Fortis Cosmonautis Watch Collection

Fortis Cosmonautis Watch Collection - 638.28.13

by John Sealander  

After 20 years in space and over 100,000 orbits around the earth, Fortis continues to set the standard for astronauts and cosmonauts.

Fortis WatchesThe timepieces in the Fortis Cosmonautis Collection share an impressive history. No other brand has spent as much time on the wrists of working astronauts and cosmonauts. These space proven timepieces have been standard equipment on space missions as far back as 1994 when a Fortis Stratoliner was worn aboard the Russian MIR space station. This initial venture into space was so successful that Fortis created the Official Cosmonauts Chronograph expressly to meet the needs of future space explorers. This iconic watch is still being worn today.

Fortis space watches were never intended as commemorative editions. They are real space rated tools for working astronauts. To this day, every timepiece that displays the “Yuri Gagarin Space Academy” logo on the back has been tested and cleared by Fortis for actual use in space.

Fortis Official Cosmonauts

Astronauts and cosmonauts depend on these extremely accurate and dependable tools to complete their missions, and their long-term success under severe weightless conditions is a big reason why the Russian Space Agency continues to equip all cosmonauts and astronauts attending the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center with a space rated Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph. This iconic timepiece has made its way to the International Space Station many times and is still standard equipment for many space station crew members.

One of the best things about Fortis space rated timepieces is that you don’t have to be an astronaut to own one. Fortis has always offered a limited number of these exclusive timing tools to the general public. Today, the exciting Fortis Cosmonautis Collection represents the most comprehensive selection of genuine space watches on the planet.

Fortis Spacematic

You can chose from iconic masterpieces like the famous Official Cosmonauts Chronograph or Spacematic, or select new space rated timepieces like the impressive Monolith. Most models in the Fortis Cosmonautis Collection are available in both three-hand and chronograph configurations to meet your personal needs. Depending on the model you select, your Cosmonautis timepiece can be equipped with a solid Fortis stainless steel bracelet, a luxurious leather band, or a comfortable silicon rubber strap.

Many Cosmonautis watches are based on the popular and time-tested Fortis B-42 and all feature superb Swiss made automatic mechanical movements that carry a two-year manufacturers warranty. While these fine timepieces have been designed and tested to operate flawlessly in the airless environment of space, they are also water resistant up to 660 feet.

Choose from any available Monolith, Official Cosmonaut, Spacematic, Mars 500, or Pitch Black model with confidence. These are timepieces that working astronauts and cosmonauts wear proudly and all share a heritage that includes over fourteen space missions and 100,000 orbits around the earth.

If you are an astronaut, you probably already have a Fortis Cosmonautis watch. If you’d like to look like an astronaut or wear one of their working tools, just contact an authorized Fortis dealer and ask to see the real thing: a genuine space-rated Fortis Cosmonautis timepiece.

Gevril Group US, Canada and Caribbean Fortis Watches Agent

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US, Canada and Caribbean agent for Fortis Watches and the authorized Fortis watch repair service center. Contact us by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Swiss Watches and Space Technology

Fortis Watch in Space

by Adrian Herscovici  

Swiss Contribution to Space Travel and
the Watches that Made the Journey

Fortis WatchesThe 1961 space voyage of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard the Vostok is well documented in the annals of space exploration. Gagarin was, after all, the first person to travel into outer space. Gagarin wore a Russian-made Sturmanskie Sputnik watch on his inaugural journey.

Around the same time, Fortis Swiss watches – already famous for the Harwood automatic – made its debut in the space community when astronauts in the U.S. space program chose the Fortis Spacematic to wear during training. The strong reputation of Fortis watches among pilots and astronauts only grew, until 1994, when the Russian Federal Space Agency chose Fortis as its exclusive supplier of watches for manned space missions. To this day, the Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph remains standard issue for all Russian cosmonauts.

Fortis 623.10.51 Si.01 Spacematic Fortis 630.10.11 Men’s Official Cosmonaut
Fortis 623.10.51 Si.01 Spacematic Fortis 630.10.11 Men's Official Cosmonaut
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Fortis remains one of a choice handful of famous Swiss brands to appear on the wrists of astronauts in space over the decades, and one of two Swiss brands to dominate the landscape of space-worn watches ever since.

