Fortis is a brand that has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. No, Fortis is not a newcomer to the world of horology. Not by any means. But in 2014, when the firm skipped Baselworld entirely, there was some concern that the storied company was on its way out. Then in 2015, it came back in a big way with a revamped catalog and younger management—management that, for lack of a better turn of phrase, gets it. That new team then spent 2016 streamlining and cutting the fat, purging confusing and excessive SKUs, and working at better controlling distribution. The hard work most certainly paid off, and last year’s showing at Baselworld was a worn&wound team favorite.
2017 has seen a continuation of that process, and the resulting watches clearly showcase the brand’s core competencies. We met with the Fortis team in Switzerland to get a hands-on look at the collection. Tapping its aviation heritage, Fortis introduced a number of great looking pieces that are sure to appeal to fans of both brand and niche.
First up is the new (yet familiar) Stratoliner collection. Built around the platform of last year’s Cosmonauts chronograph, the Stratoliner comes in the same 42mm case. That means each general release watch in this new collection is available in either full stainless steel or stainless steel with a black ceramic bezel. Powering the watch is the Valjoux 7750 workhorse caliber.