Accessible dive watches are anything but rare. There are dozens of options to choose from, with highly respectable models all around. Most of them are more or less built around the same specifications, with 40-42mm cases and 200 to 300m water-resistance. All in all, great summer or weekend watches for recreational diving. But what if you’re looking for a real professional deep diver, at an accessible price? In this instance, we’re looking at a much narrower selection of models. Except that Tissot, a brand known for making great watches at fair prices, has something new in this field. It’s ultra-robust, it’s a proper certified dive watch, it is equipped with everything you’d expect and more, and it is made from high-tech materials. Let’s have a closer look at the new Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80.
Tissot has a solid reputation for making well-built watches, fully equipped and yet at competitive prices. Being part of the Swatch Group and representing the entry-level to the world of mechanical watches, Tissot has long benefited from the group’s synergies and is able to offer some advanced technologies at accessible prices. And when it comes to dive watches, the brand has the Seastar collection, which already included the 1000 model, as a reference to its 1,000ft water-resistance.
Built around the same principles, Tissot is now releasing an ultra-robust and instrument-oriented version, the Seastar 2000 Professional, which adds more water-resistance, more shock protection, anti-magnetism and even complies with the ISO standards for dive watches… and still at a reasonable price.
The new Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Powermatic 80 feels familiar, and for a good reason. Indeed, its look is based on the existing Seastar collection, yet everything in this model has been beefed up and upgraded to offer more resistance to extreme conditions. The case undeniably makes an impact, with its 46mm diameter and 16.25mm height. It’s not a small watch, but the shape has been thought so the case remains fairly wearable thanks to short lugs. It has a strong design, masculine shapes and chunky dimensions, but if you’re after a watch with sports credentials, this is for you.
The case of the Seastar 2000 Professional is made of 316L stainless steel and shows a combination of satin-brushed flanks and polished flat surfaces. The case is rather angular, and thus feels modern. But apart from the design, what strikes most is the quality of the assembly and how well the watch is equipped. As indicated by its name, the watch is water-resistant to 2,000ft, or 600m. This has been achieved with a combination of a thick, bevelled and domed sapphire crystal, a screw-down crown and a screwed caseback – the latter features a see-through sapphire crystal. Also, the Seastar 2000 Professional is suitable for saturation diving below depth of 100 metres, thanks to a helium escape valve positioned at 9 o’clock in the caseband.
A necessary equipment of dive watches, this new professional Tissot comes with a unidirectional bezel made of stainless steel, with deep notches allowing for an easy grip when wearing gloves or with wet hands. And in addition, it features a black polished ceramic insert with an engraved 60-minute scale, with metallic-coated markers and a luminous pearl at 12 o’clock. All in all, the Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional is a rather impressive watch considering its price and even complies with the stringent ISO 6425 standard for dive watches.
Compared with the classic models already in the collection, Tissot also took care of the look of its Seastar 2000 with a redesigned dial and more attractive colours. The base has a new and pleasant wave pattern engraved on its surface and the watch is available in three colours – deep blue, turquoise and black – all with dégradé/gradient effect (the colour darkens towards the edges of the dial). Large applied and rhodium-plated markers are positioned all around, with the classic combination of triangles, rectangles and dots to read time at a glance, even in the dark. The oversized hands, including the seconds hand with “T” counterweight, are all largely filled with white Super-LumiNova, with blue emission in the dark. As for the rest of the watch, the result is modern, technical and purpose-built, yet with a certain coolness too. A framed date window on a black disc sits at 6 o’clock.
Under the sapphire caseback is another element of the competitiveness of this Seastar 2000; the calibre Powermatic 80. When most watches in this price range come equipped with classic automatic movements, this Tissot adds two major improvements to its ETA base. First, the power reserve has been increased to now offering 80 hours of energy when fully wound, thanks to a reduced frequency of 3Hz and a reworked kinetic chain. Second, it features a Nivachron balance-spring, a material invented by Nivarox that is impervious to magnetism – which is known as one of the main issues on watches, specifically in our modern environments. The option for a sapphire crystal, despite the relatively standard finishing of the movement, will please newcomers to mechanical watchmaking.
Finally, and depending on the dial colour, the Seastar 2000 Professional will be worn on a black rubber strap (for the black dial) with a steel pin buckle or a stainless, brushed and polished 3-link bracelet with a folding clasp (for the blue and the turquoise dials).
With a price just below the RM 5,000 mark, Tissot is here delivering excellent value for the money. The watch feels solid as a rock and is equipped with features you’d expect from a watch in a much higher price range. And despite the rather large dimensions that will surely be an issue for some watch enthusiasts, it looks also rather cool with its textured dial and its gradient colours. It’s hard to find flaws here.