How many watches have been inspired by the Rolex Submariner? Add another one to that list: the Tissot Seastar. This Swiss-luxury dive watch has a style and water resistance that is comparable to the legendary Submariner. How does the Tissot Seastar compare to the Submariner, how does it fit into the dive watch market overall, and is it worth your money? Find the answers to these questions and more in our review.
- Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Overview
- Tissot Seastar Review: The Verdict
Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Overview
If you’ve never heard of Tissot before, they are a luxury watch manufacturer based in Switzerland and they have been making watches since 1853. Over 160 years later, they are now part of the Swatch Group, but that hasn’t changed their goal of creating high-quality Swiss luxury watches. With the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80, they have added yet another quality watch to their catalog. Let’s check out what it does.
- Water-resistance: 30 bar (300m/1000ft)
- Lug width: 21mm
- Diameter: 43mm
- Thickness: 12.7mm
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal
- Movement: POWERMATIC 80.111
- Jewels: 23
- Power reserve: up to 80 hours
- Lug-to-lug: 49.6mm
- Frequency: 21,600 BPH (6 beats per second)
Tissot Seastar Variations
- Black dial, stainless steel bracelet.
- Blue dial, stainless steel bracelet.
- Silver dial, stainless steel bracelet.
- Black and blue sunburst dial, rubber dive strap.
Don’t be fooled, the Tissot Seastar isn’t something that you keep in a glass display never to be worn; it is a bona fide dive watch and a powerful one at that. The Seastar has a refined look that is designed with class and elegance and can be worn in even the most formal of occasions. Tissot clearly took inspiration from the likes of classics like the Omega Seamaster and the Rolex Submariner; talk about setting a high bar.
The Tissot Seastar comes in a round 316L stainless steel case that is 43mm in diameter and 12.7mm thick. By dive watch standards, this is considered to be a bit on the smaller side. Dive watches, being tool watches, are generally bigger for the added durability and legibility. Since the Seastar is not overly large, it allows one to wear it to more formal occasions without feeling out of place.
The finish of the case is mainly brushed on most surfaces except the top of the lugs, crown guards, and the recessed channel that runs around the side of the case. The lugs are kept slender to uphold its dressy appeal, but they are quite long, measuring in at a 47.3mm lug-to-lug distance.
With a lug width of 21mm, users looking to replace the bracelet will find slightly less options; however, the width perfectly matches the proportions of the case and keeps it versatile enough to be worn for both casual and dress applications. The spring bar can only be accessed from inside because the lugs are not drilled through to maintain their clean look.
Turning to the back, the caseback is stainless steel with an exhibition window to let wearers get a glimpse of the automatic movement rotating inside. This design is always very cool to see, particularly if you like to marvel at the engineering ingenuity being displayed. Through the glass window, you can see the Tissot wave engraving on the rotor. The wave theme is found on other components as well. It is not only good attention to detail but a nice reminder that this watch is indeed capable of underwater use.
Next, the Tissot Seastar’s dial is elegant, simple, and exhibits qualities that make it stand out as a luxury Swiss watch.
For starters, its dial is black with a very slight sunburst finish that can make it appear as dark as charcoal. Black is a safe color and is often used in classic and professional watches, so it is a versatile color to have.
What we love about this dial is its elegant and captivating hour markers. All 12 markers are applied to make them stand out, literally. Each one is white and has a polished silver outline which looks breathtaking when it catches the light. The markers greatly contrast the black dial and make them very legible in most conditions. The markers are shaped like round dots with the exception of the 12-o’clock marker which is a triangle, and the 3, 6, and 9-o’clock markers which are rectangles.
More markers are printed along the outside edge of the dial on a chapter ring. There are major ticks every 5 minutes/seconds along the ring, and minor ticks for every minute/second. Despite having these markers, the dial retains a minimal, clean look.
Just above the 6-o’clock marker, a date window with a beveled edge can be found in all black with no framing or outline. The design and placement of it is very unique, as the date window is typically found in the 3-o’clock position. The date is printed in white text on the black background. This makes the date window blend seamlessly into the dial. For legibility, this isn’t the greatest design; as for style, this is certainly one of the least intrusive date windows we have seen in a watch.
