Temption and Fortis are two admirable watch makers who share nary a sneer or historic competition. Interestingly, they now have what I consider to be closely matched competing watches with the new Temption Cameo and the Fortis Square. Through what I believe might be no fault of either company, a battle between these watches now ensues for a leader of this micro niche (or maybe I am just egging on a fight). What is the niche you ask? Well just compare the properties and design of these two watches and you can see what I mean.
The Temption Cameo and Fortis Square are both (approximately) 39mm wide and high – steel – square-cased watches with round dials. Each primarily arrives with dark brown leather straps, and have dark against white colored faces. Each has a shaped rear on the watch case to better fit to your wrist. Each contains a Swiss ETA automatic mechanical movement with a sapphire crystal caseback window (an ETA 2892-2 in the Cameo, and an ETA 2836-2 in the Square, though a chronograph or GMT version of the Square is also available with other movements). Both have a retail price between $1,500- $2,000. Both are functionality focused with a stylistic edge. In my book that makes these two watches competitors.
Sure, the differences are a plenty, but they reflect the market purpose and demographics of each watch. Fortis, the larger of the two companies volume wise, is known for making aviation professional watches that need to be clear and easy to use and read. German Temption is more focused on thoughtfully designed Bauhaus styled watches that stress architected looks without sacrificing any utilitarian appeal. Looking at the Fortis, you’ll notice the large mostly Arabic number markers and thick plain pointed hands. The ETA 2836 movement adds a day of the week indication complication next to the date. Further, the chapter ring around the round dial is tilted with number indexes to improved legibility when viewing the watch at an angle. On the other hand, the layout of the Temption is equally clear, but more minimalistic. While the ETA 2892 is a higher grade movement, it lacks a day of the week complication, and the date is placed at a symmetrical center position on the dial versus at the 3 o’clock position.
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The Temption Cameo case is obviously more “engineered,” featuring a case with design elements like column texturing on the sides of the case as well as finer cute edges. I’d have to say that the Temption wins in any ‘haute horologie’ contests. Further, the Cameo dial is stunning. The main round dial is raised and complimented by supplemental indexes around the rest of the dial that fan out. The hands have more visual appeal than the strictly utilitarian ones used on the Fortis. However, the Fortis hands are functional, and enjoy more lume covering (Temption themselves uses almost identical hands on other watches). The Fortis is a bit easier to read given the diagonally oriented chapter ring and large Arabic numerals. Both watches are still very legible, and it is up to the user to really decide what they like better. I saw each is fit for a different purpose, so no clear winnder in these departments.
Each watch has a thick leather strap. The Square has a standard buckle clasp, which the Cameo has a folding deployment clasp. The ETA 2892 in the Cameo is a higher quality movement than the ETA 2836 in the Square, though the 2892 does not have a day of the week complication. Notice that the date disc in the Temption is colored to match the dial color, while the Fortis uses the standard white color of the date and day discs. Given these fact as well and the higher costs in case construction, the Temption Cameo is a more expensive watch, but not by too much, and the value is there. The little details in the Temption certainly make for a more designer looking watch, though I have little to complain about with the Fortis Square. Unlike the Fortis, the Temption has a perfectly square sapphire crystal that is much harder to attach to the case, whereas the Fortis has a square shaped crystal that has rounded edges. You’ll further notice the cabochon gem in the Temption crown, while Fortis has a signed crown.
No watch is a clear winner as they are each good at different things, even though they have a lot in common. I’d suggest that the Temption is a better value even though it costs more given its construction quality and details. The Square is going to be a lot easier to find given the higher volume output of Fortis watches and is about $1,20o given the street price, while the Temption hovers nearer to $2000). Further, while I am a fan of both designs, I am partial to the Temption for being outstandingly unique, and attractive, while serving admirably in ease of use. Neither of these watches is a bad choice though.See Fortis watches on Amazon here.