Tissot has officially announced the T-Touch Connect Solar, the brand's first attempt at a connected smartwatch, with a focus on long battery life, smart functions, and privacy.
And, while this new watch can connect to your smartphone and display notifications on your wrist, Tissot is at pains to make clear that the Connect Solar is first and foremost a watch, 'not a gadget, not a “device”, and not a wrist-worn mini-tablet'.
The new smartwatch is a direct descendant of the brand's T-Touch collection, with a multitude of exciting functions which can, as the name suggests, be recharged by solar power.
The T-Touch Connect Solar features a large 47mm titanium case with a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel. We haven't had a chance to wear one yet, but we assume it feels exactly like a regular Tissot watch, not a piece of technology.
The case, which is water-resistant to 100 metres, includes satin-finished surfaces, softened corners, and even a brand new titanium bracelet.
The T-Touch Connect Solar’s user interface consists of two push-buttons, an electronic crown and a tactile interface in scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
A long press on the “start” button at 2 o’clock activates the tactile crystal, while a long press on the “back” button at 4 o’clock takes the T-Touch Connect Solar to its home screen.
Tissot is launching several versions, some with rubber straps, some with titanium bracelets, and a case in satin-finished titanium, black PVD or rose gold PVD, all of which are hardwearing.
The T-Touch Connect Solar is a Swiss-Made connected watch. This certification of component origin and workmanship is a guarantee of manufacturing quality and of security.
In “watch” mode, when it's not connected to your phone, the T-Touch Connect Solar has the basic functions of a T-Touch Solar Expert, namely a perpetual calendar, countdown timer, second timezone, alarms, chronograph, compass and meteo and altimeter functions.
In addition to those basic functions, in connected mode, the T-Touch Connect Solar displays all desired notifications: calls, texts, e-mails, Whatsapps, Instagram… the list goes on.
The T-Touch Connect Solar also has a built-in activity tracker combined with an accelerometer. It works both in “watch” mode, after inputting the wearer’s physical data, and in connected mode, for recording number of steps, distances and energy expended.
The Connect Solar runs a new Sw-ALPS operating system, developed by Swatch specifically for this project. It is compatible with the iOS, Android and Harmony (Huawei) mobile operating systems.
It connects to your phone using a Bluetooth Low Energy chip, which minimises the energy consumed during data sharing.
At the top of the watch dial is a status bar where essential information and notifications are located.
It uses an MIP (Memory in Pixel) type screen and refreshed only when necessary, thus conserving energy and making it easy to read in direct sunlight.
In addition, the screen also has an adaptive brightness setting, which immediately triggers backlit mode when the ambient light dims around you.
The T-Touch Connect Solar is able to keep running almost indefinitely in watch mode, and for several months, depending on its usage and exposure to the sun, in connected mode.
In connected mode and after turning on Bluetooth, the battery life depends on multiple factors, such as frequency of visual or vibration notifications, backlighting, adaptation to ambient lighting level, and the amount of data transferred.
This is a massive positive if the idea of nightly recharging of most smartwatches puts you off buying one.
The T-Touch Connect Solar does come with a charger, in case you need a quick boost.
Tissot also likes to highlight that its new watch is not data-gathering, and that all of the information about the wearer – their personal life, where they are, what they are doing – will remain strictly private and stored in the T-Touch Connect Solar’s mobile app.
In addition, the watch has several security modes; a basic lock, which deactivates the screen buttons to avoid accidental activation, and an additional lock which turns off screen displays for increased privacy.
Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar specs
- Swiss Made
- Sw-ALPS low-energy operating system
- Titanium case, black PVD and rose gold coating
- Diameter 47 mm; thickness 15.3 mm
- Electronic crown
- Ceramic bezel
- Luminescent wind rose markings
- Scratch-resistant, tactile sapphire crystal
- Water-resistant to 100 m (10 ATM)
- Quartz movement, solar recharge
- Dial with photovoltaic cells
- Low-energy MIP (Memory In Pixel) digital screen
The Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar will be available in the UK in November 2020, priced between £800 and £950.