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An Extract of History
Founded in 1912 by a watch enthusiast and entrepreneur Walter Vogt, the company has thrived ever since.
Important milestones in our history
The company was founded by Walter Vogt
In order to meet the steep increase in demand, a new wing is added to the factory building, designed in line with the modernist Bauhaus criteria.
Walter Vogt joins forces with the inventor of the first automatic movement, John Harwood, to start the world’s first mass production. The first automatic watch in the world.
Fortis releases its first (and one of the worlds first) water-resistant watches: the Fortissimo
Since the 50s, particularly robust waterresistant watches have been built in Grenchen under the name Marinemaster. Until today.
Fun Fact: We share the name rights for “Marinemaster” with the Seiko company, as it was never clear who was first.
Fortis wins the leading chronometer award conferred by the Swiss institute for official time keeping tests, for the first water-resistant mechanical alarm: the Manager.
Rolf Vogt, son of the founder, is enthusiastic about the beginning space euphoria and travels to America. There he hands over to the still young NASA the first space watch Spacematic AR (All Risks) designed by FORTIS. A recognition of the efforts and daring of the first astronauts.
Without sounding presumptuous, an entire industry must enviously acknowledge that Fortis is the inventor of many milestones. In the 60’s Fortis also triggered the trend towards colours and lightness. With the Flipper models, Fortis set a worldwide trend for affordable, colourful, changeable plastic watches. A concept that is still successfully continued by a famous Swiss brand today.
In the 70s, anything was possible. Undaunted and full of zest for action, the engineers and designers developed thousands of models, for every market and every budget. Models with the melodious names Hifi-Matic, TrueLine, Skylark, Brain-Matic or Easy-Math are still sought-after relics of times long past.
Steel – Green – Orange:
To this day, these are the characteristics of the only true “FLIEGER” – a model that first defined the world of pilot watches and is still the reference for many imitators.
An art project brings together Fortis, the legendary German Pop Art artist Andora and West Cigarettes. This is the seed of cooperation between Fortis and the newly founded space agency ROSKOSMOS. More about this in the Space Story.
During the preparatory work for docking of Atlantis to the MIR in September, the Official Cosmonauts Chronograph performed their first mission in open space.
An icon enters the floor. The famous B-42 case is presented at the Basel watch fair. This case design is still used today.
The Official Cosmonauts Chronograph is launched – not only to the watch markets but also into space. Still today the Russian Cosmonauts do wear this watch as part of their official equipment. Read more in the Space-Story.
A lifetime-fan becomes the new owner of the company
Celebrating 25 years in space.
Crown Symbol Evolution
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