Key Milestones


The First Around-the-world Trip in a Zeppelin

Lady Grace Drummond-Hay, a British journalist, takes the first automatic watch in the world – the Harwood by FORTIS on the first around-the-world trip in a Zeppelin LZ 127. The flight was completed in several stages, travelling eastwards between August 1st to September 4th, 1929. The flight of Lady Drummond-Hay inspired Walter Vogt to pursue aviation inspired watches in the decades to follow.


The Silver Jubilee Watch, Inspired by Pilots

25 years after the first automatic watch left the FORTIS factory, we released the Jubilee model, our first pilot-inspired watch. Characteristic for pilot watches of that time, it featured a simple dial designed with utility in mind.


The Sky-watch and the First Flieger

Inspired by the functional designs of the B-Uhr („Beobachtungsuhr“ = “Observation watch”) made during WWII, FORTIS released the quartz Sky-watch, quickly followed by an automatic version based on the same design, effectively setting a trend for B-Uhr inspired watches.


The New-age Flieger

The same year when FORTIS became the exclusive supplier of wristwatches to the ROSKOSMOS, we launched the long awaited 3-hand and chronograph versions of the new-age Flieger. The designs were significantly improved but kept the key motifs of the legendary 3-hand B-Uhr:– Large dial

– Legible luminous numerals & indices

– Sword-shaped hour and minute hands

– Triangle at the 12 hour marker surrounded with two dots for extra legibility

This is the year when FORTIS watches start featuring the iconic neon-orange second hand.


New Millenium, New Case

At the advent of the new millenium, FORTIS decided to refresh its collection and released a new version of the Flieger featuring a 42mm case, dubbed the B-42 case. The letter B was an homage to the legendary B-Uhr.




Collaboration with Paul Gerber

After several years of intensive collaboration with Paul Gerber, a legendary Swiss watchmaker known for creating the most complicated watch in the world (The Superbia Humanitatis), we released our first in-house movement the F-2001 in the Flieger Alarm model.


Aviation Watch Design Award

The FORTIS pilot watches have always had a distinctive design, and in 2004, it was finally recognized, when the Flieger was awarded the best designed aviation watch in Europe.


Brand Centennial and the Opus Magnum

The previous collaboration was a great success, so FORTIS commissioned Paul Gerber once again to develop modules that would enhance the F-2001 movement, resulting in the patented F-2012 movement the most complicated chronograph in the world. The new movement featured the following functions:

-Hours, minutes, seconds

-Rapid-reset date


-30-minute and 12-hour counters

-AM/PM indicator



-Separate power indicators for the movement and the alarm

The movement was featured in a new watch model FORTIS F-43 Daybreaker Alarm in Stealth and Recon variants limited to only 100 pieces each.



The Flieger, Reimagined

On our 110th anniversary we began developing a new family of Fliegers in collaboration with Xavier Perrenoud and his innovation studio XJC, a master watch designer with a laser-sharp focus on proportions. The reimagined Fliger family will be released in mid-2020.


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Xavier Perrenoud, watch and luxury product designer, after a samurai practice. The art of samurai sword fighting helps him find inspiration and calmness necessary in his constant pursuit of perfection

We have accompanied some amazing people in their attempts to break world aviation records. Read more on the link below.