Fortis is a Swiss watchmaking company founded in 1912 in Gretchen Switzerland by Walter Vogt, the factory where the first Fortis was produced is still the same one that today produces modern Fortis and although over time the brand has been underestimated the company’s history is remarkable. So, let’s take a quick look back, in 1926 Fortis started producing the world’s first automatic wristwatch, the result of an alliance with the British John Harwood, the father of the automatic movement, in 1940 the brand launched the first, or at least one of the first waterproof watches, the ‘Fortissimo’. The impressive milestones of success do not end here, in 1962 Fortis begins the space journey and builds its first space watch, the Spacematic AR (All Risks), an automatic watch tested to the limits by the US space mission, in 1994 the Russian Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City chose Fortis as the official cosmonaut’s chronograph and since then, it has never stopped supplying, often as exclusive supplier, for space missions but also for air forces from several countries.
Now it’s time to stop time travel and go back to the present, Fortis has launched in recent days a modern version of its award-winning 1987 Flieger, the Flieger F-43 Bicompax, despite being a true watch tool it is a beautiful watch, almost anyone can remain indifferent to the colour palette of their dial, with special emphasis on the double-colour luminescence, after all, we are talking about a pilot watch where is no room for failure and the watch can be the last resort if all else fails.
The Flieger F-43 comes in a 43mm diameter stainless steel case, with a 12-hour concave bidirectional bezel, the dial comes in matte black with a ‘Brixtrack’ minute scale (as Fortis calls it) with large hour indexes with green luminescence, such as the minute and hour hands, the 12 o’clock are marked with the traditional pilot triangle with the two dots, where we can find a double five-second ‘Synchroline’ painted with Berlac Fluor Orange. The same Berlac can also be found in various details of this F-43, in the central second-hand part of the Bicompax, around the 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock, around the window day at 6 o’clock, on the 13th day, a precious detail, and finally the inscription ‘Bicompax’ just above the window day. On the dial, we can also find a seconds subdial at 9 o’clock.
On the outside of the case, we can find a central screw-in crown and two shaped pushers that control the Bicompax, a sapphire-crystal glass with anti-reflective coating on both sides and 200 meters of water resistance.
On the movement that equips this Flieger, an automatic self-winding movement Caliber UW-51 with 48 hours of power reserve.
The Fortis Flieger F-43 is available in two options, with a stainless-steel bracelet with slide-clasp priced at € 3,800 or with a vegetable-tanned genuine cow leather strap priced at € 3,300.
Two clarifications, first, Flieger is a German word and means pilot, and second, ‘Synchroline’ is described by Fortis as an important and essential instrument used in the squadron of aircraft in its alignment by teammates.
Finally, it seems to us that Fortis is doing a great job with this new release and turning to the classic models that made its history, and here we have to give credit to the new direction led by Philipp.
Model: Flieger F-43 Bicompax
Dial: Black Opalin
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Case Dimensions: 43mm Diameter
Crystal: Sapphire Glass
Case Back: Solid in Stainless Steel
Caliber: Fortis UW-51
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 30 minutes counter chronograph
Winding: Automatic Self-Winding
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Power Reserve: 48 Hours
Water Resistance: 200 Meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or leather strap
Price: €3,300 (leather strap), €3,800 (bracelet)