The Next Giant Leap: mars

Together with visionary organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) we have embarked on missions designed to test and prepare humans for life on Mars. Numerous simulations and tests have been conducted with the goal of analyzing the possible effects of Mars’ environment on the first settlers. FORTIS timepieces have been an essential tool used by all participants.

Mars 500

Mission length
4 Years (2007 – 2011)

Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP)
Moscow, Russia

Organizations in charge
European Space Agency + China Astronaut Research and Training Center

FORTIS B-42 Official Cosmonauts Chronograph MARS 500 edition. Limited to 300 pieces. Powered by ETA 7750 automatic movement

The Mars-500 mission was a psychosocial isolation experiment conducted between 2007 and 2011 by the European Space Agency, Russia and China, in preparation for an unspecified future crewed spaceflight to the planet Mars. The mission was carried out in three stages, and FORTIS watches accompanied participants in all of them. The goal of the mission was to test the effects of prolonged isolation on humans within a hermetically sealed environment and their ability to perform various space-flight related tasks. The experiment took place in a specially constructed complex which simulated a shuttle spacecraft, an ascent-descent craft, and the Martian surface. A special edition B-42 Official Cosmonauts Chronograph was designed for this mission.

A 3D plan of the Russia-based MARS-500 complex, used for ground-based experiments which complement ISS-based preparations for a human mission to Mars


Mission length

1 Month (February 2018) 


Deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman

Organizations in charge

Austrian Space Forum (OeWF)

AMADEE-18 was a field mission designed to gain operational insight from research conducted in a Mars-like environment. It was an excellent framework for understanding limitations of performing scientific operations on other planetary bodies. During the mission humans-in-the-loop testing of equipment, workflows, terrain and vehicles was performed, providing invaluable performance data.

FORTIS Official Cosmonauts Chronograph AMADEE-18

ETA 7750 automatic movement


Mission length

1 Month (15 October – 15 November 2020) 


Negev desert, Israel

Organizations in charge

Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), Israel Space Agency and D-Mars

After the successful 2018 Mars simulation mission in Oman, the Austrian Space Forum is teaming up with the Israel Space Agency and D-Mars, a space analog research center located in the Ramon crater of Negev desert, to further understand benefits and constraints of human operations on other planets.

Communication delays

The vast distance between Earth and Mars (from 54.6M km to 401M km, depending on the positions on their respective orbits) means there will be significant communication delays between mission control and the first explorers of the Red Planet. The radio signal can travel anywhere in between 3 minutes and 21 minutes, which means that a single message/response exchange can take up to 42 minutes.

For the sake of efficiency, the participants of the Amadee-20 mission will be testing a moderate delay of 10 minutes by utilizing the chronograph functionality combined with a special marker on the countdown bezel. 

A new special edition titanium chronograph – the Fortis AMADEE-20 has been developed for the mission and thoroughly tested by the analogue astronauts of the mission.  

Stay tuned to learn more about our journey to Mars and upcoming missions. Subscribe to our newsletter, YouTube and Instagram channels.