First created in 1987, the Fortis Flieger is a reference for pilot watches and set the tone for all subsequent Fortis pilot models. This summer, the brand launched a modern take on the model. Following the presentation of the chronograph edition and time-and-date versions, Fortis now introduces a GMT model, one of the typical functions a pilot’s watch may include. This time it is made in lightweight and resilient titanium, and it is powered by an automatic movement manufactured with Kenissi. Let’s take a close look at the Fortis Flieger F-43 Triple GMT.
The third chapter of the rugged Fortis Flieger comes in a 43mm brushed titanium case, equipped with a 12-hour GMT bezel with a coined edge to ensure good grip. Featuring elongated angular lugs, it feels solid and instrumental, while the use of lightweight titanium adds extra-wearing comfort – and, of course, added resistance. Thanks to the screw-in caseback and crown, the watch is water-resistant to a very comfortable level of 200m – a rare feature on pilot’s watches.
Underneath the sapphire crystal with its efficient double-sided anti-reflective coating, the focus on legibility is obvious. Like the two previous models, the black brushed dial features ‘Brixtrack’ luminescent bricks for enhanced contrast. The ‘Synchroline’, printed in luminescent fluor orange between 55 to 05 seconds, is meant for pilots to synchronize when flying in squadron. The triangular index at 12 o’clock with two dots on either side allows a pilot to immediately figure out the 12 o’clock indication in relation to the upright orientation of the dial. The central 24-hour GMT hand circles the dial once a day, its fluor orange tip pointing to the corresponding hour, leaving no confusion as to whether it’s AM or PM.
Underneath the solid caseback ticks the Fortis WERK 13, an automatic GMT movement with jumping-hour setting and independent GMT function, manufactured with Kenissi. Fortis therefore joins the club of brands using Kenissi movements – together with Tudor, Breitling, Chanel and Norqain.
Often presented as the industrial arm of Tudor, Kenissi is currently based in Geneva but will move to Le Locle in 2021/2022 where a building (currently under construction) will be shared by the Rolex sister-brand and Kenissi. The Fortis WERK 13 runs at 28,800 vibrations/hours and comes with a comfortable 70-hour power reserve when fully wound. Its precision is chronometer-certified by the COSC.
The Fortis Flieger F-43 is fitted with a robust yet flexible three-link bracelet with a safety folding buckle and a practical quick-adjustable extension. Made of lightweight titanium, it is comfortable and yet robust at the same time. The screwed lugs offer additional security on the wrist.
Like the chronograph and the time-and-date version, the new Flieger F-43 triple GMT feels rugged, functional and focused. I personally love this collection, with a weakness for the quirky look of the F-39. Besides the specific function, the use of titanium for the GMT version brings a slightly different personality and extra comfort which is not superfluous for this rather large watch. Last, the Kenissi movement with COSC certificate and 65 hours of power reserve is interesting.
Price is set at EUR 4,500 or CHF 4,300. For more information, please visit www.fortis-swiss.com.