Watches mean many things to many people: status, elegance, strength, craftsmanship, tool. Everyone has their choice of terms that define their taste in watches. One word that most people would agree is on their list, whether they say it out loud or not, is fun. Turning the bezel, running the chronograph, staying up until midnight at the end of a month to watch a perpetual calendar make the change; all fun elements of owning a watch. Fortis wants to bring back fun with a colorful bang, and revive a bit of its history, with the Fortis Colors line of watches.
In the early 1970’s the quartz revolution was in full swing and many a legacy Swiss company felt that impact. Some persevered, some disappeared and some joined in by developing their own line of quartz watches. In 1975 Fortis released the Fortis Flipper, a quartz watch that could be popped out of its case and into another of a different color for an instant change in look all for only $19.99 (equal to about $87 in 2013). The watches were inexpensive and fun with a variety of interchangeable strap and case colors and bezels. The watch became a hit when celebrities like The Rolling Stones, Roman Polanski and Leonard Bernstein were seen wearing the Flipper.
The Fortis Colors line hearkens back to those Fortis Flipper watches of the 1970’s. Released in 2012, the 100th anniversary of Fortis, the Fortis Color line operates in the same way as the Flipper watches. The watch module is housed in a resin case/strap combo and can be popped out the back of the case and into another. Colors of the straps include black, white, transparent, yellow, orange, red, blue, navy, purple and olive. The dial of the watch itself can be had in either white or black. Unlike the previous flipper, the bezel of the watch is part of the case and not the watch itself and appears to be black across all case/strap combinations. The bezel has 60 clicks and is a unidirectional bezel.
The watch is powered by a quartz movement, but the movement origins are not known. The watch has a stainless steel case and 100M water resistance. The white dial has luminous hands and markers while the black dial has luminous hands, makers and numbers. Both dials have the Fortis logo at 12 and that classic Fortis look. While inside the case the full package measures in at a reasonable 42mm. The straps feature a stainless steel folding butterfly clasp, which does mean that the resin will have to be trimmed to fit an individual’s wrist.
The Fortis Colors watches can be found for right around $100 USD up to $150 on Amazon.com with additional resin straps for $50 each. There are also sets with multiple bands and special collections as well. For the price you get a Swiss brand watch (if not Swiss made) with a fun feature set and an affordable price.
Does the Fortis Color line flip your switch? Is it something for fun or just a simple beater or not worth the time at all? Share your thoughts in the comments below.