If there’s one thing Fortis is renowned for, it certainly is its rugged and functional watches, as well as its long-lasting connection with aviation and space exploration. In this regard, one collection truly stands out since 1987, the Flieger. A watch designed as a true instrument for pilots, this enduring collection has been drastically revamped last year, with the introduction of the Flieger “redefined.” Don’t look for vintage inspiration, this new collection is all about performance, reliability, functionality. Following the inaugural black models of 2020, the brand new adds even more technical-looking editions to its collection, with the new time-and-date Fortis Flieger F-39 and F-41 Midnight Blue.
While the name “Flieger” often brings to mind 1940s-inspired pilot’s watches, this isn’t what Fortis has been trying to do here. Far from that. This new collection, launched last year, is redefining the concept, it is bringing it to the 21st century while staying true to its underlying idea. These remains proper instruments that are meant to be used and abused, which are all about functionality. These are focused watches with a mission. Comprising a chronograph, a GMT model and a pair of time-and-date models, they all share the same overall design and the same functionalities, complication aside. First seen with black dials, this well-received collection now enlarges with the addition of a blue dial, first available on the Flieger F-39 and F-41 watches, meaning the simplest, more focused versions.
Putting the new dial aside, we find back the basics of the collection, here with two different diameters offered by the brand. A good point, the case can either be ordered in 39mm or in 41mm, to adapt to every morphology or taste. The case, which is made from brushed recycled stainless steel, shows an angular, blocky shape that leaves no doubt on the instrumental vocation. Rugged and robust, it even offers a 200m water-resistance thanks to a screw-down crown and caseback, a rare feature on pilot’s watches. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, which is coated on both sides with a very effective anti-reflective coating.
As you’ve guessed by its name, the Fortis Flieger is a true pilot’s watch. And that shows in its features. First, the dial is framed by a bidirectional bezel graduated with a 12-hour scale, which can serve as a timer or a dual time display. The bezel is easy to operate with its highly raised coin-edge profile, and it has 24 clicks. But there’s more. The redefined Fortis Flieger F-39 and F-41 (and all other watches from the collection) come with two unique functions. The first one is named “Synchroline”. Also executed in fluor orange, printed between 55 to 05 seconds, its goal is to allow pilots to synchronize when flying in squadron formation; with its +/-5 second range, each pilot can adjust to his teammates when setting the watch. The second feature is named “BRIXTRACK” and concerns the hour markers. These are not classically painted on the surface but are illuminated bricks that are applied on the circular brushed dial.
New for this year is the dial’s colour. Previously only available in black, the two time-and-date models can now be ordered in a Midnight Blue attire, with a vertically brushed pattern. The hours and minutes hands are also updated, as now framed in matte dark blue, still with generous use of white Super-LumiNova in the centre. All tracks and markers are also left white, bringing superior contrast day or night, as well as a technical, modern look to the watch. Finally, multiple orange accents are found all around the dial, including on the second’s hand which is made with Berlac Fluor treatment. The date is framed in orange too and the 13th of the month is also Berlac Fluor orange.
These new blue editions of the Fortis Flieger F-39 and F-41 are worn on an Indigo Aviator Strap, in grey-blue olive leaf tanned genuine cow leather from sustainable production, and closed by a pin buckle in recycled stainless steel. Additionally, the block bracelet in steel that was found on the black models can also be purchased as an accessory from the brand’s webshop (at CHF 450). Under the screwed and engraved solid steel caseback is a well-known, reliable automatic movement, the calibre Fortis UW-30, based on the Sellita SW 200-1. It beats at 4Hz and stores up to 38 hours of power reserve.
Availability & Price
The new Fortis Flieger F-39 and F-41 Midnight Blue are now available for orders, from the brand’s online boutique – here for the F-39 Midnight Blue and here for the F-41 Midnight Blue. Both models will be priced at CHF 1,950.
For more details or to place an order, please visit www.fortis-swiss.com.