Lastly, the remaining markers on the dial can be found below the 12-o’clock marker and above the 6 o’clock marker. The triangle marker points downwards towards the “Tissot” name and “1853”, the date the company was founded. They are printed in a thin white block font that exudes class.
Above the 6-o’clock marker and date window reads “Seastar” and “Powermatic 80”, also printed in white text. To the sides of the 6-o’clock marker the words “Swiss made” can be found. We appreciate the limited amount of text found on the dial. Tissot could have also easily added in details like “Water Resistant 300m/1000ft” or mentioned the automatic movement it’s using, but they held back. This keeps the dial clutter-free and maintains the clean look that keeps the Seastar looking classy.
Keeping a similar style as the markers, the hands are also white with polished silver edges. The hour and minute hands are shaped like a fat pencil with white lume in the middle which makes them impossible to miss with how much they contrast against the black dial. Just like the markers, the polished silver has a reflective sheen that catches the eye and helps to read the time easily.
The second hand is typically the longest and thinnest of the hands, but with how thick the hour and minute hands are, it gives the impression that the second hand is much thinner than it actually is. There is a lume lollipop dot applied near the tip of the pointer side. While the lume is necessary for night use, the lollipop is very small and hard to see. Furthermore, the counterbalance is shaped like a large “T”, and assuming that it stands for “Tissot”, is conceited and cheesy.
The Tissot Seastar’s bezel is a combination of beautiful black ceramic with silver accents. These markings are formed right into the ceramic, not engraved. There are Arabic numbers for each 10 minute interval, and they are so obnoxiously large and thick that they can be distracting.
Thankfully, since they are blended into the ceramic, then the way the bezel reflects the light typically obscures most of these markers unless you are looking at the watch straight-on. This restrains their otherwise overwhelming presence, which is good.
Speaking of the reflective sheen on the bezel, this gives the watch a nice luster that is attractive. Furthermore, the ribbed outer surface not only provides excellent grip, but looks good too.
As for the markers, there is a main triangle marker at the 12-o’clock position with a lume pip. As we mentioned above, there are large Arabic numbers every ten minutes, with a major tick marking each number that ends in a “5” (5, 15, 25, etc). There are also minor ticks for each second up to the 20-minute mark.
As you’d expect from any high-quality watch, the Tissot Seastar uses a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with a perfectly flat face that sits flush against the edge of the bezel. The sapphire crystal provides exceptional clarity so that you can view the dial without any distortions, even at extreme angles. It is clean, simple, and helps the watch maintain a classy look.
Like most watches, the Tissot Seastar’s crown is found at the 3-o’clock position. However, unlike most watches, the Seastar has some of the most heavy-duty crown guards we have seen in a diver. They sharply jut off the main case and surround the crown like two overly protective bodyguards. This design is highly reminiscent of the Rolex Submariner’s crown guards which sport a similar design.
Looking at the crown itself, you will notice it has polished silver ribbed sides for extra grip, and a slightly domed face with a blocky “T” which, unlike on the counterbalance of the second hand, looks nice here. The crown is rated to withstand the water pressures up to 300m/1000ft, which is what the “1000” in its name is referencing.
Depending on the version that you get, the Tissot Seastar can come with either a black rubber dive strap with a curved-end, or a stainless steel bracelet. You can’t go wrong with a rubber strap on a dive watch, plus it adds to the sporty nature of it as well. The rubber strap is also more comfortable to wear for long periods of time compared to a stainless steel bracelet.
If you get the stainless steel bracelet version, then the Tissot Seastar comes with one of the thickest, most durable stainless steel bracelets we have seen – a five-link design with the middle and end links having the same size and brushed finished. The second and fourth links that are sandwiched in between the other links are narrower and have a polished finish. This combination of brushed and polished links adds to the elegance of the overall design, giving it a dress watch look.
The links where the bracelet meets the case are even more durable, and Tissot have included a deployment style clasp with safety flap. The whole clasp has a brushed finish and the clasp has an embossed block that is branded with, you guessed it, a “T”.
A minor downside of the bracelet is its width. At 21mm it is an abnormal size and limits the amount of options you have if you would rather replace it with a third party option. However, the included bracelet is solid and proportionally correct to match the overall design.
