Posted by Frank T. on May 09, 1998 at 11:46:09:
I realize that TZ reviews are usually welcomed on great watches such as AP, PP, JLC, etc. But since I have finally earned my “Watch Idiot Savant” badge I thought I would offer something for my fellow “Joe Lunchbucket” types who might not have a spare 10 grand to hang on their wrist this week!
I would like to be able to say that I bought this watch after careful comparison shopping and much soul searching and research, but alas, I bought it in a state of total horological ignorance, not even knowing TZ or WN existed at the time! Frankly, after a good night at the Casino on a cruise ship, I set out to buy a Swiss mechanical watch with my Ill gotten $500. I was shocked and dismayed to discover that mechanical watches were almost impossible to find and when you did find them they cost more than a good used car! I finally discovered (way in back usually) the Tissot case. They actually had several mechanical models but it was hard to convince the sales staff that I really didn’t want a quartz watch!!! (But sir I have the exact same model in quartz, why would you want a wind up one???). I settled on the two tone Ballade over the slightly lower priced PR 100 mainly because of the neato display back! I was finally able to get the price down to $307. The watch is made from highly polished s/s with a plated bezel( rounded coin) and crown. The strap is s/s with plated center links remotely in the style of several Omega straps. The clasp is difficult to describe let it suffice to say its the easiest and most secure I have seen lately and well designed beyond my wildest expectations! The crown (non screw down) is the only plated one I have ever owned that shows no sign of losing color or wearing after 6 mo. on my very sweaty So. Florida wrists. The crystal is sapphire flat and flush with the bezel. the rear view port is of an undisclosed material (probably glass) The movement is a fully gilded ETA 2836-2 with “TISSOT 25 jewels” engraved on the rotor. Eta’s web site calls this a day/date movement but this watch has date only. The dial is Champagne white textured with an Arabic 12 and gold stick markers at the other 11 positions The hands are plain pointers with a center sweep second making 5 strokes per sec. the date is at 4:30 without a cyclops eye. The outer ring of the dial is marked with black Roman numerals and divided into 1 sec. and 1/5 sec. intervals. The Tritium is very lame making it difficult to see at night until your eyes adjust. The watch kept +8 sec./day time out of the box and I have managed to tweak it down to 3-4 sec.+ and I could probably get it even tighter but why bother? Not bad for a $30 buck movement! The gilded movement looks much nicer than the Hamilton offerings at this price range. After much discussion on this forum about outsourcing movements it could be said that since ETA and Tissot are SMH companies this is truly an in house movement! On the other hand the case is made in THAILAND!! and the strap in HONG KONG!!! What province of SWITZERLAND are those near??? Overall not with standing that objection, IMHO the Ballade represents an outstanding value in a Swiss (movement at least) watch. At a price of under $300 (discounted) I know of no other watch that offers the style and substance of this model. For this price you get a good reliable easily repairable movement, a well finished case and strap and a watch that looks good for sport or dress. BTW the water proof rating is 30M so this is no dive watch! but it will stand an occasional dunking without any worries. You can see it at AAA jewelers web site I think they offer it at $277.US a good buy!
Best regards to all ….Frank T.