Introducing: The Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax - Oracle Time
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Introducing: The Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax

Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax

Fortis has some serious aeronautical chops; you might not realise it, but they’re the official watchmakers for the ROSKOSMOS, essentially making them the Omega of the Russian Space Agency. It’s a relationship their Cosmonaut range is predicated upon; though they’re keeping things within the stratosphere for their latest aviation timepiece, the Flieger F-43 Bicompax Chronograph.

The ‘Flieger’ name itself is one that’s used relatively often to denote watches that follow in the footsteps of German military pilots watches – think Laco and the like. Less famous is the Fliegerchronograph, of which Fortis’ latest is a version – albeit a wonderfully modern one.

Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax

The F-43 goes beyond just having a BiCompax (two register layout) chronograph, mainly because of the ingenuity behind it. The design features a five-second indicator at 12 o’clock, used by pilots to sync up, and high contrast solid lume indices for greater contrast and therefore easier readability. Both are patented by Fortis.

Because pilots are among the only watch lovers that can really make use of a dual time zone, there’s also a GMT bezel, which is particularly cool. It’s strikingly sloped and has tiny notches for grip, and suits the nicely angular 43mm stainless steel case.

Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax

The watch is powered by the UW-51 calibre movement, a variation on the workhorse Sellita SW510, which fits the functional, reliable ethos of a fliger timepiece.

Colourwise Fortis have keeps things relatively monochrome, with a black dial and a few flashes of the watchmaker’s signature Berlac Fluor Orange. The result is an incredibly handsome pilots watch with more nuance than we’re used to seeing in the pretty strict military style that most fall into.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Given the fact that this is a new era for Fortis (the previously struggling heritage brand changed ownership earlier this year) the Flieger F-43 Bicompax Chronograph proves that they’re going to be one to watch in the future.

Price & Specs:

Model Name: Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax
Ref: 843.10.11 M / 843.10.11 L (metal bracelet/leather strap)
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter, stainless steel
Water Resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Fortis UW-51 calibre, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 48h (2 days)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, 30-minute counter chronograph
Stainless steel bracelet or leather strap
Price: €3,300 (leather strap) and €3,800 (stainless steel bracelet)

More details at Fortis.

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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