The overall style of the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 can be described as classy and heavy-duty. You can see many similarities between it and the classic watches that inspired it like the Omega Seamaster and Rolex Submariner. With that said, it’s not merely a carbon copy; it has its own distinct look and is a great looking watch all its own.
The Tissot Seastar was clearly designed to have an elegant and minimal look which gives it the versatility of being worn to both casual and formal settings despite being a robust dive watch. This once again is a trait that the Submariner and Seamaster share.
With its white hands with silver edges and applied markers against the backdrop of the beautiful black dial, the lustrous ceramic bezel, sapphire glass, and five-link stainless steel bracelet, the Seastar is simply breathtaking to look at under the light. Its reflective surfaces will highlight the quality and sophisticated nature of the Tissot Seastar.
We’ve used the word “heavy-duty” a lot in our review, and that’s because it has a robust design with various hard edges that can make it uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. With a case diameter of 43mm, it wears a bit large and it’s made worse by the fact that its crown guards stick out from the right at the 3-o’clock position where it will constantly prod your wrist.
This is not an issue for those who prefer to wear their watch higher up on their wrist, but those who wear it lower may feel irritated at the constant poking, as well as the stiffness of wearing this tool watch. Overall, this issue is minor but something you need to be aware of.
Despite the large case diameter, the Tissot Seastar has a reasonable thickness of only 12.7mm which allows it to easily slide under the cuff without snagging on it. This shows Tissot’s concern to make the watch as versatile as it can so that it won’t be exclusively worn as a tool watch.
Next, the 21mm wide band provides just enough support to keep the watch from sliding around the wrist while providing enough adjustability so that it can perfectly fit the wrist. The band length spans 5-⅞” (152mm) to 8-⅛” (203mm), with a removable link adjustment of ⅜” (10mm), as well as a fine adjustment in the clasp of 3/32” (2mm).
The bracelet’s five-link design seems like it’d be a constant source of hair and skin pulling action, but thanks to the excellent fluidity of the links, they contour nicely around the wrist with no issues. With that said, the links have basically no flexibility in the lateral direction which can make the overall feel of the watch very stiff.
Weighing 6.3oz/180g with the band on, the watch weighs approximately as much as 32 US quarters. In other words, it’s got a bit of weight to it, however the weight is evenly distributed around the wrist making it feel balanced and more wearable.
As far as wearability goes, there are no outstanding issues in the Tissot Seastar, and the few issues there are are minor at worst. Even wearing the Seastar for long periods of time, it felt fine. It is only when we focused on the watch that some of these complaints about the weight and stiffness come into mind. Overall, it is a reasonably comfortable watch to wear for any occasion.
The full name of this dive watch is the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that its automatic movement is the Tissot Powermatic 80. The “80” is a reference to the number of hours the power reserve can last for.
This movement is based heavily on the ETA 2824-2 movement, which is originally from another company under the umbrella of the Swatch Group. The sapphire exhibition window on the caseback allows you to see this beautiful movement in action.
Let’s take a look at what the movement can do.
First of all, it’s Swiss-made. Swiss watches are some of the highest quality watches available, and this movement is coming from a company with over 160 years of experience.
Next, the movement has 23 jewels. This means it has 23 points of contact with moving components where the jewels can reduce friction as well as improve accuracy and durability.
The Tissot Powermatic 80 beats at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour (6 beats per second) which helps keep the hands moving very smoothly and accurately.
When fully charged, this movement has an 80-hour power reserve, more than double the power reserve of most watches. Practically speaking, this means you can leave the Tissot Seastar in your drawer Friday afternoon and wear it to work on Monday morning and this watch will still be ticking. (Keep in mind, we do not actually recommend this because the accuracy suffers when it is low on power).
Next, the Tissot Seastar uses a silicone hairspring which is resistant to magnetism. This feature is almost always found exclusively in high-end watches, so it’s good to see it here.
If you want total control of your watch’s accuracy, then you want a movement that allows for hacking and handwinding. Of course, the Powermatic 80 lets you do just that. When you completely pull out the crown, all movement in the watch is stopped. You will also be able to charge the mainspring in this position.
