Relive the glory days of sports timekeeping with the stylish new Tissot Telemeter 1938
When Vital Thiébaud set his Tissot chronograph whirring during a ski race in the Swiss ski resort of Villars-sur-Ollon 84 years ago, he began a sports timekeeping story that the Swiss watch company is still writing today. Now, Tissot recalls Thiébaud’s first chronograph button push with a chronograph of 1938. The Telemeter 1938 has a design inspired by the glory days of sports timekeeping and that beats to the rhythm of a state-of-the-art new mechanical movement.
The first thing that catches the eye is the Telemeter 1938’s beautiful vintage-inspired dial design. Alongside its condensed Arabic numerals (note the gentle, characterful flourishes) marking the hours, it features two railroad sub-dials, one for the running seconds and another for the chronograph’s 30-minute counter. These are flanked by three scales. In the centre in red, a spiralling tachymeter scale for timing speed over a known distance. In black, the minutes scale, read off by the blue sword-shaped central minute hand. And around the dial’s outer edge in blue, a telemeter scale for measuring the distance between an event you see first and hear second – a lightning strike, for example.
As classic as the dial design is the brushed and polished 42mm stainless steel case, which tapers beautifully into elegantly proportioned lugs. These hold a brown Italian leather strap that is set to patinate gently with age. On the right side of the case, ergonomically designed chronograph pushers and an oversized crown with a fluted edge inspired by the design of the first chronographs, complete the watch’s ageless silhouette. It’s an undeniably handsome package, one that has already stood the test of time.
An upgraded movement
Tissot has chosen the Telemeter 1938 to house the newly upgraded Valjoux A05.231 automatic chronograph calibre. This is now equipped with a highly durable Nivachron balance spring and an extended 68-hour power reserve. It’s finished off with a new Tissot Heritage rotor design.
The Tissot Telemeter 1938 serves as a highly sophisticated, supremely wearable symbol of a rich sports timekeeping history that began in the Alps and continues today with basketball’s NBA, cycling’s Tour de France, and motorsport's MotoGP, to name but a few of the professional sports that rely on Tissot’s legendary timekeeping expertise.
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