It’s hard to pin down exactly what “value” means when we’re talking about mechanical watches. Considering that nobody actually needs a mechanical watch, it’s really all grey area. However, there are a few things that I think we can all agree bring value to the table: robustness of construction, aesthetic finish and execution, and quality of movement technology. The popular copy Tissot Ballade delivers on all three, and with a price tag under $1,000 makes one heck of a case for itself.
The Ballade is an extension of the Powermatic 80 collection, which has been a core offering from Tissot for years now. I think the Powermatic 80 watches are the most interesting and compelling watches to come from Tissot overall, with the occasional chronograph or vintage-inspired worldtimer getting my attention too, and they come in many flavors. There are the basic models, and also special editions such as the Le Locle Chronometre that I reviewed way back in 2013, that really push the watch to its extremes. While the Ballade is now a central collection, I’d place it squarely in the latter camp, and for some pretty concrete reasons.
The model I chose to wear around for a few days is the most basic, with a steel case and bezel, a black dial, and a black leather strap with a butterfly clasp. To me, that’s the one. However, there are three other men’s models and three women’s models too. For men, you could opt for a steel model with a silver dial on a steel bracelet, a two-tone steel and rose gold model on a brown strap, or a two-tone steel and yellow gold models with a two-tone bracelet. For women, there’s a two-tone steel and rose gold model on a white strap, an all-steel model on a bracelet, and a two-tone steel and yellow gold model on a two-tone bracelet. The ladies’ pieces have mother-of-pearl dials as well. In all cases, the gold-colored platings are PVD, not real gold, though at this price point you can’t argue at all about that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tissot continue to build out this collection further.
Ultimately though, how does the Ballade wear? Great. The 41mm case is just 9.84mm thick, so it wears smaller than you might expect. Would I like this watch even more if it were 39mm? Yes, I’d probably have bought one the moment it came out if it were that size. This is a good middle ground though and I think for a lot of people looking for their everyday watch, it’s going to be very comfortable and the not-sporty, not-dressy look is going to work for them in nearly every situation. The dial in particular looks extremely nice, changing tones in different lighting, and the applied markers are very nicely executed here too.
As you’d probably expect at this price point, the leather strap could be better, and I’d swap it out for something more understated if I were going to wear the watch long term. I also applaud Tissot in spirit for including a butterfly buckle here, but I’m not a fan of that style of buckle (simple pin buckles win for me every time) and would leave that in the box as well. Otherwise, it’s pretty tough to find anything to complain about here.
Overall, the best-performance replica Tissot Ballade online has left me extremely impressed. It’s easy to get excited about the big guns. When Patek Philippe introduces a minute repeater worldtimer or F.P. Journe surprises us with a split-seconds monopusher chronograph, anyone with a love of horology is going to take note. But these quiet wins impress me more and more these days. The Ballade is a watch with great styling, nice attention to detail, and a genuinely interesting movement, all for under $1,000. Whether you’re someone looking for your first quality watch, a seasoned collector who wants a no-fuss workhorse, or someone trying to find a solid recommendation to get your friends as interested in watches as you are, the Ballade is a solid choice.
The reliable replica Tissot Ballade range includes seven total models for both men and women, with prices ranging from $925 for those on straps to $1,075 for the two-tone bracelet versions. You can check out the full selection and even purchase directly by visiting Tissot online.