The Omega Speedmaster and Fortis Cosmonauts are two names that spring to mind when one thinks about watches with a strong outer space connection. While Omega released an upgraded Metas certified Speedmaster a few months back, Fortis has now revealed a refreshing new special non-limited variation of the Cosmonauts chronograph. Developed in collaboration with the Austrian Space Forum, the new Fortis Cosmonauts Amadee-20 is the official watch for the Amadee-20 Mars simulation analog field mission scheduled to be held between 4th and 31st October 2021, in the Negev desert in Israel.
The Fortis Cosmonauts Amadee-20 is a handsome watch full of interesting details, but it is the dial that steals the show here. Presented in a steel gray color, the dial is characterized by applied double-digit black-bordered numerals that have been generously filled with luminous paint and bring forth a nice sense of depth. To further heighten the visual interest, Fortis has given the dial a nice mix of finishes. The base dial features a combination of vertically brushed lines and semicircular grooves, that represent the orbit of Mars with its natural axis. And finally, the recessed chronograph minutes counter at 12 gets a sunburst finish. It is also worth mentioning that while the watch uses a familiar 6,9,12 layout, the chronograph hour register at 6, has been replaced with the Amaade-20 mission patch. Completing the dial is a day and date display with a color-matched wheel. For the hands, Fortis has gone with lume filled black swords for hours and minutes, batons for the sub-registers, and an arrow-tipped chronograph hand. The chronograph hands have been painted blue to add a little bit of zing to the dial.
The case on this watch maintains the design and dimensions of the previously released Cosmonauts Amadee-18. It measures 44mm in diameter and features chunky downward curving lugs. However, the material of construction, this time around, is lightweight Titanium, which should make the watch sit comfortably on the wrist for a prolonged duration. Sitting on top of the case is what Fortis is calling a Mission control bezel. Made using Titanium, the bezel is marked with a 60-minute scale and features two triangular pips placed at an interval of 10 minutes, which is the average time lag between Mars and Earth. So, by a simple turn of the bezel, the astronauts can know exactly when they would be receiving further communication from ground control.
The beating heart inside the Fortis Amadee-20 is the caliber UW-50. A self-winding movement, the UW-50, is based on the trustworthy Sellita SW-500. It operates at a frequency of 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 48 hours. The movement is hidden underneath a closed case back that has been laser engraved with the solar system orbit highlighting the position of the earth, moon, and Mars.