Could the PRX be the best budget watch?
The budget-friendly category is one of the most competitive spaces in watch collecting. Many brands produce high-quality, stunning watches for prices that virtually anyone can afford and have opened the doors for many people to get into the hobby. One watch often reigns supreme in specific categories, and those options vary based on who you ask. However, it’s safe to say one budget-friendly watch has dominated in both quartz and mechanical watchmaking; the Tissot PRX Quartz and PRX Powermatic 80.
Most of us now know the Tissot PRX, the watch reborn from the Tissot archives via the 1970s Tissot Seastar with an integrated bracelet design and overall aesthetic like certain Gerald Genta designs. The Tissot PRX brings elegance and a level of Swiss-made craftsmanship unlike any other watch in their price categories for quartz and mechanical (automatic) variations. It has grabbed the attention of both new and experienced collectors/enthusiasts and blown the door of what it means to be budget-friendly off the hinges.
Initially released in 2021 as a quartz-only model with a 40mm stainless steel case, the PRX line of watches now carry 40mm and 35mm quartz options and a 40mm automatic powered by the Tissot Calibre 80.111, based on the ETA C07.111. Both quartz and automatic versions receive the same level of case and bracelet finishing and thorough quality control inspection to ensure each watch has its Swiss-made quality and durability. There is one slight difference between the quartz and automatic versions apart from the apparent movement difference. To quickly identify from a window if you’re looking at a quartz vs. automatic PRX, the dials are different; the quartz model features a flat, non-textured dial, while the automatic features a waffle/textured dial. Both dial variations are gorgeous, and while both watches look very similar, the dial differences add different depths to the overall design.
The most significant part of the conversation about the PRX is the pricing. When you hold the watch in your hand and look at the detail, it seems so beautifully expensive; until you flip the price tag over and are surprised by the number. Not every day, you find a Swiss-made watch with a stainless steel case and integrated bracelet for a budget-friendly price, but that’s what Tissot cooked up with the PRX. The quartz models are available for $525, and the automatic models are available for $975. The PRX is a watch attainable to all collectors and is such a bang-for-your-buck option that it’s hard not to recommend it whenever someone asks, “What watch should I buy?”
PRX quartz and automatic versions are available through Canada Watch House, so feel free to check them out yourself.