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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last night while cooking dinner, I snapped some comparison shots of two of my latest arrivals. A B-42 Cosmo GMT and a Stowa Prodiver. I took these shots to tease and tempt our friendly moderator cuckoo4watches (a very appropriate name BTW :-d).

My first impression of the GMT is Wow! The clarity of the AR coated crystal is astounding. It looks as though the watch was delivered without a crystal. Combine this clarity with a dial layout that is absolutely intuitive, easy to read, and uncluttered, and you have one of the best "at a glance" watches out there. Telling time on this watch is instantaneous. The size of the arabic numbers is perfect, with just enough space between numbers, and a clear font that is not too stylized. I much prefer this arabic size to the "oversize" numbers on the Marine Master, but thats just my personal preference. I also like that all numbers are denoted (except 12), again adding to the readability.

The simple shape of the hands is quite simply "perfect". Nothing fancy, just functional and the right length.

The GMT function is also unique for me as the chapter ring that denotes the 24hr scale is colour coded, divided into black for night and grey for daylight hours. This is something I didn't notice on the web pics, but is helpful. Another feature that I haven't had on other 24hr watches, is that the position of the GMT hand at 24:00 (midnight) is at the 6:00 position, not 12:00 as on many other GMT watches. The bi-directional bezel acts as a third timezone and can be adjusted to any position, in either direction. The arrow head of the GMT hand is just right, not too big, not too small, and the "shaft" is nearly invisible. It almost looks like the arrow head is floating around the dial. Very cool design, and exactly right IMHO.

The nicely oversized crown is a push-pull affair. At first I though I'd prefer a screw down crown, but after the ease of use of a push-pull, it is a nice break from the constant screwing and unscrewing of other crowns. If the push-pull can maintain a 20ATM rating, I have no complaints.

What can I say about the bezel? The edges protrude slightly from the case making the serrations easy to grip and turn. The 60 clicks have just the right tension and snap, with zero play. The bezel insert is matte black to perfectly match the dial. Again the arabic numbers are just the right size and font to be clear without being busy.

The bracelet is nice, chunky and uses a unique link design that requires the removal of two screws to seperate a link. This adds a measure of security as you have to lose two screws before your watch launches itself into orbit. The clasp is typical swiss, and that is not a compliment. It is basic and simple and feels a bit tinny IMHO. I wish the Swiss would take some hints from the Japanese brands like Seiko and Citizen and advance their clasp technology into this century. I'm quite disappointed with the divers extension and flip-lock, it is a thin stamped sheet metal design with sharp edges. Not worthy of this price point.

Since I'm pointing out some deficiencies, here come a few more. The lume is just OK. The hands glow well, but have that "soft edge" where the lume is thin and more transparent. The hands don't have that crisp edge when charged. The dial numbers and corresponding markers are lumed, but much weaker than the hands, and very thin. They exhibit that mottled texture of thin lume, and fade reletively quickly. Again, not worthy of the price point.

The bezel detents are a bit of an oversight for this GMT design. The bezel which is used for a thrid timezone, will only line up with even hours on the 24hr scale. For uneven hours, the bezel lines up either slightly before or after the hour. This bezel should have either 48 clicks or 96 clicks since this watch was designed for travel and GMT function, not diving.

I would have preferred a 22mm bracelet on a 44mm watch. 20mm seems a bit narrow. Th ebracelet looks fine in proportion, but a 20mm leather looks undersized for the diameter of the face.

My last gripe is very minor, but I feel that the day-glo orange used on the GMT hand and second hand is too bright. A slightly subtler orange woul dhave been just as effective without being as garish in sunlight. I also think the orange arrow beside the date window should have been white. It draws too much attention in orange for no functional reason.

In conclusion, I'm really pleased with this watch, and the positives far outweigh the negatives. It is not perfect, but it is close. I expect to be keeping this watch for a long time. It has classic good looks and a contemporary large size. Well done Fortis!

Enjoy some pics...







 

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Congrats!

I am wearing my GMT right now. I have to agree about the bezel alignment on the odd numbers issue. I was a bit surprised to find that they did not match up perfectly. It is not horrible, but I noticed it as I spend a lot of time in the GMT -7 zone.

Mine is running very well at about +/- 5 seconds a day on average. Some days it is only 1-2 seconds off.
 

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I am wearing my GMT right now. I have to agree about the bezel alignment on the odd numbers issue. I was a bit surprised to find that they did not match up perfectly. It is not horrible, but I noticed it as I spend a lot of time in the GMT -7 zone.
The bezel on my new GMT has 120 clicks and lines up perfectly with both odd and even numbers :)
 

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Very informative review, MarkJnK. Like yourself, I too recently picked up my brand new B-42 Cosmonaut GMT watch a couple of weeks ago, but in my case it was as an upgrade to replace my stolen Pilot's Professional GMT watch. What drew me to this watch is its striking design, crisp look as well as the two time zone GMT functionality. The one thing, however, that does bother me about this B-42 is the 24h bezel alignment issue that is mentioned above - namely that the odd numbers on the outer 24 hour bezel do not align properly with the even numbers on the inner 24 hour dial. They are one click off.

