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Advance “Astrolon” Wristwatch

Advance AstrolonI love research and development. There’s no other way to get from here to there. In 1971, Tissot was on the bleeding edge. They came up with a concept called Research Idea 2001. Another name for it was Astrolon. This well-respected brand made a watch almost entirely of plastic. The research effort was in part to find cheaper means to make a mechanical watch but mostly to try new materials. The result was big, futuristic and inaccurate. What is labeled as a “marketing disaster” almost jeopardized Tissot’s future. But it didn’t. Tissot is strong and edgy still today. Have you physically touched a Tissot T Touch? This is the beauty and risk in R&D. Failures make you and your competitors stronger. Do you think there is any link between the Swatch (which came out more than a decade later) and the concept of the Astrolon? I thought of the Astrolon when I saw this Advance in a case at a thrift store. It’s a quartz and does run on a battery, but most of the internal gears are plastic. It’s plastic exhibition case let’s you see everything on the inside from the front and the back. I’ve never heard nor seen any other Advance watch like this one. Another interesting fact about this model is that it’s really loud. I have it in a case with the glass door shut and I can hear it from several feet away. I’m so glad I ran across this. I think I paid $5.99 which is a lot at a thrift store for a plastic watch. I’ve yet to get my hands on the original Tissot version. Sears made one similar to Tissot and it’s called Astrolon, too. I’ve seen both models on eBay but usually they are non-working.

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