I broke out my Tissot PRS 516 today and was delighted by it. This watch often times goes forgotten in the watch box which is really too bad as it is a joy to wear.
The PRS 516 was one of the first "real" watches I purchased for myself. Though a novice, I knew the Tissot name meant quality and value and the PRS 516's specs bear that out:
Case Material: STAINLESS STEEL
Water Resistance: 50 METERS
Hour indicators: INDEX
Bracelet: LEATHER BROWN
Movement Caliber: 2836-2 MECHANICAL AUTOMATIC
Power reserve: 42 hours.
So it really is all there and can be hand for under $300. My only regret is that I did not purchase the model on a bracelet. The bracelet is very cool and retro with holes running through the stainless steel. May be someday I'll get it together and order one from Tissot.
This is a quality watch with a lot of style and deserves to be treated better...
The dial is a real work of art with raised indices which the Tissot T shaped second hand passes underneath. The indices are coated in sufficient lume as are the characteristic boxy hands. The dial is a deep black with the chapter index alternating between red and white indexes. Naturally it is branded, and I find the font of choice most pleasing in a modern sporty style. There is ample room for both the day and date function which accompany the ETA 2836-2.
The sapphire crystal is lovely, but it is somewhat tricky to photograph. The bezel appears to be ceramic with white hour numbers painted on it. I've heard the bezels can wear and chip though I haven't had any problem with mine. The case is a 40mm chunk of 316L, brushed on front and high polished on the sides. In this day and age of ginormous watches, 40 mm can seem small when viewed as a spec, but I maintain it to be a most excellent size for a man's watch. The exhibition caseback displays the lightly adorned ETA, and the exhibition window is finished so that it appears to be an old school steering wheel complete with the punched holes in the spokes for hanging a stop watch. This is a nice touch which I fear will become the provence of NASCAR as Tissot is a sponsor and has begun producing NASCAR specific models. The crown is, of course, signed with the Tissot T.
The supple brown leather strap features holes of diminishing circumference and contrasting white stitching. It is secured with a signed deployment clasp. The strap is striking, but there are numerous after market suppliers which make a similar "Rally" strap so it isn't any too special as the bracelet would be. The strap enhances the retro feel of the watch as the is a recreation of a sport minded model which Tissot produced in the 1960s and 1970s. All in all, this watch brings a modern update to a retro classic and is a big winner in my book.
The watch's operation is flawless with a firm crown which feels well connected to the very dependable movement. I haven't done in any measured timings but will do so and post the deviation over 24 hours. (Testing shows this piece to be +4 over 24 hours). I believe it will be minimal. Stylish and functional, this is a purposeful watch which is most at home strapped to the wrist of a spirited driver. I always feel a bit racy while wearing the PRS 516 but think the watch is classy enough to serve many purposes.
One of my most cherished pieces as it came to me early in my quest, and as I stated earlier, a piece that slips through the cracks. I highly recommend this watch to anyone wanting to get into Swiss timepieces without breaking the bank.