Tick-tock, tick-tock… time to learn about the Swiss watch brand that’s been ticking since 1912 – Fortis (Swiss watchmaker)! From designs that have been tested in space and under the sea, to timeless classics that have been built for the modern man, Fortis has something for everyone.
History of Fortis
Fortis was founded in 1912 in Switzerland by a pair of watchmakers. From the beginning, the brand has focused on creating precise watches that combine advanced technology with classic designs. Over the years, they have perfected their craft, leading them to become one of the leading watchmakers in the world today.
The Test of Time
In the 1950s, Fortis became the first watch brand to send its watches into space, when they were worn by Soviet cosmonauts. This marked the beginning of Fortis’ many feats of engineering and design, as well as their reputation for quality and precision.
Fortis’ technology and craftsmanship has also been tested under the seas in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea and the Arctic Ocean. To this day, they remain the preferred choice of many Antarctic explorers for their reliable and dependable seafaring timepieces.
Fortis continues to create timeless classics to this day. Every piece in their collections is meticulously designed to meet the needs of modern men and women:
- Adventure: Explore the world with watches that are reliable and accurate.
- Dress: Impress with a wide range of dressy options.
- Sport: Keep track of your records with ease.
- Vintage: Enjoy timeless pieces in vintage styles.
Fortis Watch Models
One of the most iconic and recognizable models from Fortis is the Fortis Spacematic. First released in 1977, the Spacematic features two subdials and a date window—a classic design with the precision of a quartz movement. The Diver’s Chronograph is one of the most popular and stunning models perfect for both professional and recreational use. With a 42 mm case and a depth of water resistance up to 10 bars, the Diver’s Chronograph is sure to make a statement.
The Chrono.Scale Pilot is another one of Fortis’s top sellers. This watch features a 42 mm stainless steel case and a quartz chronograph movement. It delivers the precision of a quartz watch with the classic styling of a pilot’s timepiece.
Vintage lovers will enjoy the Fortis Aviatis—an aviation-inspired watch that features a 42 mm stainless steel case and a solid silver dial. The vintage-inspired design is the perfect way to add a touch of classic charm to any look.
The Swiss watch brand Fortis is a true testament to the art and science of watchmaking. With its combination of precision, quality, and timeless designs, Fortis has established itself as one of the premier watchmakers in the world today. Whether it be a modern smartwatch or a classic beauty, Fortis has something for every kind of wearer.
FORTIS Watches AG, located in Grenchen, is a luxury Swiss watches manufacturer that was founded by Walter Vogt in 1912. The brand is particularly known for robust, highly precise, automatic tool watches. The owner and CEO of Fortis is Jupp Philipp.
Fortis was founded by Walter Vogt in 1912. Twelve years after its establishment, Vogt set up production with John Harwood, inventor of the automatic wristwatch. In 1926, Fortis released the patented Harwood Automatic, the first self-winding wristwatch, at Baselworld. In 1937, Fortis commemorated the company’s 25th anniversary by manufacturing and marketing its first chronographs, including the Rolls and the Autorist. The Autorist was also designed by John Harwood and used the movement of the strap to power the watch. By 1943,
Fortis introduced some of the world’s first waterproof watches with the Fortissimo models.
In 1962, the Spacematic automatic was constructed to hold up in extreme conditions and temperature changes. The watch was tested by the seven members of a US space mission. In 1994, Fortis introduced strict endurance tests. This same year, the Star City Training Center chose the Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph as part of its issued equipment. Fortis automatic wristwatches have proven their space capability inside and outside of the protection of the space station. Since 1994, Fortis has been the exclusive supplier of crewed space missions authorized by the Russian Federal Space Agency. In 1997, the same watch, the Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph, became the official watch of the German-Russian space mission MIR 97.
During Fortis’ 75th anniversary year, it introduced a new edition of the Flieger automatic collection.
In 2004, the Flieger Chronograph was awarded the inaugural trophy of the European Aviation Watch of the Year.
Fortis has supplied unique watches to many military squadrons worldwide, including:
In 1994, Fortis became the equipment supplier of the Juri-Gagarin-Kosmonautentrainingszentrums, which is a cosmonaut training centre in Russia. During a docking manoeuvre of the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis in September 1994, the model “Official Cosmonauts Chronograph” was worn on the space station Mir by the cosmonauts during the mission Sojus TM-19.
In 1998, FORTIS launched the development of the world’s automatic chronograph with mechanical alarm function, which was patented with the patent number EP 0806712. The construction of this watch was done by Zurich watch engineer Paul Gerber.
In 2017, FORTIS experienced some financial difficulties. The company filed for definitive debt restructuring moratorium. Soon afterward, the company brand and location were taken over by a private investor and FORTIS fan, Mr. Jupp Philipp. This led to the renaming of FORTIS Uhren AG into FORTIS Watches AG.
Under the new management, FORTIS is redefining the collections. Design and functionality are the main focus points. A new collaboration with Kenissi has been established.