Fortis was founded more than a century ago and is a Swiss watch brand that embodies luxury and function. It originated in Grenchen, Switzerland thanks to an enterprising 29 year old named Walter Vogt. Wanting to create a product that could make a name for itself in the midst of the growing and competitive watch industry, he began his quest for success by building a factory next to the local train station.
Over the years Fortis has launched an impressive catalog of watches. The first self-winding wristwatch produced in series was very remarkable – in 1926. Decades later, the Venus Caliber 230 collection came onto the market – military watches that were supplied to the armed forces of Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Greece and Taiwan.
And like many other companies, it has also faced challenges. In 2017, Swiss newspapers got wind of their financial difficulties and reported about the impending end. But not long afterwards it found a new life with the help of a Fortis lover who renamed it and holds the reins to this day.
Fortis continues to manufacture timepieces that not only have good aesthetics but also practical and useful mechanisms.
Fortis brand history
The history of Fortis began in Switzerland in 1912, particularly in the municipality of Grenchen. A 29-year-old watchmaker named Walter Vogt founded a watch factory that used his watch training in Biel and his professional experience at the Swiss watch manufacturer Eterna.
In 1926, he worked with John Harwood, a British watchmaker, to begin mass production of the world’s first automatic watch. Product sales were good and years later, in 1937, on the occasion of his 25 years, he introduced his company’s first chronograph watches, which included the Author and the Rollsth Anniversary.
In 1940 he produced and marketed the first waterproof watch of his brand called Fortissimo. In the 1950s, the Marinemaster line was developed, which puts sturdy, sturdy, sturdy and yet classy waterproof timepieces in the spotlight. Due to the innovative strength of Fortis’ the Manager, the first water-resistant watch with a mechanical alarm, it was awarded the leading chronometer prize of the Swiss Institute in 1956.
Inspired by global space travel in the early 1960s, Walter’s son Rolf presented NASA with the Spacematic AR (All Risks), Fortis’ first space watch, to honor the efforts and courage of the first astronauts.
In the decades to come, Fortis developed more styles, colors, and designs, and even released affordable plastic watches that wanted products for all ages and budgets. Nor has it deviated from its goal of making high quality and versatile watches and releasing automatic wristwatches that will hold up well in space and other extreme conditions.
In 2003, Fortis launched its official cosmonaut chronograph watches, which are still worn by Russian cosmonauts as part of their spacesuit ensemble to this day. It has also supplied specially designed watches for armed forces around the world, including the German Fighter Squadron, the Hungarian NATO Forces, the Taiwanese Thunder Tiger Aerobics Team, the Greek Hellenic Tigers and the Swiss Swiss 11 Fighters.
In 2017, due to financial problems, the Fortis company and site were transferred to Jupp Philipp, who is a private investor and lifelong fan of the brand. Today the company is officially known as FORTIS Watches AG.
Fortis watch collections
Fortis’ current catalog consists of watches that offer a mix of style and functionality. The following list shows the various Fortis watch collections available today.
With a banner message about swimming in space and an effort to colonize Mars, it’s not stupid to assume that the Fortis Space Collection has a space theme. It contains watches with names that have space-related terms and expressions such as “Official Cosmonauts Chronograph”, “Spacematic Steel” and “Stratoliner Ceramic AM”.
There are four types of watches in the Space Collection – Official Cosmonauts, Classic Cosmonauts, Stratoliner, and Spacematic.
Official cosmonaut watches have black PVD-coated or brushed stainless steel cases and are water-resistant up to 200 meters. They have black dials, luminous hands and automatic chronograph functions with automatic winding, as well as stainless steel or Cordura bracelets.
Classic cosmonauts are waterproof up to 100 meters. They have metal-coated silver, matt black or matt white dials and luminous hands. All are automatic and chrono and come with stainless steel straps.
Stratoliner watches have cases made of brushed and partially polished stainless steel, see-through case backs and ceramic bezels. They have matt white, matt black or matt gray dials, luminous hands and a water resistance of up to 100 meters. They have automatic chrono functions and Cordura fabric straps.
Spacematic watches have been manufactured by Fortis since 1960 and are one of the company’s timeless pieces. They consist of black PVD-coated or brushed stainless steel bodies and FORTIS embossed stainless steel housings. They have matt white or matt black dials, metal-coated and fine-grained dial structures and luminous hands. They are also self-winding and come with leather straps.
The Fortis Sky Collection was developed for jet setters and consists of watches that can stay strong and durable despite frequent air travel. Tried and tested by some of the world’s greatest pilots, the watches are packed with a number of features that make them both functional and stylish at the same time.
