The new Fortis Blue Horizon features a very appealing color scheme with its bronze-toned dial (that the brand actually prefers to call “Metallic Brown”) nicely matched by a cognac brown leather strap. Although the blue accents on the timekeeper’s face look a bit ahem controversial, I must admit that this is one of the dressiest “pilot’s chronographs” that the Swiss brand has ever produced. Just don’t forget to get yourself a complementary set of good brown shoes.
Although Fortis chronographs are widely known for their somewhat cluttered layout with lots of information streams fighting desperately for your attention, the Swiss watchmaker also has a number of B42 chronos that look not just cool, but also extremely classy in their superb legibility and manufacturer’s attention to details. While clearly not breaking any new ground in terms of industrial design, their main elements are nicely (and also quite tastefully) balanced, so the gadgets look even more refined and expensive than they actually are.
This new Fortis Blue Horizon Chronograph, for example, features a nice combination of skeletonized hands with finely sculpted Arabic numerals and applied hour markers that look quite contrast over the extremely stylish bronze-toned dial. The blue elements here are, as you probably have already guessed, are painted with bright Superluminova substance.
By the way, the strange mix of brown and blue may look outrageous for some, however the combination of colors has been successfully used not only for interiors of expensive cars (think Range Rover), but is also quite popular among good designers.
Okay, maybe the new member of the family does not look as gorgeous as the good old B42 with cream dial, but it certainly looks different from the current bunch. As you can see on the photos, gone are the pilot-style hour and minute hands that are now replaced with skeletonized indicators similar to those installed on the 2012 Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot model.
As another sign of class, the usual painted Arabic numerals and hour markers are replaced with applied ones that not only look more expensive giving the dial a certain depth, but also seem to be more contrast increasing the timekeeper’s legibility.
The stainless steel case of the new beast seems to be identical to those coming with the rest of B-42 family: there is the usual oversized setting crown, long chronograph push-pieces, thick bezel, and, of course, the signature massive lugs that accept a 20 mm strap (the watch is currently offered with a base cognac brown leather strap that looks quite expensive with its steel deployant clasp, but you can also get the timepiece with an optional rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet).
Oh, and the mechanism that powers the gadget is the same ETA Valjoux 7750 natural-born self-winding chronograph caliber. Staying in production longer than the classic VW Beetle (well, maybe not longer, but long enough), this robust, reliable movement offers a good combination of acceptable accuracy and superb reliability. Just take a good care of the tiny engine and it will serve your son, as well as his son.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Fortis Blue Horizon Automatic Chronograph watch specification
Price: $3000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, ETA Valjoux 7750, modified, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight adorned with “Cotes de Geneve” pattern
Functions: No data
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Dial: Metallic Brown
Numerals: Arabic, black
Hour markers: Black, with blue luminous substance
Hands: Black, with blue luminous substance, open-worked
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Cognac brown leather strap with steel deployant clasp / Rubber strap / Solid stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent