These days, most people associate Tissot Heritage 1936 Replica with their sporty PRS line and the clever T-Touch, but the brand was actually founded in 1853 and as such have an enviable back catalogue covering off practically all the classics. This year they’ve delved into the interwar period for inspiration, and cooked up the Heritage 1936, a wallet-friendly winner with tons of wrist presence.
The case of the Replica Heritage 1936 sees Tissot pulling off a very clever double act – they’ve managed to create a replica watch with a legitimate vintage-style case in an oh-so-modern case size of 45mm (and 12.98mm high). They’ve done this by essentially adding lugs and a strap to a pocket replica watch case, with spectacular results. It also touches on a really interesting moment in the history of personal timekeeping, when replica watches – after a few hundred years of being safely ensconced in people’s pockets, moved onto the wrist. This all changed with the First World War, when the extra seconds it took to take the replica watch out of your pocket could mean the difference between life and death and when checking the time in your pocket while assaulting a machine gun nest proved difficult. Many of the earlier wristreplica watch designs simple took existing pocket replica watchcases, and added lugs. This makes wearing the Heritage 1936 a surprisingly modern experience – it’s big and sits high on the wrist, so if you’re used to wearing replica watches of Panerai dimensions, this Tissot Mens Replica will feel right at home.
The first thing I noticed about the Heritage 1936 was the wonderful combination of Breguet style hands and numerals. Tissot has done an excellent job of capturing the pocket replica watch aesthetic. The old school logo and matt grey centre section are perfect, and from a distance you’d be forgiven for thinking that the dial was porcelain instead of lacquer. The printing is quite crisp, especially given the price point. I would have loved to see blued hands instead of black, but you can’t have it all I suppose.
Appropriately enough the Heritage 1936 is powered by a big manually wound movement – a nicely finished ETA 6498-1 to be precise, which is essentially a modified Unitas 6487, used in a vast range of replica watches. But the best thing about the movement is that it’s hidden away behind a hunter caseback, giving the replica watch a nice theatrical trick up the sleeve.