When space exploration began in the 1950s, few would have guessed that 65 years later a new phase would begin, space tourism, although today it is a reality within the reach of few, very soon it will be disseminated, and that is why Fortis has just released a trio (or a quartet to be exact) of purpose-built chronographs.
For this, Fortis redefines the Stratoliner Collection and with it also debuts its new Caliber WERK17, which has been tested by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) in the stratosphere and under severe conditions.
The new WERK 17 automatic movement features a column wheel, a custom traversing bridge that guarantees robustness in space, the highest accuracy and 60 hours of power reserve.
Moving straight to the new Stratoliner S-41, they come in a 41mm stainless steel case with slender lugs, smooth bezel, sapphire crystal on the front and case back, crown with the brand’s logo at three o’clock, two pushers buttons and 200 meters of water resistance.
The dials, in addition to the three central hands, feature a double day-date window at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock and finally a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock. It is in the tones of the dial that the three variants differ, with the White Dust variant featuring a white dial and counters, the Cool Gray variant with a grey dial and white counters and the Cosmic Gray variant with a grey cool dial and with the counters in black.
The dials of all variants come with some details in sky blue, which in addition are filled with Super-LumiNova X1 also in shades of blue, which is the case of the central chronograph seconds hand, the first 30 seconds of the minute scale (representing 90 seconds), the first 15 minutes and 1 1/2 hours of the respective counters, in a clear allusion to the different phases of Virgin Galactic’s stratospheric flight. Finally, the engraving of the quote “Der Himmel ist nicht das Ende der Welt” on the sapphire crystal of the case back, means “Sky is no limit”.
The watches are offered with a block bracelet with a slide clasp or on an aviator strap.
As I mentioned above, this initial trio towards the end of the year will become a quartet as these three variants will be joined by the special edition “Blue Japan” which, as you can guess from the name, will come with a navy blue dial and counters in white and small details in red and grey, let’s wait.
Fortis’ connection to the world of aviation and space began a long time ago, and since then it has produced high-quality watches whose recognition is often overshadowed by the limelight of other brands.
That’s why we’re not surprised that this launch comes at a good time when space exploration from a tourist point of view is gaining more and more importance.
The new Stratoliner S-41 not only surprises from the outside, above all for the details filled with lume that promise to steal the attention of its owners at night but also from the inside for its new “heart” WERK 17.
Of the three (four) variants that I liked the most so far is the white one, the white uniformity of the dial with the black and sky blue details seem to match perfectly. And if here a few years ago I was allergic to white dials, more and more I’m starting to develop a special appetite for them… I suppose it’s due to age.
Read more here.
Model: Stratoliner S-41
Dial: White, grey, blue
Lume: Super-LumiNova X1 with blue afterglow
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Dimensions: 41 mm
Crystal: Sapphire Glass
Case Back: Sapphire Glass
Water Resistance: 200 Meters
Strap: Black aviator strap or stainless steel bracelet
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, day, date, chronograph
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Price: € 4,950 (on a strap), € 5,350 (on a bracelet)