A short recap: On August 13 this year, Fortis presented the F-43 Bicompax, followed by the F-39/F-41 Automatic on September 13. Today, on October 13, Fortis has its grand finale, presenting an impressive new watch that is made for all the world travelers among us.
After striking a more elegant note with the F-39/F-41 Automatic three handers, Fortis returns to a case size of 43mm (which we already know from the F-43 Bicompax Chronograph) for the new F-43 Triple-GMT. Thanks to a decisive innovation, however, it should be way easier to wear on the wrist: Due to the titanium used for the case and bracelet, the watch only weighs in at 162,95g, while the stainless-steel chronograph weighs 245.76g.
The characteristic design features of previous models, notably the Synchroline® at 12 o’clock in Berlac Fluor Orange, which helps pilots to synchronize their watches, or the particularly luminous Brixtrack®, are also back with the F-43 Triple GMT. New, however, is a small inscription at 4 o’clock that says “Certified Chronometer”. At first glance, this may seem unassuming, but it is a remarkable step that could change a lot for Fortis in the future.
The biggest surprise is undoubtedly the choice of the movement used. For this, Fortis entered into a partnership in 2018 with Kenissi – a manufacturer of high-quality movements founded in 2016 and based in Geneva – which now bears fruit. This partnership comes to life for the first time in the new caliber “WERK 13”. As a genuine manufacture caliber, it is made by Kenissi exclusively for Fortis.
Despite a rather short history (by watch industry standards), Kenissi is anything but a dark horse: The brand, which belongs to Tudor SA, has recently caused quite a stir, especially when it was revealed that it is currently building a 150-meter-long, state-of-the-art factory on Rolex land in Le Locle – code name “Project Gemini”.
The COSC-certified WERK 13 is the ideal choice for a true GMT watch, as it has numerous practical features that make life easier, especially for frequent flyers and world travelers. But why the addition of “true“?
Well, the description true GMT watch suggests that there are also non-true GMT watches, which of course is not true. The addition merely refers to which hour hand is changed by the GMT complication’s quick set function: that of local time or that of the second time zone.
Especially more affordable GMT watches based on ETA movements tend to be “office GMT watches”, making them the perfect choice for frequent callers. As usual, the main hour hand shows the own time zone (i.e. local time), while a visually differentiated GMT hour hand shows foreign time – so far so good. With the jump hour function, you can then quickly zap through the different time zones. Once you have decided, you can always see at a glance whether your colleagues abroad are for example still/already available for a quick phone call.
However, this feature is of less use to travelers who actually travel through the different time zones (and not just mentally from their desks). They of course would prefer to be able to read their new local time in a flash with the main hour hand and instead see what time it is at home with the GMT hand. That is why the “true” (or “travel”) GMT complication is primarily found in higher-quality watches, such as the Fortis Flieger F-43 Triple GMT. With this complication, the jump hour function controls the local time, while the home time (represented by the GMT hour hand) remains unchanged.
Thanks to a particularly solid bridge with a two-point fixation that spans the oscillator of the WERK 13, the watch is also particularly shock-resistant and will not be thrown off balance even during intense activity. Once fully wound, the watch runs for an impressive, weekend-proof 70 hours: Take it off on Friday afternoon and put it back on on Monday morning, it will still be running.
The F-43 Triple GMT being Fortis’ last novelty this year, it is fair to say that Fortis has outdone itself with this one. In particular the fact that no other than Kenissi contributes an upscale GMT manufacture caliber is impressive proof of Jupp Philipp’s ambitions to develop Fortis into one of the leading luxury watch brands in the affordable mid-price range.
As an authorized dealer, you can of course find all Fortis watches (including the new Flieger F-43 Triple-GMT) in our Fortis Boutique. Enjoy browsing!