No doubt about it – vintage Tissot stands out as one of the most exciting areas in the world of watch collecting. Over the years, I've witnessed the emergence of some of the most captivating vintage pieces bearing the Tissot branding on their dials. For those who are unfamiliar, vintage Tissot holds considerable appeal due to their extensive involvement in motorsport, which gave rise to a diverse array of stylish, funky and exceptionally cool chronographs during its prime. While the brand has evolved into a different identity today (still cool, albeit for different reasons, in my opinion), vintage Tissot chronographs are still highly coveted and desirable by collectors in general.
Up for grabs today is quite an interesting and rare specimen – a Tissot 15TL (33.3) Monopusher Chronograph from the 1940s. It is housed within a 37mm steel case and powered by the famed manual-winding Tissot (or Omega) Cal. 33.3 chronograph movement.
For historical context, Tissot and Omega merged in 1930 to establish the inaugural Swiss SSIH (Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère), which explains why Tissot uses the famed Cal. 33.3 that many enthusiasts may be acquainted with from vintage Omega chronographs. Interestingly, Lemania, another partner within the SSIH at the time, played a significant role by supplying Cal. 15TL movements, which were eventually designated as the Cal. 33.3 by Tissot and Omega collectively.
For many collectors, the Cal. 33.3 holds distinct significance, serving as the progenitor to two subsequent esteemed chronograph calibres. Among them is the renowned Lemania Cal. 27CH, used by Maisons such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet. The other is the Cal. 321, which played a pivotal role in the creation of one of the most iconic and historically significant watches to reach the moon in 1957 – the Omega Speedmaster. Despite this, there is a strong contingent of collectors who will vouch for the 33.3 as one of the greatest chronograph calibres ever made.
It's hard to dispute the allure of a well-crafted, multi-scale chronograph, particularly when it features a lustrous black dial with well-balanced sub-dials within a steel case like this rare example. Notably well-preserved, with only minor blemishes on the lower portion of the dial, the watch retains all its other elements in good condition. We’ve paired it with a period-style bead-of-rice bracelet, and as you can see, the result here is just absolutely stunning. Regrettably, many of them may have been lost or damaged in battles. Thus, it brings us great joy to be able to offer one in such condition on our site today.