A Flieger watch is a pilot’s or aviator’s watch that was developed in 1942 in Germany for pilots during the World War II to assist in navigation. The original brands commissioned by the German government to make these watches were Lange & Sohne, International Watch Company, Laco, Stowa and Wempe.
Fortis has the know-how and history to build a superb Flieger watch with their impressive history in spaceflight. They are the official watch for the cosmonauts in the Russian space program, so Fortis knows how to craft tough and durable watches that are trusted not only to provide function but also hold up in conditions when survival is on the line. And that’s why its B-42 Flieger 656.18.81.K stands out from the competition.
For a Flieger watch the dial layout and visibility are crucial elements to the design. And while there are specific guidelines, not every company can design one that can meet the standards for professional conditions. The swiss made Fortis 656.18.81.K B-42 Flieger watch nails it.
As required, Arabic numerals punctuate the dial in a size large enough to easily see without overwhelming the dial. A telltale sign of a Flieger watch is the triangle with two dots on each side marking 12 o’clock. This design element was incorporated to allow the pilot to know when the dial was in the proper upper orientation at night and also served the function of a solar compass. All the hands and markers are lumed so they glow in low light conditions.
The Fortis 656.18.81.K watch builds in the added functionality of a chronograph with running seconds at 9 o’clock, 30 minute counter at 12 o’clock and 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock. If that weren’t enough, the watch includes day and date seen respectively at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. Fortis added a smart and useful detail by putting a triangle on the date to highlight its position. Without protective coating, the best dial layouts are lost in the glare. The B-42 Flieger 656.18.81.K coats the sapphire crystal on both sides to eliminate this potential problem.
|Fortis 656.18.81.K B-42 Flieger – Deployment Clasp|
|Click to Enlarge Image|
By putting the B-42 Flieger 656.18.81.K in a 42 mm black coated stainless steel case, it has a stealthy look that also happens to be on trend. Black watches are a popular choice for both tool and fashion watches so this one can straddle both worlds. As required for a Flieger watch, the Fortis 656.18.81.K B-42 Flieger is punctuated with a large crown, which was required for pilots to be able to wind the watch with gloves on.
If worn consistently, the Fortis 656.18.81.K doesn’t need to be wound as it contains an automatic movement with a fine timing device and incabloc shock absorber to protect it and keep it on precision time. The movement can be seen through the sapphire caseback. The watch straps to the wrist with a matching black rubber strap with a deployment clasp and is water resistant to 660 feet, which makes this a versatile watch for land, sky and sea.
Fortis 656.18.81.K B-42 Flieger Automatic Black Dial Chronograph
- Swiss made timepiece
- Swiss automatic self-wind movement
- Stainless steel case, diameter 42 mm, thickness 16 mm
- Black dial, superluminova luminous color
- Chronograph function
- Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Black rubber strap, width 20 mm, deployment clasp
- Water resistant to 660 feet
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
There’s no doubt the Fortis 656.18.81.K B-42 Flieger Black Watch hits all the marks. It even won the Busse Longlife Design Award for watch of the year in 2009. Design and function together make for a killer combination.
Fortis watches may be purchased from an authorized Fortis dealer.