Funnily enough, the accuracy is not officially disclosed by Tissot, but we estimate it is between +/- 15 seconds a day. Unfortunately, you cannot perform any regulations yourself, as the watch is constructed such that it requires Tissot to perform the regulation using lasers.
Lastly, the Tissot Seastar features date complication which is nice if you like to keep track of the calendar. The date changeover is very fast, beginning around 11:40pm and finishing exactly at 12:00am in sync with the start of the new day.
We have almost nothing but good things to say about the usability of the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80. We’ve already mentioned some of these qualities off-hand, but let’s really delve into what makes this watch so special, starting with the “1000” in its name.
The Tissot Seastar is a dive watch with a water resistance rating of 30 bar, which is equivalent to 300m or 1000ft. This rating matches the watch that it is inspired by: the Rolex Submariner. It’s an impressive number to be sure, but there’s just one minor complication: as far as we are aware, the Tissot Seastar is not ISO 6425 certified.
For a watch to be considered a “true” diving watch, it should pass a set of strict requirements set forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). At a glance, the Tissot Seastar appears to have many specs that meet the ISO 6425 standards, but we aren’t sure if it actually has the certification or not.
If you are planning on taking this watch diving, then in this section we will go over the Tissot Seastar’s specifications and compare them to the ISO 6425 requirements to see how it fares. Otherwise, you can just skip to the next section.
ISO 6425 Requirements met by the Tissot Seastar:
Minimum water resistance rating of 100m.
The Tissot Seastar is rated for 300m/30 bar/1000ft, three times the minimum.
Unidirectional rotating bezel markers for at least every 5 minutes as well as a main time setting marker.
The Tissot Seastar has a 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel that turns in the CCW direction, with a marker for every 5 minutes up to 60 minutes, as well as a marker for every minute up to the first 20 minutes. The main setting marker is triangle-shaped with a lume pip. When rotating the bezel, it has a solid click as it passes by each minute, so you know exactly how much it rotated by and there is almost no play when set.
Clear, distinguishable minute markings on the dial.
The Tissot Seastar has a chapter ring with a marker for each minute.
Legible at a distance of at least 25cm in complete darkness.
The large hour markers and fat pencil hands are filled with lume and are easy to see even in the dark.
Ability to tell the watch is still functioning in total darkness.
There is lume applied to the lollipop on the second hand so that as it rotates each second, users can see the lume shifting with it.
ISO 6425 requirements that may not be met
All dive watches must have its accuracy within +/-30 seconds a day even after a 4,800 A/m magnetic field is applied to it.
All dive watches must have its accuracy within +/-60 seconds a day after it has been impacted by a 3kg hammer to the side of the case as well as directly to the glass.
All dive watches must resist the corrosive effects of being submerged for 24 hours in sodium chloride solution (this simulates the effect of submersion in saltwater).
The strap must be durable enough to withstand 200N of force being applied in opposite directions without damage or disconnection.
Since Tissot has not proudly touted an ISO 6425 certification, we can only assume that the Tissot Seastar is not actually certified. With that said, it still has impressive specs, and if the water resistance rating is even half as good as they claim then it is still suitable for snorkeling and shallow dives.
A major contributing factor to the water resistance rating of any dive watch is due to how tightly the screw-down crown can seal water out. The Tissot Seastar’s crown is the ideal size for rotating and grabbing. The crown can be set in three positions.
When it is full-in, it can be screwed-down for its full water-sealing capabilities, or it can be unscrewed so that you can rotate it counterclockwise to wind the mainspring. Thanks to the movement, you can feel a tactile feedback as well as an audible click as it is being wound.
Next, it can be pulled into the middle position (first click) which allows you to adjust the date by rotating the crown clockwise. Lastly, it can be pulled into the full-out (second click) position where you can rotate it to set the time.
When you are finished adjusting, simply push the crown all the way in. Additionally, make sure to perform all of the above steps while the watch is off your wrist to reduce the chance of damaging it.
The screw-down crown is sandwiched between two crown guards that provide a great deal of protection from accidental impacts against doorways or edges of the desk during normal wear.
It is very easy to read the time on the Tissot Seastar thanks to the contrast between the dial and the hands. The white markers and hands against the black backdrop couldn’t be clearer to see. The polished silver outline for each marker and hand catches the light and creates a nice glow effect during the day.
