When it comes to high-quality watches that don’t break the bank Seiko and Tissot are often two names that often come to mind.
They both know how to produce stunning watches with high quality materials and mechanics. One is based in Switzerland, the other in Japan.
But, is there really such a big difference between the two?
Well, for starters, Tissot watches are a lot more refined and luxuriously designed. Seikos tend to be more robust and durable from the ground on up.
So, the decision about which watch to buy may be a simple one. But first, let me show you some of the best they have to offer side by side and then you can more easily decide which one is for you!
Seiko vs Tissot - All Stainless Steel
If you love a watch that has all stainless steel, then this is the section for you.
Both Seiko and Tissot have some stylish options when it comes to metal bands. The Seiko tends to be more run of the mill, perhaps too much like the Seiko Dive watches in my opinion. Whereas the Tissot, like many of their models, is more of a classic and stylish look, which is more suited to wearing to work or out to dinner. It’s all a matter of taste in the end though.
So, how to they fair against each other, let’s take a detailed look:
Dial & Glass
This is where both these watches differ the most.
The Seiko has a quite small 37mm diameter, deep black face with thick lumed bars for markers and a day/date window at 3 o’clock. The crystal/glass is Hardlex, which is Seiko’s hardened mineral glass. For the rest, there is little remarkable about the face, it is simply solid Seiko design.
The Tissot is pure elegance. It has a larger 42mm diameter, anthracite-colored face with silver arrow hour markers and a fine silver marker train for the minutes. The date window is also at 3 o’clock, but quite unobtrusive. The crystal is synthetic sapphire, a level above the Seiko and very scratch resistant.
Case & Band
Both these watches features stainless steel all over, but the band is significantly different. The Seiko has the classic 3 element steel band, whereas the Tissot has a more elegant 7 piece band. Both have deployant clasps with push button release, but the Tissot has a more impressive dual fold system, whereas the Seiko is quite vanilla. You can see them both in the image below.
The cases are also quite differently designed, with a thin rim on the Tissot, in line with their stylish design, and a thicker more robust one on the Seiko. The crowns are similar in terms of large vs small and elegant, and the back of the Tissot is simple vs the text-ridden one on the Seiko.
Movement & Battery
The Seiko and Tissot both have Quartz movements, so they are thin (around 9mm), but the Seiko is solar powered, so it will not require a battery change.
In terms of quality, both the Japanese (Seiko) and the Swiss (Tissot) know how to make accurate and reliable quartz movements so there is little to compare there, unless you have a favorite that is.
It’s hard to give you exact prices on these watches as they vary a lot, however, the Seiko is typically about half or less the price of the Tissot.
The remainder of the comparison is really a matter of specifications.
Seiko vs Tissot - Classic Leather Band
If you jumped straight to this section, then you will have to read some of the previous comparison because – these watches are almost exactly the same but with leather bands and slight color changes on the face.
Again it is a Solar Seiko vs standard quartz Tissot, but the difference is all in the elegance of the design otherwise.
Tissot are generally aimed more at this market, so it’s no surprise, and their price tag is usually a little higher too. However, this time the gold of the Seiko brings up the class a notch on their end, so makes up a little for the more standard face and marker design. They have also included 100m water-resistance, although with a leather band, it is unlikely most people will make use of that.
I will let the specs and images below do the rest of the talking, so now it’s up to you to decide.
Seiko vs Tissot - Tachymeter & Chronograph
These two watches are a lot more similar than those above, so this comparison is going to be more detail-focused.
Dial & Glass
Featuring three dials for the chronograph and a date window, the SSB031chronograph subdials show seconds, minutes and a cool addition: 24 hour time. The date window is at about 4 o’clock, to give more space for the subdials and minute markers. The hour markers are again quite large and well lumed, except at 3 and 9 o’clock where there is less space.
The dial itself is black with all white lettering, as is the tachymeter fixed bezel. Although, if you want a blue version, more like the Tissot V8, there is a similar model you can check out here. Hardlex is again the glass of choice for Seiko, which is a nice addition in protection over the standard mineral but not quite up with the anti-reflective sapphire we see on the Tissot.
The Tissot T-sport V8 is a little more daring with the coloring, with stunning blue dial and tachymeter bezel (There is also a white with blue bezel model). The chronograph sub-dials are a little differently numbered and feature a seconds, minutes and hour dial. The markers around the edge of the dial are less pronounced and obviously offer less lum, and also have arabic numerals at 4,8 and 12 o’clock, which are a little too large and squeeze the rest of the dial in my opinion.
Case & Band
The cases and bands on these two chronographs are more similar than in other comparisons on this page. However, the Tissot band has a large link element setup in the bend which you can see above. The crown on the V8 also lacks protection, which Seiko has given, although with the other two chrono buttons next to it, I am not sure if actually offers much protection.
Not much in the way of comparison here. They are both well made quartz movements, but one is Japanese, the other Swiss and made by Swatches movement company ETA (it’s an ETA G10.211 model).
I will never mention exact prices on this blog because it really depends on where you buy and how long after publication you read this, however, the Seiko is typically about half or less the price of the Tissot.
Seiko vs Tissot - Overall
Seiko and Tissot are both great choices when it comes to sub-one thousand dollar watches. They offer high quality, stylish designs and reliability.
The real choice comes down to three main things:
1. Whether you want Swiss made (Tissot) vs Japanese made (Seiko)
2. What kind of watch style you prefer – Tissot tends to be more elegant and refined, while Seiko is more sporty and robust in design.
Neither is a bad choice, and I doubt you will regret buying either.
Other Popular Seiko Models
Seiko has a huge range of watches, and there is no way I can cover them here in this comparison review. So, below I have included some quick links (click the images) to the most popular Seiko watches I have found online and also reviewed before.
Other Popular Tissot Models
Tissot has quite a wide range of watches, with most of them being either elegant dress watches or Chronographs. Below are some of the other ones worth checking out on Amazon.