02/02/2024
 6 minutes

Beyond the Hype: Let’s talk about some Tissot PRX alternatives, shall we?

By Thomas Hendricks
Exploring Tissot PRX Alternatives
A glimpse into Tissot PRX alternatives

The Tissot PRX has been featured on every list since it came out: best value watches, best watches under $1,000, best entry-level watch – you name it. A million other articles are telling you exactly why that is, so we’re taking a different approach in this one.

We’re hitting the other watches – modern and vintage – that strike the same vibe as the PRX, but in their own way. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about the PRX, or maybe you already have one and want to expand more into this territory. The following watches aren’t necessarily better than the PRX, but they may be better for you

The Contemporary Competition – Microbrands

The Twelve, by Christopher Ward

First is The Twelve, by Christopher Ward. I saw a comment recently that Christopher Ward is basically a wedding band that only plays cover songs. That’s funny, and not entirely true when you consider the Bel Canto and their aventurine watches, but it is true for The Twelve. To be fair, Christopher Ward is very open about the fact that this watch is heavily inspired by other integrated sports watches, and to be honest, so are a lot of the other watches on this list.

The Twelve is around $500 more expensive than the PRX, and the Twelve’s power reserve is less than half that of the PRX, so a lot of the markup comes from the sharp design touches across the hands, dial, and case. The watch was designed by the same person who did the Czapek Antarctique which typically retails between $20,000 and $25,000. That’s a strong pedigree, but for approximately $1,200, you’ll need to decide if the details that make The Twelve unique are enough to justify the price jump. 

Nivada Grenchen F77

The Nivada Grenchen F77 is another viable option, and this watch traces its roots to a vintage Nivada from the 1970s. This 37-mm watch comes in three dial colors, each with or without a date. The price here is on the high end, at over $1,200, and the watch is also thicker, at nearly 13 mm. You also don’t get an exhibition case back, if that’s on your list. The clasp is adjustable, which you don’t get with a butterfly clasp, and the smoky brown dial adds a nice vintage touch that you don’t find on many others.

A Nivada Grenchen F77 with a blue dial is a nice alternative for a Tissot PRX.
A Nivada Grenchen F77 with a blue dial is a nice alternative to a Tissot PRX.

Yema’s Urban Traveller

The Urban Traveller from French brand Yema is a 39-mm watch that comes in at just under $900 and offers an in-house movement with a 42-hour power reserve. What you see is what you get here, so again, you’re mainly paying attention to which design speaks to you most.

Brew Metric

The last two microbrand watches are personal favorites of mine because they feel distinctive to their respective brands and to a particular time period. The Brew Metric is a super 1970s watch in either a mechaquartz chronograph setup or a time-only automatic. The stainless steel automatic has long sold out, but the murdered-out PVD version is still available. Two great things about these watches are that they dare to be different, and they’re cheaper than the PRX as well.

One of Thomas' personal favorites: the Brew Metric.
A personal favorite: the Brew Metric

Autodromo Group B

The final microbrand on this list is the Autodromo Group B. This watch is inspired by the dashboards of 1980s Group B rally cars, so whether you’re an automotive fan or like that heavy 1980s aesthetic, this watch is for you. The watch uses some titanium components for a lighter feel on the wrist, and if you look closely, the varying brushed and polished finishes are nicely executed. Price-wise, the Autodromo comes in at just under $1,000.

The Autodromo Group B is another Microbrand's alternative for the Tissot PRX.
The Autodromo Group B is another microbrand alternative for the Tissot PRX.

The Contemporary Competition – Major Brands

Citizen Tsuyosa

The price here is definitely an advantage, as the Citizen sells for under $350, but with that low price comes some compromises in quality. The Tsuyosa has only 50 m (164 ft) of water resistance, and while there is a display case back, there’s zero movement finishing. The 40-hour power reserve is – like many others on this list – half of what the PRX offers.

