Life on Mars is around the corner. That is what some science-fiction movies are telling us, at least. The people who are properly interested in the story know much must be done to make that a reality. But plenty of scientific initiatives are researching life on the Red Planet. If you are a fan of Fortis, you are probably aware of the AMADEE project. It brings astronauts into Mars-like conditions for extensive research on using equipment during a real Mars mission. Fortis has released several special AMADEE editions for the project. The latest is the Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24. I had a chance to go hands-on with this special Novonaut developed as an instrument for a mission to Mars.

The watches Fortis has created as a partner of the AMADEE project have always stood out. I was immediately impressed by the stealthy Fortis Official Cosmonauts AMADEE-18 that came out in 2020. The all-black aesthetic with the bright mission patch integrated into the 9 o’clock counter made for a stylish piece I still love. Fortis released the AMADEE-20 a year later, which continued the monochromatic theme with a gray titanium version of the Official Cosmonauts Chronograph. It also introduced a special Mission Control Bezel that returns on the new Novonaut AMADEE-24. I had a chance to check out this impressive new Mars-themed Novonaut that, unfortunately for those who want to buy one now, already sold out quickly. But that didn’t stop me from taking the watch for a spin.

The first titanium version of the Fortis Novonaut N-42

We see many watches in the Fratello offices weekly, but only a few make a lasting impression. The new range of Fortis Novonaut models I reviewed last year impressed me greatly. I love the story of Fortis creating tremendously capable space watches. On top of that, the lineage continues the story of the Cosmonauts Chronographs, which are well-designed watches with great charm in their functionality.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24

While the name has changed, the Novonaut models are still incredibly capable space watches that link back to the story and design of the Official Cosmonauts Chronograph. Of the three versions I reviewed, I particularly love the Legacy Edition, the standard version with a matte black dial and matte black bezel insert. It oozes competence, and I prefer the matte looks over the sunburst dials and glossy ceramic bezels of the First Edition and the Cobalt Blue Edition. It’s probably no surprise that I was also excited to see the brushed titanium AMADEE-24 version with a matte black bezel insert. It’s the first titanium Novonaut N-42, and it looks awesome.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24

The specs of the Novonaut AMADEE-24

Mike already gave all the details in the introduction article, but let’s go over the most important specs. The watch has a 42mm brushed titanium case with a 44mm titanium bezel. The case is 51mm long and 15mm thick with a 200m depth rating. As you can see by the numbers, this is not a small watch. However, unlike its stainless steel counterparts, the watch is lightweight thanks to its titanium construction. It makes this substantial piece so much easier to wear, and I love that. The titanium case is matched with a titanium three-row bracelet with a push-button clasp and an easy micro-adjust system. The 100 lucky buyers also get an additional black hook strap.

The case is combined with a black dial with many interesting details. Some stand out immediately, while others reveal themselves upon closer inspection, creating a nice dynamic. The black dial is vertically brushed and features a semicircular pattern from 11 o’clock to past 5 o’clock, representing the axis of Mars, which is tilted at 25.2 degrees.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24 dial close-up

The standout element on the dial is the 30-minute counter placed in a ridged, silvery ring at 12 o’clock. This counter syncs with the gold-colored central chronograph hand, the “Grand Counter.” The usual 12-hour counter has been removed and replaced by the AMADEE-24 mission patch at 6 o’clock. It was removed because most experiments on the mission are done in timeframes of less than 30 minutes. Lastly, the small seconds are located at 9 o’clock.

The special countdown bezel

The unidirectional bezel has a matte titanium insert treated with Super-LumiNova that contains a 60-minute scale. But it’s not a regular 60-minute scale. It features a countdown function with two 10-minute segments. As Mike explained, communications between Mars and Earth take 10 minutes to transmit due to the distance. So if an astronaut sends a message to Earth, he or she can align the “Count Down” marking on the bezel with the minute hand to track when the message should reach Earth. Additionally, the astronaut can keep track of when a response should arrive.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24 lume shot

This timing gap was tested during the AMADEE-24 mission. The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) teamed up with the Armenian Aerospace Agency for this year’s mission. During a four-week simulation mission in Armenia, various equipment types were tested in Mars-like conditions. The command center was in Vienna, with astronauts on the ground in Armenia, requiring constant two-way communications. The markers and numerals on the bezel and the hands are treated with Super-LumiNova, while the dial’s hour numerals are solid Super-LumiNova. They all glow blue in low light, so you can also use the watch in the dark.

