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1912: the birth of a legacy.

In the heart of Switzerland, Walter Vogt laid the cornerstone of what would become an enduring symbol of Swiss craftsmanship and innovation. Fortis was born, and watchmaking would never be the same again.

1917: expanding horizons.

As demand soared, the Fortis factory expanded its footprint, adding a new wing designed in the pioneering modernist Bauhaus style. It was a bold architectural statement, mirroring our commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and functionality.


1926: world's first automatic watch.

In a groundbreaking alliance, Walter Vogt joined forces with John Harwood, the inventor of the first automatic movement, to initiate the world’s first mass production of automatic watches. It was a defining moment that forever altered the landscape of horology.

1940: fortissimo - a pioneer in water resistance.

In a groundbreaking move, Fortis unveiled the Fortissimo, setting new standards as one of the world’s first water-resistant watches. A marvel of engineering, this innovation changed the game in durability and resilience.


1954: marinemaster - a legacy in robustness.

In the 1950s, Fortis set a new bar for robust, water-resistant watches with the Marinemaster collection. Crafted in our Grenchen facility to this day, these watches remain a reliable choice for those who demand the best.

Fun Fact: The name “Marinemaster” is co-owned by us and Seiko, as it’s still a mystery who claimed it first.

1956: a timekeeping triumph - the award-winning manager.

Earning the Leading Chronometer Award from the Swiss Institute for Official Timekeeping Tests, Fortis showcased innovation and precision with the Manager. This water-resistant mechanical alarm watch set new standards and solidified our commitment to quality and accuracy.


1961: boldly going where no watch has gone before.

Captivated by the dawning era of space exploration, Rolf Vogt, son of Fortis founder Walter Vogt, traveled to the United States. There, he presented NASA with our groundbreaking Spacematic AR (All Risks) watch, acknowledging the extraordinary courage and groundbreaking efforts of the space agency’s pioneering astronauts.

1967: flipper - the trendsetter of a generation.

Fortis never just followed trends – we set them. The 1960s were a time of innovation and change, and Fortis was at the forefront.

Our Flipper models revolutionized the watch industry, introducing vibrant, affordable, and interchangeable plastic watches that captured imaginations.

This pioneering concept remains a cornerstone for a certain 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.


The B-42 Official Cosmonauts Chronograph is launched – not only to the watch markets but also into space. Read more in the Space-Story.


Jupp becomes the new owner of Fortis and until today he is the sole proprietor of this historical family owned brand.


Fortis starts one of the most valueable collaborations in the watch industry with Kenissi and can now provide a Chronometer certified movement with 70 hours of power reserve. The Redefinition of one of Fortis’ greatest icons marks the start of a new era: The Flieger

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Since more then 70 years Fortis has been building dive watches under the name of Marinemaster. This time is has been redefined for a more everday-life purpose: A watch for active people enjoying the beauty of nature.

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This was never done before: Fortis sent 13 pieces of the Werk 17 movement into the stratosphere to test if this movement is space-worthy. To do that Fortis announced the 2 new partners: La Joux Perret – being a movement manufacturer and the Swedish Space corporation – Europe’s leading company when it comes to suborbital space activities. The movement was then build into the brand new Stratoliner.

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To highlight Fortis’ engagement in space exploration and to also proof the robustness of the timepieces, Fortis – together with the Swedish Space Corporation – sent 13 Stratoliner watches into space with an experimental Rocket. After extreme conditions and some tough impacts the watches came back to earth – showing no impact on their accuracy.

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The legend is back. The legacy continues.

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