Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Watch Review

Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Watch Review

In an attempt to redefine one of their most enduring collections, Fortis have unveiled the new Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch with an all-new clean and contemporary aesthetic. Since its launch in 1912, the Fortis Flieger collection has remained the brand’s flagship line cementing their name as masters of the pilots watch. Now, to maintain its modern allure, the Swiss manufacturer have altered its look with a futuristic design still promising of a rugged resolution and subtle vintage appeal. 

Early in 2018, Fortis was acquired by Jupp Philipp and for the past two years the brand decided on some radio-silence while they focused on the essentials of luxury watch design and created a new collection of no-nonsense tool watches that captured the brand’s unique heritage while still appealing to a modern-day audience. The iconic Flieger collection has been renewed and has been initiated by the new Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch. The extraordinary aesthetic of this piece continues to take inspiration from the original German Flieger watches from WWII with an incredibly precise and legible dial but delivers a modern twist on the past design with high contrast neon colours and sharp stainless steel architecture.

For us, the real evolution is witnessed on the dial. The black opaline face of the Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch introduces a contemporary feature Fortis calls BRIXTRACK. This design can be seen on the minute rail track where the classic Arabic numerals normally found on a pilot’s watch have been replaced by “brick” shaped indexes illuminated in X1 Superluminova. The sword-shaped hands are similarly coated in luminous material and deliver optimal legibility in all lighting conditions. Sporty orange accents, a fairly new colour choice for Fortis but one that is slowly becoming characteristic of the brand, can be found on the central chronograph seconds hand, on the outline of the date aperture and 30 minutes counter and on a ten second sweep from 11 to 1 o’clock. This ten-second marking has been dubbed by Fortis as the “Synchronline” which can be used by pilots to ensure their chronographs are properly synchronised.

Powering the several complications on the dial is the UW-51 automatic winding movement based on the reliable Sellita SW-510. The Swiss made calibre provides central hands for hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, a date window at 6 o’clock, small seconds, 30 minutes counter and a healthy power reserve of 48 hours. In addition to this, the Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch promises a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and comes equipped with 27 jewels.

Rather than conforming to the classic pilots watch case design, the Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax looks more like a sports watch in its architecture. Measuring to 43mm in size, the brushed stainless steel case features wide-set tapering lugs that conform to the wrist with an almost sharp 90 degree angle. The hardness of its build may not be for everyone, but for us, it’s an unusual pairing with a pilots dial and when paired with the oversized screw down crown and pushers, it delivers a real masculine finish to the wrist. The crown and pushers are detailed with knurled tops for easy grip and help assist in the watch’s water resistance of 200 metres.

At first glance, the bezel of the Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch similarly follows suit in its sporty aesthetic but up close, the brand have cleverly flourished its design with some handsome vintage-inspired decorations. The first is the coin-edged detailing, another essential tool for gripping, adorned with a 12 hour GMT scale. The second is the inclusion of the luminous triangle flanked by two dots at 12 o’clock. The Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch continues to adhere to luxury watch design with the inclusion of sapphire crystal glass treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides and an etched closed case back detailed with a propeller motif. 

The Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch is available on two strap options. The first is a classic three-link stainless steel bracelet and a sliding adjustable clasp. This variation retails at £3,100. The second comes on a vintage-inspired black calfskin leather strap detailed with black stitch detailing and a classic stainless steel pin buckle. The leather model retails at £2,829.

You can order the Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax watch today on the Jura Watches website, available with interest free finance and free next day delivery. Get in touch with the team on 01335 453453 or at help@jurawatches.co.uk with any questions you may have.

Specifications: Fortis Flieger F-43 Bicompax Watch (843.10.11)

  • Case Size: 43mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Bi-directional, 12 hour GMT scale
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Case Back: Closed
  • Water Resistance: 200 metres
  • Movement: UW-51 automatic winding
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph seconds, 30 minute counter, date
  • Power Reserve: 48 hours
  • Jewels: 27
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Black opaline with Superluminova hands and indexes
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or black calfskin leather
  • RRP: £3,100 (bracelet), £2,829 (leather)
  • Release Date: Available now

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