Fortis Refreshes Its Flieger Collections For 2023 With Beautiful New Colorways
When Fortis introduced the Flieger collection in 2020, it offered classic Flieger DNA with various complications. Three-hand automatic, chronograph, and Triple-GMT options ensured there was something for everyone, whatever your tastes. For me, the collection is classic Fortis.
Fortis managed to combine the Flieger concept with its signature tool-watch aesthetic. The resulting watches were a unique and wholly modern interpretation of what a Flieger watch could be without losing that je ne sais quoi that makes Fortis, well, Fortis. Now, in 2023, the brand from Grenchen offers some beautiful, refreshed color palettes to expand the Flieger collection further.
Flieger F-39 and F-41
Let’s start with the time-only F-39 and F-41. These watches are essentially the same model, except in 39mm and 41mm case sizes. The names gave the game away there. The previous models combined a matte-finished black dial, green luminous hour markers and hands, and wonderful orange accents. Fortis has now introduced three new compadres to the F-39 and F-41 stable. First is a new take on the black color scheme. The dial now receives a vertically brushed texture and is stripped of color and accents. Black and white are the name of the game here, and the result is stark but in a good way. Can you really get any clearer in terms of legibility than white on black? The date window at 3 o’clock features white numbers on a black wheel, except for 13, which Fortis always renders in orange.
If you prefer a splash of color in your life, no matter how subtle, perhaps one of the other two new options may be more up your street. The Petrol Indigo number is probably my favorite. Again, the dial features a superb vertically brushed finish along with the all-white markers and hands. The final option is the brightest of the three. Named Liberty Blue, it’s still on the darker side of the blue spectrum, but it’s wholly more vibrant. It’s a mature shade and works nicely with the all-white markers and hands that Fortis has chosen for the updated F39 and F-41 models.
Both the Petrol Indigo and Liberty blue variations feature a date window at 3 o’clock as well. However, they use black numbers on a white wheel. I think the same white-on-black approach used on the new black dial might have looked a little sharper across the board. Admittedly, though, this is very subjective.
Flieger F-43 Bicompax
For the chronograph fans among us, the 43mm Bicompax is probably your pick of the Flieger collections. Similar to the time-only F-39 and F-41, the collection receives the same new color options. The original F-43 Bicompax also has a matte black dial with green and orange lumed accents. In 2023, we see the same adoption of vertically brushed dials with stark white lume and accents.
I won’t detail the Black, Petrol Indigo, and Liberty Blue finishes again. They’re the same as described above. The differences with the F-43 chronograph lie in the sub-dials and the date position. All versions feature color-matched sub-dials for running seconds and elapsed minutes, and we see the date window move from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock.
Oddly, I find myself leaning towards the classic black iteration as my favorite of the three new models in the chronograph family. With the added “busyness” of the sub-dials, the classic black/white color scheme is straight down to business. I like that tool-first approach here. The runner-up is the Liberty Blue on the brown Aviator strap. I am a fan of the Block Bracelet first and foremost, but who am I to argue with the combination of blue dial and brown strap? It’s a timeless classic.
Last but not least, we have one new entry to the F-43 Triple GMT collection. I saved my favorite for last. Just look at that dial! The F-43 Triple GMT stands alone among the Fortis Flieger family as it’s the only one to use titanium for the case with a matching solid titanium Block Bracelet. A leather Aviator Strap is also available, but let’s be honest: this model is all about the bracelet. The original release has a black dial with orange and white lumed accents. However, the original F-43 Triple-GMT eschewed a matte dial for the vertically brushed finish that now joins the other Fliegers in the collection. To freshen things up with a new character, Fortis now introduces a raw brushed titanium dial. For lack of a better word, it is awesome. The orange and white detailing remains and is combined with the raw titanium color… Well, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
The F-43 Triple GMT is also the pinnacle of the brand’s Flieger collection. It has the most premium movement in the collection in the form of the WERK 13. The WERK 13 is made by Kenissi, and it’s a flyer GMT movement, which will please many watch fans. The independently adjustable 12-hour hand allows the wearer to easily set the local time and cycle through the date indicator on the fly. With a 70-hour power reserve to boot, the F-43 Triple GMT is a professional tool watch in every sense of the word.
Get the Flieger on a bracelet
You can choose to take any of the new 2023 Flieger collection on a leather Aviator Strap or the brand’s chunky Block Bracelet (available in both steel and titanium). I have the Block Bracelet on my Stratoliner, and it’s the de facto choice as far as I’m concerned. Get the bracelet; thank me later. That said, the leather Aviator Straps are nice, thick, and comfortable on the wrist. If the bracelet is not for you, you won’t go far wrong with the leather option.
It can sometimes be hard to keep a collection fresh and exciting when introducing new colors. So, with that in mind, careful consideration of the dial finish and the exact shade used can be a complex art to master. With its 2023 updates, Fortis has done a fantastic job introducing mature colors to all three Flieger collections. My overall pick? The F-43 Triple GMT with the titanium dial. That one will be hard to top!
New Flieger price and availability
Due to the various combinations, there’s a lot of pricing data, so here we go (all prices include taxes — EUR / USD):
Aviator Leather Straps
- F-39 Black = €2,150 / $2,200
- F-39 Petrol Indigo and Liberty Blue = €2,250 / $2,300
- F-41 Black = €2,150 / $2,200
- F-41 Petrol Indigo and Liberty Blue = €2,250 / $2,300
- F-43 Bicompax Black = €3,550 / $3,650
- F-43 Bicompax Petrol Indigo and Liberty Blue = €3,650 / $3,750
- F-43 Triple-GMT = €4,150 / $4,400
- F-39 Black = €2,500 / $2,700
- F-39 Petrol Indigo and Liberty Blue = €2,600 / $2,800
- F-41 Black = €2,500 / $2,700
- F-41 Petrol Indigo and Liberty Blue = €2,600 / $2,800
- F-43 Bicompax Black = €3,900 / $4,120
- F-43 Bicompax Petrol Indigo and Liberty Blue = €4,000 / $4,200
- F-43 Triple-GMT = €4,600 / $4,850
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