Twinning is winning: the Citizen Tsuyosa with a Tiffany Dial is a PRX double.
Twinning is winning: the Citizen Tsuyosa with a Tiffany dial is a PRX double.

Tudor Royal

Tudor is, of course, best known for their diving watches like the Black Bay and Pelagos collections. Thus, the Tudor Royal is not a watch that you see or hear about often. This is the dressiest option of the bunch, and the build quality is the best as well – it’s Tudor, after all. You have a lot of options in terms of size, dial color, and there are even day and date variations, but the Tudor Royal starts at around $2,500, and it’s not three or four times better than the PRX. 

The Tudor Royal is the dressiest option of all models.
The Tudor Royal is the dressiest option of all models.

Vintage Alternatives to the PRX

We’ve got a handful of vintage styles from great brands that you can find for cheap online. As always, do your homework beforehand, to ensure that the watch is in good working order and as original as possible.

With vintage, you lose the modern conveniences of water resistance, high power reserves, and luminescent hands and hour markers, but what you gain is history, brand name, and the character that only comes with age.

Omega

Omega did their own stainless steel integrated bracelet watch back in the 1970s. These are a little tough to track down, and the reference numbers are a little all over the place, but if you go to the marketplace and type in “Omega Geneve 166” that will be enough to get you started. The case architecture is super sharp, there are diver versions out there as well, and you can find some in the same price range as the PRX.

The Omega Genève is a beautiful vintage alternative.
The Omega Genève is a beautiful vintage alternative.

Also from Omega is the Constellation. Well, there are several eras of this watch, and the design changes drastically from one period to the next. The original pie pan dial versions are very attractive and valuable, but they’re not that similar to the PRX. Gérald Genta, the man who would later create the whole category of integrated bracelet sports watches with the AP Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, also designed the C-shaped Omega Constellation in the late 1960s.

These can be found for well under $1,000 on Chrono24. The Manhattan Constellation is aesthetically the closest to the PRX, but the design is pretty divisive. You have a small variety of styles and sizes here, with some pretty cool dial textures included. Prices for these start around $1,000 to $1,300.

Seiko

Seikos are great because they’re well-built with in-house movements, easy to repair, and affordable. The Seiko Lord Matic is a nice place to start because you have a wide variety of dials to choose from, many of which have these cool Kanji day windows, and you can scoop them up with their original bracelets as well.

Take a closer look at the Seiko Lord Matic.
Take a closer look at the Seiko Lord Matic.

Grand Seiko

If you’re willing to spend a little more, I urge you to check out vintage Grand Seiko options. This is as easy as typing in “Grand Seiko” and sorting from low to high. You’ll see many affordable watches with the super-sharp case angles that form Grand Seiko’s “Grammar of Design” established by Tano Tanaka. If you’re a fan of Japanese watchmaking, you’ll love these.

To Wrap It Up

Let’s end on a personal favorite: those weird little 1970s watches from brands like Longines and Certina. I have a few in my own collection, and they were purchased for roughly $500 each. The case architecture creates such a statement, and they’re full of funky little details. There are plenty of similar watches out there on the market. To get started hunting for them, simply type a brand name into the search bar on Chrono24 and filter the results for whatever date range you like, for example, 1970-1979.

If you did this method for Tissot, you’d see our next two watches pop up. If you like the PRX, and you want to check out the source material that inspired it, then take a look at the Tissot Seastar and the Tissot PR-516. These carry the same DNA as the modern PRX, but with the warmth and character that only come from vintage.

That was a lot to digest, but it shows just how many fantastic options are out there if you like the Tissot PRX, but don’t necessarily want to purchase one. Hopefully, this sparked a few treasure hunts of your own.


About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I didn’t grow up a watch guy, but a few years after graduating from university, I landed a job at the online publication Watchonista as a writer and marketer. “Welcome to the watch world,” my colleagues told me half-jokingly, “no one ever leaves!” Now at Chrono24, I work as a private client advisor, helping people find the perfect watch for major life moments.

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