Fortis F-43 Jumping Hour Limited Edition Watches Hands-On

Fortis F-43 Jumping Hour Limited Edition Watches Hands-On

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For 2013 Swiss Fortis releases two new limited edition Jumping Hour watches based on the system developed for the recent Fortis B-47 Mysterious Planets watch. These new watches are in the F-43 collection and are more plainly just called the Jumping Hour Limited Edition pieces. Two versions are available, one with a partially skeletonized dial, and one with a solid black dial with concentric circles as a dial texture. Is this a watch for you?

The jumping hour system is rather efficient. Built on a base Swiss ETA 2824, Fortis developed a module that turned the hour handling into a jumping disc with a window that moves over the hour markers. In the middle of the dial is still a central minute hand. When the minute hand reaches the end of the hour, the hour disc jumps in one smooth motion to the next hour indicator. Reading the time is pleasant and surprisingly enjoyable. It isn't a watch for everyone, but Fortis wouldn't be Fortis if they didn't mix in some cool avant garde watches like this with their more military and aviation-style fare.

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The Fortis F-43 Jumping Hour watches come in 43mm wide cases that seem to wear large due to the wide lugs and strap. The impressively large crown also helps the piece appear bigger. The crown is imbued with the Fortis crown logo, and the entire case is quite simple in its design being fully brushed and water resistant to 200 meters. So yea, you can practically go diving with these (despite them not having lume).

Features like very large strap screws in the lugs and the aforementioned large crown give the watch a unique tool-like appearance. Fortis produces a very straightforward "watch," and is trying to remind the wearers of all its timepieces, that in essence, they are buying a timepiece from a utilitarian watch brand. Interestingly enough both the F-43 Jumping Hour and F-43 Jumping Hour Black are available with five strap options. That is a lot for a limited edition. You can get the Jumping hour with a black or brown leather strap, black crocodile strap, black silicon strap, or a steel metal bracelet. You'll notice that the straps are nicely fitted to the case which is a most appreciated detail.

  • Lesthepom

    I really like the single handed watches and this one takes it a step further with that disc hour indicator I think at just $4K and the Fortis name and limited it is fantastic value. A bigger and more contrasting hand would be good and those 2 screws in the middle of the face would bug me I think Ariel in right the skeleton would be the one to get

    • JonnyD

      I agree with you about the screws in the centre of the black dial, they should have been blackened to integrate more. In saying that, I actually prefer the black dial, it’s more of a dress watch and in one of the photos the dial takes on a lovely blue tone. Jumping hours don’t necessarily have to be as expensive, which is good for those who like to collect complications :
      http://www.christopherward.co.uk/men/dress/c9-jumping-hour/c9jh-swkr-mk2.html

      • aleximd2000

        JonnyD the screws are there because they want you to remember that it was made3 by humans

        • Lesthepom

          So the screws are human error serenely looks like it may be if they had used 3 fancy screws it would look like they weren’t an after thought

      • MarkCarson

        JonnyD Thanks for the link. I missed this watch. Great price for a jumping hour watch. A different  take on the display as the hour display on the Chr. Ward piece is always at 12. I prefer the Fortis approach (but maybe not the current execution) with the rotating aperature as that gives a traditional spatial indication of the hour as well. In effect the disk is the hand (with numbers as a backup indication). Cheers.

      • Lesthepom

        The C.Ward is a good looking watch the Roman numerals would make it a bit hard to read at a glance the fortis can be read at a glance with the disc rotating to the appropriate hour
        The C.Ward looks a bit more of a dress watch

  • MarkCarson

    Yea, finally a couple of Fortis watches that don’t make my eyes bleed. I really like these and the price  (while high for a 2824 based watch) is reasonable for being as unique as they are. Bravo Fortis.

    • aleximd2000

      MarkCarson Indeed
      It is something that you are not equipped for starting a welding session
      Tell me if you recall is there any chance to buy the similar watch from seiko
      They are killing me(seiko) making a beautiful design and you can buy it for a limited period of time in Kuala Lumpur for example!   alex

      • MarkCarson

        aleximd2000 I don’t know which Seiko you are referring to. Can you reply with a link?

        • aleximd2000

          MarkCarsonaleximd2000clasp on the soft leather strap.
          Here are some specs directly from Seiko:
          * Designer: Tomoko Tomita
          * Manufacturer: SEIKO
          * Reference: Seiko SCBS007 and SCBS005
          * Automatic self-winding movement
          * Calibre 6R15
          * 23 Jewels
          * 50 hour power reserve
          * Average accuracy between +25 seconds from -15 seconds per month
          * Diameter 41mm
          * Thickness 14.3 mm
          * Weight: 70 g (without strap)
          * Leather Strap
          * Hardened Stainless Steel case
          * Sapphire crystal

        • aleximd2000

          seiko moving design discus is his name

        • Ulysses31

          aleximd2000 Ah yes, the “Discus Burger”.  The all steel model is very attractive.  I think they all sold out pretty fast though.

        • MarkCarson

          aleximd2000Thanks. I googled for images and now see what it looks like Interesting, but while it is great on the hour, it is sort of a mess at other times. Refer to the linked image. It is almost 12:25 or 1:30? Yes, I know its 12:25 but it is not something you can glance at as the hours are not jumping. I also find it attractive, but will not that it looks like an old bathroom scale (turned 90 degrees). Cheers..
          http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4044/4591845142_5bb24f6406_b.jpg

  • Ulysses31

    The first one looks really very cool.  Both are easy to read.  I’m impressed with these unexpected designs from Fortis.  See, you can be different without being hideous.

  • bnabod

    glad I got my Christopher Ward Jump Hour MKII LE for half the price…….
    the black one is pretty cool though I must admit. good effort from Fortis

  • CG

    Really like the translucency of the first one, the all black does nothing for me. These are not dive watches without lume! No conceivable way could they work as an interval timer. Way way to jard to see in a dive environment, But i could like the black one if the hand was say red, blue, yellow, green etc… nice watch.

  • Kris C

    Not bad, but the pricing is quite silly. My first impression of the translucent one was ‘ugly’. But, its not that bad, I just think the off-white clearness of the hour disc give the impression of a grimey window. They should have given it a little tint of colour.

    • MarkCarson

      Kris C I agree that the translucent one looks grimy. Maybe a different font for the hour number might help too. I like the minimalist nature of the black watch but on that one you don’t get to see the jumping mechanism.

  • Chronoman

    The fact that you CAN do something unusual does not always mean you HAVE to do it. It depends on what it will look like. If it is an acceptable or really good design idea then decide in what type of a watch it will do best. This does not work in a tool type of watch, for me.

    • MarkCarson

      Chronoman And do you see it as a tool watch because it comes from Fortis? I see this as dressier more than a tool watch per se. Cheers.

  • OngWeisheng

    It doesn’t look well finished and a bit tacky. I do appreciate that the numerals for the hours seem larger then most jump hours, which is a good thing. Most jump hour models have too small an hour window for proper legibility.

    Would have been nice if they did something similar to what Calabrese did with his NHC line or as a collaboration with Jean Marcel where its a wandering jump hour window.

  • somethingnottaken

    I like the idea of a jumping hour, so far my favourite implementations of the idea are essentially traditional regulator designs with a jumping hour window replacing the hours sub dial. The semi-skeleton version is an interesting watch. However, to me the blackdial is too plain, and I think it would’ve benefited from subdial seconds or some additional complication.