There are two types of watches in the Sky Collection – Aeromaster and Pilot Classic.
Aeromaster watches have brushed stainless steel cases with transparent or embossed caseback. They are waterproof and have black or royal blue dials, luminous hands and a chronograph function. They are all wound automatically and come with leather or stainless steel straps.
Pilot Classic watches have polished or brushed stainless steel cases, transparent case backs and glasses coated with sapphire glass and anti-reflective. Available with black, metal-coated dials, luminous hands, automatic chronograph with self-winding mechanism and Cordura straps.
The Fortis Sea Collection was developed not only for watch enthusiasts and collectors, but also for active and adventurous people. It consists of watches that are highly rated by divers. All timepieces have been tried by many of the world’s most experienced divers and have proven their caliber underwater.
The Sea Collection includes three watches: Marinemaster Alarm Chronograph, Marinemaster Silver Chronograph and Marinemaster Yellow Chronograph.
The Marinemaster Alarm Chronograph consists of a case made of brushed stainless steel, a matt black dial, luminous hands and a stainless steel bracelet. It is water-resistant up to 200 meters and has a very rare feature in wristwatches – the alarm chronograph, which was developed by the Zurich watchmaker Paul Gerber.
The Marinemaster Silver Chronograph and the Marinemaster Yellow Chronograph also consist of brushed stainless steel cases, metal-coated matt black dials, luminous hands and stainless steel bands. They’re also waterproof up to 200 meters. However, they have the automatic self-winding chrono and not the alarm chrono.
Fortis brand reputation
Fortis has been in continuous operation since 1912. Over the years, the world has given timepieces that embody luxury and elegance while remaining true to its founder’s belief in the importance of quality and function.
From inventing the world’s first self-winding wristwatch in 1926 and some of the world’s first waterproof watches in the 1940s, to developing watches that can withstand extreme temperatures, pressure and other environmental conditions.
Fortis can undoubtedly be considered a pioneer in the watch industry. In addition, numerous awards were given, including the International Watch Award 2001, the European Watch Award 2004 and most recently the Chrono Award – Premium Class 2013.
The road has not been completely free of hurdles and obstacles in Fortis’ more than 100 years of existence, but it has managed to get out of trouble before it gets too bad. While it’s kind of an under-the-radar watch brand, it has built a solid reputation and a loyal following.
Is Fortis a good watch brand?
Many watch enthusiasts recognize the superior style, design and quality of Fortis. They appreciate the stainless steel body, the clear case back and the attractive colors of the dials, hands and straps. They also like that the watches can be worn while working, hiking, or socializing without worrying about damage and other things. Because Fortis watches offer a wide variety of useful features, including automatic movement, chronograph, and water resistance, many believe that it is worth paying more than usual for a watch of this caliber.
However, some find Fortis watches a little overpriced when you end up paying full retail.
Some point out that in a similar price range you can find other well-designed and functional watches made by equivalent or better-known watch brands like Oris, Alpina, or Longines.
While Fortis may not have the same popularity as other Swiss watch brands like Tissot or fashion brands like Armani, its reliability, enduring power and performance has helped keep Fortis at the top after all this time.
Where to buy Fortis watches?
Fortis watches are great gifts for yourself or for others. Fortis official website offers online shopping and shipping to selected European countries. If you aren’t in any of them, you can use the store and service center locator to find stores near you. You can also contact Fortis directly for help purchasing a watch.
See Fortis on Amazon.com.
See new and used Fortis on eBay
Fortis watches are too available at Jomashop and some models can be found at Walmart.
UK buyers can find one Fortis watches in the JuraShop.
Where is Fortis made?
All Fortis watches are authentically made in Switzerland. They are manufactured and shipped from the headquarters of FORTIS Watches AG in Grenchen, Switzerland.
Fortis is one of the many watch manufacturers in town that keep the longstanding watch industry alive and thriving.
Fortis Watch warranty
All Fortis watches have a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee. It begins on the date of purchase and covers manufacturing and production defects. To claim this, you should present the warranty card that you signed at the time of purchase and the proof of payment from the store where you bought it.
For repairs, you can contact an authorized repair and service center near you. Click here for the Fortis Store and Service Center Locator.
If there are no Fortis service centers in your area, you can fill out the repair request form and wait for a response for your watch to be collected within a week.
Note that the warranty does not cover damage resulting from negligence, improper use, loss, and natural wear and tear. There is also no guarantee for wearing parts such as straps and fasteners.