Watches In Space

Perhaps the most iconic space watch of all time is the Omega Speedmaster, which made its first trip to space in 1965 on the wrists of the crew of Gemini 4, and in 1969 gained the distinction of being the first watch worn on the moon, strapped over the suited wrist of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

While its reputation as the “moon watch” is cemented, the Speedmaster was not the first Swiss timepiece in space. That distinction goes to Heuer: American astronaut John Glenn strapped a large Heuer stopwatch (Reference 2915A) over his suit in 1962 aboard the Friendship 7. Later the same year, aboard the Aurora 7, American astronaut Scott Carpenter wore his Breitling Navitimer – the first Swiss wristwatch worn into space. In 1970, Jack Swigert wore a Rolex GMT-Master on the legendary Apollo 13 mission.

John Glenn Wears His Heuer Stopwatch Jack Swigert With His Rolex GMT
John Glenn With His Heuer Stopwatch Astronaut Jack Swigert Wears His Rolex GMT
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It is a little-known fact that another watch worn by an astronaut on the moon’s surface was a Bulova, strapped to the wrist of American David Scott in 1971 as part of the Apollo 15 mission. Scott switched to the Bulova after his standard issue Speedmaster experienced an operational problem.

In any case, most of these Swiss watches were mere one-offs in the chronicles of space history. Only Fortis and Omega maintained their positions as official suppliers to their respective space programs. Watchmakers, however, were not the only Swiss engineers of the day who were occupied with matters of space exploration.

Space Sciences and Technologies

Switzerland has a long, mostly unsung history in the world of space sciences and technologies. For reasons of their own, the Swiss made a conscious decision long ago not to start a space program of their own. Instead, they are among the world’s great collaborators in the field; Switzerland is a key member of the European Space Agency and contributes greatly to international space initiatives including those with NASA.

And given the Swiss’ aptitude for engineering (mechanical, electrical and chemical), which assists in their ability to remain at the vanguard of technological advancements in the watch industry, this should come as no surprise.

Highlights of Swiss contributions to the international space community include the ingenious solar sails (a form of spacecraft propulsion), which were developed for the Apollo missions (1969–72). Then there are the RUAG Launcher Fairings (in use since 1974); the Swiss instruments aboard Rosetta (in use since 2004); the Swiss atomic clocks for Galileo (in use since 2008) and the Swiss satellite CHEOPS (2014–2021). The high-tech motors that ran the Sojourner wheeled robotic rover on Mars (1997) were driven by motors produced by the Swiss.

Swiss CHEOPS Satellite Sojourner Rover
Swiss CHEOPS Satellite Sojourner Rover
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For all of this, the history of Swiss involvement in space sciences actually goes back even further than Apollo, and well before Gagarin exited the atmosphere in 1961.

There Might Be No Rockets If Not For… Balloons

Thirty years before Yuri Gagarin journeyed into space, a Swiss professor by the name of Auguste Piccard, together with Paul Kipfer, made a record-setting balloon ascent of 15.8 kilometres. Others had attempted such ascents, but Piccard was the first to do so using a pressurized capsule, which he designed, and which resembled Gagarin’s Vostok spacecraft.

What exactly has this to do with space travel? Well, at such an altitude, the physiological conditions for humans are similar to those in outer space (minus weightlessness), and the goal of Piccard’s ascent was to measure cosmic rays and stratospheric temperatures – both space-related undertakings. Such balloon missions are, in some ways, the predecessors of manned space flight. It is not known, however, if Piccard wore a watch on his balloon mission.

Swiss Made

To this day, space sciences generally do not leap to mind when people think about Swiss industry. Instead the Swiss are better known for financial services, pharmaceutical production and watchmaking, not to mention world-favorite edibles like cheese and chocolate.

For watch enthusiasts, subjects like tracking the history of watches in space, and monitoring which watches are chosen (and why) by current and future astronauts, remain the more compelling narratives.

Still, the contributions of the Swiss in the field of engineering for space exploration should not be under-represented, even if they remain a lesser-known specialty. In the name of subsistence of the human species, may the Swiss commitment to space exploration endure as long as the hundreds-of-years-old (and counting) mechanical watch technology that preceded it.

Gevril Group US, Canada and Caribbean Fortis Watches Agent

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US, Canada and Caribbean agent for Fortis Watches and the official Fortis watch repair service center. Contact us by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

Fortis Watches Continue to Amaze at Couture Show

Fortis at Couture Las Vegas

by John Sealander  

If the interest at Couture 2013 is any indication, the next 100 years
are going to be even more exciting than the first for Fortis.

