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Fortis founder Walter Vogt (1883-1957)
Foundation by Walter Vogts
In 1912 the 29-year-old watchmaker Walter Vogt, together with Alfred Rüefli, founds the so-called Kollektivgesellschaft Vogt and Rüefli zur Fabrikation von Uhren (collective society Vogt and Rüefli for the manufacture of watches) in Grenchen. A short time later Vogt, who had been trained as a watchmaker in Biel and had worked for Eterna, acquires the company as sole owner.
1926 Fortis, as the world's first watch factory, produces the wristwatch with automatic winding invented by John Harwood invented. The brands Fortis and Harwood today belong to the same owners.
In the 1960s and 1970s Fortis watches looked so colorful and were also so open to the use of plastic that they even could be subsequently classified as forerunners of the Swatch watch. There were models like the Flipper and the Logo, where the plastic case and bracelets could almost arbitrarily combined with colored dials.
Under the leadership of Peter Peter: Striking instrument watches
Fortis Pilot's Chronograph
Since 1990, the German Peter Peter is responsible for the fate of the brand, actively supported by his wife and chief Marketing Manager Liese-Lotte Peter. The development has now been consistently oriented towards large and masculine instrument watches, as they are also offered by Breitling or Sinn. Nevertheless, Fortis has developed a clear and independent design style, which allows to identify the watches immediately. The type of Pilot's and navigation watch is here so consistently concentrated on its main features as hardly anywhere else. Particularly characteristic is the striking clarity the time display the dials are mostly black, and the bright white numerals, clean-cut indexes and bright-white hands stand out as succinctly as almost nowhere else among watch manufacturers. This unconditional adherence to purely functional requirement bestow the watches with their own aesthetic appeal - there is no dull, dead objectivity, but a powerful, refreshing appearance.
In addition to the remarkably clear lines the watches, all in accordance with their brand name, are distinguished for their robust cases and a sturdy workmanship. They are solid, and yet offer a reliable technology at fair and competitive prices. Also in the entry-level price range there are always presented interesting models. The good reputation enjoyed by the brand among lovers of watches of this genre is not based upon facade or glamor, but rather on solidity and credibility.
With space watches to success
From 1994 on Fortis is official watch supplier of the Russion Cosmonaut Training Center Yuri A. Gagarin. The watches are subjected to severe tests in order to fulfill their service in space with the highest reliability and durability. Thus, the model Official Cosmonauts Chronograph was worn by Russian cosmonauts in space and proved that watches with automatic winding are fully compatible also in space. Because it's not the gravity that matters but the movements of the wearer.
As an important technical innovation of watches Fortis in 1998 presented the world's first automatic chronograph with integrated mechanical alarm function, whose construction was developed by the Zurich watchmaker artist Paul Gerber.
In addition to the distinctively sporty pilot's watches series Fortis with the Marinemaster and Diver has also dive watches in their offers.
In 2000 the collection Spacematic is presented. It includes five different models Day/Date, ECO, GMT, Chronograph and Chronograph Alarm.
On 10 September 2001 Fortis CEO Peter Peter, on the occasion of a meeting of the international space agencies in Paris, receives the medal “Star of the Blue Planet”. This award, bestowed by the Russian Space Agency Rosaviakosmos for his involvement in the development of mechanical chronographs for travel space, has been previously awarded only five times to non-Russian personalities.
Fortis filed for bankruptcy protection on November 24, 2017.
Fortis B-42 Flieger Chronograph Alarm
- Spacematic SL Lady
The Art Editions
As a complement to the model program, Fortis from time to time provides in the series FORTIS Art Editions special limited series created by artists
- The furniture and object designer Rolf Sachs designed a watch model with 24-hour indication and only two hands, one white hand for minutes and hours and a red seconds hand.
- The painter and sculptor Gerd Winner created in Edition Winner a model, at the large color on the bezel make for a new age feel.
- To an exhibition of the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely in Monaco Fortis contributed a limited special edition of 100 pieces.
- 1956 Fortis wins the leading chronometer prize awarded by the Swiss institute for official time measurement, for the first waterproof, mechanical alarm chronometer.
- 2001 1st place at the International Watch Award. In Japan the Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph wins the Grand Prix of the watch magazine “BEGIN” in the space watches category.
- 2001 “Star of the Blue Planet” for Peter Peter.
- 2004 “1st European Aviation Watch Award” for the Fortis Pilot's Chronograph.
- 2007 2nd place at the election “Golden Balance” with the limited edition Fortis Flieger Chronograph Alarm Platinum in the category up to 25,000 €.
- Das ZEITGEFÜHL-Uhrenbuch; Author Gerd-Lothar Reschke; ISBN 3-938607-61-0
FORTIS watches AG
Tel. +41-32-653 33 61
Fax +41-32-652 59 42
Peter Peter Team GmbH
Fr. Liese-Lotte Peter
- Fortis, company website