Over many years, Formula 1 serves as one of TAG Heuer’s pocket-friendly items. This fantastic product features quartz movements which keeps the price at a comfortable spectrum. Now, the company has launched its first men’s mechanical model that depends on automatic motion, the Formula 1 Calibre 16 chronograph. Continue reading “Tag Heuer Formular 1 Calibre Review: Tag Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 Chronograph”
When it comes to Swiss watches, Fortis is a brand that’s not likely on everyone’s radar. Founded in 1912, Fortis is a Swiss watch manufacturer that’s been around for a while but it’s a brand that’s nowhere as popular as Rolex and Omega.
For today’s Fortis watch review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph. Does this Fortis watch have done enough to separate itself from the competition? Let’s find out.
Fortis Watch Review: Aviatis at a Glance
Before we get into the meat of this Fortis watch review, let’s first check out the key specs and features of the Aviatis Pilot Classic.
|Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph|
|Swiss automatic movement ETA 2892 with Dubois Depraz 2020 module, 47 jewels|
|Stainless steel bicolor brushed and polished with mineral glass caseback|
|White numerals and indices coated with Superluminova, green afterglow|
|Hour and minute hand coated with Superluminova, green afterglow, Blue small second hand|
|Chronograph, hour, minute, small second, 12-h and 30-min-counter|
Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph Review
The Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph is part of the Pilot Classic collection of 40mm and 41mm models. If you have been keeping tabs with Fortis, you’ll be quite familiar with the Pilot Classic Date. Just last year, Fortis released the Cockpit Classic Second which features a design based on the earlier models of Fortis.
Anyway, the Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph has a design that simple but effective, just the way I like it when it comes to pilot watches. It comes with a thin case that gives off an impression of elegance. The watch really you that feeling that it’s small in looks but big in stature.
At first glance, the dial looks a bit quite busy but with further inspection, I realize that it offers a thoughtful design. Like the best pilot watches in the market, the dial features large luminous numbers that are easy to read.
The 41mm case with a 13.59mm thickness is just right and comes with both polished and brushed sections. While this may scream uncomfortable to many people, the watch actually sits comfortably on the wrist. However, the watch may feel too big for a user with a smaller wrist.
The overall design of the Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph is unmistakably vintage which I am very fond of.
I am always thrilled to see the screw-back of watches as it does a good job of telling a story. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Aviatis Pilot Classic’s screw-back.
Most notably, the display back is not pressed in or screwed in. Instead, it’s just one solid steel and held together with 8 screws that are attached to the back of the watch. If you are expecting to learn much information about the watch, you’ll probably end up disappointed.
At the back, there’s really not much going on back there. You’ll find the usual information like the reference, model name, serial numbers, and water resistance. It does have a see-through window that allows you to check out the ETA/Dubois-Depraz chronograph movement. For what it’s worth, I must say that the movement is well-designed.
The crown and pushers are very well-polished and certainly completes the look of the back. The rotor displays the Fortis name and logo in blue.
Overall, nothing too flashy back here but it gets the job done.
Considering that the Aviatis Classic is a chronograph, it’s fair to expect that the dial will be quite busy. However, Fortis did a good job when it comes to the placement of the dial elements.
The standout elements are definitely the large luminous numerals and the vintage-style Flieger hands. All the numerals are visible except for the 12, 3, 6, and 9. Instead, the 4 numerals are replaced with Flieger triangles, the largest of which on the 12 o’clock. Not sure if I’m a fan of this design decision but it does allow Fortis to include the subdials without cramping the space.
Another thing that you’ll notice is that the seconds dial has blue hands which is an inspired design choice. The rest of the hands of the chronograph are all in white. At the 12 o’clock portion, you’ll see the “Fortis Chronograph Automatic” underneath the largest Flieger triangle.
The overall design of the dial is quite similar to the case. It features a compelling balance of the vintage and modern. I was looking for some sort of depth within the dial but unfortunately, I failed. Perhaps the addition of stepped or recessed sub dials would have done the trick. As it is, it looks a bit too flat for my taste.
