A Look at the new Fortis Stratoliner Watches
Friday - 13 May 2022
The new Fortis Stratoliner watch is defined as the tool to go beyond the impossible and is powered by a movement that has been sent into the stratosphere to determine its reliability both under incredible levels of pressure and extreme temperatures similar to that of outer space.
Like any piece of equipment used for space exploration, testing it would be paramount before any space mission is underway. Why would the case not be the same for the Fortis Stratoliner? Fortis has tested the new Stratoliner watch to ensure it will keep accurate time in space and survive these special conditions for a very long time once exposed to low pressure, high pressure, very low temperature, and radiation. To do this, Fortis has founded a new partnership and thoroughly researched the meticulous testing stage to approve the movement’s use under the stratosphere’s harsh conditions.
The stratosphere test
The links between Fortis and space are synonymous. The brand has been manufacturing watches for space since the 1960s. The decision to reinvent a watch for space comes alongside the desire to test its movement inside a new Stratoliner watch that will resist the imposing conditions of space. So, custom-built in space and tested in the stratosphere – the WERK 17 calibre was the chosen self-winding column-wheel chronograph movement for the job in question – and its performance has now been tried and tested to the highest standards.
Tested in collaboration with the Swedish Space Corporation, several WERK 17 movements were suspended by mounting rackets from a gondola driven by a stratospheric balloon. Temperature and pressure data were stored underneath the structure to help establish how well the movements held up during their expedition and to which levels. The gondola system was carried out far beyond the sky, leaving the atmosphere behind and entering the stratosphere Through low-temperature regions of -50 to -60 degrees Celsius, these conditions are about as close to space as you can get. Low pressure and similar thermal behaviour, as well as the radiation from the sunlight, all combine to create a similar environment to space, proving an indispensable method in confirming the capabilities of the new Fortis Stratoliner movement. After a one-and-a-half-hour ascent into the stratosphere, the movements returned. The Stratosphere watches were disassembled to inspect the induvial components of their movements and the watches were found to have kept perfect time. So, the question can now be answered; will the Fortis Stratoliner watch come back safely from space and will it still be accurate? Yes, it will.
The new Fortis Sratoliner watch
The new WERK 17 Calibre that powers the three newly released Fortis Stratoliner watches offers a useful power reserve of 60 hours and sits within a robust stainless steel case measuring a diameter of 41mm. The dial of the watch comes in three variants; a White Dust, Cool Gray and Cosmic Gray. These displays, executed with a Dust Dial technology, are designed to imitate the depth and vastness of space. Each model is sealed on top with a sapphire crystal glass front that features a double-sided Space-AR Coating to ensure that readability is preserved whether under artificial lighting or direct sunlight. To assist with reading essential time, the hands of each dial are treated with Superluminova®X1. Each dial is injected with cool blue tones seen in the hands of the 30-minute and 12-hour sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock respectively, along with the central chronograph seconds hand. Balancing these two sub-counters is a small second sub-scale positioned at 9 o’clock and opposite, a legible day and date feature at 3 o’clock.
Flip the watch over and you can take a glimpse of the column wheel movement as it performs through an exhibition feature crafted from smoked sapphire crystal glass. The glass also features an image of the Fortis spaceship window and reveals an engraved message that reads: “Der Himmel ist nicht das Ende der Welt“ – the sky is no limit. The new Fortis Stratoliner watches are available either on a block stainless steel bracelet with a slide clasp or a black aviator leather strap.
A little about Fortis and space
What marked Fortis’ beginnings in the realm of space was the release of its Spacematic All Risks model back in 1962. US, Ralf Vogt, Walter’s son took a set of these watches on his travels and presented them to some astronauts of the Gemini Space Program who instantly fell in love with their simple time and date designs in black and white, adorned with a metallic ‘AR’ badge at the 9-o-clock position. The Spacematic watch has remained a staple ever since. Three years later, Fortis released a watch inspired by the edge of space named the Stratosphere. The watch marked the second chapter of the brand’s space story and its work with the Russian Space Agency, ROSKOSMOS. During the early 1990s, Fortis was made the official timekeeper for West – a German cigarette brand that initiated a marketing campaign called “West In Space”, which involved launching a painted Russian Proton rocket designed by legendary artist Andora from the Baikonur Cosmodrome into space. The first new-generation Stratoliner watch was selected for this maiden voyage. Catching the eye of ROSKOSMOS, Fortis went on to supply robust watches for the Space Agency, having subjected its watches to a six-month rigorous testing process at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training facilities. After passing these tests, Fortis went on to become the official timekeeper of all its future space missions.
Alongside these new Stratoliner watches for 2022, Fortis has also revealed that a “Blue Japan”-version will be released later this year, but for more information on these three new Fortis Stratoliner watches on a steel bracelet or black leather strap option - you can check out the full spec details online here within our extensive Fortis watch collection, or call and speak to a member of our sales team at Jura Watches on 01335 453453. Alternatively, you can send an email enquiry to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.