Fortis recently shipped me their latest timepiece to try it out and write about it. The Dornier GMT Chronograph is special in many ways as I will outline below.
In fashion and haute horlogerie many say blue is the new black. I have seen a lot of watches coming onto market with a blue dial lately. Fortis gave the Dornier GMT a black dial, but the watch carries plenty of blue accents, including the Dornier airplane in blue on the dial and blue writing on the black bezel. Last but not least, the strap is stitched blue.
I saw this watch first a few months ago at the manufacture of Fortis. It immediately caught my eye. There was something unusual and captivating about it. I could not really explain why.
There are many small things that catch your attention when you take a close look at this watch. Let start what I noticed first. The index numbers on the dial are all raised. This is giving the dial an interesting and unique depth.
Here you can see another closeup:
What else did I notice? Well the bezel has the numbers engraved. You can feel it when you tough the bezel.
It really appears that Fortis gave this watch a lot of thought in the preparation process. These are some of the small yet cool things to notice about this watch. And what better can you do than strapping it around your wrist to get the real feel?
I believe the size is just right at a contemporary 42mm casesize. The watch has a bit of avantgarde in terms of the style of the strap and the blue accents, yet presents itself very classy and elegant at the same time. You can wear this one to the office, to a party, and at home. It is a stury and wellbuilt piece so it can withstand everything your wrist can.
Now, let me come to the story behind this watch? Dornier is a famous German family with industrial root going back to the 19th century. They are known for building airplanes.
Dornier is a manufacturer of airplanes based in Friedrichshafen, a town located at Lake Constance (Bodensee). You probably have heard of this city because it is worldfamous for the Zeppelin which was originally made there.
Claude Dornier founded the company in 1922. He was an engineer and successful businessman who signed responsible for Dornier becoming one of the most significant makers of airplanes at the time. The company unfortunately went out of business in 2002, however, a kind of subsidiary which is still run by members of the Dornier family was created and named “Dornier Seaplane”.
So why did Fortis make a watch with Dornier? Both companies started at around the same time in the 20th century, Fortis was founded in 1912 by Walter Vogt. Fortis’ focus was to manufacture timepieces and they were closely releated to air, lang, space and water. Fortis was always highly innovative, they created the first automatic winding timepiece in the late 1920s under the name “Harwood”. For those who visit Fortis in Grenchen, they will also see who most likely had the first “Swatch type” watches. It was Fortis, quartz powered colorful plastic watches. They probably were ahead of their time.
Dornier created airplanes, satellites and flying boats, so they too were related to water and air. Dornier played an important part in the creation of our nodern infrastructure. So these common grounds lead to the collaboration between Dornier and Fortis and ultimately culminated in this new timepiece, the “Dornier GMT”.
The Dornier GMT timepiece brings together the best best of watchmaking and the blue stands for water, the black for space. The perfect “cosmonauts” or “astronauts” watch. With green superluminova it possesses perfect legibility in the dark. It is robust and sturdy, a truly magnificent timepiece which can be put to heavy use if need be.
I enjoyed having the watch over for about a week and since this timepiece is very grateful in a photoshooting, it just doubled the pleasure.
In my excitement I unfortunately neglected to photograph the box and packaging. The packaging contained two more straps and a strap changing tool. It is a huge box with which this watch is delivered.
Details of the watch
Valjoux 7754, 25 jewels, 48 h power reserve, specially designed rotor
42mm diameter in stainless steel, bicolor polished and brushed with see through sapphire caseback, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Dial and bezel
Black dial, indices with green glowing superluminova. Black bezel with blue numbering.