Timekeeping Features and Movement
I’ve been doing my homework about this Fortis watch review and found out that their chronographs usually utilize the iconic ETA-7750 caliber which made me initially excited.
Unfortunately, it’s not applicable with the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph. Instead, Fortis used the Swiss automatic movement ETA 2892 with Dubois Depraz 2020 module. For the uninitiated, this movement features the ETA base 2892 which is a time only caliber.
The Swiss made, automatic chronograph movement is listed as a 47 jewel and it’s mainly due to the movement of the module. The movement comes with hacking seconds and a respectable 43 hours of power reserve.
Fortis’ decision to place the module on top of the caliber makes for a rather dense movement. This explains why the thickness of the case is almost 14mm which might be too thick for some people.
Nevertheless, I’ve experienced little to no problems while wearing the Aviatis Classic. Operating the pushers is a breeze although the bottom pusher seems to be tougher.
One of the best things about the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph is that it comes in three different types of straps. The watch can be worn with a black leather strap for dressier functions, and a NATO or performance leather for more rugged purposes.
The black leather strap is about what you can expect from a standard leather strap. It’s a soft and plain leather strap with a good amount of padding. In terms of comfort, there’s nothing to complain about the black leather strap as I’ve experienced no significant comfort issues.
Between the three straps, by far my favorite is the black performance leather strap. It feels more like a synthetic material than leather. However, we’re happy to report that it’s indeed leather and it’s actually made by Hirsch, a world-renowned Austrian strap maker.
The strap has matching white stitching that gives it a high-quality look. The performance strap is also water resistant and I can see myself wearing it for outdoor activities. The NATO strap looks like your standard NATO but I’ve not worn it yet.
All the three straps are fitted with a brushed steel pin buckle. When it comes to straps and such, I’m a firm advocate of less is more which is what exactly Fortis has done here.
Comfort and Fit
The Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph sits comfortably on my wrist. Despite the size and thickness of the case, the watch surprisingly doesn’t feel that weighty. Using both the black and performance leather straps, it never felt that the watch has weighed me down.
There are times that I would feel the crown but it’s never a big deal at all. Despite the fairly sizable pushers, they’re never in the way at all. The thickness does make the watch more prone to kicks and bangs.
Fortis did a tremendous job of making a large-dialed watch for legibility while keeping the dimensions to acceptably comfortable dimensions.
As far as luxury Swiss watches go, Fortis is a brand that offers quality timepieces for a lesser price. With the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph, Fortis is offering a lot of watch for your money.
If you are looking to have your mind blown away with top-of-the-line craftsmanship and sophisticated timekeeping features, this watch is not for you. However, for a price that won’t break the bank, the Aviatis Pilot Classic is a solid option in terms of construction, reliability, and features.
It’s a very basic watch that meets the primary requirements for a good aviation timepiece.
Should You Get the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph?
This wraps up our Fortis watch review. So, should you buy the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph? If you are looking for a good quality aviation Swiss watch with no frills, it’s hard not to recommend the Aviatis Classic. After all, it’s a well-balanced package offered at a competitive price.
With a number of strap options, it’s a fairly versatile watch that can be worn on many occasions. The black leather strap can be worn with a suit while the NATO or performance straps can be used for sportier activities. Despite its versatility, it never loses its identity as a pilot watch.
This is a good watch the gets you sold to the Fortis brand.
If you have been keeping up with your high-end luxury watches, it’s likely that you have come across the International Watch Company or IWC. If not, then you don’t have to feel bad because the brand is indeed not as mega-popular as let’s say, Rolex or Omega.
However, if you consider yourself to be a collector or simply a fan of well-made watches, the best time to pay attention to IWC is now.
The IWC is widely considered to be the dark horse of Swiss watches. With the company’s bold approach and emphasis on the engineering aspect rather than the artisanal, it has positioned itself to be one of the top contenders.
