Fortis Official Cosmonaut Day/Date
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 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 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 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.
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.