. On the caseback, sapphire crystal allows a view of the movement. The water resistance is 100 metres.

A dial evoking racing heritage

On the dial, applied indices with luminous material stand out on a black background with a matt finish. There are two big main hands that also feature a generous covering of Super-LumiNova. The minute hand has a sharp tip and thus differentiates itself from the hour hand. While there is a small seconds subdial counter at 9 o’clock, the two other subdial counters are part of the chronograph. The hands of the 30-minute and 12-hour counters are orange to stand out from the time display. The central chronograph hand also matches this scheme and features a striking ‘T’ counterweight in black.

Robust mechanics in series production

In the mechanical version of the PR516, Tissot installs the A05.291 movement, which has been specially adapted for this watch and is designed to bridge the gap between price and performance. With a focus on precision and longevity, the movement features state-of-the-art industrial precision mechanics. It is based on the ETA/Valjoux 7753 calibre, but dispenses with the rotor in favour of a manual winding system.

The balance beats at a frequency of 28,800 A/h and achieves a precision of +/- 5 seconds per day. This also corresponds to the specifications that ETA adheres to when it comes to the designation of its movements. Here we see an ‘Elaboré’ quality level. Only the chronometer version would be better. Also, a Nivachron spiral based on titanium provides protection against the magnetic fields of everyday life.

The power reserve is 68 hours, which is almost weekend-proof. A barrel with a fixed bridle is also integrated. This enables complete closure, which benefits longevity. The chronograph operates by means of a cam. The PR516 does not offer a more prestigious column wheel control.

Bracelet, price & availability of the Tissot PR516

The watch comes on a stainless-steel bracelet. The sliding spring bars can swiftly make way for a different 20 mm strap or bracelet. The Tissot PR516 mechanical chronograph is available for a price of 1,975 euros.


BRAND Tissot
REFERENCE T149.459.21.051.00
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 13.7 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 10 bar (~100 m)
DIAL Black dial with sunray finish
STRAP/BRACELET Steel bracelet with folding clasp. Easily detachable via slidable springbars.
MOVEMENT ETA/Valjoux A05.291
FREQUENCY 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, tachymeter, pulsometer