The Fortis Werk 17 powers the AMADEE-24

Inside the case, you will find the Fortis Werk 17. This automatic chronograph movement is made by La Joux-Perret, operates at 28,800vph, and delivers a 60-hour power reserve. La Joux-Perret designed a custom traversing bridge for added strength, stability, and tangential micro-screw regulation. The space-tested movement was also slightly modified for the AMADEE-24.

As I explained, the 12-hour counter was removed and replaced with the mission patch. An element I hadn’t mentioned is the day/date display at 3 o’clock that accompanies the counters at 9 and 12 o’clock. The movement is hidden behind the closed case back that features a special engraving referring to the AMADEE mission.

Wearing the Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-42

Before wearing the watch, I had to size it, and thanks to the slotted screws, that was an easy task. On top of that, the folding clasp features a micro-adjustment system that makes sizing it precisely for your wrist super easy. Once on the wrist, the first thing that stands out is the low weight relative to the large presence.

The watch is not necessarily big, but it looks chunky and feels solid. The use of titanium, though, makes it an absolute joy to wear. I am a big guy, so wearing a substantial watch like this is never a problem. Once I started wearing the watch, I quickly fell in love with how comfortable and cool it looked on the wrist.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24 on wrist

Reading the dial is super easy. As I explained, some details stand out immediately, like the silver ring of the 30-minute counter. But the semicircular pattern hardly stands out if you do not pay attention to it. Consequently, the layered design gives it depth but doesn’t inhibit the practicality at all. The mission patch is a nice touch of color that grabs your attention when you let it. Giving the design an extra hint of classiness are the gold-colored hands. They work well with the dark gray titanium hue and the black dial and bezel.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24 on wrist

An impressive tool watch built for a special mission

Operating the chronograph is an absolute joy. The central chronograph hand starts running after a firm click of the upper pusher. When you stop the chronograph, you get an equally firm click from the same push button. Resetting the timer with the lower pusher is no different. I love the definition of the clicks as they convey high quality.

Operating the crown does as well. You have to put in a little effort to unscrew it. After that, you can pull it out to the first position to change the day and the date. Rotating the crown forward clockwise changes the date with clearly audible clicks. If you turn it counterclockwise, you will change the day. You can also skip through the days backward to get to the right one. Pulling the crown out to the second position lets you change the time. The great thing is that all of this feels super qualitative.

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24

Final thoughts on the Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24

The watch also feels of incredibly high quality on the wrist. I was seriously impressed by the bracelet on the stainless steel versions. The production quality is so good that the tolerances are minimal, which could lead to some hair-pulling, as I explained in the review. I didn’t have that issue with the titanium bracelet, but it is also built very well. From the individual links to the clasp, it’s an excellently executed bracelet that is a joy to wear. It is the perfect bracelet for a tool watch like this Novonaut.

It made wearing this special AMADEE-24 edition a fun and different experience. While I greatly enjoyed wearing the stainless steel Legacy Edition, there is something special about this titanium version that gives it an edge. It looks great and is super easy to wear. Then again, I don’t have to choose as this 100-piece limited edition sold out quickly at €6,100 per watch. It seems like a lot of money compared to the €4,950 of the regular Legacy Edition. But considering what you get for that money, I do not think that is an unfair price. Fortis creates some of the best-made watches in the industry. One hundred happy buyers will experience that soon with this extraordinary Novonaut AMADEE-24.

For more information on this watch, visit the official Fortis website.

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Watch specifications

Novonaut AMADEE-24
Case Material
Case Dimensions
42mm (case diameter; 44mm bezel) × 51mm (lug-to-lug) × 15mm (thickness)
Case Back
Solid titanium, screw-in
Fortis Werk 17: automatic column-wheel chronograph caliber, 28,800vph frequency, 60-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
200m (20 ATM)
Titanium steel three-row Block bracelet with push-button deployant clasp and micro-adjustment slide, additional gravity black hook strap
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), chronograph (30-minute counter, central seconds), day, date, bidirectional 60-minute timing bezel with communication delay segmentation
Five years
Special Note(s)
Limited edition of 100 pieces (sold out)