This week, independent watchmaker Fortis introduced two new Flieger pilot watches made with environmentally friendly steel.
The Fortis Flieger F-39 and F-41 Midnight Blue come in recycled stainless steel cases that feature brushed surfaces, and pierced lugs, and even the bezel insert is steel. Recycled stainless steel is not the same as carbon-neutral steel but it is presumably a step in the right direction with climate impact becoming more prevalent in 2021, than perhaps any prior year.
An attractive vertically brushed matte midnight blue dial is surrounded by a slightly raised chapter ring with long, white, easy-to-read indices and hash marks, along with Arabic numerals just inside the ring, printed directly on the dial is while. Bright orange “Berlac Fluor” is used for the majority of the center seconds hand, top mark from 11 and 1 on the dial, for the “AUTOMATIC” text at 6 o’clock, and for the date function (both the aperture and the numbers).
Despite the appearance of being printed, Fortis has used luminous blocks, applied to the dial, for the hour markers. Large Sword-shaped luminous hour and minute hands further enhance legibility.
The “Synchroline” fluor orange marking between 55 to 05 seconds at the top of the dial is to help pilots synchronize when flying in squadron formation. The range allows each pilot to adjust to teammates’ settings when setting the watch.
Above the flat dial is a flat sapphire that sits just above the plane of the tall 90-degree flange, and above that is a tall concave sloping bezel that reads 0-12 and rotates bi-directionally with 24-clicks. The relatively small crown is flat and screws down to the case and the water resistance is rated to 200 meters.
An outsourced Sellita SW 200-1 that beats at 4Hz, has 26 jewels, and a power reserve of 38-hours, powers the hours, minutes, seconds, and date.
The Fortis Flieger Midnight Blue in 39 mm and 41 mm are delivered on a gray-blue olive leaf-tanned cowhide leather strap created from sustainable resources, handmade in Germany, with a recycled stainless steel pin buckle. The retail price for Fortis Flieger F-39 (Ref. F4220011) or F-41 (Ref. F4220013) is $2,000. A stainless steel bracelet is available for an extra $500.
Photo by Fortis.