Fortis soars with the new Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph and more at Baselworld 2016

In 2015, Fortis had a strong showing at Baselworld after skipping the show entirely the prior year. The standout was Fortis’ newly minted Terrestis collection, a line of classic timepieces styled after watches from Fortis’ archives dating back to the 30s and 40s. At the same time, Fortis also began to concentrate on their core competencies, with a special focus on tightening the back catalogue and really trimming down their SKUs to correctly tell the brand’s story. In 2016, we got to see the natural progression of that process, and the result was an impressive and cohesive catalogue from a brand that only a few years ago was struggling to find its footing.

Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph

Fortis has long had strong historical ties to space exploration. Specifically, the Official Cosmonauts collection has been part of the ROSCOSMOS (Russian Federal Space Agency) cosmonauts’ equipment since 1994, with the watches collectively seeing over 100,000 orbits around earth. For 2016, Fortis paid homage to that very watch with a new entry dubbed the Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph.



The new Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph comes in at 42mm with a nice mix of polished and brushed case finishing. Unlike the original, which was driven by the venerable Lemania 5100, the new collection is powered by the Valjoux 7750.

The watch comes in four flavors: a.m (silver dial, stainless steel bezel), Ceramic a.m. (silver dial, black ceramic bezel), p.m. (black dial, stainless steel bezel), and Ceramic p.m. (black dial, black ceramic bezel). The group favorite was the Ceramic p.m., which featured the perfect blend of vintage and contemporary styling. One thing that Fortis has really focused on this year is finishing, and it clearly shows in the dial, which now has applied markers rather than simple printed markers. In a bold move of sheer confidence, we were urged to look at the dial under a loupe — it was undeniably perfect.

FORTIS_COSMONAUT_4The listed price for the Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph series ranges from 3,360 CHF (stainless steel a.m. on leather) to 3,976 CHF (Ceramic p.m. on alligator with deployant).

Cockpit One and Cockpit Two

Inspired by—you guessed it—cockpit instrument displays, the Cockpit One and Two are some of the freshest looking flieger-styled watches we’ve seen in quite a while. It’s obviously pulling from the iconic B-dial design with the internal hours track and outer minutes track, but it’s doing so with some added visual complexity. The font is tempered and slimmed down, but no less legible. The stylized sword hands are perfectly sized against the dial, and the altimeter style day/date—often a sticking point amongst WIS—works extremely well here as it balances the graphic intricacy of the dial.

FORTIS_COCKPIT_6The watch comes in two styles: One, which features a black dial with white and khaki accents, and Two, which has white and red accents. The Cockpit series is powered by the ETA 2836-2.

FORTIS_COCKPIT_9The listed price for the Cockpit series ranges from 1,320 CHF (on leather) to 1,716 CHF (on alligator with deployant).

Aeromaster and Aeromaster Chronograph (Steel and Stealth)

And finally, Fortis also released a newly updated Aeromaster collection. Based off the Fortis B-42 model, the new Aeromaster line features a higher level of refinement when compared to its predecessor. Applied indices and numerals give the dial some added dimensionality, as does the engraved chapter ring. The chronograph is especially interesting—a sort of flieger-meets-bauhaus style that works really well and is actually quite refreshing when compared to all the derivative designs put forth by brands both high and low. I especially like the stylized crosshairs at the 9 o’clock sub-seconds dial.

FORTIS_AEROMASTER_CHRONO_3The case comes in at 42mm and features prominent lugs and a rigid formed strap that rests flush against the case, so it wears a bit big on the wrist. Both the 3-hander and the chronograph come in two distinct styles: Steel and Stealth, the latter of which features a PVD-coated case accented with tritium-colored markers and red chronograph hands. The Aeromaster and Aeromaster chronograph are powered by the ETA 2836-2 and the Valjoux 7750, respectively.

FORTIS_AEROMASTER_3The listed price for the new Aeromaster ranges from 1,480 CHF (Aeromaster Steel on leather) to 2,334 CHF (Aeromaster Stealth on alligator with deployant). The listed price for the Aeromaster Chronograph ranges from 2,780 CHF (Aeromaster Steel Chronograph on leather) to 3,634 CHF (Aeromaster Chronograph Stealth on alligator with deployant).

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.