My recent pet fascination has been neo-vintage—particularly limited—pre-instagram watches. You may recall seeing the Septantieme, SSASS Alpinist, or early steel Franck Muller recently. I may need to create a category here. The deeper I dive, the more vast this space seems to become. While searching out a strong vintage Tissot 33.3 recently, I stumbled upon this. An intricate dial, domed-plexi crystal, modified Valjoux 7752, and 1996 production by Tissot. A judgemental idiot, I was under the impression that near all Tissot of that period were quartz consumables. I was wrong.
The Janeiro Z199 was 3333-piece limited model meant to recall the best of Tissot’s past. The design is very similar to early 33.3 multi-scale chronographs from the early 20th century. Its case is a modest 38mm, perfectly judged in my opinion. The dial is a printed gilt-look-alike throwback. Branding is very restrained and really only overdone on the display back surround. Visible through that sapphire back is a manually-wound 7753 modified by Tissot. The movement is thoroughly modern and thin. In addition, the manual winding aspect adds a nice vintage touch. The Valjoux is minimally machine finished, but judged nicely where it counts.
This is a very under-the-radar piece and values reflect that. When you consider that the genuine Tissot 33.3 article will likely set you back 10K or thereabouts, this watch is a true value. This example is unpolished and barely worn. No dents visible on that beautiful crystal dome. It comes with a full set from an established retailer in Japan.
Find this Janeiro Z199 here on Chrono24 from Arbitro for 2470 USD.