Fortis – a dynamic brand

The history of the Fortis brand is quite different to the usual story of a Swiss watchmaker, founded in 1912 they are comparatively a very young firm. The owner, Walter Vogt, chose the name Fortis as this was an ancient Italian town that produced clay oil lamps manufactured to hold just enough oil to light up the hours of darkness. Taken with this focus on accuracy, it seemed fitting that it became the moniker of his own brand of accurate timepieces. Like many Swiss makers, the firm can boast technological accolades.


They were one of the first brands to mass produce a working automatic movement in the late 1920s and along with other brands began creating more complicated chronograph watches in the 1930s. More recently, the company created the Official Cosmonauts Chronograph for a cosmonaut training centre in Russia, the creation of a watch to be worn is space is quite the honour. In the late 1990s, the brand merged several of the previous technological feats by creating the world’s first automatic chronograph watch with alarm function. McTear’s are pleased to present lot 761 (£80-120) in The Watches Auction on Sunday 11 January, a Fortis chronograph watch.


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Sarah Fergusson


Do you have watches to sell? You are invited to come along to us any time Mon-Fri 8.30-5pm. Alternatively call Sarah on 0141 810 2880 or email

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