For example, when the bezel is set to the closest click to align the outer 1 mark with the inner 12, the watch looks to be off kilter and hence appears to be inaccurate. As one who appreciates the intricacy and detail that defines a fine watch, I find this a bit disappointing. This is either a design flaw, or manufacturing oversight - or both. I am very surprised that a watch company of the Fortis calibre could make such a design mistake like this, especially considering their marketing as a "space watch" where accuracy and attention to detail might just have a bit of relevance ;-). My watch has a total of 60 "clicks" for a full bezel rotation, giving it an odd number (60/12=5) clicks between even hours. According to cbh in this thread, this problem is now fixed with a 120 click bezel.

What does everyone think - should I be able to return this watch to Fortis for warranty repair to get a new bezel? Would Fortis consider this a "manufacturing defect"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very informative review, MarkJnK. Like yourself, I too recently picked up my brand new B-42 Cosmonaut GMT watch a couple of weeks ago, but in my case it was as an upgrade to replace my stolen Pilot's Professional GMT watch. What drew me to this watch is its striking design, crisp look as well as the two time zone GMT functionality. The one thing, however, that does bother me about this B-42 is the 24h bezel alignment issue that is mentioned above - namely that the odd numbers on the outer 24 hour bezel do not align properly with the even numbers on the inner 24 hour dial. They are one click off.

For example, when the bezel is set to the closest click to align the outer 1 mark with the inner 12, the watch looks to be off kilter and hence appears to be inaccurate. As one who appreciates the intricacy and detail that defines a fine watch, I find this a bit disappointing. This is either a design flaw, or manufacturing oversight - or both. I am very surprised that a watch company of the Fortis calibre could make such a design mistake like this, especially considering their marketing as a "space watch" where accuracy and attention to detail might just have a bit of relevance ;-). My watch has a total of 60 "clicks" for a full bezel rotation, giving it an odd number (60/12=5) clicks between even hours. According to cbh in this thread, this problem is now fixed with a 120 click bezel.

What does everyone think - should I be able to return this watch to Fortis for warranty repair to get a new bezel? Would Fortis consider this a "manufacturing defect"?
I think it is worth looking into. As you say, this is supposed to be an accurate watch with attention to detail. I have a feeling that Fortis will take care of it for you. It is likely just a matter of popping off the old bezel and either putting in a new detent track or spring with extra pawls.
 

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What does everyone think - should I be able to return this watch to Fortis for warranty repair to get a new bezel? Would Fortis consider this a "manufacturing defect"?
It's got to be worth sending off a couple of e-mails, who knows.

But I doubt they would consider it a manufacturing defect, most products evolve during their life-cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's got to be worth sending off a couple of e-mails, who knows.

But I doubt they would consider it a manufacturing defect, most products evolve during their life-cycle.
While I agree that products evolve throughout their life cycle, I would think that Fortis would be embarassed about such an oversight and would want to correct it. Lets face it, somebody at Fortis dropped the ball on this one, whether it was in the design, or implementation, a mistake was definitely made.<|
 

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Very informative review, MarkJnK. Like yourself, I too recently picked up my brand new B-42 Cosmonaut GMT watch a couple of weeks ago, but in my case it was as an upgrade to replace my stolen Pilot's Professional GMT watch. What drew me to this watch is its striking design, crisp look as well as the two time zone GMT functionality. The one thing, however, that does bother me about this B-42 is the 24h bezel alignment issue that is mentioned above - namely that the odd numbers on the outer 24 hour bezel do not align properly with the even numbers on the inner 24 hour dial. They are one click off.

For example, when the bezel is set to the closest click to align the outer 1 mark with the inner 12, the watch looks to be off kilter and hence appears to be inaccurate. As one who appreciates the intricacy and detail that defines a fine watch, I find this a bit disappointing. This is either a design flaw, or manufacturing oversight - or both. I am very surprised that a watch company of the Fortis calibre could make such a design mistake like this, especially considering their marketing as a "space watch" where accuracy and attention to detail might just have a bit of relevance ;-). My watch has a total of 60 "clicks" for a full bezel rotation, giving it an odd number (60/12=5) clicks between even hours. According to cbh in this thread, this problem is now fixed with a 120 click bezel.

What does everyone think - should I be able to return this watch to Fortis for warranty repair to get a new bezel? Would Fortis consider this a "manufacturing defect"?
Gentlemen. Have you had any luck with this issue? I just called Providence watch hospital,and was told i could send it in, but it wouldnt be warranty work. I was then referred to Fortis USA in Minnesota, and spoke with a very unhelpful lady, who was equally rude. No answers as of now, just a dang good looking watch that the GMT wont align on.
 

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I think I will drop mine off in person the next time I am in Europe.

There is nothing worse than bad customer service!!!

It would serve these companies well to visit these fora once in awhile.
 
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