Fortis does not cut corners when it comes to the production of space watches. The traditional Swiss brand from Grenchen can look back on a far-reaching history of more than a hundred years and various watches that have already experienced zero-gravity conditions and stratospheric air.
Jupp Philipp, who took over the brand in 2018, has big plans. We get a first taste of this with the Amadee-18 chronographs, which are to be be worn for a very special event in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
Fortis has been at the forefront of developing watches suitable for use in space since the 1960s. The best example proving this is the fact that Fortis has been been supplying Russian ROSKOSMOS expeditions into space since 1994.
While the Moon is now considered to be largely explored – the first lunar landing was more than 50 years ago – a journey to Mars is currently still a long way off. Nonetheless, the neighbouring planet of Earth, some 200 million kilometres away, has always fascinated scientists who are investigating the question whether a Mars colonisation is feasible.
Admittedly, there are still many unanswered questions at the present time, which make a Mars approach appear likely in the coming years. One point, however, is already certain: the choice of wristwatch.
Amadee-18 is the name of a Mars simulation conducted in February 2018 under the direction of the Austrian Space Forum called ÖWF. The simulation was carried out in the barren deserts of Dhofar in the Sultanate of Oman, as these deserts are eerily similar to Mars. The sedimentary structures, characterized by lots of sand and stone, are just ideal.
Fortis has been working on the first Mars watch since 2017, so it was a logical step to bring the Official Cosmonauts Amadee-18 Chronograph to Oman. The perfect simulation conditions during the four-week experiment in the desert allowed the watches to be exposed to exactly those extreme situations that they have to face on the Mars on day.
From a purely technical point of view, the watch is the popular B-42 Official Cosmonauts Chronograph. However, it is given a special PVD coating, which results in the black hue. As for the dial, it may appear cluttered to the observer at first glance, but appearances are deceptive: The strong black and white contrast and the emphasis on the orange hands ensure optimum readability, which is transferred to the tachymeter scale located between the dial and the glass as well. The easy-grip crown and two chronograph pushers also guarantee easy handling of the watch.
Inside the watch ticks the caliber UW-50, which is a chronometer-certified automatic chronograph movement featuring a special rotating rotor with unidirectional winding. In the case of this special edition, the movement is subject to an additional visual treat on the dial, as the small second carries the strikingly colorful AMADEE-18 logo, reflecting the sunrises and sunsets on Mars and Earth.
As an officially authorized Fortis dealer, we are thrilled to be able to offer you all Fortis watches (such as the Amadee-18 Chronograph) directly in our shop as of now. Also, we are looking forward to the next Mars simulation mission in Israel at the end of 2020 and what Fortis has in store for that.