Fortis is not a new brand. In fact, it is one of the oldest and more significant brands of the last century. Originally founded in 1912 (a good year for watches; a bad year for behemothic ocean liners), Fortis made its name by producing the first automatic wristwatch in 1926. That’s a pretty important step in the history of our industry. And now, more than 100 years since its birth, the company is experiencing something of a renaissance under the direction of current owner Jupp Philipp…

Philipp is, first and foremost, a fan of the brand. He grew up with and around it. He has treasured the company’s heritage as any museum curator worth their salt would their collection. When Fortis Uhren AG ran into financial difficulties in 2017, the brand needed a savior. More than that, the brand needed a custodian. There are a great many companies that are saved from the brink of liquidation only to be transformed into something unrecognizable. While that may be good business in some industries, a name in watchmaking is nothing without a strong link to that name’s past. A brand with such a history of genuine innovation needed a visionary at the helm.

Fly me to the moon

Following Philipp’s acquisition, the brand was renamed Fortis Watches AG to mark a new, more internationally-minded era. The important thing for the brand, as far as Philipp saw it, was to refocus. It was essential to bring the brand’s character to the fore by creating cleaner categories. Consequently, the brand’s catalog has been organized into three distinct collections: Space, Sky, and Sea.


Fortis’s unusual association with Space exploration obviously deserved its own section. The Cosmonaut range of watches is legendary among collectors. For the sea, the brand has big things planned with a very small current range to expand over the next few years.


Firstly, however, Philipp chose to focus on the forum closest to his heart. While he is a long-time Cosmonaut wearer himself, it was the B-42 of his brother (a pilot) that first got him hooked on the brand. As such, the Sky family (and the resurging Flieger line) has seen some of the most startling developments of late, and is set for more before 2020 comes to a close.


A date for your diary

The 13th of every month is now known as “Fortis Day”. On the 13th of September and 13th or October, 2020, the brand plans to release new pieces to the world (so stay tuned). The 13th of August saw the Flieger F-43 Bicompax released to a popular reception. The use of the incredibly bright Berlac Orange Fluor paint and “Brix” lume seen on the F-43 Bicompax outlined the future aesthetic of this part of the brand’s line-up. It was, needless to say, a resounding triumph. Philipp plans to build on these new foundations. His hope is to better communicate the aesthetic DNA of the brand’s future while honoring the brand’s past. A striking aesthetic and high functionality are the ingredients for success here. Learn more about the Fortis brand, its fascinating history, and the newest models to hit the collection here.