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Fortis Official Cosmonaut Day/Date

Introduction

Fortis Official Cosmonaut series watches are called “Official Cosmonaut” because they are certified for use in space by the Juri Gagarin Cosmonauts Trainingcenter in Star City. I don’t know whether the Day/Date was ever used in space, but the fact that it could be used makes a nice extra.
I must admit that I never planned buying this watch. I had some money on my hands, because I sold several of my watches. During a Saturday stroll through Frankfurt I noticed this watch in a sale. The discount price was within my limit, so I tried it on. It was love at first sight, but I wasn’t sure about the size. I usually wear watches of ca. 40 mm, the Fortis is 38 mm. Because I wasn’t sure I didn’t buy the watch straight away. It didn’t leave me alone though, so I returned on Monday and I still loved the watch. I decided I don’t mind the size and bought it.

The case
The 38 mm case is finished in brushed stainless steel. The finish almost looks like titanium and is well finished. The signed crown screws down and the watch is rated WR = 200 m. The case number is laser engraved between the bottom lugs and on the case back. The case back is screwed and sports a nice logo, which confirms the certification by the Juri Gagarin Cosmonauts Trainingcenter. The bezel has a luminous triangle and is aligned with the hour marks perfectly. The bezel rotates in 60 steps. The movement of the bezel is relatively firm, but this prevents unintended moving. The crystal is sapphire glass.

The dial and hands
The dial was one of the features that initially attracted me to this watch. The dial is very clean and well balanced. The readability is excellent under all circumstances. The day and date wheel are black and disappear in the background when one takes a quick glance at the watch. The day can be set either in German or in English. The hands have exactly the right length, the minute and second hand reach up to the minute scale on the dial. A very nice touch is the dayglow orange second hand.
I would rate the lume as good. It’s not up to Seiko standards, but it can be easily read in the dark. I guess Fortis used tritium paint on this watch (the dial is marked with “T”), at least the lume lasts all night.

The movement
The Cosmonaut is equipped with an ETA 2836-2 movement. I haven’t timed it yet, but I haven’t noticed any serious deviations, so I guess it’s accurate :)

The strap
The Cosmonaut came with a very nice and smooth black leather strap with white stitching and a brushed buckle. A bracelet is available too, but I decided that a black leather strap matches the character of the watch better.

Conclusion
This watch retails for 635€. It came in a nice black box with a small pillow – nothing special though. I always liked this watch, but I love it since I own it. It’s smaller than most of my watches, but I love how it looks on the wrist. This is definitely one of the most special pilot’s watches.
 

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Thank you very much for the excellent review, Micha !

We have heard not much about Fortis on this forum, but this has now been redressed.
 

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Is the crystal coated for antiglare?

It looks like it might be.

I have always liked these too, and almost took one in trade a few years back. The idea of a legible pilots watch that is wr to 200 meters is a real bonus in my opinion.
 

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Re: Is the crystal coated for antiglare?

Strela said:
It looks like it might be.

I have always liked these too, and almost took one in trade a few years back. The idea of a legible pilots watch that is wr to 200 meters is a real bonus in my opinion.
I'm not quite sure (as it doesn't say so in the catalogue), but in real live it looks like AR-coating for sure.
The WR 200m was one of the reasons why I chose this one. Somehow I don't like spending 500€ or more on a watch with only WR 50m :)
 

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Re: Is the crystal coated for antiglare?

Micha said:
I'm not quite sure (as it doesn't say so in the catalogue), but in real live it looks like AR-coating for sure.
The WR 200m was one of the reasons why I chose this one. Somehow I don't like spending 500€ or more on a watch with only WR 50m :)
I owned one until recently and mine was coated on both sides of the sapphire crystal so that under most light conditions, you thought you were looking directly at the dial and there was no crystal there. It's the very most legible watch I ever owned. In the Fortis literature or on their web-site, I think it says that the Cosmonaut series watches all come with double AR coating, while on their other series, AR coating is an option at additional cost. I sold mine primarily because of medium size. One thing I recall about it is that the day-date function changed at the stroke of mid-night and was not gradual as with some of my other watches.
 

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Re: Is the crystal coated for antiglare?

I own a Fortis Cosmonaut Day/Date bracelet model and find this watch very reliable, solid and very accurate for its movement grade. Mine is keeping +4 to +8 sec/24hr, unregulated and it 7 seven yrs old!. Its been a keeper in my collection and I will probably never flip this one. I will agree its 38-39mm case is somewhat small compared to 44-46mm of today but its got some weight to it and there is absolutely nothing that feels cheap on it.
 

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Re: Is the crystal coated for antiglare?

I've got this watch with a black dial and Fortis stainless steel bracelet. I've had it a couple of years now and its pretty much been my daily work watch along with a few others, but this one just seems bullet proof. Yes, its a bit smaller than my others, but its easy to wear and read. It functions superbly, and it's a watch I know will take anything I throw at it. The AR coating is on both sides of the saphire crystal as others have stated, and it seems invisible sometimes. I'd probably prefer the B-42 Cosmonaut Day/Date, but this one's a winner too.

Mine does not have the "T"s around the Swiss Made at the bottom, as I think the more recent ones, at least in the U.S. changed this and are now Superluminova.
 

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+1 for the AR coating. I own a Cosmonauts Chronograph and it's the among best AR coatings I've ever seen. The crystal does indeed disappear.

That there is one fine-looking watch, and an excellent review as well.
 
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