I’ve seen many, many high tech watches, but none compare to this new one from renowned Swiss maker Tissot.

There’s the phone watch, the TV watch, the watches with timers and data banks and GPS and flashlights and MP3 player and remote controls and calculators and the diving watches and watches for the outdoor enthusiast and so many more I just can’t think.  My former everyday watch for the past several years has been the Casio model with built in calculator and remote control so I can operate TVs, VCR and other remote controlled equipment.  It’s a fine little gadget and it has been fun to wear.

It’s not a Tissot, though!  This new Tissot T-Touch watch is an elegant, substantial, manly watch (though I am sure the company would want me to say it is also for the ladies – you decide).  I call it a stealth gadget watch, however, because, unlike all those other gadget watches that also are gaudy, gimmick watches, this T-Touch doesn’t scream out that it’s a trick watch.  It is understated and hides its technology until summoned by the owner.

Have a look at the watch face.  It looks quite normal to the casual observer.  YOU know you’re wearing a cool and sophisticated wrist gadget, but others will not, and that’s one of the reasons I like it so.  It is so understated.

A look at the face reveals an analog dial and a window for the digital display without revealing its unique qualities.  However, a push on the center side button puts the action into play.  After an acknowledging beep tone, the watch is ready for its higher purpose.

The recessed crystal is, you see, much more than a durable mineral crystal, It is a sophisticated laminate creating a touch screen, sensing your ever-so-gentle finger pressure around the dial at strategic locations.  At each of six spots representing 10-minute intervals, the special functions are revealed to the touch.

Starting at the 12 o’clock position is the meteorology function, wherein the digital display indicates atmospheric pressure in milibars and the hands, as if magically, move independently from their position in time a bit to the left or right of the 12 o’clock position as if pointing the way to the functionality at that spot.  A little to the left indicates the lower pressure of stormy weather.  To the right indicates the higher pressure of clearing skies, all coinciding with the measurement indicated on the digital display.  It’s enchanting to watch as it occurs.

Next, at the two o’clock position, is the altimeter function.  The hands move in concert to that next position and the display indicates the altitude in feet or in meters, as you wish.

The four o’clock position is for the chronometer function.  The top button starts and stops the timer and the bottom button resets to zero in the stop mode.

The six o’clock position is for the compass functionality.  Yes, you read it correctly, a compass.  The hands open to opposite positions forming a straight line and then this single line moves to its proper position, the longer, minute hand pointing north.  The display can be set with appropriate deviation for compass accuracy.  Fantastic!

The eight o’clock position is for the 24-hour alarm functionality.  The center button turns on and off the alarm, while the upper and lower buttons advance or decline the alarm set time.  Pressing and holding either the upper or lower buttons demonstrates the elegant and thoughtful design.  You see, pressing either button at first moves the set time rather slowly.  Continuing to depress either button will cause the time to begin to change more rapidly, indicative of intelligently knowing that the button is pressed and held with the express purpose of moving that set time farther along rapidly if depressed for a time.  In this way, the user can easily manage small, incremental changes as well as radical ones.  Smart, very smart.

This same intelligence is in place for adjustment of the time, such as when changing time zones or from daylight savings to standard time.  In the time set mode, depressing and holding to either advance or decline the time, the hands and corresponding digital display move rather rapidly and then STOP at the hour change.  In this way, the user can simply release the button to stop at precisely the one-hour change or continue to depress the button, whereupon the scenario will repeat, the motion stopping as each hour passes to allow the user the cease when appropriate.  Never will the T-Touch require fine adjustment of the minutes during such an exercise.  Very smart, again.

The 10 o’clock position brings the hands to point to the thermometer function.  While wearing the T-Touch, the display indicates, essentially, the wearer’s skin temp.  Removing the watch from the arm for a few minutes will allow the sensor to send an accurate, ambient reading to the display.

When in this special mode, the watch can be returned to normal functionality and display by touching the crystal in the center, once for analog time with time displayed and twice for analog time with month and day displayed.

If the watch is not returned to the normal mode as above, the special mode times out in less than one minute and the functionality of the special mode (altimeter, chrono, thermometer only) is maintained in the display with the hands reverting to indicate the time.

The bracelet is of rugged stainless steel with positive-locking clasp and removable links for just about any sizing adjustment needed.  The bezel rotates and is marked with the four main compass points.

I have been having a wonderful time evaluating this cool wrist gadget and showing it to friends and associates who are, universally, awed by its functionality and marvel at the clever way the hands each find their own nearest path to their destination.  They are further amused to learn that this accurate, distinctive and different timepiece is surprisingly priced at only $600.

I’m not going to debate its usefulness.  There is no point.  You either want it for its functionality or you want it for its coolness factor.  It doesn’t matter.  Either way, many of you will seek it out and buy it, enjoying its benefits, real or wishfully, imaginatively justified, every day.

More information is at www.tissot.ch.  Tissot is part of the Swatch Group.  Find the T-Touch and other Tissot watches locally through the link at the Tissot Website marked “Get in Touch.”

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