Today, we have made a list of the best IWC watch that’s currently available. Whether you’re looking for a top-quality Swiss watch or simply curious about the brand, it’s hard to go wrong with these IWC watches.
Best IWC Watch
|IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714||Stainless steel, 42 millimeters case size, Railway track style chapter ring, Large pocket watch movements||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince||Stainless steel case, Brown calfskin leather strap, Fixed stainless steel bezel, Midnight blue dial, Luminous silver-tone hands, Arabic numeral hour markers||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|IWC Ingenieur Automatic||Self-winding, Stainless steel case, 42 hours Power Reserve, Diameter 40.0 mm, Screw in crown, Water resistance 12 bar, Silver-plated dial with luminescence, Sapphire glass, convex, antireflective coating on both sides||★ ★ ★ ★ ½|
|IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph||Black ceramic case, Black fabric bracelet, Black dial with luminous hands, 68-hour power reserve, Water resistance 6 bar, Automatic, self-winding||★ ★ ★ ★|
|IWC Portofino Automatic||Stainless steel case, Water resistance 3 bar, 42 hours Power Reserve, Automatic, self-winding, Black alligator leather strap, 163 Components||★ ★ ★ ★|
|IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000||Titanium case, Screw in crown, Water resistance 200 bar, Black dial with luminescence, 42 hours Power Reserve, Black rubber strap with IWC-patented quick-change system||★ ★ ★ ★|
Best IWC Watch
1. IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714
The IWC Portugieser Chronograph is one of the most popular, if not the most popular watch from IWC. It’s well-considered to be a classic and it remains practically unaltered since its introduction more than 20 years ago. Over the years, the watch has acquired cult status and for good reason.
A Modern Icon
The Portugieser Chronograph is a timepiece that needs to be worn to be appreciated. At the surface, it’s easy to think that it looks plain, simple, and not very original. However, once you see the watch in person, you’ll appreciate the rigidity and discretion of the design.
The base concept of the Portugieser is to have a pocket watch movement fitted into a rather large case. You’ll notice that the bezel is quite slim which in turn makes the dial window massive. I must say that IWC did a good job of providing the comfort of a small watch with the feeling of having a large one on your wrist.
The 3714 version of the Portugieser pays tribute to the previous generation models with leaf-shaped hands and Arabic numerals. Despite the addition of the two subdials, I have to say that the overall look of the dial is well done. On the wrist, the Portugieser looks stunning.
The IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714 is a watch that deserves a slot in anyone’s collection.
2. IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince
The IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince is an honorary tribute to France’s literary extraordinaire and the country’s pioneer aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As you might have guessed, this blue dialed chronograph is inspired by Antoine’s most famous book, the Little Price
A Pilot Watch Worthy of Its Namesake
Blue dials can be a hit or miss for me but the IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince is clearly a massive hit for me. One of the main reasons why this model works so well is the excellent combination of size, style, and beautiful execution.
Say what you want about IWC but the company arguably provides the best-in-class set of dial textures and materials. As a result, many of their watches have some of the best-looking faces in the market. Try comparing IWC pilot watches with the competition and you’ll see that IWC watches have their own brand of style.
The Le Petit Prince Chronograph is no exception.
On the wrist, the Le Petit Prince demonstrates a good deal of versatility. The watch looks great whether you’re using it for purely casual or formal attire. It has a bit of a daring aesthetic but if you’re up for it, this blue-dialed wonder might just be up your alley.
The IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince is an aviation-inspired timepiece that collectors don’t want to miss.
3. IWC Ingenieur Automatic
The IWC Ingenieur Automatic is a watch for people who prefer a no-nonsense approach to their watches. The Ingenieur is another iconic IWC model that features traditional design cues. That’s one way of saying that it’s an absolute classic.
