Over the last few months, Fortis has methodically unveiled a series of new watches under their newly minted Flieger line, and today we see the latest entry, an aviation inspired GMT. In recent months, we’ve seen a new chronograph and a more traditional pilot’s watch hit the market, so a GMT seems like a logical next step and fills out the trilogy of tool-ish sports watches. Like the other watches in the series, the new F-43 Triple GMT has a mix of design elements that make it feel both modern and vintage inspired, and works within a new design language that Fortis is working to establish. Let’s take a closer look.
The new F-43 Triple GMT is very much in the same vein aesthetically as the other watches in this series, and makes use of the same “Brixtrack” scale as its predecessors, which is a brushed ring with individually lumed plots for each minute that’s meant to increase overall legibility. The “Synchroline,” an orange ring that spans the space between 11 and 1 on the dial, is present here as well. While the Synchroline’s functionality as a piece of this watch’s tool repertoire isn’t necessarily readily apparent, it’s emerging as something of a trademark for this series, and gives the watch a distinctive and easily recognizable visual signature. While other watches in the Flieger line use a combination of colors to draw contrasts and create visual interest on the dial, here it’s just orange used as an accent, on the seconds hand, GMT hour hand, inner 24 ring, and the aforementioned Synchroline. There’s also an attractive vertical brushing effect through the inner sectors of the dial, which gives the F-43 the subtle appearance of some texture, an unexpected but welcome surprise on a watch that’s as tool oriented as this one.
The somewhat buried headline on the F-43 Triple GMT is the movement. Fortis is using the new WERK 13 caliber, a collaborative effort with Kenissi, movement maker for Tudor, Norqain, and others. In fact, we just saw Norqain introduce a new GMT with a movement that we’d have to assume uses the same base caliber, as it appears functionality identical. Yes, this watch features an independently set 24 hour GMT hand, making this a “true” GMT in the Rolex sense of the word. After years of effectively screaming into the void about our wish for this type of functionality in a GMT watch, we now, somewhat suddenly, have an abundance of options.
Beyond the draw of the new GMT caliber, the F-43 Triple GMT has a lot of technical specifications you’re likely looking for if this type of watch is on your shopping list. The watch is large at 43mm, but in titanium it should feel light on the wrist and hopefully wear a bit smaller than its stated dimensions. The bracelet also features Fortis’s Slide Clasp, which allows for fine adjustment without the use of a tool, and the case is rated to 200 meters of water resistance. The WERK 13 movement, in addition to true GMT functionality, is COSC certified and carries a 70 hour power reserve.
The F-43 Triple GMT is available today from Fortis, with a retail price of 4,300 CHF. Fortis