We’re proud to officially release the first model in the Fortis × Fratello Capsule Collection. It’s a Flieger F-43 Bicompax chronograph with an umber-brown dial, and it is available now! This and all future watches in the Fratello Capsule Edition will be available exclusively in our shop.

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

When we introduced the Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax in umber brown to you last week (here), we received several comments on the dial. In some photos, you can see the vertically brushed finish on it, which reminded some of you (and me) of the Mercedes-Benz “Zebrano” interior in the 190 (and other) models. But this only becomes apparent when you look at the dial up close. Otherwise, it’s “just” a beautiful brown and black dial with orange and white elements. That said, I love the Zebrano trim in those 190s.

It’s not for everyone

As the name implies, the Flieger F-43 Bicompax measures 43mm in diameter. It’s a substantial 54mm from lug to lug and 15mm thick with a 21mm lug spacing. As I’ve said before, this watch is big, and it isn’t for everyone, nor should it be, as Fortis CEO Jupp Philipp told me last time I visited the brand’s headquarters in Grenchen, Switzerland. But if you can handle the F-43, you will find yourself with an amazing watch on your wrist that will last longer than a lifetime.

Not the same Fortis it once was

During my visit to Grenchen, the people at Fortis also showed me the watches that piqued my interest in the brand over 20 years ago. I am talking about the Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph models powered by the legendary Lemania 5100 chronograph movement. I still love those watches. However, seeing them up close again, I realized that Fortis today is not only a different company but also that the quality of its watches has increased dramatically. It made me realize that the watch industry has progressed quite a bit over the last 20–25 years.

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

Not just for pilots

The F-43 Bicompax is part of the Fortis Flieger collection. However, as the Grenchen-based company indicates, “You don’t need to be a pilot” to wear these watches. They’re more about the style or the dream of being a pilot than they are necessary flight tools. Pilots might use their watches as backup instruments, but the days of performing calculations with a slide rule or depending on the exact time of the watch are over. What the Fortis Flieger F-43 does offer, which also helps pilots, is a very legible chronograph, an extra time zone via the 24-click 12-hour bezel, and robust build quality.

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

After seeing the modern Fortis collection in Grenchen and talking to Jupp Philipp about watch collecting, owning a brand, and developing watches, I was convinced that the current Fortis models are in a different league than two decades ago. Most brands are, in all honesty, and in a good way, but Fortis stepped up several notches in terms of quality. Rotating the F-43’s bezel is a blissful experience, there’s nice action on the pushers, and setting the time with the crown is quick and accurate. Also, although I am not much of a swimmer (and this is certainly not a diver’s watch), I appreciate the 200m water resistance rating of this Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition. That’s much better than you typically find on aviation-style watches, let alone chronographs.

A soft and comfortable strap

The brown/black textile and FKM strap might look stiff, but the rubber is incredibly supple with no stiffness at all. You will find a stainless steel buckle with an engraved Fortis logo to keep the watch safely on your wrist.

High-quality Fortis finishing

The large stainless steel case of the F-43 Bicompax has a nice brushed finish on the lugs and flanks. On the bezel, you’ll find a circular-brushed finish on top and a ribbed pattern on the side, ensuring faultless operation. Even the chronograph pushers follow suit in this regard, featuring textured anti-slip top surfaces.

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

A super legible dial

A lot has been said about the brown dial with its vertically brushed finish. But how about those recessed sub-dials in black with circular graining? For better and quicker readability, the chronograph function has been enhanced with some luminous (Super-LumiNova X1) orange elements. The chronograph seconds hand is in Fortis’s signature fluor orange, and so is the rim around the minute recorder. At the top, you will find the synchroline, which helps pilots synchronize their watches with the team.

The raised outer track of the dial is also in black, corresponding to the sub-dials. There, you will find luminous Brixtrack hour markers. These luminous “blocks” of Super-LumiNova C5 will ensure that you can read the time under low-light conditions. The date can be found at 6 o’clock, surrounded by an orange frame.

The UW-51 movement inside

On the case back, you will find the Fratello logo in the center, surrounded by the “Fratello × Fortis Capsule Edition” designation. Underneath the case back is the UW-51 movement. This Sellita-based self-winding caliber has a 48-hour power reserve and a ticking speed of 28,800 beats per hour. It’s a two-register chronograph, hence “Bicompax” in the name, with running seconds at 9 o’clock and a minute recorder at 3 o’clock. By the way, did you see the symbol of The Hague on the case back?

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition

This special timepiece is available in the Fratello Shop as of today with a retail price of €2,980 before taxes. To be clear, the Fratello × Fortis  Flieger F-43 Bicompax Capsule Edition is not a limited edition. However, as mentioned, it is only available in our webshop.

Let us know in the comments if you decide to pick one up! And if not, what other Fortis watches would you like to see in the Fratello Capsule Collection? This is just the beginning of our exciting partnership, and we hope that you’ll come along for the flight.

Watch specifications

Fratello × Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Umber Brown Capsule Edition
Umber brown with vertically brushed finish; black sub-dials, minute track, and date disc; flour-orange accents; white three-dimensional luminous indices
Case Material
Stainless steel (316L)
Case Dimensions
43mm (diameter) × 55mm (lug-to-lug) × 15mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating on both sides
Case Back
Solid stainless steel, screw-in, engraved with Fratello logo
Fortis UW-51 — Sellita SW510 base, automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve, 27 jewels, hacking seconds
Water Resistance
20 ATM (200m/660ft)
Brown/black hybrid textile and FKM strap (21mm width) with stainless steel pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), date, chronograph (30-minute counter, central seconds), bidirectional 12-hour bezel
€2,980 excluding taxes (VAT automatically adjusted at checkout for EU residents)
Special Note(s)
Exclusive edition available indefinitely in the Fratello Shop. First 25 pieces available at launch, with 25 more pieces expected in 1–2 weeks. Further 50-piece runs to be available approximately every six months.