Classic Ingenious Design
The Ingenieur is available in many different models but for some reason, I am drawn to the Ingenieur Automatic.
At 40 mm x 10 mm, the Automatic model sits rather nicely on the wrist. When compared to the other Ingenieur models, the Automatic will look slightly smaller. However, the Automatic excels when it comes to offering excellent fit and comfort.
In terms of aesthetics, the Ingenieur Automatic pays homage to the family’s traditional design cues. The famous Gérald Genta designed the bores in the bezel which makes the Ingenieur instantly recognizable. Interestingly enough, the bores provide the watch with that unmistakable tough look. To further bolster the watch’s toughness, a sapphire crystal and screw-in crown have been added.
The watch features an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve and neat hacking seconds. There’s an inner case that protects the movement from magnetism. There’s not much here in terms of timekeeping but everything is decidedly well-done.
The IWC Ingenieur Automatic is one of the best entry-level models from IWC. However, in the case of IWC, entry-level is by no means low-end.
4. IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph
In a previous article, we have highlighted the IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph as one of the best pilot watches available. I am a big fan of black dials, so I was instantly attracted to the Top Gun. Plus, Top Gun is a cult-classic movie that I severely enjoyed and this watch succeeds as a tribute.
Maverick Will Be Proud
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Top Gun Automatic is its high-contrast color design. The black dial and white hands provide a great contrast which makes the watch very readable under any circumstances. True to its namesake, the watch looks like a counter in a jet fighter plane’s cockpit. It looks nice and expensive on the wrist.
Another aspect that stands out is the case which is made of ceramic that’s beautifully designed and finished. The case is also finished in black for that complete fighter jet look. Black cases are not doing it for me but for some reason, the Top Gun pulls it off rather well.
The watch comes in a soft black strap that doesn’t just feel high-quality but comfortable as well. There are also variations of the Top Gun that offered in stainless steel bracelets. However, a tool watch such as the Top Gun Automatic feels just right with a soft bracelet.
From the legibility to the finish of the parts, the IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun is impressive.
5. IWC Portofino Automatic
The Portofino collection is another long-standing offering from IWC which was first introduced in the early 1980s. Up to this day, the ref. 5251 remains as one of the most collectible timepieces from IWC. In 2011, the Portofino line got a refresh including the base model, the IWC Portofino Automatic.
Classic But Versatile
Much like the Portugieser Chronograph, the idea behind the IWC Portofino Automatic is to hide the complex internal workings of a pocket watch behind a simple face. Wearing the Portofino is like having a miniature pocket watch on your wrist.
Clean, no fuss execution is the name of the game when it comes to the Portofino. The elements of the dial – hands, markers, and date display – are masterfully executed. The hands have this rounded elegance that complements the curve of the case.
There’s really no advanced functions or design elements here but that’s where the Portofino shines. It’s just an honest and simple wristwatch. Due to the simplicity, the watch fills all sorts of wardrobe voids, whether it’s a formal event or a casual Friday.
The IWC Portofino Automatic embodies understated luxury.
6. IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000
IWC is widely known for its pilot watches which is why many people tend to forget that they make serious dive watches as well. The IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is a dive watch that’s worth looking into if you’re in the market for a tool watch that doesn’t mess around.
A Tank of a Dive Watch
IWC wants you to have no doubt when it comes to the Aquatimer Automatic 2000. It’s a rather sizable watch at 46mm x 20.5mm and it’s equipped with the SafeDive bezel system. Basically, it’s a system that provides protection against water, dust, and other elements.
The caseback shape allows the watch to comfortably low on the wrist. Because of this, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 feels secure and doesn’t flop around when worn. The titanium case does a good job of protecting the watch but kept the weight to a minimum.
The Aquatimer is available in many different color versions, and some are Chronographs. Hands down, it’s a terrific dive watch.
That concludes our list of the best IWC watch that you can get your hands on. If you are looking to give IWC a well-deserved try, it’s hard to go wrong with the watches in this round-up.