Time is the currency of the Tour: Tissot PR100 Chronography Tour de France 2024 special edition

Tissot have applied designed a special edition watch to celebrate the company's association with the Tour de France

Promotional feature with Tissot

Time is not uniform and fixed – a clock that is moving will tell the time more slowly than one that is not; time moves slower wherever gravity is strongest. Even the length of a second has varied over the course of history – it used to be defined as a sixtieth of a sixtieth of a 24th of one rotation of the Earth; these days it is equivalent to the duration of 9,192,631,770 energy oscillations in a caesium atom. (These things are not quite the same, because the length of a single rotation of the Earth is altered in the long term by tides and the planet’s molten core.)

Time is more elastic than we perceive, and the Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli wrote in The Order of Time, “For everything that moves, time passes more slowly.” But then again, Carlo Rovelli never rode the Tour de France. For the riders of Le Tour, moving as they do around France, time might indeed pass more slowly – when suffering on a long mountain, or especially during week one, when it seems Paris, or in the case of 2024, Nice, is a long way into the distance. Or it might pass quickly – when trying to enjoy a rare down moment on the team bus before the start, or enjoying an interview with one of Rouleur’s journalists. But time is the currency, the metric and the entire raison d’être of the Tour.

The general classification is a hierarchy of accrued and conceded time, and its highest authority is the Swiss watch and timing company Tissot, the official timekeepers of the race. It was Tissot whose equipment measured the three ten-thousandths of a second that separated the front wheels of winner Marcel Kittel and runner-up Edvald Boasson Hagen on the finishing line in Nuits-Saint-Georges on stage seven of the 2017 Tour. And the Tissot transponders that are fitted to every bike count every rider out and every rider in, every day of the race.

Tissot have applied all their timekeeping accuracy and history of elegant design to a special edition of their PR100 Chronograph, which celebrates the company’s association with the Tour. The face is the clean, sun-ray dial of the regular PR100, with an asphalt-grained black background, and a durable 316L stainless steel case. But the second hand is highlighted in the yellow of the Tour de France maillot jaune, with the cleverly-designed outline of a cyclist making an eternal journey in circles around the face, reflecting the real-life journey of the riders of the Tour.

The strap can be a stylish three-row metal bracelet, or a secondary bi-material black strap, with minimalist but eye-catching yellow detail, and a texture which mimics that of handlebar tape. Time may not be as uniform as we perceive it to be. However, the Tissot PR100 Chronograph Tour de France 2024 Special Edition’s stylish elegance is fixed and immutable. The Tour de France is all about time gained and time lost – what better reminder than a watch specifically conceived to celebrate that?

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