Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
Internet stores avoid selling replicas because these watches are produced without regard to copyright laws. The factories that manufacture them steal both the originating company’s design and their branding information. These timepieces are generally of lower quality than the original and, when they fail, the company whose name is featured on the watch is the one whose reputation will suffer.
I purchased this replica Tissot PRC-200 from a vendor on DHgate. Because DHgate does not knowingly sell replicas, I found the timepiece by typing in its model number.
If you do not want a replica but cannot afford a genuine Tissot, you might be interested in my review of the Aatos G-JzakkoSSBD Men's Automatic Watch. Although bigger and heavier than the PRC-200, it is a quality timepiece.
My replica arrived early. It was well packed in bubble wrap and enclosed within a solid cardboard box. The total cost came to $62.86.
This watch is midsized, its diameter measuring 44mm including crown. The replica is 14mm thick and weighs in at 148 grams (5.28 ounces)
The timepiece’s case is composed of stainless steel as is the bezel which protrudes above the crystal. On arrival, I noticed a tiny ding marring the sharp upper edge of the bezel.
A sticker marked ‘sapphire’ was attached to the crystal. Since this is a replica, this information is probably incorrect.
The dial is white with studs which mark the hours. Both the studs and hands are covered with a very effective coat of luminous paint.
Three subdials of differing size are included. The top one indicates the month of the year and the smaller subdial at the bottom notes the time in twenty-four-hour format. On the left, a third subdial indicates the day of the week. To the right, a tiny circular cut-out reveals the day of the month. Two pushbuttons, flanking the crown, are used to set the subdials. Time and day of month are adjusted by rotating the crown.
This watch is equipped with a stainless-steel strap. I was impressed by the ease with which I could remove and insert pins and I found the band to be extremely comfortable.
A glass window at the back of this replica reveals an automatic movement. The rotor is colored gold, well engraved and marked Tissot. Below is written, 25 Jewels, Swiss Made. This information is, undoubtedly, false.
I cannot identify the originating factory but this manufacturer is probably located within Guangdong, China.
Brand: Replica Tissot
Condition: New with paper tag
Model number: PRC-200
Place or origin: Probably Guangdong, China
Movement: Chinese manufactured automatic
Functions: Full calendar, twenty-four-hour time
Band material: Stainless steel
Band width: 19 mm
Dial color: White
Dial window material type: Glass
Case material: Stainless steel
Case diameter: 44 mm including crown
Case thickness: 14 mm
Weight: 148 grams (5.24 ounces)
Water resistance: Splash-proof only
The case of this replica is highly burnished and circled by a pair of grooved indentations with a roughened texture. These grooves provide excellent contrast. The design of the stainless-steel band goes well with the case.
Unlike most timepieces, this one includes three subdials of differing sizes. I thought this might affect the symmetry of the watch, but, in fact, the end result proved extremely attractive. The circular cut-out, through which the day of the month can be seen, is overly small, and I found it difficult to ascertain the date.
This watch’s hands are black and coated with green luminous paint. They are easy to pick out against the white background of the dial.
Unlike most Chinese watches, the rotor of this automatic is well engraved and of a color that differs from the main section of the movement.
All subdials worked properly, as did the day of the month function.
I was unable to determine power reserve because this replica’s automatic function is very poor. My Diplomat Watch Winder was unable to keep the timepiece running and, if I wore the watch, it would normally stop during the night.
I tested the Tissot replica for five days. At the end of this period, I found that it gained one minute and 42 seconds each day. This level of accuracy is unacceptable.
Both pushbuttons worked well. Time could be set without excess play whilst turning the crown, and I could easily adjust the day of month.
The automatic movement is substandard in two respects. Accuracy is poor. It could be adjusted, but that would include an expensive visit to a jeweler. Due to an ineffective automatic winding mechanism, most users will be required to wind this timepiece each night manually. These problems indicate inadequate quality control and suggest a shortened lifespan.
The watch arrived with a dent blemishing the upper ridge of its bezel. Due to its sharpness, this ridge could be subject to further damage. On the plus side, the bezel does provide the crystal with good protection.
I found the stainless-steel strap to be quite solid. It will provide yeoman service during the life of this watch.
In 1853, Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son founded the "Charles-Félicien Tissot & Son" assembly shop in Le Locle, Switzerland. Their products included a range of richly decorated pocket and pendant watches. Mainly destined for export, early Tissot timepieces were sold in the United States and the Russian Empire.
In 1907, Charles Tissot built a factory in Le Locle and switched to a more mechanical form of production. By 1910, this company was selling wristwatches and, seven years later, began to produce their own movements.
In 1930, Tissot and Omega merged. During the late fifties, thanks to the introduction of a "single calibre" principle, their range of movements was simplified and production streamlined.
By 1983 the popularity of Asian produced quartz timepieces had taken a terrible toll on the Swiss watch industry. Tissot survived the crisis by merging with SMH, which was later renamed "The Swatch Group."
Directed by François Thiébaud since 1996, Tissot is closely associated with the world of sport through its role as Official Timekeeper, and its partnerships with various sports disciplines. Thanks to its ability to innovate, Tissot sells more than four million watches every year.
This is a handsome timepiece, and I found it quite comfortable to wear. Unfortunately, the replica Tissot PRC-200 is equipped with an automatic movement that fails to meet even the most modest of standards. This watch is not recommended.
Replica watches generally sell at a premium when compared to timepieces of similar quality. I am interested in how much potential customers are willing to pay in order to purchase a copy of an expensive timepiece. Please fill in the poll below.