The new Tissot Seastar Diver watch is introduced in 2003 and produced up until 2010. Once again a real divers watch, this time with a depth rating of 1000ft / 300 meters. This Tissot was marketed with the following storyline:
“With its imposing design and highly resistant steel case, capable of resisting to 300 meters in water pressure, the seastar 1000 Automatic is a watch for those seeking both technical performance and style. Every detail of the watch has been specialy studied to ensure that it is not only professionally but also aesteticalyy pleasing for those customers who. like Tissot, share a pioneering spirit that draws them to explore the depths of the ocean. Like a diver’s mask the specially domed crystal of this timepiece magnifies the numbers on the colored dias which echo the color of the sea of deep marine and pale blue. The tmepiece has a screwed-down crown for maximum security and the case back has a stylish glass “port hole”, drawn towards the base of the case, to show a small diver engraved along the rim of the oscillating weight.”
Thanks to the robust design it is an instant classic as was it’s predecessor. The name Seastar is used by Tissot for about 50 years and has always been used to indicate that the specific model was waterproof. On the other hand Tissot made only a few diver watches which did not carry the name Seastar but where part of the PR516 range or under the Navigator subname. The first real Seastar diver was this T-12 from the 1970′s:
The Seastar 1000 is produced in stainless steel only and comes in 3 versions:
- Silver dial with non painted silver bezel ref: T19.1.583.31
- Blue dial with a blue painted bezel ref: T19.1.583.41
- Black dial with a black painted bezel ref: T19.1.593.51
The reference number is a combination numbers:
- 19 = Model range Seastar 1000 and Seastar 660
- 1 = Stainless steel case
- 5 = Extra large case
- 8/9 = bracelet or strap type (8= bracelet, 9 is diver strap)
- 3 = Automatic movememt
- 3/4/5 = dial color (silver / blue / black)
- 1 = index stripes (not numbers)
The black model is shown above the silver and blue version below.
All models have red strips painted on the bezel and all models use the same hand set, just with some small difference which are covert below. As shown in the pictures the Tissot Seastar 1000 was sold on a rubber divers strap and the silver and blue versions on a stainless steel bracelet. At the buyers choice and at extra costs the other bracelet/strap could be added. Later more on this also.
The Seastar 1000 is a big watch. It large and it is heavy. It measures 44mm across the bezel (without corwn guard or crown) and measures 14mm in height. The saphire crystal us a little domed and stick out a little over the bezel (measuring 16mm high all together). From lug to lug the watch measures a good 52mm where the lug size 22mm. The weight (180grams) feels exactly right for this size watch. Tissot did nothing to make the watch feel lighter and I think this really attributes to the sense of quality you get from it. The case has sharp edges and differt finishes so it makes an intresting case with shiny and non shiny parts.
Tissot did a great job designing the lugs which slope downward more than on most watches and the perfect fitting strap/bracelet falls off around the wrist naturally. Every element is scaled so that no part look unnaturally larger than the rest, to me this is a sign of . The polished areas are mirror finish and the brushed areas match texture throughout. The sapphire crystal is noticeably domed a design feature that was more common on vintage watches then on modern watches. The nice extra is the fact that it magnifies the dial and makes everyting more readable.
Hands & dial
There are small difference though in the colors of the different models as you can see when looking close at the dial and hands. It seems the hands are specially designed for the 19-range (Seastar 1000 and 660). The blue model does not have a red tipped hour hand. The Lume on the indeces and hands is very bright as expected on a divers watch. In addition it seems that some of the later models have a non filled minute hand with only a luminous tip instead of a whole filled hand. The picture below shows the 3 models in the 2003 dealer guide. The picture below is the 2007 catalogue showing the black version with non filled minute hand and little differnces on the dials.
When looking at the different models the black and blue dials are real deep colors where the silver dial has a sunburst patern. The blue dial has no red accents or writing like the black dial with red minute markers and the silver dial with red hour markers. All dials have the same shiny and luminous applied indices that stand out from the dial. When looking really close you see the detail in the 12 0′clock hour marker that has a luminous “T” in it as is the end of the secondhand a “T” shape. Also the first 15 minute stripes are showing half-minute marks.
Crown & movement
Through the see-through back shows the popular ETA-2824 automatic wind Swiss movement with date and hacking function (second hands stops when pulling out the crown for setting the hands. It is a working hores with a high (25) jewel count. Again detailled work from Tissot is showing in the fact that the rotor is decorated with a stripe patern, the Tissot brand name, a small diver and the Seastar name. The opening on the back has a “porthole” look and is held in place with 6 screws. The rotor needs to be in the right position to show the small diver figure because it is off-center, not sure why this is done.
The signed crown screws down smoothly and the detents for date quick-set and setting time are positive. Knurling on the crown and bezel should make them easier to operate with light gloves on than with most watches. The crown guard fits the style of the rest of the case nicely and is a very desirable feature to protect the large crown without making it difficult to unscrew and use to set the watch.
Strap & Bracelet
The bracelet on the Tissot Seastar 1000 is big, 22mm all the way to the clasp. It consists of 5 rows which are polished and non polished to fit the case nicely. The links are made of solid steel. The end-links howover are non-solid. Cheaper to make and less heavy.
The bracelet itself wears well and has enough movement in it with all the different small links to fit a wrist nicely. The folding clasp is tight, and has a diver enhancement to permit the watch to be worn over a wetsuit. It is also signed with Seastar 1000 on the safety clasp.
The removeable links have “split pins” and these which are not easy to remove for the average owner. A bracelet that you would tippacally get shorted at the dealer. On the other hands you will not have to worry about losing a pin at normal use.
Then there is the rubber divers strap. I can see why it is only sold on the black version. It just does not work with the blue dial. Might work with the silver dial but sure works great with the black dial version, giving it the classic divers look and feel. This is a rubber strap where again a lot of design time has gone into. As shown in the various picutres, it is a perfect fit with the ligs. Also the indend at the lugs makes for an easy remove of the oush pins. The outside is very smooth and a little dent in the strap makes it run allong with the lugs exactly.
The inside of the straps has a wave patern for good grip. In addition the Tissot logo can be found on both sides which does not make the wearer into a billboard. I specially like the straight lines which indicate where to cut the strap when it needs to be shortend. Very clever.
And then there is the folding clasp design. It also is signed with name and logo and even the 1000 on the safety clasp. There is also the divers suit extension and there are 3 small holes for fine adjustment. Good stuff.
Box & paperwork
The presentation box the Tissot Seastar 1000 comes in is impressive but also standard for all watches by Tissot after 2003. The first version shave the blue anniversary box which is shown in the video below. Later on this was replaced by the red box. Both have special compartment for a good sized book about Tissot and their history.
The box also hold the manuals, the service card and the Tissot overview guide for the current ranges. The red box also contains a black pouch for traveling in addittion to the blue box. I think the watch is better displayed in the red box since the cushion holds it into a floating position.
There are only a few thinks I can think of that would inprove this allready great watch. First there is the fact that the hour hand stands out more then the minute hand. Which is strange since this is the hand that is used in relationship to the bezel in order to measure dive time. And second it seems that the blue paint on the bezel has the nasty problem of flaking over time and with use.
This is a great watch and an instant classic that will apeal to vintage lovers as well as new watch enthausisats or just to whomever is looking for an affordable mechanical diver suited for diving. One does have to be looking for a watch in the Larger range when going for the Tissot Seastar 1000 watch, still you would be pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t look or wear oversized. Tissot decided to make another real diver after their last T-12 real diver. And they succeded very well at this. Specially if you weight it agains the newest Seastar since 2011.