Furthermore, the fat pencil-shaped hour and minute hands are impossible to miss, particularly with their silver borders. The second hand is different because its body is dark, however it has a lume lollipop at the end that extends all the way to the markers along the outside so there is no confusion as to which marker it is pointing to. Since the second hand is a thin stick style and is black, it does not distract from reading the hour and minute markers when looking at the dial.
The bezel also supports the second and minute hands with their thick, large arabic numbers marking every 10 minutes/seconds which can help the brain convert the markers into actual time with minimal thinking required.
The date window on the Tissot Seastar may take an extra second to read due to how seamlessly it blends into the dial. Since it has no framing and is basically just white text on a black background, you may confuse it for one of the other printed texts. It doesn’t help that it’s under the “Powermatic 80” text; we wouldn’t fault you if you thought it was part of the name. With that said, it’s clear they wanted to keep the watch minimal, so this is just part of the watch’s aesthetic and is a minor issue overall.
We’ve already mentioned time and time again about how reflective this watch is during the day, so how visible is it at night? With Super-LumiNova applied to markers and hands, you will be able to tell the time at night as well.
In the hour and minute hands, the lume is found in the large white portion that comprises the body. For the second hand, the lume is found only on the small lume lollipop at the end of the pointer side. We felt that this lollipop was a little too small, however when testing it in the dark, we found it surprisingly usable.
Lume is also applied to the inside of the hour markers. On the bezel, there is a lume pip in the 12 o’clock position of the bezel, which provides a point of reference when using the watch in the dark.
There’s not much to say about the rubber dive strap except that it does the job.
There’s lots to say about the versions that come with the stainless steel bracelet, however. At a glance, the combination of brushed and polished links gives off a classy impression. When put into practical use, however, we found that fingerprints and smudges easily show up on the band, and any scratches show up more easily. Unfortunately, you will have to wipe it constantly to keep its shiny luster.
Fitting the bracelet over your wrist is quite simple. You can add or remove links by pushing pins in the direction the arrow is pointing on the underside of the link, and you can do this with any tool small enough for the job. You can also purchase a kit if you suspect you will be doing this a lot more in the future.
The bracelet minor adjustment by the clasp can be adjusted easily as well by using a tool to compress the spring bar to release its current position and set it to the holes that fit you best. The same is true of the end links that also use spring bars to connect to the case. There are no drilled lugs for a cleaner aesthetic, so you will need to access the spring bars from inside.
Look at the clasp, it is a deployment type with a fold-over safety latch. The safety latch has a snug fit which keeps the clasp from unintentionally opening but you will need to pry hard with your fingernail to open it (this can be quite tough on your nail).
Finally, the clasp includes a fold-out diver’s extension so that it can be fit over a thick dive suit or wetsuit without having to add extra links. Considerations like these prove that Tissot designed this watch to be worn for diving.
Tissot Seastar Review: The Verdict
Considering that the Tissot Seastar is following in the footsteps of the likes of the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamster, is it really a surprise that it is an impressive watch on its own? Unfortunately, it doesn’t surpass the originals but it sure comes close (and at a significantly cheaper price).
Its dial runs a bit large at 43mm, however it has an acceptable thickness. So even though this watch is not the most comfortable watch out there, it is acceptable. Tissot does a decent job at keeping the proportions balanced so that the Seastar still looks sophisticated and classy enough for casual to formal wear despite having a larger diameter.
Unlike the Rolex Submariner, which is truly ISO 6425 certified, the Tissot Seastar offers incredible specs however we have to take it with a grain of salt. With that said, the Submariner is also an order of magnitude more expensive ($10,000 compared to $700) so it’s not exactly fair comparing them head to head like that.
For what you get at this price point – the classy style with its black/white/silver design and applied markers; water resistance capabilities down to 1,000 ft, hacking and handwinding, and the Swiss-luxury touches like the ceramic bezel and sapphire crystal – you are getting a whole lot of watch for the price.
It may not be on the same level as a Rolex, but the Seastar looks and functions similarly at a much lower price to boot. If how this watch looks and fits align with what you’re looking for, then this is a great watch to add to your collection.