Fortis WatchesFortis is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary. This fabled Swiss watchmaker has a long history of innovation and the crowds at Couture 2013 seemed just as excited about what the company was going to do next as in what it had already accomplished.

Miriam Tress, who represented Gevril’s popular Fortis brand at the Couture show, saw a steady stream of visitors to the impressive Fortis display in the Wynn Hotel’s Chambertin 2 Ballroom. “Buyers love the quality and craftsmanship that Fortis represents,” says Tress. “This is a brand with a reputation as a technical leader and there is a renewed interest in fine mechanical timepieces.”

Visitors to the Fortis display were impressed with the brand’s long list of accomplishments in the world of aviation and space exploration. There is a very short list of genuine space watches, and Fortis is at the very top of this list. Space proven timepieces, like the Fortis B-42 Official Cosmonaut Chronograph, received considerable attention at the show. This precision instrument is still issued to all cosmonauts and astronauts leaving the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia.

Space and aviation watches like the B-42, Spacematic and Flieger, weren’t getting all the attention however. There was a lot of buzz about Fortis as a fashion accessory. Fortis has a long tradition of collaboration with well-known artists to create special, limited edition “art watches” that are based on proven Fortis mechanisms. Couture visitors were fascinated by these fashion-forward designs, including several innovative new “jumping hours” models on display at the show.

Retailers who made an appointment with Fortis at Couture 2013 got a special treat this year. Each of these visitors received a free Fortis Colors suitcase, complete with an exciting new Fortis Colors watch and 10 different brightly colored watch bands. The Fortis Colors Collection was a hit with everyone. This re-introduction of the legendary Fortis Flipper is a fun and affordable way to put Fortis quality and craftsmanship on thousands of new wrists.

Miriam Tress was delighted at the reception Fortis received during Couture 2013. “I observed a constant excitement and buzz in the air from our many current and new customers,” she said at the conclusion of this year’s show. If new orders are any indication, there are going to be a lot of new Fortis fans in the year ahead.

Gevril Group US, Canada and Caribbean Fortis Watches Agent

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US, Canada and Caribbean agent for Fortis Watches and the official Fortis watch repair service center. Contact us by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

The Hottest Watches at Couture 2013 Las Vegas

Couture 2013 Las Vegas

by Adrian Herscovici  

Live from Couture Las Vegas

Exhibitors, retailers and media from around the world are in Las Vegas this week for Couture – the most prestigious U.S. based watch and jewelry event of the year. Couture runs from May 30 to June 3 at the lavish Wynn Resort.

Now in its 17th year, Couture is thriving. Last year the number of timepiece exhibitors at the show doubled, drawing even greater attention to the current assembly of renowned international participants.

Gevril Group and its family of brands are on hand once again showcasing the latest novelties in the Chambertin 2 Ballroom at the Wynn Resort. A remarkable array of watches from Catorex, Ferragamo, Fortis, Gattinoni, Gevril, Gio Monaco, GV2, Haemmer, Haurex, Johan Eric, Jowissa, Louis Erard, Meccaniche Veloci, Rudiger, Versace, Versus and Viceroy are on display.

For some, Couture is a first look at the hottest watches of the year. Here is a taste of what guests are talking about this week.

Versace Vanitas

The Versace Vanitas cultivates elements from its ethereal cousins, the Reve and Eon collections, into a glamorous new design replete with quintessential Versace details along with a few new ones like an enamel dial with relief baroque pattern strewn with studs or diamonds. The deluxe white version pictured has diamonds on the dial and on the flange. The bezel is also enamel. The IP rose gold case is 40 mm in diameter and the movement is a Swiss made quartz Ronda 762.3. Dials are available in red, black or white enamel and the straps are available in red, black or white leather.

Versace DV One Skeleton

Versace’s clever and modish skeleton design combines the brand’s most iconic watch case – the DV One – with its celebrated fashion sensibility. Finishing techniques such as linear graining, polishing and perlage are visible on the Dubois Dépraz chronograph module and base movement. The case is a confident 43.5 mm and made from an alloy of ceramic and titanium. The result is an extremely hard and lightweight substance that is highly resistant to scratches. The bracelet and bezel are also made of ceramic titanium. The DV One Skeleton is produced in a limited edition of 500 pieces.

Ferragamo Lungarno

Ferragamo continues to expand in the mechanical watch category with the three-handed automatic Lungarno. The bezel, which riffs on designs by legendary watchmaker Gérald Genta, has all the qualities of a classic sports watch with an equal amount of Florentine styling. The brushed stainless steel case is 44 mm in diameter and the bezel is IP gold. The champagne-colored soleil dial pictured is one of three available; black and silver are the others. The dark brown leather strap is an elegant complement, but sportier steel or two-tone bracelets are also available.

