“There is no function without design and there is no design without function…” This is how Fortis, a brand best-known for crafting rugged, functional pilot’s watches, set the tone when introducing its new, fully reimagined Flieger collection last year. Since 1987, the Fortis Flieger collection has been a reference for pilot watches. Instrumental, no-nonsense watches with durability and legibility in mind, the brand launched a whole new collection last year, focussing on the essentials. Comprising a chronograph, two automatic models and a GMT, these new Fliegers have been well received by the pilot’s watch community. And today, we give it a closer look, by reviewing all the models at once.
Fortis’ references speak for themselves. The brand doesn’t rely on story-telling of built-up stories… Its watches have a proven track record. Take for instance the B-42 Official Cosmonauts Chronograph. This watch is the direct result of Fortis watches becoming part of the standard equipment for Cosmonauts, cooperating with Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency. The first Fortis Cosmonaut watch flew into space in 1994 as Russia was operating the MIR space station. A second version – again for Roscosmos, specifically as the ISS followed MIR – was designed some 10 years later. The brand also crafts watches for real-life pilots, such as this PC-7, designed for the Swiss Air Force aerobatics display team.
The new Fortis Flieger collection follows this tradition of rugged, instrumental pilot’s watches built for action, however, these are far from being mere reproductions of past models. The new Flieger collection is a modern creation; a clean, effective design with several original features, but still watches built for a mission.
What is this Fortis Flieger collection all about? It starts from a powerful case design that leaves no doubt on the vocation of these watches. Elongated angular lugs, fully brushed surfaces, use of titanium on for one of the models, water-resistance rated at 200m despite being built for the sky, functional rotating bezel… And then there are the dials, which still rely on some of the classic Flieger’s codes, but also innovate for maximum functionality, including the BRIXTRACK® technology, with illuminated bricks that are applied on the circular brushed dial to mark the hours, and provide superior contrast and legibility, night and day. There’s also the so-called Synchroline feature – 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.
All in all, this new Fortis Flieger collection is all about modernity and has to be seen as the Flieger watch of the 21st century. Still, this doesn’t mean that Fortis is turning its back on the basics of such watches, which are still proper instruments meant to be used and abused.
Altogether, 4 models have been introduced, with the F-34 Bicompax, a powerful 43mm chronograph with two-counter display, the F-39 and F-41, classic time-and-date models in 39mm or 41mm, where the movements are simplified but all the pilot’s functions are still present, and finally the F-43 Triple GMT, which features an additional time-zone, a 43mm titanium case and is powered by an automatic chronometer movement manufactured with Kenissi – the industrial arm of Tudor, manufacturing movements for multiple brands.
In the video on top of this article, we give you all the details about this new Fortis Flieger collection, looking at all 4 models. For more information and orders, please visit www.fortis-swiss.com.