When it comes to Tissot’s association with speed, people often think about MotoGP. But their newest novelty, the Tissot Heritage 1973 harks back to a time when Tissot’s association with motor-racing were on four wheels instead of two. The story starts with the rally circuit in 1973 and ends with a second generation Kessel in 2018.
If you look at the watch, there are unmistakable traces of the 1970s within its design. And this is because the watch represents a reinterpretation of the Tissot Navigator from 1973. From the panda style dial to the orange-tipped hands, the DNA of the Navigator is definitely apparent in the new Heritage 1973. This chronograph offers a triple register display along with a date window at the 4 o’clock position and is powered by the ETA Valjoux 7753 self-winding chronograph movement.
The reason Tissot chose the Navigator as their inspiration for the Heritage 1973 is that the watch was a key timepiece in their early motor-racing partnerships. They started off by partnering Alpine in 1973, which dominated the rally circuits back in the day. Then they moved on to Le Mans 24 Hour Gran Turismo race in 1974 with Porsche which led them to Formula 1 in the late 1970s.
During this time, a strong bond was forged with Swiss pilot, Loris Kessel who was a driver under the Tissot banner in 1976. Although he didn’t compete for long in Formula 1, Kessel went on to form a company that today, deals with the maintenance of road or race cars, classic and modern, and even has a racing division built in. Kessel’s company has since been passed down to his son, Ronnie Kessel.
If you want to know more about Kessel and their ties to classic racing, the folks over at Petrolicious did a fantastic job with this video:
Now the philosophy behind the Tissot Heritage 1973 becomes clear. Far from just a modern reissue of a classic watch, Tissot is dipping its hands into classic racing and what better way to celebrate that than with a watch from the same era.
Case: Stainless steel
Case size: 43mm
Movement: ETA Valjoux 7753
Water Resistance: 100m