Ferragamo Minuetto

Ferragamo introduced its Minuetto collection at Baselworld 2013. Minuetto, the Italian word for minuet, is a style of dance. Accordingly, the Minuetto collection introduces motion by way of a rotating gancino – the iconic symbol of Ferragamo. The gancino holds 32 diamonds and moves by way of a circular guilloche-patterned mount. The watch is 36 mm in diameter and available in either steel, IP rose gold or a two-tone combination. In addition to saffiano leather straps, the Minuetto can be had on a stainless steel bracelet. Minuetto watches contain Swiss made Ronda 762 quartz movements.

Gevril Avenue of Americas

Catch the blue trend with the newest watch in the Avenue of the Americas collection. The unmistakable 1930s deco styling of the 44 x 34 mm rectangular case and bezel are augmented by the addition of a jazzy blue PVD-coating, which also appears on the crown and buckle. The dial is dark blue as is the leather strap. Celebrated for the comfort of its slightly curved case, this three-handed model with a date function also boasts the dependability of an ETA 2892 movement – one of the most robust automatic movements available today.

Fortis Spacematic

Spacematic watches first appeared in the 1960s as a tribute to manned space travel and stand out for their sturdy utilitarian construction and highly legible dials. The latest model is 40 mm in diameter and has a brushed stainless steel case with an open-dial design, exposing the date and bilingual (English or German) day wheels. The movement is a robust ETA 2836-2. A range of straps in silicone, textile or leather, as well as a stainless steel bracelet provide additional versatility.

Versus Agadir

This jewelry-inspired design is named after the Moroccan coastal town of Agadir and features a red dial with a lion silhouette and matching lion silhouette charms. The bracelet, to which the charms attach, is composed of round chain links and is rich with ornamental appeal. The stainless steel case is coated with IP yellow gold, adding to the watch’s fiery personality. Only the delicate size of its 36 mm case provides counterpoise. The heart of this lion is a casbah-rocking Citizen 2025 quartz movement.

Versus Manhattan

Play it safe? Not Versus. The bright red Versus Manhattan bi-compax chronograph is a large 44 mm timekeeper that is sure to catch the attention of any warm-blooded watch lover. The unusual chronograph sub-dial placement is noteworthy, with a small 30-minute counter at 10 o’clock side-by-side with a large perpetual seconds counter at 2 o’clock. A large open-date wheel at 6 o’clock maintains the theme of good legibility. The quartz movement is an ISA Swiss 8171/202 with patented double rotor motor. The case is made of stainless steel and the strap is made of matching red rubber.

The Couture experience is defined by more than luxury goods and rising stars: it is also about providing an environment conducive to building lasting partnerships. Sun-filled Las Vegas provides an exquisite backdrop. Spirits run high and the mood is magical – it is no surprise that attendance is on the rise, buyers arrive motivated and business is lively. You have got to be here!

Gevril Group will be at Couture from start to finish in the Chambertin 2 Ballroom. You can reach Gevril Group by email or by calling 1-866-425-9882. During the event, call Ruth Dombroff at 914-689-4360.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Fortis Introduces New Spacematic Classic Watch Collection

by John Sealander  

In 1962 the Fortis Spacematic was selected for use by several of the original Mercury astronauts. Fifty years later, it has been selected by Fortis to undertake a brand new mission.

Fortis WatchesThe Fortis Spacematic has a long and illustrious history. Initially introduced in 1962 to commemorate the company’s 50th Anniversary, the groundbreaking watch quickly became a favorite with several of the original Mercury astronauts. The success of the initial Spacematic and Stratoliner models in 1962 led Fortis to develop new ties with space exploration that continue to this day.

Fortis Spacematic Classic Watch CollectionNow, 50 years after its initial debut, the historic Fortis Spacematic has been re-born on the occasion of the company’s 100th Anniversary. The new Spacematic Classic Collection, being displayed at Couture 2013 Las Vegas, features a unique, easy-to-read dial design inspired by an antique Fortis model. The classic three-hand configuration is available with a choice of black or white dials with a bilingual English/German day window at 9 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock.

