Watchmaker Tissot is the official timekeeper for cycling races organized by A.S.O., such as La Vuelta a España, Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice, and the Tour de France.
Each year, the Swiss watch brand, in close collaboration with A.S.O., launches a new T-Race Cycling watch, designed to reflect the essence of each Tour. The new 2024 watch will showcase the 111th edition of the event, which will be held from June 29th to July 21st.
The 2024 edition shakes things up, starting in Florence, Italy, and with two visits to the Alps, with the Alpine mountain stages getting under way early, from stage four.
The traditional sprint finish and GC procession into Paris will not take place this year because of the Paris 2024 Olympics being staged (from July 26th to 11 August 11th). Instead, the final stage on July 21st sees riders take on an individual time trial that finishes in Nice.
Tissot’s original bond with cycling began organically and became more official in the 1980s when Tissot first took on the mantle of official timekeeper of the Tour de France. The relationship with A.S.O. first began between 1988 and 1992, and was further cemented in 2016.
From 1948’s photo finish system to Tissot’s 1970s live time trials, timekeeping has evolved. The 1980s introduced photoelectric cells for sprint speeds, and 1991 transitioned from silver to digital film. By 1992, real-time broadcasting was achieved, and precision reached 1,000 images per second by 1995.
Transponders in bike frames were the introduced, with the photo finish achieving 10,000 images per second by 2014. Integrated with the precision time protocol, synchronisation hit accuracies of a thousandth of a second.
Today’s system distributes real-time data across multiple platforms, with 8-15 timekeepers ensuring precision for every rider’s position and speed.
Sylvain Dolla, CEO of Tissot, said “Tissot is proud and honoured to partner with A.S.O. and to be able to lend its expertise to all the races on their calendar, including the Tour de France.
“To time not just the minutes and seconds during these events and celebrations, but also the emotions that pulse through them – it’s a privilege to be part of it, to ensure a fair time to the athletes who push their boundaries and contribute to the experience and enthusiasm of the community for these races.”
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, added “The history of the Tour de France is made of accomplishments that depend on a handful or even thousandths of seconds.
“Tissot’s expertise is a great asset for the timekeeping of our events, and I’m delighted they will continue their involvement in cycling for years to come.”