An Extract of History

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Founded in 1912 by a watch enthusiast and entrepreneur Walter Vogt, the company has thrived ever since.

Important milestones in our history

1912

The company was founded by Walter Vogt

1917

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.

1926

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.

1940

Fortis releases its first (and one of the worlds first) water-resistant watches: the Fortissimo

1952

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.

1956

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.

1962

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.

1967

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.

#nooffense

1972

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.

1987

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.

1992

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.

1994

During the preparatory work for docking of Atlantis to the MIR in September, the Official Cosmonauts Chronograph performed their first mission in open space.

2001

An icon enters the floor. The famous B-42 case is presented at the Basel watch fair. This case design is still used today.

2003

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.

2018

Jupp Philipp

A lifetime-fan becomes the new owner of the company

2019

Celebrating 25 years in space.

Crown Symbol Evolution

1912
1930s
1950s
1960s
2019

Logotype Evolution

1912
1930s
1950s
1970s
2019