Fortis Spacematic Classic 623.10.38 Si 01 Fortis Spacematic Classic 623.10.37 Si 02
Fortis Spacematic Classic 623.10.38 Si 01 Fortis Spacematic Classic 623.10.37 Si 02
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The stylish unisex two-part 40 mm brushed matte stainless steel case is equipped with a scratch resistant sapphire crystal, a signature crown with the Fortis logo, a durable screw-down case back, and is water resistant to an impressive 330 feet. The time is indicated by extremely legible Super-LumiNova white hands that glow blue in the darkness. All Spacematic Collection watches can be equipped with your choice of a silicone, textile, or genuine leather strap. Alternately, a solid stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp is also available.

Like the original Spacematic, this new iteration is powered by a precision, Swiss made mechanical movement. The 25-jewel ETA 2836-2 movement has been designed to provide a lifetime of reliable service and features both a fine timing device and an Incabloc shock absorber.

Fortis Spacematic Classic Watch CollectionAlthough the new Spacematic Classic is stylish enough to quickly become a trend setting fashion accessory, it is much more than a “pretty face.” Like all Fortis space watches, the Spacematic Classic is an extremely rugged precision instrument that has been designed to provide reliable service under the most adverse conditions imaginable. If you’d like to wear a timepiece from a company that has actually proven itself in space, contact an authorized Fortis dealer immediately and ask to see the new Spacematic Classic Collection.

Gevril Group US, Canada and Caribbean Fortis Watches Agent

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US, Canada and Caribbean agent for Fortis Watches and the authorized Fortis watch repair service center. Contact us by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

Fortis Introduces New Bilingual Spacematic Watch Collection

by Adrian Herscovici  

For Rocketeers and Real Life

Fortis WatchesSpacematic watches by Fortis first appeared in the 1960s as a tribute to the emergence of manned space travel, which began in 1961 when the Russians launched Vostok 1 carrying astronaut Yuri Gagarin. Less than a month later, American Alan Shepard made a suborbital flight in the Mercury-Redstone 3.

Fortis on a Russian AstronautAstronauts in the U.S. Space Program took notice of the Spacematic and chose to use it during training in the early ’60s. Spacematic watches were reliable and sturdy, and quickly became associated with space travel and the risks and rigors of astronaut life.

Modern Spacematic watches, being displayed at Couture Las Vegas, still stand out for their utilitarian construction – an appealing mix of legibility, durability and functional design. The Fortis Spacematic models pictured share a lot in common with other recent versions of the watch with one distinctive modification – the center of the dial is completely open, exposing the entire date and day wheels; both turn clockwise when they advance and align for reading at the 3 o’clock position.

Fortis Bilingual Spacematic Watch CollectionThe bilingual day wheel – characteristic of the ETA 2836-2 movement inside – offers the choice of English or German display: English for its international appeal and German for its significance in the Fortis collection, which includes German-inspired pilot watches like the Flieger Automatic Chronograph.

In keeping with the function-first personality of the watch, Fortis keeps the surrounding chapter ring relatively sparse for ease of reading and to balance the text-filled central area. Hours and minutes are clearly indicated using large Arabic numerals and a prominent minute track. An arrowhead index pointing inward at 3 o’clock specifies the line at which to read the current day and date. (This use of an arrowhead index, like the use of German as the second language, is a nod to other Fortis pilot watches where the classic arrowhead index with flanking dots appears at 12 o’clock.)

Dial contrast also plays an essential role in the Spacematic’s exceptional overall readability. Fortis offers two dial variations: black with white numerals, indices and seconds hand, or white with black numerals, indices and seconds hand. The red hour and minute hands on both models are easy to distinguish at a glance; both are filled with Super-LumiNova for good nighttime legibility.

The two-part, 40 mm brushed stainless steel case echoes the watch’s straightforward and orderly style. It is fitted with a sapphire crystal on the front and a screw-down steel caseback, which together support water resistance to 330 feet. The large knurled crown, initialed with the Fortis logo, is easy to grip to adjust the time, day and date.

Fortis Bilingual Spacematic Watch CollectionFortis Spacematic owners benefit from having the choice of several OEM straps to choose from including silicone in black, white or gray; a textile strap in black, olive or sand, or; a black leather strap. In addition, the Spacematic is available on a stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp.

Looking for a rugged and versatile watch worthy of daily wear? Try this rocketeers’ favorite and look no further.

Gevril Group US, Canada and Caribbean Fortis Watches Agent

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US, Canada and Caribbean agent for Fortis Watches and the authorized Fortis watch repair service center. Contact us by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.